Carroll High School Blog
Over the summer, Sonja Kosir ‘17 was awarded the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to be a part of innovative research while learning about her family’s history and culture. Kosir received a fellowship from the American Slovenian Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on connecting highly-talented students with other Slovenian professionals, to spend ten weeks in Slovenia conducting scientific research. Sonja, whose family is of Slovenian descent, found out about the opportunity from her grandfather. After witnessing a few of her friends take advantage of the opportunity, she decided to apply and was accepted.
Science fair definitely helped me learn about the research process and how to approach a scientific question. I just really love that process. It’s the reason why I went into STEM.
-Sonja Kosir '17
She spent ten weeks living in Stranska Vas, a village outside of Ljubljana, the capital. In Ljubljana, Kosir worked at the University of Ljubljana in the Laboratory of Biocybernetics, home to one of the world’s leading programs in Electroporation-Based technology. Part of Sonja’s motivation for applying for this fellowship came from her studies at the University of Cincinnati, where she had read about the electroporation process and the prestigious Slovenian institution where the research was being conducted.
Electroporation, Kosir explained, is the process in which fast, high-voltage pulses are applied to cell membranes, momentarily disrupting cell action and enabling materials to be inserted to either kill or keep the membranes alive. This technology is used in the medical field, as electroporation offers an efficient method for delivery of medicine directly to the cells. As part of her research, Sonja sought to distinguish the lethality of different doses of nickel on living cells compared to the effect of the process itself. This study would provide helpful parameters to future research in this area.
Sonja credits her STEM courses at Carroll, as well her participation in science fair as a student, with igniting her love for science. “Science fair definitely helped me learn about the research process and how to approach a scientific question,” she said. “I just really love that process. It’s the reason why I went into STEM.” Learning how to overcome complex challenges through research inspired Sonja to pursue a career in science.
Not only was Kosir’s research challenging, but she also had to adjust to an entirely new country, community, and language. “It’s significantly the farthest I’ve been from home,” Kosir said, “The language barrier was a little bit of a struggle at times, but it helped me to get creative (with communication).” Just as Sonja was involved with the mass and liturgical choir as a Carroll student, Sonja got involved with a young adult group at an English-speaking church. “It was really fun to get to meet other kids who were international students at that time,” Sonja said. While her STEM skills were instrumental to her work as a researcher, her holistic education and faith-formation from her time at Carroll allowed Sonja to both engage with the international scientific community and encounter a new Catholic community abroad, all while immersing herself in her heritage.
Superior Science Research Projects require students to work independently with the help of a teacher-mentor and should incorporate the following:
They start with thorough background research to find a real-world problem that can be solved either through experimentation or through engineering design. This research should also help students be able to explain key concepts and past research in their topic area.
To truly stand out a project should incorporate a unique topic, procedure, or practical application; something the judges have not seen before. The project should not be a lab exercise that could be done in a classroom.
During the experimentation or engineering build phase students should have a complex experimental or design procedure, and there should be numerous subjects or trials for more accurate data. Students should review their data through statistical analysis to see if there are significant differences between test groups.
Once the project is complete, students should be able to express themselves clearly during their oral presentation to judges from the scientific community using an organized display board. Students must also write a comprehensive scientific research paper which includes their background research, experimental procedure, results and analysis. The students must integrate their project results into findings from previous research.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on the Case Western Reserve University website. Please click here to read the entire story.
What do music theory and statistical mechanics have to do with each other? The connection may not seem obvious, but it’s exactly what Ryan Buechele is studying in his senior project. “I love seeing ways where the tools of physics can be applied to solve problems in other fields like biology, economics, and, of course, music theory,” he says. A CWRU senior pursuing both a B.S. in physics and mathematics and a B.A. in music, Buechele is working with Associate Professor Jesse Berezovsky on a project combining the tools of statistical mechanics and music theory.
Whenever Alek Mezera ‘04 would drive past the Dayton Arcade in the heart of downtown, he usually thought about the stories from the complex’s glory years that had come and gone before he was even old enough to attend kindergarten. 26 years after the arcade effectively closed to the public, he stepped foot in the vacant, deteriorating building as he prepared to help lead the modernization of one of the oldest and most notable facilities in the region.
“That was an awe-inspiring visit, just being able to see the scale, first and foremost, of all the buildings involved in the arcade development, but also the potential and history,” Mezera said. “There’s so many old signs and photographs and pieces of Dayton nostalgia you would see around every corner that were really cool.”
