Might a future Dublin High School graduate be responsible for a vision related technology breakthrough? In the fast moving world, anything is possible. However, one would be wise to follow the future of a current Gael. Meet Mr. Kumaran Ratnam. We posted a global story on the recently concluded 3rd Annual Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Alameda County Science & Engineering Fair. The Fair and competition was open to all middle and high school students in Alameda County. 640 students elected to accept the challenge and produce an exhibit across multiple categories. At stake were various awards including 1st through 3rd place, Best in Category, State Qualifier and Grand Prize. In the pinnacle group there were only four awardees. Kumaran captured one of them – as a ninth grader. As it turned out, Mr. Ratnam and his classmates were going to participate as it was an element of his Biology with Research class taught by Janet Kaehms. OneDublin.org recently sat down with both of them as they shared the journey to a Grand Prize.
Kumaran and his family transplanted to Dublin during the summer of 2013. His parents are both Engineers – Dad works for Cisco and Mom is at Oracle. He has a younger sister, Jayani, who is an 8th grader at Fallon Middle School. This was a rather significant move for the Ratnam’s as they relocated from Acton, Massachusetts. As we learned, this was not the first time that Ratnam has succeeded in a science fair. Project ID: MH 5017 – A Novel Energy Harvesting System with a Piezo Element to Power a Visual Prosthesis.
OneDublin.org: The subject of your project is fascinating. What specifically inspired you to research this subject?
Kumaran Ratnam: “We all take our lives for granted. I got interested in finding out how vision works and understanding vision related issues because I have a close family member with visual impairment. When I was in middle school, I did a project on age related Macular Degeneration (one of the leading cause of blindness in USA) and designed an ultrasonic guiding device. That project took me all the way to the national level and I was selected as a National Semi-finalist at Broadcom MASTERS. From then on, I got more and more interested in vision issues and I wanted to make the life easier for visually impaired people.”
by Jin Hyun (Dublin High School Junior)
Prom is a milestone for all the Juniors at DHS. It signals that their days of being Juniors are coming to an end and their final year of high school is right around the corner. On Saturday, March 22, the class of 2015 celebrated this milestone at The Bridges in San Ramon.
This memorable night began at Shannon Park. Students with their friends, dates, and family members gathered together to take pictures with everyone. After months of trying to find the perfect dress, building up the courage to ask that special someone, and setting up appointments for hair, makeup, and nails, students finally got to relax and enjoy their special day.
After taking their pictures, the students rushed over to the venue which was decorated to fit the theme, Old Hollywood. Pictures of classic Hollywood stars were displayed in the corners and the tables were decorated with beads and candles. Everything was absolutely beautiful and none of us could have imagined a more perfect night.
Budding Scientists Fill 3rd Annual Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair
On Sunday, over 640 students and their families converged upon the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. The purpose was to recognize the achievements of hundreds of both middle and senior high school students. In actuality, it was a weekend long celebration. For those that committed to the task, Friday evening represented a set-up period for their display boards and documentation. Starting early Saturday morning, the students were standing by their projects and were prepared to discuss their methodologies with a variety of judges. By mid-day, additional judges came through to determine how would advance to the second round.
The Dublin Unified School District sent 112 students to the Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair, representing 1/6th of all students at the fair. Every sixth person you passed when walking through the projects was from a Dublin public school, out of the 72 schools that sent students to the fair. Almost 100 students were from Dublin High School, representing 5% of the Dublin High’s student population.
In the United States, each year over a half a million babies are born too soon – 50,000 alone in California. This is a staggering statistic. To complicate matters, in over 50% of the cases of preterm birth, the causation is unresolved. For decades, the March of Dimes organization has led a national campaign to place a spotlight on this crisis. Their mission statement reads “We help moms have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies.” Despite these adverse numbers, many infants go on to live healthy and happy lives. Of course, there are those that survive, but some that live with cognitive, digestive, vision and hearing loss. In so many ways, it is the luck of the draw. By definition, a micro preemie is a baby born weighing less than 1 pound, 12 ounces or before 26 weeks of gestation. Because they are born months before their due dates, micro preemies often face long neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) stays. By the numbers, infants born at 22 weeks experience a 10% survival rate. In contrast, those born at 26 weeks have a 90% survival rate.
