Mousetrap: Who Done It?

Written by Abi Ghiridharan

Photos by Izabella Stevenson

 

Noah Wright, playing the role of Christopher Wren gazes at Sarah Anderson who is acting as Miss Casewell.

Last weekend, the Center Grove Theatre Department put on the play, The Mousetrap, which was student-directed by Taylor Ward and Adrianna Goss. The play was a murder mystery written by Agatha Christie and kept the audience in suspense throughout the entire show.

The story followed guests trapped by a snowstorm at a guesthouse who were trying to identify a murderer among them. As the play progressed, the audience suspected almost every character at some point until the murderer is revealed at the very end of the play.

“The character I played was Molly Ralston who is one of the owners of the guesthouse and the wife of Giles Ralston,” said Olivia Buck. “She acts as a dramatic foil to the other characters in the show. All the guests are very eccentric and they have certain things about them that are very different which make them very interesting. Molly’s function in the show is to provide a juxtaposition as someone who is very ordinary.”

Students went through a selective audition process to try out, since only eight scripted parts were available.

Giles Ralston, played by Alex Dixon, welcomes Sergeant Trotter, portrayed by Wilson Smith, to Monkswell Manor.

“I had friends convince me to try out,” said Alex Dixon. “My character was Giles Ralston who was the co-owner of the guest house that several other characters were staying in. He was very arrogant and stern. Every actor in the show was incredibly talented and Adrianna Goss and Taylor Ward were geniuses when it came to producing this play.”

Students practiced meticulously in order to put on the show. The actors and directors spent hours in rehearsals in order to shape and hone the play for audience members to enjoy.

“Rehearsals were scheduled based upon the scenes,” said Olivia Buck. “The directors broke down the show into little scenes so they could work with two or three characters at a time and really dig into the details. So we were called based upon which of those mini scenes we were in. I was there for every single rehearsal and that was a lot. During the first few weeks of the rehearsals we would meet three times a week for a few hours each time to read and memorize lines and learn about the plot. Then we would go home and review our notes. Toward the end of the process, we would meet every single day after school from anywhere from two hours to seven hours.”

The actors and directors were passionate about being in the play and felt they had benefitted from their roles.

“I played Mr. Paravicini who was kind of a comic relief, suspicious character,” said Jackson Simmons. “I was funny, but I was also scary. I did an evil laugh a lot in the show. I really enjoyed being in the show. The chance to make people laugh is something that I hold very dear in my life.”

The plot of the story allowed each of the actors to have a unique role in the play. Each character, at some point, was seen as a suspect by the audience.

Mikayla Lay, portraying Mrs. Boyle, talks with Noah Wright acting as Christopher Wren.

“The play was a murder mystery where all of these guests come to the Monkswell Manor and then a murder happens and they try to find out who the murderer is with a detective helping them,” said Mikayla Lay. “I played Mrs. Boyle who was a very angry old lady who likes to complain about everything. I found lots of inspiration from one character on Downton Abbey. I had to act and sound old and walk with my hand on my back like I had arthritis.”

As the weekend came around, students got together to perform the play for an intrigued audience.

“The show went extremely well because we really brought it together in the last week of practices,” said Cameron Brooks. “They were long seven hour practices and it really came together. It was really fun and it went pretty great.”

Student actors and student directors worked together as a team to create a murder mystery show for Center Grove High School. The hours of rehearsal and dedication to the show brought the Agatha Christie play to life for audience members to see.

STEM Club

Written by Abi Ghiridharan

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math– or STEM– has been gaining momentum as a national interest. STEM has been at the center of debates concerning education, the job market, and even gender equality. The Obama administration invested millions of dollars to create an increase in one million STEM graduates by 2022. Even actor Ashton Kutcher serves as an advocate to make computer coding an institution within public schools.

But it isn’t just politicians and celebrities who are making a difference in advocating for this cause. It is also includes a large portion of the students at Center Grove High School who are currently making a difference with the introduction of STEM club.