As the Director of Client Partnerships at DataYard, an Information Technology provider founded by Alek’s father Dave ‘81 in the mid 90s, Alek helped DataYard earn the rights to be the sole IT provider for the Arcade Innovation Hub, a joint venture between the University of Dayton and the Entrepreneurs’ Center that occupies more than two thirds of the first two phases of the Arcade renovation project’s master plan. All office space, classrooms, and retail shops on the upper levels of the checkerboard-floored rotunda are connected to the internet through DataYard. While plenty of typical renovation work, like replacing windows and walls, were needed to breathe life back into the nearly 120-year-old set of five buildings that comprise the Arcade, DataYard had the unique challenge of not only building the first network, but also concealing all of its infrastructure to comply with historical guidelines.
“For any rehab/reuse project happening downtown, there are a lot of tax incentives involved with taking something old and making it new. In order to do that, there are a hundred different aesthetic guidelines you have to work through. As far as IT and historic tax credits are concerned, it has to look like it isn’t there. We had a challenge in adequately hiding the infrastructure behind the scenes in a way that still achieved all of our goals. We ran miles of rigid steel conduit which has all been painted to blend in and match the brick ceiling and exposed brick walls. Some of it is hidden in drop ceilings and wrapped around corners. It was a challenge but ultimately produced the most aesthetically appealing stroll down memory lane.”
Mezera estimates that the Arcade now holds $1.5 million dollars worth of network equipment, including 100 wireless access points, 20,000 feet of steel conduit, and 142,000 feet of ethernet cable, which is enough to stretch from Carroll High School to the Dayton Arcade six times. At its peak, the network can serve approximately 700 individuals using up to four devices each. Mezera says the Arcade project is the biggest and most complex in DataYard’s history. It is also one of the most meaningful.
“One of the things that everybody has as an intrinsic need is the ability to see the fruits of their labors,” Mezera says. “Unfortunately, our grandparents and great-grandparents built all the churches and all the bridges and those large scale, masonry types of projects where you have a cornerstone with a date on it and get a romantic, emotional feeling when you think about your contribution to a specific project. We don’t have a lot of those projects going on at the moment and haven’t in quite some time. To be a part of a rehab/reuse project of a complex of this physical scale brought its own romantic draw for those reasons, something you can drive past and look at and know that your contributions have directly impacted the success of the project, and more importantly, the advancement of the region and our neighbors.”
In an ever-changing field like IT, DataYard relies not only on its teams’ up-to-date technical knowledge of designing and installing networks, but also on their ability to adapt quickly and think critically while working together. Even though Mezera grew up with computers, the skills Mezera learned during his days at Carroll prepared him to play a major role in the Arcade project.
Learning how to learn was a big part of what I’ve taken from Carroll, my family, and other places. Extracurriculars really stuck some life lessons and habits in my spirit. Working with a team, wanting and needing to produce the absolute best work that I possibly could, and feeling a sense of pride in my work and achievements.
Alek Mezera '04, DataYard Director of Client Partnerships
“I did enjoy those computer classes with Mrs. [Diane McNelly] Keller ‘83 back in 2003, and those gave me an opportunity to practice and develop outside the home. Beyond that, learning how to learn was a big part of what I’ve taken from Carroll, my family, and other places. Extracurriculars really stuck some life lessons and habits in my spirit. Working with a team, wanting and needing to produce the absolute best work that I possibly could, and feeling a sense of pride in my work and achievements. Whether you’re playing basketball or in the marching band or whatever it is, if you’re with a group of people, and you have a goal and something you have to work hard to achieve and you do it together, I learned early on that it was one of the most rewarding experiences.”
Mezera sees the rebirth of the Arcade as DataYard’s role on a team that lays the groundwork for the next generation of Dayton entrepreneurs to succeed.
“You get a sense of pride and feeling of an ownership stake in the city,” Mezera says. “We’ve poured so much blood and treasure into trying to make something better for ourselves and neighbors, and to see it come to fruition, watch other people utilize those services to take themselves to the next level and advance the success of their business, and watch people interact in the space on a human level is incredibly rewarding. The space has so much energy, promise, and potential that it certainly is a much-needed boost to civic pride.”
DataYard provides Dayton's best IT services and technology consulting including solutions for Cloud hosting, cyber security, disaster recovery, IT management, and more. To learn more about DataYard, contact Alek Mezera at (937) 610-3525 or email email@example.com.
The Carroll Math Department strives to develop students into persistent problem solvers and resilient learners. Carroll students not only learn course-specific math content, but they also learn to collaborate with fellow problem solvers, use constructive feedback to produce better results, and feel comfortable asking for guidance. We want our students to graduate from Carroll with the confidence that when faced with a challenge, they can analyze the situation and produce a meaningful solution.
