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News in Brief


Robotics Team Makes T-shirt Launcher

The East Fund granted the Robotics Team $2,996.34 to build a T-shirt launcher to use as a crowd-pleaser at various school events. According to the team’s blueprints, the launcher will be two feet wide, three feet long, and one and a half feet tall.

“The chassis will be made of aluminum and it will have various wooden parts for different supports and the barrel will be PVC pipe,” said junior and member of the robotics team Eric Blom.

The current design for the launcher will include the barrel hooked up to an array of small pressure tanks filled with an air compressor. There will be one person steering and firing it from a remote and a second person will reload the launcher after each shot.

“This grant was one of the highest scoring applications in the last few years,” Grant Committee Chairman Brent Fuson said.“It was clear, well written and [we knew] it would be a great project that would first benefit the SME Robotics Club members, but also promote school spirit.”

The East Fund’s Grant Committee researched, reviewed and discussed the several Grant Applications and evaluated the application based on 14 different criteria. Some areas include applicability, clarity, collaboration, innovation, technology, subjective and future funding. The Committee then forwarded a recommendation for funding to the East Fund Governing Board of Directors for final approval. Finally, it was approved by Matt Johnson, SMSD’s Director of Athletics and Student Services.

“The launcher will benefit the school both inside the walls of East and outside, and within our school community.” Fuson said. “Plus who doesn’t want a free SME T-shirt from a robot launcher?”

Drone Regulations Released

The federal government is now requiring recreational drone operators to register their aircraft. These regulations are being implemented with the intention of preventing safety hazards, after a drone came within 900 feet of JetBlue flight 1834 and Delta flight 407 during their landings at John F. Kennedy Airport on Aug. 3. The pilots were concerned with the possibility that the drone was a bomb threat.

The Federal Aviation Administration hopes that the new regulation rules will help ensure that drone operators know the rules and remain accountable for flying their unmanned aircraft responsibly.

The guidelines require commercial drone pilots with permits to stay below 500 feet and drone hobbyists without permits to stay below 400 feet. Both must avoid flying within five miles of an airport unless they have air-traffic control tower’s permission. Pilots must also keep their drone in sight and fly only during the day.

Brian Libeer, the producer of East’s football motivation videos uses drones for his videos and recognizes the new regulation guidelines as a positive.

“Registering each drone is a necessary evil,” Libeer said. “I feel we have to police those who make poor choices and fly too high or close to restricted areas, in order for those who fly within the rules to keep flying.”

Kansas State High School Activities Association has implemented new drone rules as well; no drones will be allowed to fly during play-off football games unless approved.

“It is sad that we let fear dictate the policy,” Libeer said. “Instead of just denying everyone, set a standard policy for those who are willing to play by the rules.

Global Temperatures at Record Levels

The global temperatures for 2015 are a record setting high. In effect, the Obama Administration proposed new fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles, requiring an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by the year 2025. This is intended to limit pollution, keeping temperatures down.

Climate scientist Richard Seager at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in New York states that the world is only going to get hotter if people continue to pollute the air and fill the earth with trash.

“Even by turning off our lights, or turning off the water while brushing our teeth can help the temperature patterns change,” said senior and president of the Environmental Club Kyle Baker. “I know that it doesn’t seem like that can impact it, but if we all do it together it can help out a lot.”

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated that January to September had the highest average temperature ever recorded on earth.

The highest average temperature out of all the 1629 months to be recorded beginning in January 1880 was broken with the 59 degree Fahrenheit average reading in the month of September.

Oceans are affected from waste and high temperatures which are killing both coral reefs around the world and many species of fish according to National Geographic. The pollution disrupts the ecosystem and has caused the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean. Marine debris is litter that ends up in oceans, seas and other large bodies of water.

“The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is larger than the size of Texas and we can try to fix that by recycling and reusing containers,” Baker said.

Global efforts from various countries around the world are trying to transition to a global clean energy economy in efforts to improve the global climate change in a positive way.

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