Category Archives: Interviews

McNally’s Walk for Water 2013

Last October 11, 2013, around 400 students participated in the third annual Walk for Water of McNally High School. The walk was started by watching videos about the problems regarding water around the world – mostly among the Third World countries – in the large gym of the school. The Walk was organized by the Student’s Union of McNally, headed by the Student’s Union President, Alex Kwan. According to an interview of Bill Huang, one of the Vice Presidents of S.U., said, “For Walk for Water, the executive committee were the ones that put lots of hard work into organizing the [event]. There were few that worked especially [it was] hard to make sure the event goes as planned. The teachers that were involved were Mrs. Plant, Miss. Tait and Mrs. Fiebich.” The route was shortened this year due to some reasons, last year it was around 8 kilometer walk but this year it was only about 6 kilometers. The main purpose of the event is to raise awareness about water issues around the world.

I asked some people about what they think about the walk and here is what they said:

“I think it goes for everyone, Walk for Water was a success. At first, we were panicking because only 60 students have registered in the first 3 days. But as we moved onto the deadline, more and more students came piling into the Tiger’s Den to hand in their forms! Things got a little out of hands during some parts of it, but overall, I think the experience was well worth it. What surprised me was that the pump Mr. Skoreyko was preparing broke down so we had to walk to the shore to get water, which I think was a even more impacting experience.”

– Bill Huang, Grade 12

“[Laughs], it was quite the experience lifting a 42 lbs Jug, I mean it was my final year and I wanna make it count. All in all I was pretty impressed from the planning to the huge success of our third annual walk for water :’)”

-Ka Yin Tsang, Grade 12

“Great events bring great achievements to the school. This was one of them.”

-Tushar Malhotra, Grade 12

There you have it, and it was totally another successful event of McNally High School.

For Grade 10’s and 11’s I encourage you to participate in this awesome and meaningful event for the next year and continue to make a difference.

If you were not able to do the walk, well do not worry since McNally High School will have more events like this in the coming months. If you want to know more about the future events of McNally, just keep checking our website. I hope to see you all in the next event.

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The SUNIA Experience

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One of the many things Mcnally High School has to offer is an opportunity to attend a seminar called SUNIA during the summer. Many of the students at McNally attend this seminar every summer, so TrigerPress took the opportunity to interview a couple of the students that participated during this past summer. One such student is now completing his grade 12 year and sat down to tell us about his experiences.

Alright so the first and most obvious question is what is SUNIA?

The acronym SUNIA stands for the Seminar on the United Nations and International Affairs!

 

What was the experience like?

My experience was so awesome. SUNIA is just simply amazing. I cannot stress this enough. It is the best seminar I have ever attended. Like seriously.

 

Would you recommend this to people?

Absolutely!

 

Who can attend?

Anyone in high school can attend pretty much. Even if you’re just Grade 10 or Grade 11 or Grade 12 you can attend the seminar. So you can definitely attend it if you want.

 

Why did you want to go?

Well, to be honest I was just researching for seminars and conferences on Google and suddenly I found the SUNIA site. I go over the site for like 10 minutes or so and then since it has something to do with the United Nations and as you know I am a really involved person specially in these kind of activities so I applied for it because I just want to experience what previous SUNIA participants experienced. That is basically it.

 

Can you tell me the best memory that you have?

Everything about SUNIA is the best. From the bus ride from Red Deer to Goldeye and during the lectures, recreation time and debates. Ugh, everything is awesome.

 

What kind of activities did you do?

Uh, sorry but I cannot tell you that.

 

Why?
It is because we want every single student who will attend SUNIA in the future to be surprise by the amazing-ness of SUNIA. You will be surprise of everything that will happen.

 

How has the trip changed the way you think about the world?

It made me realize that we do not need to be in a high position, like a President of a country or head of something to be able to make a difference, all we need is to lead others and teamwork because I believe that “Teamwork makes the Dreamwork”.

