Category Archives: Math

Back to School Night brings smiles to Patterson faces

By Hailey Shifflett

Ms. Williams and the band as they are walking in to perform at Back to School Night (Photo: Patterson Press)

Patterson High held its 9th annual Back to School Night and Community Fair on September 26th from 5-8 pm in the school cafeteria. There were many things to do and many more things to see. From belly dancers to our own marching band’s performance, Back to School Night was a fun time.

Patterson has multiple groups and clubs that you can participate in during or after school. Back to School Night introduced students and their families to the teachers and organizers that host many different clubs. There were many tables for clubs like Art Club, the Student Government Association, the Patterson Press, etc along with a number of other groups from the community. Everyone who attended enjoyed Back to School Night, including some parents.

Ms. Ciera Garner, mother of Destiny Garner, remarked, “I love this Back to School Night. It is a lot of fun and I love how they have music too. My favorite event so far is the band performance.”

Not only parents enjoyed it, but students did too. Moussa Bombwe, a tenth grader, felt that Back to School Night was “good.” His favorite table was Soccer Without Borders, one of the groups that were featured at the event.

Some more clubs and groups at Patterson are SGA, run by Adam Sokolski, a social studies teacher, Roberta’s House, and Empowering Minds.
The SGA is the Student Government Association, The SGA’s goal is to teach student leadership, and to work with SGA all around Baltimore, and to work on teamwork skills. Also, in the past the SGA went to City Hall.

Roberta’s House is a family support group. They have multiple programs that help both parents and children for family loss (death, deportation, missing, etc.) Also, they help mothers with child loss (miscarriage, child died, etc.) They work here at Patterson and any student can join. Lastly, There is Empowering Minds. They are also a support group which has therapeutic counseling and talks to you about your problems, mental health, and many other things.

Mr Benton, Patterson’s principal, also shed light on what he thought about the Back to School Night. “I’m always excited about the Back to School Night. It doesn’t matter about the amount of people that come, but the smiles on their faces.”

His favorite event of the night was the band’s performance and the people enjoying the band’s performance as well. He’s appreciative for the adults that help out at Patterson and spend their own time with students to make new and exciting clubs. Mr. Benton loves all of the Back to School Nights because people showed up and had a good time and he is grateful for that.

Overall, Back to School Night was a good time. People had fun and enjoyed themselves. Some joined new clubs or met new people. Back to School Night was a way for the community to join together and forget, even for a second, the problems that might be going on in their lives. Their main focus was to just have a good time. And that is what Back to School Night is all about.

Our principal, Mr. Benton, showing that he is even having a good time (Photo: Patterson Press)

Zeta team upset after STEM loss

The winning team at the STEM competition

The winning team at the 2016 STEM competition (Photo: Christian Pietrowski, Patterson Press)

By Alvaro Flores-Villegas,

Students competed in the 2016 STEM competition on November 11th. The STEM competition is an annual event at Patterson that involves challenges based mainly on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Students from all cohorts were getting in their teams as they prepared for that day. One team called the Zeta team, which consisted of Amadou Bah, Edward Torres, Yamen Khalil, and Nan Wang declared that they were going to win 1st place in the whole competition. “I already had a spot to put the trophy in my room and dreamed to have my first STEM trophy before I graduate”, said Amadou Bah.

Yet at the end of the competition, the Zeta team did not win first, second or even third place. Rather than accepting the loss, Bah has accused Mr. Yates of rigging the competition. Mr. Yates is the main teacher in charge of organizing the STEM competition. Bah finds it difficult to believe that a younger, less experienced team could beat his team of seniors. He also points to the fact that the winning students were all students from Mr. Yates’ engineering class. Bah alleges that Mr. Yates showed favoritism by letting his own students win the competition. Edwin Torres, another member of the Zeta team, agrees with Bah. “When the winning teams were being rewarded, everyone was caught by surprise on who took first place”, Torres told the Patterson Press.

