Page 1






The Skyrocketing 2012 Bravo Science Fair


Science Students Shine in 2012 Bravo Science Fair

Bravo Teams Fall Short of Goal but Not Disappointed



There are many reasons as to why Bravo is considered a Medical Magnet as opposed to being focused on a different field of expertise. The school’s annual Science Fair is a collection of what makes this high school a center of medical learning. On February 28th, students from various honors and AP science classes, the Engineering for Health Academy (EHA), and the Science Technology and Research (STAR) 1 and 2 programs got the chance to present all the work they had been trying to perfect. In some cases, students had been involved in research and laboratorial activities ALEXA PENA Vital Signs since last summer. Participants hurried to put finishing touches on Original • Science Fair projects ranged from classifications of social and set up their projects before the sciences to microbiology. Under these different categories lay a great deal 8 am deadline. The Bravo Annual of projects of uniqueness and of complexity. Science Fair was ready for lift-off. The morning began with various institutions, many who were assigned to project categories, and judges being welcomed into the involved in mentoring students at each judge was to score and grade all library by Dr. Joseph Cocozza and the nearby USC Keck School of the projects within their categories. Ms. Glendy Ramirez-De La Cruz. Medicine. The judges were then | see SCIENCE FAIR, page 4 | There were numerous judges from escorted to the gym where they were

Science Bowl is the nationwide competition that puts the best of the best from each school against each other in a relentless battle of who can answer the most questions quickly and correctly. On February 25th, 31 schools from the Los Angeles Unified School District gathered at the Department of Water and Power building in Downtown, Los Angeles for the 20th Annual LA Regional Science Bowl armed with their greatest weapon: their minds. This year, Bravo was allowed to bring two teams. Team A included Eduard Babayan (’12), William Paja (’12), Captain Brian Park (’12), Brian Tom (’13), and Elton Zhou (’13). Team B was made up of Marco Aguilar (’13), Captain Vanessa Alschuler (’12), Zack Markos (’13), Gene Pak (’13), and Shana Pili (’13). After last year’s 3rd place finish, many of the members were hungry for more. They knew that | see SCIENCE BOWL, page 4 |

Bravo’s Bridge Building Team Nearly Walks All Over Competition By AJ SANIANO Creak, creak, crack — that was the sound of a bridge breaking the silence in a workshop filled with hopeful teams hoping to take home first place. As the bridges were slowly crushed, so were the teams filled with so much enthusiasm. This was not the case for our Bravo team. Bravo’s Bridge Building Team A, consisting of team leader Jessica Lee and builders Alfred Saniano, Stanley Ung and Wisia Wong, have once again finished in the top three at the 18th Annual American Society of Civil Engineers Popsicle Stick Bridge Building contest (or ASCE for short) on Friday, February 17th at California State University of Long Beach for the sixth year in a row. Bravo’s Bridge Building Team B consisted of team leader Wesley Nim and builders Crystalline Aclan, Nelson Bui, and Austin Nim. Both teams competed against each other to make the strongest bridge.


They were also determined to break the pattern of alternating between first and third place.

As the bridges were slowly crushed, so were the teams filled with so much enthusiasm. This was not the case for our Bravo team. Well before winter break, both teams worked tirelessly to create a bridge that could withstand more than 1000 pounds. Amazingly, the bridges held over 750 pounds on a bench press. This was the maximum weight since plates could no longer be added onto the bending barbel and a seventh person to lift it up could not fit either. After months of trial and error, it was finally show time for Team A and B to rise above the state’s competition at California Photo Courtesy of NELSON BUI State University of Long Beach. Man-made • Bravo’s Team A and Team B gather as one team with big After officials finished checking if smiles before their final competition. | see BRIDGE BUILDING, page 2 |








MARCH 9, 2012


| BRIDGE BUILDING, from page 1 | the entered bridges broke regulations, various teams went off to their assigned activities for the day. Team A’s bridge gave way at 755 pounds, placing them at 7th in strength. Instead of bickering over defeat, the team used this experience as fuel to plow through competitors with a presentation where they explained the process of building the bridge, a technical report going in depth for its construction, a poster board to show off the bridge, an impromptu where teams were to construct a random mechanism, and their bridge’s beauty. By the end of the competition, they won Third Place overall, placing First in presentations, technical report, poster board, impromptu, and bridge aesthetics. Even though both teams were aiming to win individually, it was Bravo’s pride that both teams wanted to uphold.