 

If that doesn’t convince you to take the opportunity you have to attend SUNIA, perhaps the friends from all over the world you will make for life will. This is a great occasion to partake in many educational as well as recreational activities such as discussion groups, lectures, press conferences, canoeing, suntanning, swimming, soccer, frisbee and football, beach volleyball and basketball. For more information you can either visit their website http://www.sunia.ca or talk to J.V. about it.  Be sure to get involved and make the most of this amazing opportunity.

Interview with Alex Kwan about his HYRS experience (2013)

Let’s face it–Schools have been cramming meaningless facts of science for us to take exams on. That eventually has us students losing interest in science when science is very different than learning random facts.

For Grade 10’s to think about and Grade 11’s to get started, I have compiled an interview with Alex Kwan, an aspiring scientist in the biomedical fields and current Student Union president, about HYRS (Heritage Youth Researcher Summer Program). So for those of you who ponder on the thought of applying for HYRS or perhaps never heard of the program, I hope this article will give you insight and help you make a decision if HYRS is right for you.

Could you briefly explain what is HYRS?

HYRS is a six week summer youth research program inside a professional laboratory at one of 3 accredited universities (University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge).  Students participate in cutting edge research that is both innovating and exciting.

Why did you decide to apply to HYRS?

I personally applied because it gave me a sense as to what being in research is like and help me decide my future career aspirations and make some networking with professors and researchers.

Now were there different fields you could go into? Did you get to pick or was it HYRS’s choice?

Part of the application process was that applicants were required to write a 400 word essay talking about which field of health research interests you and why.

 For me, I wrote about biotechnology and how I got really intrigued by it.
 The HYRS adjudication committee members reads them, and try to pair them up as much as possible with the researches involved in the program.
Could you expand on biotechnology and what they had you do specifically?
Well, I talk about how volunteering in St. John Ambulance, I got trained on how to use Automated External Defibrillators. I was mesmerized by the technology that goes behind it and it’s ability to restart the heart and restore it to a normal rhythm.
 Technology in biomedical fields interests me. Hence, I was paired up with Dr, Tsui.

Although he does nothing in regards to cardiology since he is an anesthetist, but he developed electronics and catheters that helped with regional anesthesia in acute pain control for post-op patients.

Now that is very interesting! Would you say, that being paired up with Dr. Tsui was something you enjoyed? What was the overall atmosphere you got from working in that environment along with Dr. Tsui?

Yes, indeed. He was an excellent mentor and that includes his research team.

They were always opened to my own interests and would work around that.

 All in all, it was a great learning experience.

Now I’m here wondering, did you want to be involved in sciences since a young age, or just automatically felt you needed to be in the sciences? In other words, do you believe that people who want to go into sciences should start thinking about it at a youthful age?

I was always interested in sciences. But during early years, I was rather more interested engineering.

However, as I grew older, I started volunteering more and getting more exposure. And I found that health sciences is my thing.

 I believe that people shouldn’t by just thinking, but instead go out to the real world and getting exposure to it.
 If you are passionate about it at a young age, do more research about it or attend camps and conventions.
 It will give them a sense of what it’s like
Very understandable. So one should get involved in their interests so that they may get some sort of experience from it. Ok. Because you were given a chance to join HYRS and received the opportunity to go into more depth of what you love, have you “found” yourself?
I did most certainly. I got to participate in clinical research on the hospital grounds, where I was able to interact with patients and staff.

 I found that probably health sciences and internal medicine is my career aspiration

Shall we enter the world of nostalgia? Was there any kind of routine during your time at HYRS? Any memorable experiences? Heartbreaking ones, or ones that pulled at your heartstrings? Ones that brought you a whole new view on things? 

I was scheduled to be there from 8-4PM.

But it could sometimes vary.