Founding member Sarah Chan poses for a photo.

“STEM is becoming an increasingly prominent area of study in the world, and we wanted Center Grove students to experience it along with interacting with other students,” said Sarah Chan, “The STEM club engages students and introduces people to the area of STEM.”

The founding members, Michelle Moon and Sarah Chan, approached Mrs. Wingler to sponsor the club and help with the clubs goals and activities.

“Michelle Moon and Sarah Chan came and asked me if I would support their club and be their sponsor,” said Mrs. Wingler. “I love those two girls, and they’re wonderful. We don’t have a club like this and we need a club like this, so I said yes. They started it and I just followed.”

After gaining sponsorship from Center Grove High School math teacher, Mrs. Wingler, Center Grove High School students Sarah Chan and Michelle Moon founded and launched the STEM club, which now hosts around 60 members.

“I gained interest due to the lack of clubs revolving around science, technology, engineering, and math,” says founding member, Michelle Moon ‘19. “These fields are beginning to develop as a major part of careers.”

Michelle Moon, founder of the STEM Club, poses for a photo.

The Center Grove High School STEM club takes initiatives to try to improve the futures of high school students. The organization creates hands-on activities that relate to the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math. It also hosts guests speakers during the meetings that talk about their careers in the field, job outlook, and the education needed in order to attain that career. In addition, the club also provides practice SAT problems and preparation.

“We are trying to get science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics and ideas out to people and where they can use them in the future,” said Wingler, “Each month we have a certain topic and we try to have one activity that deals with that topic. Then we try to have a speaker come in and the speaker is someone from the outside world that is involved with math and they tell us how they use math. This really helps students because they know what they want to maybe do when they leave high school. Then the speaker, such as a mathematician or an actuary, comes in and they can explain their job and the students can weed out what they want to do.”

In this sense, the career-related uncertainty that sometimes exists within the minds of high school students is quelled. Students are able to take a more hands-on approach to learning about careers. Rather than simply googling different jobs and clicking on websites, such as careers.org, students are able to interact with professionals and participate in various STEM related activities.

“My mother, Dr. Chan came in and told us about her high school and college education and how to choose what area of science you would want to pursue,” said Sarah Chan, “Then she answered any questions people had.”

The STEM club creates an open environment for students to learn not only about the STEM field but also about themselves and what interests them.

“Our goal is to expand our club and increase the number of members,” said Moon. “Rather than having students ask why they should join STEM, we would like for them to ask themselves why they shouldn’t join.”

Although the STEM club only started this semester, they have been rigorous in creating activities and planning for the future in order to develop and build the club. By forming innovative activities and planning for possible field trips, the club will be able to gain momentum in a short amount of time.

 

STUGO Sponsored Talent Show to Take Place Tomorrow

By Ethan Boots Photo taken from CGTV Footage

Students at Center Grove have a variety of talents that don’t always get to be displayed. So, this year the STUGO has organized a talent show as a way to raise money and display student talent.

“As soon as I heard about the show I was like “yep, I’m all for that”,” said Freshman Suzy Dowell. “I have been competing in the Johnson County fair talent competition ever since I was nine and I really enjoy doing that.”

The audition process was different for many students because they performed in front of teachers they know.

“It was a little stressful because I was like there’s this big room and there’s just little old me, but everything went smoothly,” Dowell said.

This year Dowell will be performing the song Don’t Go in Japanese. 

Freshman Jonathan Jeffries has also performed in previous talent competitions.

“I’ve done piano before but my main thing is concerts,” Jeffries said. “I’ve done concerts for a while every couple weeks. I’m more excited than nervous, I’ve played in front of big crowds before so it’s not as bad”.

It’s been years since Center Grove has seen a talent show.

“We didn’t want to do some boring fundraiser,” Parker Ferguson, senior class president, said. “We wanted to do something to really get people involved and excited.”

Lesley McDougal, an Early College English teacher, was one of the advisors who helped organize the show.