In response, Mr. Yates said, “the judges were volunteers from various Engineering or other STEM Businesses and Universities. I had no influence on their scoring; they simply followed the event instructions and rubric which all students had access to”. Mr. Yates pointed out that the STEM competition has a long history of upsets, including one year when a team of ninth graders beat all the upper grades.

“The STEM Competition is not about rote knowledge, but about creativity and applying STEM knowledge and skills in a new setting. So even inexperienced teams can bring their creativity and problem-solving skills to bear”, Mr. Yates explained. Unable to resist a little trash-talking, Mr. Yates added, “My students are the best; that is why they won! Unlike the [Presidential] election that same week, the STEM Competition was not rigged!”

In conclusion, I was really shocked myself when I competed in the competition and found out we were not the winners, but at the end of the day we had a good laugh and just accepted it. It was a close game after all!

The industry partners who served as judges during the STEM competition Photo: Christian Pietrowski, Patterson Press)

The industry partners who served as judges during the STEM competition Photo: Christian Pietrowski, Patterson Press)


(Photos: Christian Pietrowski, Patterson Press)

Chess Club Gears Up To Compete With Other Schools

Students practicing  after school

Students practicing chess after school (Photo: Amadou Bah)

By Amadou Bah,

Chess Club is back again. You can sign up in Room 216, Thursdays only.  Newcomers are welcome. The goal is to build a chess team that can be competitive against students from other high schools.

Mr. Tola, the founder and main faculty advisor of the Chess Club started playing chess when he was seven years old. He didn’t master chess until eight years of age. Magnus Carlsen and Garry Kasparov, two of the greatest chess players in the world, inspired Mr. Tola. Then, in 5th grade, he completely stopped playing.

He started playing chess again when he began teaching here at Patterson.  He often plays chess more in school than any other place.  He doesn’t get easily distracted. “It doesn’t matter where I play chess; I can handle the background noise” Mr. Tola told the Patterson Press.  One reason why he started the chess club was that he wanted Patterson students to enter into championships. The purpose of the chess club is to help students develop good strategic thinking. Chess is considered to be a strategy game. When you’re playing chess, you have to think before moving a piece. In order to win the game you must have a better plan then your opponent. “The more you practice, the more you’ll become better”, Mr. Tola said. Anyone can sign up and the Chess Club will teach you how to play.


Mr. Tola, faculty advisor of the Chess Club Photo: Amadou Bah)

Mr. Tola, faculty advisor of the Chess Club (Photo: Amadou Bah)


Chess team returns for another year of fun and competition

Chess players ponder their next move (Photo: Joshua Carr, Patterson Press)

By Joshua Carr,

Patterson has a chess team. They meet on Thursdays after school at 3.35 in room 317 (Mr. Tola’s room). Students who do not know how to play chess will taught how to play. You do not need to have any experience to join the club.

Playing chess is fun for students and also helps them to concentrate better. The chess team will compete in two citywide tournaments: one in December and one in April. For more information, see Mr. Tola in room 317.

Students get hands-on at STEM competition

Students Baha Albatainch, Abhishek Younghang, and Tresor Echa construct a car out of common household items (Photo: Tamika Addison, Patterson Press)

By Anthony Ward,

Patterson high school held its sixth annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) competition  outside the auditorium on Thursday, November 21.

The STEM competition this year featured nothing but the best of innovative inventions and critically thinking students. For me, it was my first time competing with my fellow students in this yearly event and at first I was unaware of what it would be like or what challenges I would have to face. I, along with two of my classmates, formed a team that we named “Third Degree” (because there were three of us and my partners thought it was better than calling it “Anthony’s Team”).