This preamble brings us to a kindergarten student at Frederiksen Elementary School, Brooklyn Rantz. Brooklyn’s parents, Rich and Kathy married in 2005. Rich is a manager at Patelco in the DMV Department and Kathy is employed by Chevron in their Gift Card Program. OneDublin.org recently had the opportunity to sit down with the Rantz family to discuss the fascinating odyssey of their daughter.
When Kathy unexpectedly experienced contractions 16 weeks early on the morning of November 17, 2007, Rich and Kathy went to the ER at ValleyCare in Pleasanton. After the nurses in Labor and Delivery were unable to slow down Kathy’s contractions, she was taken via ambulance to Alta Bates in Berkeley where they able to slow her contractions for almost two days.
By Grace Li (Dublin High School Class of 2015 Junior)
Mondays through Fridays, volunteers file into the Dublin Senior Center eager to start another day’s work. They sign in, put on a pair of gloves, and starting cleaning and setting up a happy and enjoyable environment for the residents and visitors.
These volunteers consist of high school students from all across the Tri-Valley. They come from Castro Valley, San Ramon, Livermore, Pleasanton, and of course, Dublin. All have their own reasons for joining the volunteer program the senior center has to offer. Though initially, many signed up to fulfill the community service portion of their graduation requirement.
“I signed up to volunteer at the senior center for community service hours,” says Dublin High senior Camila Huang. “But now I just do it for fun and to give back to the community.”
Many of the volunteers find that even after their fifty (the requisite number of volunteer hours for Dublin High) hours are done, they stick around. The structure and routine of the senior center volunteering program allows them freedom and fun. Volunteers are often seen happily chatting with their friends as they wash dishes, set up tables, make coffee, and pin up decorations.
In just a few months there will be a major ribbon-cutting at Dublin High School. As part of the multi-year, taxpayer funded Dublin High School renewal project, a brand new, state-of-the-art Center for Performing Arts and Education will open in support of visual and performing arts programs. Most of the major construction is now complete with the attention now on completely all the detail work. Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hanke: “When we designed the theatre we ensured it would have all the elements of a high quality regional theatre, and it does. It is a magnificent facility. Not only will the school district benefit from the programs we have, but we will also see benefits extend into the Dublin community and regionally.”
Take a few minutes and join OneDublin.org on a photo tour of the new theater:
If you’ve driven up Village Parkway in the past six months, you will have seen the theater taking shape on the north side of campus:
Stepping inside the theater, you are welcomed by tiered seating with capacity just shy of 500.
Winter percussion, percussion ensemble, drumline – all of these phrases fill me up with more excitement than words can describe. However, they didn’t always. When I entered middle school in 6th grade, like many, I didn’t have a single clue of what winter percussion was. I knew that it involved marching, drums, and competing, but other than that, I had no idea what drumline entailed. Despite my slim knowledge, I decided to take part in winter percussion, and I have ever since.
My name is Evelyn and I currently attend Fallon Middle School as an 8th grader. Presently, I play the snare drum and serve as co-drum captain for the Fallon Drumline. Over these three years of participating, I’ve met many people that have never heard of winter percussion. This lack of familiarity with the activity has motivated me to inform everyone I know what drumline is, and what it is like to be a part of. Whether it’s my peers at Fallon, parents, or you, the reader – I aim to inspire more students to give drumline a try.
While the drumline season begins in late fall, my band director, Mr. Carpenter, brews on theme and song ideas long before the season begins. When the first practice comes, everyone has a shot to try out different percussion instruments such as bass drums, snare drums, and tenor drums (quads). Students even have the option to be in the pit where they can play instruments such as a piano, guitar, xylophone, drum set, and countless others. Everyone has a chance to learn how to play different percussion instruments and are informed of the correct technique and approach. Mr. Carpenter arranges and provides the music that corresponds with the theme of our show. Fallon’s theme for 2014 is “surfing”, so we play songs such as Wipeout and Pipeline.