We are proud of the accomplishments that Carroll graduates have achieved post-graduation. Our graduates are true testaments to the success of our math curriculum. A few recent graduates were asked how their Carroll math program experience prepared them for life after high school and what words of wisdom they have for current Patriots:
Emily Seals ‘14
Emily is a 2018 graduate of The University of Dayton with a degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics and currently holds the position of Analyst to the CEO and Human Resources Department at SafeAuto in Columbus, Ohio.
The structure of many of my classes while at Carroll has proved helpful to my transition and success into college and my career. They taught me discipline; discipline to pay attention in class, discipline to complete daily homework, and discipline to keep myself accountable for my grades and ask for help when it just didn't make sense. In college, not all professors collect homework (sounds amazing, right?). When you find that out, it becomes very tempting to skip the professors’ suggested practice problems. However, with the discipline I took with me from Carroll, I knew that would cost me come test day. That's why I did every practice problem given to prepare me for success come test day. I've brought this discipline and work ethic with me into my career which has helped lead me to success each and every day. I really valued my statistics class with Mrs. Mary Ollier. Although I struggled with getting it to click for me, the first math course I took at the University of Dayton was statistics, and I remember feeling so thankful having gone through it once at Carroll. It really helped set the groundwork for building it up at UD.
Words of Wisdom
Ask the question. The biggest thing I learned from my math classes was overall problem-solving skills. Gather information, try to solve the problem (probably several ways), and if all else fails, never hesitate to ask for help. I remember sitting in Mrs. Grosselin's class sometimes feeling silly asking for help but still asking anyway. In my work today, I still often get this feeling, but how can you effectively produce work and do your job if you don't even understand what you're doing? Never feel silly asking questions; no one knows everything, and continual learning is part of being human.
Audrey Marticello ‘18
Audrey is a junior at Loyola University Chicago studying Finance with a minor in Economics. She is a Calculus tutor at Loyola, participates in an Equity Investing club, and just finished a Business Analytics Co-Op where her role was running statistical analysis. Her goals have changed over the years, but she would like to work in a finance role after graduation and attend graduate school. She has an internship lined up for the summer where she will be a commercial banking intern for BMO Harris in Chicago. Her role will be helping the bank with lending decisions, financial analysis, and risk assessments.
One of my key takeaways from my Carroll Math classes is to not be afraid to ask questions. When I was a freshman at Carroll, I struggled in math and science because I was afraid to look dumb in front of my peers, but my math teachers saw potential in me and pushed me to improve. As I became an upperclassman and felt more comfortable, I began seeking to understand. I would ask more questions in class, start study groups with friends, and pop in after school to review homework answers. Unsurprisingly, my grades improved. So, when transitioning to college, I committed myself to seek to understand. This mantra has benefited me in all facets of life—from my finance classes to my internships, and it’s all thanks to my time at Carroll.
Words of Wisdom
Practice makes perfect. The Carroll Math department, as a whole, puts a huge emphasis on practice. I distinctly remember Mrs. Ollier, my freshman year assigning many practice problems for homework. I did not understand at the time, but she was instilling in us the fundamental piece of learning—practice. This key to success, that practice makes perfect, has allowed me to be resilient when facing failure and overcome rigorous courses.
Quinn Retzloff ‘18
Quinn is a junior at the University of Notre Dame studying Science-PreProfessional with a minor in Compassionate Care in Medicine. He is a Chemistry and Calculus tutor for the Learning Resource Center and an English literacy teacher for the greater South Bend community. He is involved with the Hillebrand Center for Compassionate Care in Medicine research team, actively seeking techniques to help doctors and other healthcare professionals maintain a caring, compassionate mindset as the foundation of their healthcare practice and as a remedy to the effects of burnout, especially during COVID-19. After graduation, he wants to pursue an MD degree and practice as Cardiothoracic surgeon.
Carroll's mathematics courses and faculty emboldened my confidence to approach math with a unique perspective. Coming from Carroll, where I took Honors and AP courses in Geometry, Algebra, Physics, and Calculus, I was placed at an advantage in comparison with many of my peers. Carroll’s emphasis on the fundamentals of mathematics provided the basis of not only solving complex problems in my STEM courses but more importantly, grasping the concepts that gave me insight into finding the respective solutions. Carroll’s focus on highlighting the theory gave me a step ahead in my ability to ask the deeper questions and analyze problems and patterns with a keen eye, as well as the tenacity to persist when courses became challenging. I also appreciate how Carroll’s difficult courses forced me to grapple with important concepts from proofs to derivatives in a supportive environment. The ability to learn with peers, receive constructive feedback from teachers, and complete guided assignments both in and outside class, made the courses not only manageable but meaningful. Simply put, my college math courses seemed only supplementary to the Carroll math core.
