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Applications of Chemistry Paint Lab

By Fiona Mobley

The Applications of Chemistry classes at Laramie High School did a lab where they painted a block with swirl dipping.

The classes were given wooden blocks, that they had to sand before they were able to paint the base coat.

In the wooden blocks there was a little screw to prevent the students’ hands from getting the paint on them.

“It was a little messy,” Savannah Knight said. “[There was] a small hook screw thingy in them, which wasn’t very big so when it came down to dipping them [in the canisters], it stained our fingers too.”

After sanding their blocks, the students then had to paint their blocks with a primer color of their choosing.

The paint was given the day to dry and then the next day the students dipped their blocks into a canister filled with water mixed with Borax and oil paints.

There were five canisters, each with the Borax water mixture.

The Borax was added to the water to make the water denser which then allowed the oil paints to float on top of the water since they were less dense than the water.

The oil paints also floated to the top of the water because oil paints are hydrophobic since oil paints are non-polar compounds and water is a polar compound which do not mix.

Once the paint started floating, the students would take their blocks and dip them into the canisters.

Depending on the type of pattern the students wanted, they would dip their blocks in at an angle if they wanted a swirl pattern and if they wanted a vertical line, they would dip the block straight in.

The students made their own patterns with the paint when they put it into the canister.

They used a spoon to drizzle the paint into the water mixture and then used a wooden skewer to swirl it into the layer they wanted on the blocks.

After the students were done with the color they were using, they would then use decanting to remove the paint that was in the canister.

When the next student came, they would pick whatever color they wanted and then the process would repeat.

When it was all said and done, the students had to wash their hands with acetone since the oil paints are hydrophobic making it impossible for the students to wash their hands with water.

“Washing the paint off, pure acetone was really the only thing that could get it off but it evaporated super quick,” Knight said.

To color the blocks, the students had the colors black, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, teal and purple.

“My primer color I used a teal and then the colors I dipped it in was purple, black and blue,” Knight said.

The students each came out with their own individual block and were able to take them home the next day since the paint had to dry on the day they were finally completed.

Cheer Competition

By Finley O’Connor

The Laramie Cheer team performed at their first competition of the year on Saturday, Nov 16.

The cheer team got 3rd in their division and 4th overall.

Cheerleader Mia Pearce talked about the competition and how the year is going for the team so far.

“It is divided into three groups: small, large and extra-large. Small is 10 or less people on the team. Large is 11-20 people and extra-large is 21 and up. We got 3rd in the large division out of 11 teams, and 4th overall out of 17 teams,” Pearce said.

Pearce says that their team works well together overall and they get along with each other. She also says that their team is very supportive of one another and are always pushing to better themselves.

The cheer team is working very hard to get better so they can place high at state in March. Pearce says that placing well at state is one of their main goals for the year.

“Our state routine will be very similar to our competition routine but we will add the judges’ comments from this competition into it to make it better. We will just keep working on that routine and take the corrections from the judges and apply them to the routine,” Pearce said.

The team will cheer at boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball games and a few wrestling matches in the winter. Pearce says that another goal for them is to have clean routines and stunts during the home games and matches.

“I think what we need to work on is smiling more and having more fun. Even though we are having fun, we need to be better at showing it. I think we need to be better about that and have more crowd engagement. We could also work on our cheer portion because it just needs to be cleaner and louder and get more people involved in it,” Pearce said.

The competition routine is split up into three sections. There is the band dance, the cheer portion and the fight song. Pearce says that the band dance is definitely the strong suit.

“We didn’t have corrections on that part of it, and we all know it really well. I think we were all really sharp, and there were a lot of ripples, so it’s hard to be sharp, but we all did a good job at that,” Pearce said.

Cheer captain Zoe Pearce says that the team does an excellent job of working together as a team.

“The competition overall was very fun. It was nice to see the other teams as a preparation for state. I think my team does a good job of working hard when it’s needed. Our team knows when it’s time to work and get things done. Our team also works together so well because if someone needs something, there is always someone there ready to help,” Pearce said.

Trainee Therapy Puppies Visit LHS

By Andromeda Erikson

Last week, counselor Bryon Lee’s two future therapy dogs paid a visit to Laramie High School.

The dogs are both Golden Retrievers, and their names are Coquí and Lola.

They aren’t officially therapy dogs yet because they are, as Lee describes them, “rambunctious, obnoxious, adorable puppies.”