After waiting in the auditorium for all the competitors to come in, we were given the rules which we were to follow to complete the stations properly and as quickly as possible. My team first ran into a barrel roll type of challenge which required the teams to build something that was able to roll down a ramp as quickly as possible without crashing. At first we were overwhelmed with the idea that we really had to build something that worked, but after a few blank stares and shouts about our time limit we came up with an idea. We decided to create a car because we thought that it was just obvious that a car would be what they want from us. We had no problem with the frame but we only had two wheels the same size as the frame and the only other thing was four huge CDs that clearly did not fit the frame. As time was running out, we realized we might not even finish the very first project. In a rush, we found two paper clips that hooked two of the CDs tightly together to keep them from falling apart and with a glimmer of hope we put them on the frame and sent it off. It seemed to move okay down the ramp, but once it left the ramp, the wheels fell apart almost instantly. We were all disappointed but we did get the hang of the how things worked.

We struggled through the next few activities: an egg drop, a math test that was more math than test and a contest called King Pong, where we had to design & build a container to hold as many ping-pong balls as possible at least one inch above the table. By that point, our team was one loss away from giving up.

Finally, we got one right. The event that we succeeded at was a boat sail challenge in which you had to sand down a boat and let it sail down a current. Whoever gets their boat to sail down the water in the shortest amount of time gets the most points. The tools and almost all of the equipment we used were basic things you could buy at a dollar store, yet we created things that were worth much more than that materials used to make them. It’s like a blend of Bob the Builder and your math homework, but instead of it being boring and feeling like a lecture it becomes something fun like wood shop (without the creepy teacher) or robotics (without any actual robots).

After the competitions, we sat in the media center for the best part, which of course was the food.  We had pizza, cookies, and drinks deserving of hard workers or our caliber, until they announced the awards and trophies to the top three teams. The winners were:

  • 3rd Place: Team X (Gerald Bobo and Charles [CJ] Conley)
  • 2nd Place: Team Team (Alexis Roy and Raul Esparza)
  • 1st Place: The Senior BATS (Baha Albatainch, Abhishek Younghang, and Tresor Echa)

No, my group was not in the top three but we were close and I do think my participation award (what it said on the flimsy paper) made me feel slightly better about losing. All in all, STEM this year tested our skills and creativity. And although it was tough, grueling, and had my mind doing loops like algebra homework, I survived and I sort of want to do it again, without getting the “you tried” award.


(Photos by Tamika Addison, Patterson Press:)

Patterson students participate in CyberPatriot competition

By Ms. Ball

Patterson’s amazing cyber security team, the Cyber Trolls, performed quite well in the first two rounds of Northrop Grumman’s Annual CyberPatriot Competition.  The first round was held in November and the 2nd round was held on December 7, 2012.  The time frame for both rounds was from 12:00 to 6:00 PM.  Our industry mentors were Tyler Lillard, a former Patterson student, and Sergeants Jessica Yanzick & Rain from the Air Force.  Students put in a full day’s work trying to find computer system vulnerabilities and prevent others from hacking into their system.

Cyber security is one of the fastest growing STEM careers in the world.  The U.S. desperately needs computer engineers and software programmers to help fight the cyber attacks that threaten our businesses on a daily basis.  Our students are learning the skills necessary to protect the virtual machines they work on.  Please congratulate the students listed below for doing a fantastic job in the competition.  Round 3.5 will be held in February, 2013.  Wish us luck!

DeOnte Green
Onyekachi Ekeagwu
Aaron Wheeler
Abhishek Younghang
JeVaughn Taylor
James Siebor

S. Ball, Cybersecurity Coach

STEM competition returns for 5th year at Patterson

Students arrange mirrors to reflect a laser as part of the STEM competition (photo: Patterson Press)

By Jevaughn Taylor

Patterson High School held its 5th annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) competition on November 15,2012. We first met in the auditorium for a orientation until we were called to go to our different sections. We started the STEM competition at approximately 10:30.

We played an interesting game with lots of challenges we were put to the test to build things and use the time we had wisely. For this activity we were split into different stations (A,B,C and D). In order for contestants to win the STEM competition, they had to compete in all areas and fulfill all requirements, In each station, students receive a score based on how well they did  in that area.