“We’ve got drum line, tap, dancing groups, duets, and the dance team,” McDougal said. “There’s a variety of groups performing.”

The student government is excited to feature talents that might not always be seen in the public eye.

“We know we have a lot of talent as a school, types of talent that isn’t showcased like on a sports field,” said Ferguson.  “We wanted to give our classmates a platform to perform and show off their abilities. Hopefully it will be something people will remember”


Come out March 14th at 6 PM to support the student government and see your classmates.

Tickets are 5 dollars and can be purchased in the Auditorium on the day of performance.

Broadway Masterclass

Written By Taylor Ward

Last year, the CG Choirs went to Broadway. This year, Broadway came to the CG Choirs.

On Friday, Feb. 24, New York actor and musician Kyle Riabko visited Center Grove to conduct a masterclass and Q&A with the students. Riabko kicked off the afternoon by singing a few songs by Burt Bacharach, composer of famous songs such as “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head” and “Close to You.” The Broadway performer accompanied himself on guitar.

The actor and singer’s performance credits are numerous, including a lead role in the original Broadway cast of Spring Awakening, a major role on Broadway in Hair and a recurring appearance on the hit TV show 90210.

screen-shot-2017-03-03-at-8-43-24-am

Broadway performer visits CG Choir

Riabko was brought in through an organization called The Cabaret. Located in downtown Indianapolis, The Cabaret brings in Broadway stars and working musicians to perform songs and monologues at their venue in the city. Recently, the organization has been seeking to provide local musically-inclined students with an opportunity to meet and learn from real, working show business professionals. Their mission: “to elevate and promote the cabaret art form by presenting the finest in professional cabaret performances and developing the next generation of cabaret artists.”

After singing for the students, Riabko sat back and watched CG Sound System perform a number from their competition show. Once they had finished, he was highly complimentary, saying, “now I understand the wall of trophies.”

A couple of students also performed their own solo songs, including senior Adrianna Goss. Singing “Vanilla Ice Cream” from the musical She Loves Me, Goss said that “it was cool to show him some of the talent that makes up CG choirs.”

The excitement did not come without its nerves, however.

“I was a little nervous because I had seen him in one of my favorite TV shows, 90210,” said Goss.

Mr. Riabko provided plenty of performance advice to the choirs, but perhaps his biggest point to the students was this: “Always be performing. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, keep performing. It’s a gift you have to share with the world.”

Robotics Team Kickoffs for the Season

Team members study a mock game piece in order to figure out the challenge ahead. They work to develop their strategy and gameplay

Team members study a mock game piece in order to figure out the challenge ahead. They work to develop their strategy and gameplay

By: Madison Schnurpel

The moment almost every robotics member looks forward to: the lights fade, the video starts and the FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff video starts; build season has begun.

 

“Kickoff is the time where all members of FIRST Robotics Competition robotics teams meetup and brainstorm for the release of the game season,” sophomore Sri Potturu said.

 

On Jan. 9, the entire Red Alert Robotics Team went to Southport High School in order to participate in kickoff and watch the release video for this year’s game: FIRST Steamworks.

 

“It was a rush and it only made me more excited and encouraged me to help build the best robot we have ever had,” senior Greyson Terrell said about the event.  

 

This kickoff marks Terrell’s, as well as his fellow senior’s, final kickoff on the team as a high school student. Most of the seniors have been on the team since their freshman year.

 

“It was very exciting and a little bit sad because you have seen all the seniors before you go through the same thing. As a senior, you know you have the

Juniors Akhil Isanaka and Reis Simpson propose design ideas for this year’s robot. Senior Max Newport, as well as other team members not visible in picture, listen closely in order to give feedback.

Juniors Akhil Isanaka and Reis Simpson propose design ideas for this year’s robot. Senior Max Newport, as well as other team members not visible in picture, listen closely in order to give feedback.

responsibility to make it the best season possible,” senior Aaron Thielmeyer said.

 

Although a large portion of the team is seniors, there were many who did not share the seniority experience. For some, such as freshman Kevin Beshears, it marked the start of their journey as a member of the team.

