Convention Provides Insights
• Future journalist attend national convention to learn from peers and professionals.

Peninsula High’s newspaper staff on The Pen recently traveled to Chicago to participate in the annual National High School Journalism Convention.
On the trip, Nov. 2 to Nov. 5, staff members used their time in the Windy City to take classes and explore the city. The staff made the trip with the intention of networking with other student journalists from across the nation and learn from professional journalists with many years of experience.
“The JEA/NSPA conventions are opportunities for students to meet and learn from professional journalists in the newspaper, magazine and Internet media industries,” said The Pen’s advisor Jaymee Johnson. “It is also an opportunity for them to showcase their work and compete on behalf of their publication.”
This year’s convention had a wide array of classes students could choose from. From news gathering sessions to design classes, there were endless opportunities for these journalists to learn how to make the most of their position, from advisors to writers.
chicago.300“Since I am an Opinion editor for the paper, I went to several classes that were on censorship, covering controversial topics and writing with a strong bias,” said senior Liana Korotzer.
These hour-long sessions involved lectures, interactive discussions and visual displays that exemplified what the speakers wanted to convey. Each class was catered toward a specific audience, from those seeking how to gather news to those who wanted to hear the experiences of professionals in the field. Amidst these countless sessions, there were some notable presentations that still resonate in some hearts.
“One session that I really loved was the Parkland presentation. It was so meaningful to see how the Stoneman Douglas High School (Fla.) yearbook staff was able to create something so beautiful out of a tragedy,” said Korotzer.
One session that had a particularly large showing was one done by Stoneman High yearbook advisor Sarah Lerner. The presentation was based on the mass school shooting that occurred in Parkland, Florida, where 17 lives were lost in the process.
During her approximately 45-minute speech, Lerner talked about her own experience of being in the midst of the shooting and how her yearbook staff publicized and handled the incident afterward.
Lerner showed the audience the yearbook spreads she and her staff dedicated so much time and effort into creating and how they encompassed the shooting.
“This year’s convention was interesting because I was able to attend classes that I was not able to go to before,” said senior and editor-in-chief Emily McGinn. “For example, my co-editor-in-chief and I went to a class about copyright issues, which is a problem that we are currently struggling with.”
Those who went were able to gather information that they would not have gotten anywhere else. Despite the odds of making up work from missing school and the weather of the Windy City, The Pen staff came back as journalists with more knowledge of what they are passionate about.
“I think that the journalism convention reminds the people who go that [they are a part of] one small newspaper in a country full of journalists,” Korotzer said. “It shows people that the way they do things does not have to be the way everyone else does it, and they can open their eyes to something new.”
Science Fair Highlights The Best

The South Coast Botanic Garden hosts the annual District Science Fair last week.
Up on the Hill, Peninsula and Palos Verdes high school students dedicate their time to both their studies and extracurricular activities, ranging from sports to school competitions.

One event in particular took place at the South Bay Botanical Garden on Feb. 23; the annual Palos Verdes Peninsula Science and Engineering Fair (PVPSEF).
This yearly event features the work of some of the best science research students in Palos Verdes, with the 13 finalists advancing into the next level of competition.
With Peninsulas High science research teacher Melissa Grace Klose as support and guidance, these remarkable students have shown insight into the science field.
sc.100Competition this year was centered on the following categories: Animal Science, Behavioral Science, Biochemistry, Botany, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Medical, Microbiology, and Physics.
Kevin Sun, Yeji Allyson Ee, Albert Tan, Suraj Anand, Rei Landsberger, and Alisa Hathaway placed first in Behavioral Science, Botany, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, and Physics.
The next competition, the L.A. County Science Fair, will be held in Pasadena March 22-24.
“It was amazing to see the work I put in throughout the past year paying off at the Science Fair, and I feel really lucky to have had this experience,” said sophomore Yeji Cho.
At the fair, Cho placed first in the Botany category. Botany is a relation to plant sciences, including plant physiology, ecology, and other fields in this area.
Considering this was Cho’s first year in science research in high school and having little experience in botany, she did remarkably well in the competition.
According to Cho, her project was on “testing the effect of carbon sources on the pH fluctuations caused by the growth of a marine microalgae species called Nannochloropsis Oculata.” The project experience took nearly a year to plan and research.
Anand, said, “The purpose of my project was to attempt to reduce the flaws of current hearing aids by increasing speech intelligibility and suppressing sound lateral to the wearer. I wanted to provide insight on why [some] people do not wear their hearing aids.”
Anand is another talented sophomore finalist who placed first in the Computer Science Division. His project was dedicated to developing a smarter hearing aid with artificial intelligence (A.I.) and beamforming, which is a technology that uses multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) transmitters and receivers.
Anand has long been interested in the computer science field, taking AP and Advanced Computer Science classes online and other classes relating to this subject.
Cho said, “From this project, I have really learned a lot about the time and dedication it takes to carry out even the simplest of experiments.
“I have found that passion and hard work really show in the end product, and I think it is very important that I was able to find a topic I was genuinely interested in.”
Cho is planning to pursue biology as part of her future occupation and is not done yet with the science field.
This fair was just the beginning of her journey in science, and this experiment in particular boosted her confidence in accomplishing her goals in this area.
“I have learned more intricate aspects of machine learning and how to collect and analyze data [from this project],” Anand said. “I also enjoyed learning about the physiology of the ear and mimicking it with neural networks.”
Anand, like Cho, is hoping to contribute to the science field later on. He is planning on applying computer science to the medical field and make a difference through technology and scientific knowledge. From this project, Anand was able to work with different high-technology equipment and was able to develop algorithms for a device used and depended on in the real world.
With the next fair right around the corner, these 13 contestants are ready to give it their all at the next scientific showdown.

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