Rejection Hurts: A Guide to Accepting College Rejection Letters

By ENRIQUE MARROQUIN & MONICA ROQUE The pain of receiving a rejection letter from your preferred college or university is like the sting of a thousand pinches on the one day you forget to wear green. However frustrated, inadequate, and discouraged you may feel, don’t allow this experience hinder your ability to attain future success. These valuable pieces of advice will help you recognize that college rejection does not equal failure: Read the letter carefully to be sure you understand the reason of rejection. If you see a mistake in the letter, contact the college or | see COLLEGE, page 4 |

Cartoon by OMAR GOMEZ, Vital Signs


Work your Figure By JASMINE MONTANEZ


It’s the time of the year again that any girl has been dreaming of: yes, prom day! That special day where every young woman wants to shine and look stunning. Here are some helpful tips for that hard-toshop-for body:

For that tall, slim figure, create an hourglass. A circle skirt dress adds volume to your hips and also nips in your waist. Play with proportion and color, a sexy oneshoulder dress highlights your face beautifully.



For that petite body shape, lengthen the leg line even more with a high-waist mini dress. A funky dress will definitely have all the guys, and girls alike, staring. Pair it up with some fabulous high heels to get all the attention on your lovely legs.

For that curvy body, flatter your curves. A dress with a great v-neck shows off your rocking body and thick straps give you support. Slim your middle with a glitzy, flowing dress. Play with color and don’t be afraid to use wild prints to camouflage any bumps. / Google Images

Dressing Up • All women have different body types and body shapes, so use your body type as an asset with the right prom dress.

How to Get the Girl: A Man’s Guide from a Woman on how to get the Woman By HELEN BEZIKYAN Are you interested in letting a girl know you like her, especially around the time of prom season? Well, admitting to your crush can be a very nerve-wracking ordeal; and hopefully, with the right moves, you will be able to let her know in a delicate, sweet way. Each girl is different, and you will have to learn more about her before you can really know how she will respond to you. The first step is getting to know her and understand her. Talk to her about things you both have in common, or something that will interest her. If the girl you like is someone you know well, then the next step is to look and smell the part. Look your best around her, and

spray on cologne that smells good. Girls love the smell of cologne, but keep in mind that less cologne is better than plenty of over-powering cologne. If she notices these little details, then you are on the right track. For example if she says, “I like your shirt,” it doesn’t say much about what she thinks about you. If she says, “You look good in that shirt,” this is more of a compliment towards you. Also, remember to smile at her, but smile in a way that you wouldn’t smile at to any other person. Be genuine with your smile, and look at her like she’s someone you’re really into. The next thing to do is to treat her nicely. Pick key moments to compliment her, such as when she gets a new haircut. If you're going to

compliment her on her appearance, be very careful. You don't want to come off as sarcastic or weird. Make your comments genuine , even if it’s something simple. Another way of dropping hints is by flirting with her. Make the flirting light and humorous, like cracking jokes even if they’re lame. She'll laugh at the attempt and will usually find it to be cute. If you aren't sure how to flirt, then pay attention to what she's doing and how she responds. Make eye contact and smile. If you are not seeing progress, then she might only consider you as a friend. Most girls are not going to come right out and say they like you. If you have her number, then text and talk to her in order to build a stronger friendship. If you become

a close friend, then she will most definitely consider liking you. If you notice that she is talking about you a lot, then that is a good sign. It means that she's thinking about you, and that you can't be a big part of her life without her ever thinking about you. Remember, if you are ready, take the initiative and ask her out on a date, or tell her how you feel about her. But make sure that it’s just the two of you. If you are really into a girl, by telling her or making these moves, you have nothing to lose, and only her to gain.

MARCH 9, 2012






Highly-anticipated • The Hunger Games film is likely to add intense action scenes and special effects to an already popular story.

Let the Hunger Games Begin: A Preview By KATHERIN JAVALERA The well-known nationwide series, The Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins, is hitting the big screen with a larger fan base than ever before. The first book of the series titled,

destruction of North America, in a nation known as Panem, which consists of a wealthy Capitol and twelve surrounding less fortunate districts. As punishment for a previous rebellion against the Capitol, in which a 13th district was destroyed, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district are selected by an annual lottery to participate in the Hunger Games — a televised event in which the tributes must fight to the death in a dangerous arena controlled by a group from the Capitol called the Gamemakers. The story follows 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, a girl from District 12, who volunteers for the 74th annual Hunger Games in place of her younger sister. Also selected from District 12 is 16-yearold Peeta Mellark, a baker's son whom Katniss knows from school, whom she remembers as the boy who once gave her bread when her family was starving. Katniss and Peeta are taken to the Capitol where their drunken mentor, Haymitch Abernathy, a surviving victor of the 50th Hunger Games, instructs them to watch and learn the talents of the other tributes. They are then publicly displayed to the Capitol audience in a televised session with interviewer Caesar Flickerman. During this time, the tributes try to gain audience support and sponsors for the Games, which can be crucial for survival, as sponsors tend to send gifts like food, medicine, and tools to favored tributes during the Games. Katniss relies on her well-practiced hunting and outdoor skills to survive and as the games continue, the tribute death toll increases. Twenty-four enter the arena but only one will be named the winner of the Hunger Games. “May the odds be ever in your favor.” The Hunger Games hits theaters March 23.