For example, in one competition, students were given five mirrors and they had to arrange them in a certain position so that a laser could go through the other side of the board.  When that happened, the laser light would reflect on a certain score to give you your grade in that area. Each person who participated in the STEM competition worked in teams of four.

In addition to Patterson students, we also hosted visiting students from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (Poly). Our students also had a lot of fun alongside some of the judges. During the STEM competition, students were very competitive to see who was better and faster at making things.

Ms. Ball and Mr. Yates were two of the people who help to organize this event and make sure everything went according to plan. Ms. Ball was the one who prepared the lunches and made sure that all STEM participants were properly fed.  Students reported to lunch at approximately 12:30 to 1:00 PM. After lunch, Mr Benton (the principal of Patterson High School) announced the winners. Although the team from Poly won first place in the competition, we Patterson students tried our best and came in second and third in this competition.

Some students were frustrated that another school won the competition. When asked for comment about this,  Mr. Benton replied, “Students now feel what I feel when other schools come into my stadium and beat our basketball team and other teams that we have here at Patterson, but all we can say is we did our part and participated and we are all hoping for the best the next time we keep a next STEM competition here at Patterson.”

The STEM competition has been a fun and educational experience for all of the students who participated in it. The sixth annual STEM competition is scheduled to take place at the same time next year. It is our hope that we will do even better next time and win first place.

(photo: Patterson Press)

(photo: Patterson Press)

(photo: Patterson Press)

(photo: Patterson Press)

(photo: Patterson Press)

(photo: Patterson Press)

(photo: Patterson Press)

(photo: Patterson Press)

(photo: Patterson Press)

(photo: Patterson Press)

(photo: Patterson Press)


Community Fair brings school and neighborhood together

Participants join in a traditional Mexican dance

Participants join in a traditional Mexican dance (Photo: Patterson Press)

By Brennan Meeks

Patterson High School held a Back to School Night and Community Fair on September 20, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. The event was held mainly in the cafeteria but spread out into hallways and classrooms because there were so many things to do and see. Many local organizations from the Bayview area came out to support our school and inform students and their families about the services they provide. Among the community partners present were Johns Hopkins University, the Building STEPs program, CASA de Maryland and the Refugee Youth Project. Johns Hopkins Medical Center even sent a giant truck that provided free HIV screening and other medical services. Patterson put its many different resources and programs on display, such as sports, career pathway programs, health programs and much more.

Patterson had many visitors from the community, such as a local McDonald’s, which came to support us by giving away free sandwiches.  There were exciting entertainment acts, including a belly dancer, a hip-hop group and a a group of traditional dancers from Mexico. At the fair, the school also provided meals for teachers, students, staff, and families that were involved in the fair. At the fair, there were prizes that you can win just by completing a task. Also on display were many Patterson clubs that students can join. The Patterson Press table even featured old issues of the school newspaper dating back to the World War 2 era. The school store was open for anyone who wanted to purchase Patterson logo-ed shirts, mugs, pens, binders and much more.

Many Patterson students volunteered to help set up and run the fair, earning community service hours in the process. All of our Patterson family participated in this special event, making this year’s community fair a huge success.  We hope to do it again next school year. We would like to see a lot of family, staff members and students come back next time. Our mission is to make our school one of the top 500 schools in the nation, and this year’s community fair showed that we are well on the way to achieving that goal.

Rayvis Mitchell contributed to this article.

Ms. Diehl from Patterson's Health Corps, demonstrates how to eat a healthy diet. (Photo: Patterson Press)

Ms. Diehl from Patterson’s Health Corps, demonstrates how to eat a healthy diet. (Photo: Patterson Press)

CASA de Maryland

Latino rights organization CASA de Maryland promotes the Maryland Dream Act, which would grant more rights to undocumented immigrants in Maryland.  (Photo: Patterson Press)

Female coaches

Patterson’s female coaches encourage students to get involved in athletics. (Photo: Patterson Press)

belly dancer

A belly dancer performs for the crowd (Photo: Patterson Press)

