Role Play Provides Courtroom Experience

Isabel Owens, Lifestyle Editor

Mock Trial

Students in Mock Trial “do direct and cross examination of witnesses,” and “get to be in the role of being witnesses, of being asked questions, either direct or cross examination,” according to teacher advisor Diane Bessette.

Mock Trial competes against other high schools through the Constitutional Rights Foundation Competition. “It’s held at the county level and we go against other teams in our area such as Acalanes and Miramonte or Los Lomas, and we stage trials in which we go against them,” explained club president Nick Riddle.

The club is also preparing for the county competition to be held in February at the Martinez Courthouse. “The attorneys have been developing questions; so we’re given a packet that is the case, so a lot of background information and witness statements, rules of evidence,” said Bessette.

Mock Trial is similar to theater in that it involves role playing, said Bessette. “If you’re an attorney you have to learn the rules of evidence and also make up questions for your witness, and then if you’re a witness you have to basically memorize your statement,” she said.

“It’s a lot of acting and asking questions,” said Riddle. “We have competitions on the 3rd and the 5th, and then the 10th and the 12th [of February.] We’ve been having meetings during lunch on Mondays and Wednesdays and after school meetings on Thursdays.”

The top 2 teams at the county competition will proceed to regionals. “In the past we’ve done fairly well. Last year was probably not our strongest year but we’ve usually made it to the playoff round every year,” Riddle said.

“Last year it just didn’t come through with us. We worked hard but we had a tough schedule to go against and we lost a couple of close matches and we just didn’t advance to the next round,” Riddle explained.

Project Open Hands

Working to “put on events with special needs kids,” according to senior club president Toni Finanne, Project Open Hands will follow up their Sea Serpent carnival, which they conducted in the fall, with a basketball event on February 8 from 1-3 pm.

“Our club sponsors events for Special Olympic athletes; we started this year with a carnival for the Sea Serpents. The Sea Serpents is a Special Olympics swimming club that practices here at the Campo pool. In February we’re hosting a basketball event with the Special Olympics basketball teams,” said club adviser Michelle Alessandria.

“A bunch of the Warriors basketball team players, which are special needs kids, come and then Campo volunteers to come and there are about 2 hours of basketball and then the Campo students actually play a game with the special needs kids,” said Finanne.

“We usually have student volunteers and we invite the special olympics basketball athletes to come and participate,” she said. “We have a scrimmage and we create drills and we make it a really fun event for those athletes who don’t get an opportunity to meet with high school students,” said Alesandria.

According to Finanne, she and Alessandria asked the Campolindo team coaches to be a part of the event. “They really support it because it’s a great opportunity for the special needs kids to come and interact with Campolindo,” Finanne said.

“Anyone’s invited to come, all are welcome. For the basketball event we usually get the girls’ varsity basketball team and the JV team and the boys’ basketball players as well to come and help,” said Alessandria.

Art Club

Sharing their appreciation for aesthetics, the Art Club meets once a week. “Mostly we kind of just kind of talk to each other about art and stuff and sometimes we bring in projects to do,” said senior club president Michelle Pang.

Some students use the time at lunch to work on their projects for class, especially before deadlines. “I’m preparing for portfolio day and getting my stuff together to apply to art colleges,” said Pang.

“Right now they’re doing stuff for art since it’s kind of chaotic since we have portfolio day tomorrow, so people are either preparing for that or they’re working on the light project which is for open house,” she added.

“Most of the AP studio art students, like our president, work on their projects sometimes, mostly because they have an art project due for class like every week and they’re really busy to meet that deadline,” explained junior club member Yuki Shafer.

However, the club generally does projects that Pang sets up. “We try to do short little projects that we can do in one period, like we did this one project where we reused plastic bottles and kind of cut them into these little cat shape flower pot things,” said Pang.

“We tried making these flowers with wire and nail polish. They were simple little crafts that anybody could do, whether you were artsy or not,” said Shafer. “If we don’t do a little craft, we usually just draw and eat our lunch.”

The students are all enrolled in different levels of art, but find a sense of community within the club. “I like that I’m surrounded by artists, whether they’re beginners, pros, or hobbyists. We share our frustrations as artists and also art tips,” explained Shafer.

“We can watch each other use our artistic skill and see the different styles and techniques everyone uses,” she added. “I just really like how we all have passion in art, despite our differences.”

Robotics Club

After earning 2nd and 3rd place Inspire awards, the most prestigious award of its kind at the qualifying FTC [FIRST Tech Challenge] tournaments, the Robotics Club will compete at the Northern California Championships in Oakland on February 22.

“We participate in FIRST Robotics, which is FTC, where we build medium sized robots. We have a coach for the team, which is a parent, and he helps out a lot. They’ve been doing a lot of building over the weekends,” said club coordinator Nita Madra.

The club meets on Friday and Saturday afternoons, according to junior Kelly Williams. “Right now we’re preparing for our next tournament, working on programming, and mentoring the FTC team at Athenian,” she said. “We’re helping them with wiring, programming and design ideas”

The club is “doing a lot of outreach and helping out other teams,” according to Madra. “The Athenian team coach sent me an email and asked if our team could help out since he was friends with one of our teachers, I think Mr. Willy. They go over the weekends and I think last week they went during a weekday to help them with the programming,” she said.

“There’s the business side of the club and then there’s designing club. They do outreach, they do the mechanical part, the engineering part, the programming, so there are different groups that do different things,” Madra explained.

The Robotics Club is currently “practicing driving the robot, working on the autonomous report” in preparation for the championships, said Williams.

If they do well at the Regional Championships, they will move on to the Super Regionals, and then, perhaps, the World Championships held in Missouri. “We are hoping to make it there,” said Madra. “I’m very excited. They have a very good design and I think they’ll do really well.”