 Sometimes I was at the hospital at 6AM to see a patient in surgery.
 In terms of the HYRS, there were plenty of social gatherings every week.
Were there others students like yourself who worked alongside you?
No, we were each set in our own labs. But after work or during lunches, we would always go to one another’s lab to visit and have lunch or supper together.
For heartbreaking moments, I had the opportunity to witness a different side of healthcare that no one really expected before.  I saw a patient all the way through their stay in the hospital from pre-operation to surgery, to post-operation. It was really different to see how much medicine can change a person’s life and their family’s
 Since you will be going into the sciences dealing with health, do you think that you have the emotional capacity to withstand occurrences such as these? Has that experience wavered your love for the field you wish to go into?
I would say I would have the emotional capacity. Working in the hospital meant accepting the way the natural cycle of how life functions. And from that summer experience, it solidified my career choice as I realize things like life and death is really common. And one must learn to accept such things and not make such a great deal out of it.

It’s great that you can see the way things are. Now, I’ve been pestering you with questions for quite a while now. So the last few will be about what you would like to tell future students who want to experience HYRS? What is a quality that someone should have in order to enjoy their experience at HYRS?

It’s totally worth it! I strongly encourage anyone with great passions in health sciences to apply as this will further enrich their knowledge in such fields. I think qualities would be to be very enthusiastic about science and research.

Would they need to work hard and get those marks up for applying HYRS? I’ve heard you need a average of around 85% and above to get in for subjects such as biology, another science, and math. What about students who love the idea of joining HYRS but just can’t seem to bring their marks up to apply? The ones who feel they have no chance of applying? Should they try anyway?

Academics are important, but their passion and extra curricular activities also reflect that. So if they are truly passionate, please don’t hesitate.

Alright last two questions. If you had the chance, would you work with HYRS in the future? Would you inspire future generations as Dr. Tsui and his research team did?

I would as a matter of fact, I was invited back to continue with my research I did this summer throughout the school year. At the moment, I do not plan to work with HYRS in the future. I would like to further my exposure first in life. However, I would serve as a mentor for younger students’ that were just like me whom are passionate and excited by science.

Any last comments about HYRS before I close this interview?

If I got the opportunity to do this each summer, I wouldn’t mind doing it. But, I can’t. So I recommend anyone who likes science to try and apply. They won’t regret it!

Ok thank you Alex for taking the time out of your busy schedule for this interview. I really appreciate it.

Thank you for the interview opportunity.

Shuaa and her HYRS Experience (Interview)

Interviewer : Juliver Tomas “JV” (Grade 12)

Alright so the first and most obvious question is what is HYRS?

HYRS aka Heritage Youth Research Summer Program – it was a great opportunity to learn, research and have fun. I did research in an actual lab in the HMRC building right next to the KATZ Lobby. I was investigating Dietary approaches to reverse insulin resistance in Heart failure. ya its quite the mouthful.

What was the experience like?

It was a helpful and motivating experience, allowed me to be exposed to the field of research as a possible area of work in the future. I got to make some great connections in the university and that is something you want to have when moving forward. I also got a chance to get familiar with the campus. IT was an amazing experience to have in Grade 11.

Who can attend?

Grade 11- have the following courses done or be doing when you apply: Bio20/Chem 20 and Math 20- and have atleast an 85% in each. and be committed to your time in the lab.

Why did you want to go?

I wanted to be part of the experience, make connections and just learn about the field a bit more. Its never a bad idea to keep your options open.

Can you tell me the best memory that you have?

Probably the Open house. That was the day we presented all of our summer research on the posters and got to say thanks to all that helped us with this journey; the teachers, parents and lab colleagues.

Would you recommend this to people?

I would definitely recommend this to others, even if you’re not thinking of pursuing a career in science. It’s a good eye-opener, and who knows you may just really love research

What kind of activities did you do?

We had weekly tours of the facilities on and off campus, eat-out lunches, and some evening events like potlucks and HYRS Alumni night.

What made you want to go in the first place?

I got to work with people from all over the world in my lab, and got me to experience this idea old people call the “real world”. It was actually alot of fun going to get Tim’s in the morning with my lab.

How did it influenced your life as a student?

I got to see whether I am someone that could be doing research in the future. I got to make some pretty smart friends and many fun memories to take with me.