They are, however, in training to eventually become certified therapy dogs.

Lee has them enrolled in puppy Einstein classes at Laramie’s Rockin E Dog Training.

It will be about a year of training before the dogs can get their official therapy dog certification in Cheyenne.

Unfortunately, Lola has been diagnosed with a heart defect and will likely not be able to become a therapy dog.

The goal is to have Coquí in the counseling office two or three days a week once she is certified.

Lee says the purpose of having the dogs is largely to increase student engagement in the counseling office.

“It’s just a way to get us interacting with students a little bit more. And for that dog to just be that catalyst for students that might be having a bad day or might really need to talk about something,” he said.

The days that Lee brought his puppies in, he says he saw hundreds of students come visit the counseling office to pet the dogs, hold them and play with them.

Many students even stopped by after school.

“We never have kids stop in after school,” Lee added.

Many of these students who stop by for the dogs are ones who wouldn’t visit the counseling office much otherwise, if ever.

At the very least, students can benefit just from positive interactions with a dog.

“There’s research that just the act of petting a dog actually releases endorphins within our brains that helps counteract depression or ill feelings that we might be having for the day,” Lee explained.

Lee went on to describe how therapy dogs provide a sense of safety, “for people to just open up and share their feelings.”

One person cried “tears of joy” while holding the puppies in the counseling office.

There were even teachers who asked Lee to bring the dogs into their classes.

Lee says the dogs have been a “community builder,” not just with the counselors and students, but also between him and his co-workers.

Many of the other teachers and counselors have showed Lee pictures of their own dogs since he brought Lola and Coquí in.

Lee is excited to have the dogs around regularly after their certification.

“They just give unconditional love all the time,” he said.

Coquí and Lola will also be doing regular dog things with Lee like playing fetch and going fishing.

He says they already enjoy being outside and sitting in the snow.

Lee has another dog at home, a terrier mix, who didn’t get along with the puppies at first but is getting used to them now.

Dionysus Greek Festival

By Zane Tillman

On Wednesday Nov. 6, the Drama I class at Laramie High School put on a Greek festival, following their study of Greek drama, with multiple Greek plays being written and performed by small groups within the class.

“There is an antagonist, a protagonist, usually with three actors, masks and a costume that they create using duct tape and other assorted materials,” drama teacher Michael Hancey.

The first play, “Freaky Friday,” was about the Greek Goddess’ Persephone and Hera switching bodies because of their dissatisfaction with their lives. With Zeus being drunk all the time and Persephone not knowing how to handle it, it led to a possibly worse situation for both of them. This play proved the saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side.”

The second play was called “Medalia and the Nine Challenges.” It was about how Eris, the god of chaos, tricked Medalia into challenging multiple gods in their special fields.

The god of comedy, Thalia, the god of music, Euterpes, and the god of tragedy, Melephine, all put Medalia in her place, losing her eyebrows, her voice, and her life at the hands of Melephine. It showed how it is pointless to resist otherworldly powers or to try and control things that you can’t.

The third play was called “The Fall of Hades,” and it showed how, instead of Kronos eating his children, he locked his children up for 16 years until Zeus broke them free. Meanwhile Hades runs away, and hatches a plan to get revenge on Kronos.

On the way, he saved a cyclops and got a helmet of invisibility as a reward.

He then met Moana and Michael Jackson on the way, who helped him in his quest until the end, when Michael Jackson betrayed Hades in his attempt to kill Kronos. This caused Kronos to banish Hades and two pigs to the Underworld.

This tale shows the perils of revenge and how it usually doesn’t work out the way it is expected. It also touched on the idea of knowing who you can trust.

Overall, these three plays were judged on adherence to the criteria for Greek theater, time and the acting/overall performance.

“Medalia and the Nine Challenges” won first place, with creative costumes made of duct tape, thin white plastic white tablecloth liners, masks and headdresses made of cardboard and paint.

“Freaky Friday” came in second, with choreographed dances and in depth characterization that fit the time frame of 10 minutes.

“The Fall of Hades” took third place, with a well-developed plot line and creative interpretations of a classic myth.

“What I enjoyed the most about it was when we first wrote the story and started practicing, and figured out who would play which role,” Elias Martin said, who played Eris in “Medalia and the Nine Challenges.”

The students in the drama class seemed to enjoy the performance of different Greek myths along with learning the elements of Greek theatre.

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