The Hunger Games, has a strong storyline. It’s no wonder the majority of those who read the book finished within days. As the movie release gets closer, only one line fits: Everyone will be watching. The Hunger Games takes place after the

Scholarships that are Right for you: your Chance for Free College Money By AMY GUERRA

NetAid Global Action Scholarships

excellent commitment to community services — this scholarship is for you. Several For high school students in the United scholarships of $1000 are available. Visit www. States who are willing to build a brighter future for more for the poorest people in the world, four awards information. of $5,000 each are available. Visit them at www. NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund

In these tough economic times, March is the season to get lucky and help pay for your grueling college tuition. These are some scholarships found online that are worth bearing in mind. You are capable of achieving anything, and you never know until you apply. Why not express your true potential and apply now? It may be the Toyota Community Scholars Award best decision of your entire academic experience. Discover Card Scholarship Program This is a scholarship exclusive only to high school juniors with at least 2.75/4.00 GPA for their 9th and 10th grades. One’s demonstration of achievement in leadership and community service is a plus for a strong application. 10 scholarships of 25,000 are available. These scholarships can be used for any type of post-secondary education, inluding two-year or four-year colleges or certification programs. Visit them at www. shtml; infer at 1 (866) 756-7932. National Peace Essay Contest An essay competition for high school students in grades nine through twelve who are attending a public, private or parochial school. Several awards of $1000 to $10000 are available. To compete, visit

For all high school students who want to participate in a writing contest. Only one award A scholarship for high school students of $4,000 is available. Visit www.nradefensefund. who are nominated by their high school. The org/writingcontest.aspx to apply and for contest high schools should also have a good record of rules. academic success for higher chances of getting chosen. Several scholarships of $20,000 each are American Legion National High School available. Visit them and apply at Oratorical Contest com/about/community/education. For high school students enrolled in public, You can Make a Difference Scholarship parochial, military, private, or state accredited home schools, several scholarships of up to For high school students who have a desire $18,000 are available here, at to make a difference with technology, students must submit a proposal for a software project that will McKelvey Entrepreneurial E-Scholarship benefit a charity organization. Several awards of up to $5000 are available. This scholarship has no For young entrepreneurs across the USA, official website, but visit www.highscholarships. 100 scholarships of $10,000 are available at www. com for updates. Outstanding Students of America Scholarships For high school students who have a minimum GPA of 3.00 and who demonstrate




| SCIENCE BOWL, from page 1 | beating 13-time regional champion, North Hollywood Highly Gifted Magnet, was a tall order, and yet, the confidence on the part of Coach Michael Morgan was there. “This is the best team I have ever coached in all my years doing this, I would put them up against anybody,” said Morgan. The set-up is simple. The 42 teams (some schools have two teams) are divided into six divisions, in which they play their six morning matches. The top 16 teams then advance to the afternoon rounds, where teams are randomly placed against each other and the winner moves on. The losing teams do get a second chance in the consolation bracket; however they must win more matches to advance within the second bracket. Matches that involve placements (such as first, second, third) are held on stage. A match is divided into two eight-minute halves. Both teams are allowed four sitting members and one alternate. A mediator reads a “tossup” questions which either team can | SCIENCE FAIR, from page 1 | Categories included: pharmacology, microbiology, biochemistry, chemistry, engineering application, animal sciences, and more. All of the participating members waited in the second floor lobby. Many looked for their group members and eagerly awaited their opportunity to showcase their knowledge. When all of the students finally reported their projects, the energy became electrifying. Participants were preparing their props, rehearsing what they would say. Many looked around to compare the projects that they were competing against within their categories. The judges then moved around the gymnasium, choosing students to approach and interrogate. The STAR II and EHA categories received a lot of scrutiny and meticulousness from the judges, as their research involved months of effort and complex processes. One of the judges, who has participated in the international Science Fair competitions, was particularly careful in asking difficult questions in order to truly determine how much knowledge these students had acquired from their research. Unfortunately, everyone could not take home a trophy, but those who displayed the best