The most memorable Carroll math experience for me was the TEAMS competition at Ohio Northern University each year. It gave me and my friends the chance to work together to problem-solve a real-world scenario (my senior year was waste management sustainability) and come up with a viable solution. Different team members were responsible for “mastering” their section and served as a wealth of knowledge for that specific category, whether it be the energy of the system or how it works. In the end, it was just fun to communicate with the Carroll teams and other Ohio schools in how they approached the same types of problems.
Words of Wisdom
Math and problem-solving present themselves every day and it’s those who recognize this fact that make a difference. You might not always have to calculate a derivative or perform a square root, but these skills taught early on in education encourage you to learn how to think critically, analyze a situation, and produce a thoughtful solution.
Hello, Mike Lakin here with another great blog (and yes, I am still teaching)!
The goal for Industrial Technology classes this semester will be similar to the past few years but a little different for a few reasons. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic changes how I instruct my students. The first four Wednesdays of the year will be Remote Learning days at Carroll, and I plan to show YouTube videos on those days that reinforce what I am teaching that week. When I showed videos during remote instruction last spring, I found that the videos gave students a new perspective on the lessons as well as inspiring me with some new ideas for class.
The other big change this semester is that I will not have student teacher's aides. This will make slowing down the pace of the class and empowering students with more responsibility a top priority. I will also let any student who wants to learn how to use the Computer Numeric Control machines come in after school for extra instruction. This will not only grow their personal knowledge but enable them to help their classmates.
The skills that students learn in this class are valuable for many reasons. Not only do students learn basic skills, they improve on them throughout their lives to use when they become homeowners. A career in skilled labor is a major possibility for my students as well. Demand for skilled labor is high, and many careers in those fields pay very well and can surpass $100,000 each year. No matter what path a student chooses, I know they will retain many lessons learned in these classes.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed my blog, see you next time!
P.S. Don't get cut - Amen!
Hello, Mike Lakin here with another great blog! The video and pictures you see are the result of two projects in Woodworking I. Teaching the students the safety rules and procedures to make the first project, a three tier shelf, and the second project, a simple table, are foundational aspects of the course. The goal is that after the second project, students will be able to understand plans to make projects that grab their interest.
The skills that students learn in this class are extremely important for various reasons. First, they will improve on their skills for many things throughout their lives, like home maintenance and do-it-yourself projects some day.
Another huge possibility is a career in the trades. As most people know, these fields are in desperate need of people, and most skilled trades pay well into the six figures. Whatever the students choose to do in the future, I know they will retain many of the lessons they have learned in woodworking.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have enjoyed my blog. See you next time (and don’t get cut, amen!).
Carroll Science Day has become an early February tradition at Carroll for our students to present their pre-college research in a variety of STEM Fields in a "science fair" setting. In 2020, 84 students performed independent research in the topics of Behavioral Science and Social Studies, Biochemistry, Botany, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth and Space Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Medicine and Health, Microbiology, Physics, and Zoology.
Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards
The top three students in each division based on grade level receive special recognition for their outstanding projects.
- Kevin Agnew, LED Pacing System for Runners (Engineering): Gold Award
- Josie Rose, Negative Effects of Plastic Leachate on Spirulina major (Environmental Science): Silver Award
- Trinity Raber, The Effect of Various Food Textures on Eisenia foetida Castings (Environmental Science): Bronze Award
- Neve Monigan, Strength and Deflection of Wood in Relation to Thickness (Engineering): Gold Award
- Makenzie Lencke, The Effectiveness of Various Materials on Soundproofing (Physics): Silver Award
- Shannon McIntyre, Canine Identification through Unique Nose Print, Facial, and Iris Print Recognition (Engineering)
- Jack Agnew, The Effect of Antenna Length on ADS-B Reception (Engineering): Gold Award
- Nathan Schiffler, The Role of Hemispheric Dominance on the Perception of Optical Illusions (Behavioral and Social Studies), Silver Award
- Caden Bistrik, The Effectiveness of Headgear in Soccer (Medicine and Health), Bronze Award
Moving on to area-wide competitions
36 students earned the opportunity to compete in the next level of competition at Montgomery County Science Day on Saturday, February 29 at the Dayton Convention Center.