Nail tech

Ms. Bridgeforth’s nail tech students give hand treatments and manicures. (Photo: Patterson Press)


Students, family members, staff and visitors enjoy a meal together. (Photo: Patterson Press)

Clipper Corner

The school store (now called the Clipper Corner) sells Patterson T-shirts and other gear to students and visitors. (Photo: Patterson Press)

Free medical screenings

Health professionals provide free medical screenings on their mobile trailer. (Photo: Patterson Press)

Patterson students win math competition

By Mengfei Chen, Patterson Press staff writer (with files from Mr. Gil Laqui)

Patterson students won the top 3 prizes of the 2012 National Technical Association (NTA) Mathematics Contest on Saturday, April 21,2012 at Morgan State University. The following are the students who joined the math contest and their respective awards:

Jialin Wang – 1st place ($100 as 1st place winner + $50 and a TI Inspire calculator for averaging at least 90%)
Fenyi Chen – 2nd place ($50 as 2nd place winner+ $50 and a TI Inspire calculator for averaging at least 90%)
MengFei Chen – 3rd place ($25 as 3rd place winner)
Elvyre Djiogo ($15 for participating in the contest)
Vinh Tran ($15 for participating in the contest)

In the two months before the contest began, calculus teacher Mr. Gil Laqui taught an after-school lesson every Tuesday and Thursday for the students who was joining the math contest. He was teaching not only the knowledge that already been taught in high school but also introduced some college level concepts. Every student in this group participated in these lessons and enjoyed the process. On April 28, after the intense competition, Patterson students took the top three places in Group A and everyone on the team participated and did well. The sponsor of this contest introduced Mr.Laqui and gave him high praise for preparing his students so well. “I am very proud of our students and the organizers were very impressed as well for this kind of feat”, said Mr. Laqui.

Success does not happen by chance. It requires both hard work and perseverance. All students can do what this team did if they put in the same effort. All Patterson students are encouraged to join this contest next year. Participants will get a chance to meet professionals in many areas of the scientific fields and will also be given the opportunity to attend an SAT workshop. That is not the exam itself but a training for students to sharpen their mathematic skills.

STEM Competition showcases student talent in engineering

By Tyler Lillard

Patterson High School held its 4th annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition on November 17th, pitting teams of students against each other in a variety of challenges.  There were approximately thirty teams of four students each, including one middle school team and two visiting high school teams.  First, the students met in the auditorium with their teams for the orientation.  Then the competition began in the breezeway and near the auditorium.  The competition was fierce, and the students had a lot of fun competing.  The judges had fun also.

During the competition, each of the six stations was an activity related to one of the four STEM areas (science, technology engineering and mathematics). While some activities were easy, others were very challenging. Stations included a zip line challenge, a double egg drop, a math page, a paper rocket, an aluminum foil boat to hold marbles, and a tower that is supposed to hold a tennis ball on top of it to withstand an earthquake.

Industry partners served as judges, including representatives from AT&T, the Baltimore City Fire Department, the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Whitman, Requardt, & Associates, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Morgan State University, and Booz Allen Hamilton.  Many Patterson teachers and staff members also served as judges. Another industry partner, Northrop Grumman, sent their video crew and recorded our whole competition including the awards ceremony.

After the students went through the six different stations, they went to the media center for lunch while the judges tallied up all the teams’ scores.  After lunch the winners were awarded trophies, and everyone received a certificate of participation. The winners are as follows:

1st Place: Sarah McLaughlin, Sonia Mbock , Stephanie Megginson

2nd Place: Indigo Newsome, Tori Jones, Parshu Nepal

3rd Place:  Salah al deen Al-Batayneh , Baha al deen  Al-Batayneh ,and Hassan Al Defaaei

This year’s STEM competition brought attention to some of the incredible talents that Patterson’s students have to offer, while also allowing participants to have some fun. Many students are already looking forward to next year’s competition in the hopes that it will be even bigger and better.