William Nubla

choose to interrupt if they feel they have the answer before the questions are fully read. If the answer is correct that team receives four points and rights to a bonus question, which team members can deliberate and answer for 10 points. If the interrupt is incorrectly answered, however, the other team receives four points and gets to hear the full question. In essence, one question (toss-up and bonus) can be worth 18 points. The team with the most points at the end of a half wins. Bravo has had mixed results when it comes to Science Bowl. There have been great years, such as last year’s 3rd place finish, and there have been years where Bravo has missed out on the afternoon. This year, the morning rounds were a piece of science cake. Team A was nearly flawless in the morning rounds, compiling a 6-0 record while scoring a school record 840 points and only giving up 230. Twice, Bravo blanked their opposition in the opening halves of matches. Team B was nearly as good, going a school record 5-1 in the morning while scoring over 500 points. Both teams combination of substance, research, style, and creativity were deemed worthy of either a first, second, third, or honorable mention within their respective categories. Dr. Cocozza presented the awards that went to the STAR II and EHA students, while Ms. De La Cruz presented it to the categories that STAR I students and those of other science classes. Science Department Chair Michael Morgan then presented the Department of Science Award to Hari Patel (’12) for his consistency in maintaining the high standards of excellence in Science Fair for the past 4 years. “While I was surprised, I am glad that my pursuit of my passions and interests in science has not gone unnoticed,” said Patel. It was a proud moment for teachers, students, and parents alike. For many students, this was their final chance to go out with a bang. Their final chance to prove that they are prepared to exit the preparatory halls of high school and into the science world. For the underclassmen, this was a chance to set their mark and create an impression, to make their name known to those that they may be working with next year, such as in STAR II and EHA. Science Fairs are prevalent in many schools, yet at Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School, they are a place where legacies are born.

Jasmine Montanez


AJ Saniano

Amy Guerra

Cynthia Serrano

Citlaly Orozco

Editor-in-Chief Editor-in-Chief

Katherin Javalera Managing Editor

Crystal Rivas

Managing Editor

Editor Editor

Albert Petrosyan Editor

Jacqueline Romero Editor

Monica Roque Editor

MARCH 9, 2012





were brewing with confidence as they steamrolled the opposition on their way to the afternoon rounds. Luck was not a friend to either team in the afternoon drawings, as Bravo A drew the formidable North Hollywood B team, while Bravo B was pitted against Lincoln A. Bravo A nearly overcame a 60 point second half deficit against North Hollywood, yet fell just short to advancing in the main bracket. “Their coach was having heart attacks when we almost tied them after being down 60 two minutes earlier,” said Morgan. Bravo B also fell to Lincoln A, thus both Bravo squads were set to try to work through the consolation bracket. In the first rounds of the consolation bracket, Bravo A worked El Camino Real’s A team to the tune of 11464. B team also beat a strong Laces A team by a wide margin. In the second round, Bravo A was not as fortunate, falling to Palisades B. Whether it was a unlucky fluke, or if Palisades B actually did outplay them, Bravo A was knocked out of the tournament at the hands of a team they had blasted through in the morning. Bravo A was to finish 9th

in this year’s Science Bowl regional. Bravo B, on the other hand, would go onto beating Van Nuys A and would just fall short of beating a good Granada Hills A team. They finished 7th. Although crestfallen at the unexpected early exit, Coach Morgan was not at the least disappointed. After the final matches, he gathered both teams and gave an emotional message that expressed his pride at the performances and effort that were displayed. He told his teams to hold their chin ups and put this behind them, for there would be a chance to prove themselves next year. “Preparation for next season starts tonight” was his message. There is more than enough to be excited about for next year, as 5 of the 10 Science Bowlers will return as Seniors next year, with that much more experience. North Hollywood A won its 14th regional, including 7th in a row. Sherman Oaks Center of Enriched Studies A placed a school record second place, and Palisades A did the same for third place.

Rejection Hurts: A Guide to Accepting College Rejection Letters | COLLEGE, from page 2 |

Have a back-up plan.

university and seek help from your parents or high school counselor to make a formal inquiry. Maybe the college or university has placed you on a waiting list. If so, hold on to the letter.

“Maybe the admissions officer saw something that signaled the college would not be a good match for your skills, interests and dislikes, and thereby saved you from a disappointing experience.”

Use the rejection letter to help you narrow down the list of colleges you are eligible to attend. You must be ready with other “safety” schools that are sure to accept you, as well as “match” schools where it is reasonable to be accepted to. Be optimistic. As stated by ACT’s News You Can Use, “Maybe the admissions officer saw something that signaled the college would not be a good match for your skills, interests and dislikes, and thereby saved you from a disappointing experience.”

Realize that the college’s name does not guarantee success or happiness. It is what you make of your education that matters, not the acclamation you may receive for attending there.

Editorial Matter Opinions expressed in Vital Signs belong to the writer. They do not reflect the opinions of the journalism staff or those of Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School.

Letters to the Editors Letters to the editors concerning any topic relevant to Vital Signs are welcomed. Please refrain from using vulgar or disrespectful language. Letters should be brief and should be edited to maximize space use and heighten clarity. Letters may be anonymous or signed by the author. Please send letters to: or Drop them off in Mr. R. Rodriguez’s mailbox or in Room 312

MARCH 2012  

Vital Signs March Issue

MARCH 2012  

Vital Signs March Issue