 

“I had fun at kickoff,” Beshears said. “Getting to see how different kickoff is from FIRST Tech Challenge to FIRST Robotics Competition. It really helped with them showing us the field and explaining all the pieces and field objects.”


While FIRST Robotics Competition is the FIRST program level for high schoolers, the FIRST Tech Challenge is the level made for 8th graders and freshmen to transition them from Lego Robotics in elementary school to the robotics teams at the high school level. The variety of levels gives multiple perspectives between teammates who have and have not participated in levels below the high school level.

 

“Everyone is really excited about the game this year, creativity is flourishing and ideas are everywhere,” junior Jacob Lovrinic said about this year’s game.

 

Instantly after the video releases, the team unlocks the rule manual and are able to begin analyzing the game. The team also receives their kit of parts, which has tools to use for the game, and brings it back to the Innovation Center to begin brainstorming.

“I probably enjoyed discussing the ideas we had most, and seeing the field come onto the screen during the video,” freshman Benjamin Hummel said when asked about what his favorite part of the day was.

 

Kickoff is not just the day that the team is able to see the game, but it is also their first work day to begin the plans for their robot. The team was at the Innovation Center until around 7 p.m. on the night of kickoff.

 

“Kickoff is important to me because it signifies the start of a new challenge: build season” Lovrinic said.

 

The busiest time of the year for the team is build season. During this time, the team meets nearly every day of the week to work on their robot, as well as other awards that are important to the entire program.

 

“Kickoff is the start to a 6-week period during which we focus on furthering our personal knowledge of both engineering and business related concepts,” junior Akhil Isanaka said.

 

Build season begins at kickoff and will extend on until Bag Day on Feb. 21. Bag Day is the day when the team must stop building and place their robot into a large bag. They then have limited build time to work with before their first competition.

 

The team is not just about building a robot. Each year, the team also works to achieve the Chairman’s Award, which is the highest award in the FIRST program and is based entirely on what the team does to impact its community.

 

Chairman’s is the most prestigious award that FIRST offers, and it honors teams who’ve exceeded expectations in spreading STEM throughout the community,” senior Emma Franco said. “One of the biggest challenges of this is remembering that Chairman’s is practically a year-long effort in all of our events. Not only that, but writing the essays and presentation require intricate detail in making judges see how hard we worked.”

 

For this award, the team must submit a video, long essay, multiple short essays, and a presentation at each competition telling their story of impact in the community. The team will take time to prepare the material to submit for this award; however, the difficulties of preparations for Chairmans are not the only difficulties that will be faced by Red Alert.

 

“Maintaining great communication throughout subteams as we will require more this year than in the past,” Terrell said in regard to what the greatest challenge will be for this year’s competition.

 

Junior Zach Schneider works on steam-punking the team logo. The game this year allows for a battle standard that the team can have with them as a way to display their number and logo.

Junior Zach Schneider works on steam-punking the team logo. The game this year allows for a battle standard that the team can have with them as a way to display their number and logo.

During build season, the engineering team splits up into four basic sub-teams: controls, drivetrain, manipulation and scoring. These sub-teams must work together in order to make sure their systems for the robot do not interfere with one another and can work together to create the most effective robot for this year’s challenge.

 

“What I am looking forward to most about this year’s game is seeing how other robots and teams solve the same problem we were given,” senior Colin Scifres said about FIRST Steamworks.

 

Although all FIRST Robotics Competition teams are given the same game each year, their robots end up looking completely different. The games each year are designed to be played in different ways, to insure creative thinking and robot variety.

 

“I think this year’s robots are going to be the best we’ve seen since Aerial Assist [the 2014 game] and it is really going to come down to the matches rather than just the robot design. It’s that kind of closely competitive environment that makes for a great game to watch and play,” Lovrinic said.

 

The game has seemed to excite many of the Red Alert members. All bets are off, the team will accept the challenge and continue on: full steam ahead.