Category Archives: Technology

Ms. Ball makes engineering class fun and exciting

By Kayla Holeman

Ms. Ball and Mr. Yates won the Excellence Award at the Twenty-Second Annual Technology Education Excellence in Education Awards Program in February. (Photo: Ms. Ball/Mr. Yates)

We wanted to know more about engineering at Patterson High School and why should students take engineering classes so we interviewed the engineering teacher, Ms. Ball.

To me, engineering seems cool and fun. You learn a lot. I’m not even taking the class yet, but I will take it because I really like how it is. It seems interesting.

Engineering teacher Ms. Sharon Ball got inspired by luck because her recruiter from high school inspired her to get into engineering. She worked as an engineer on massive cruise ships and she loved it so she kept doing what she loves to do. Ms. Ball started working in the field of engineering 24 years ago.

In February, Ms. Ball and Mr. Yates received the Excellence Award at the Twenty-Second Annual Technology Education Excellence in Education Awards Program. Ms. Ball and her students have also won other prestigious awards over the last few years.

The engineering pathway has gone on a number of field trips, including visits to an engineering company, colleges, and a drum company. Ms. Ball loves to inspire students and to blow stuff up.

Ms. Ball’s advice is, “If you fall down to get back up.” I like this quote because you should never be scared to not get it right the first time. If you get it wrong, just keep trying; never give up. This is why I would like for engineering to be my pathway, because it’s just great in my opinion.

Ms. Ball seems like a nice, wonderful teacher and I can’t wait to have her and blow stuff up. If you have any questions about the engineering pathway at Patterson, then just go to Ms. Ball in 107, and she would be happy to answer anything you need about engineering. If you are into engineering, you should take this class because it seems pretty cool, going on trips and just learning new things. I would love to take this class next year. I can’t wait. It’s just going to be wonderful and if you are not sure what class to take but you want something like this, try it out because you are only going to know if you try.

Dante Wilds contributed to this article.

Remembering robotics coach, Kevin Boone

By John Dingzon

Mr. Kevin Boone, an engineering teacher and robotics coach from Digital Harbor High School, passed away in November 2018.

It was a very tragic of loss of one of the best engineering teachers in Maryland. Mr. Boone had been involved in the VEX robotics program since day one, when the program was first released here in Baltimore City.

Two of Mr. Boone’s former students for robotics at Digital Harbor High School, Peter and Isaiah, shared their feelings with the Patterson Press:  “We mourn for the loss of Mr. Boone, because he was like a father and a mentor to us and always looked after us. If he saw any errors, he would help and correct us.”

A lot of times Peter and Isaiah would stay after school or stay really late just to finish their robots and get ready for the Saturday competition and tournament.

Digital Harbor High School is currently postponing their participation in robotics competitions with other schools. It is unknown who is going to take Mr. Boone’s place as robotics coach.

Patterson engineering teacher Ms. Ball who was a close colleague and a friend of Mr. Boone. “I was devastated when I heard the news of his passing.”, Ms. Ball explained. “I had just seen him at the Digital Harbor High School VEX robotics competition on Saturday, and his passing was announced 4 days later on Wednesday. He was planning to visit Patterson to help my students with programming on the same day.”

Ms. Ball first met Mr. Boone in 2004 when our schools were competing in the first robotics competition.

The Baltimore City VEX Robotics Coordinator, Gino Tagaytay, held a special ceremony to honor the memory of Mr. Boone at the next VEX robotics competition at Patterson Park Public Charter School.

Personally, I first met Mr. Boone in 2015-2016. Ever since then, I have been working with him. Mr. Boone was an amazing engineering teacher. It is tragic losing someone like Mr. Boone who had been in the program since day one.

The only way we can honor Mr. Boone is to continue the competition all the way to the VEX Robotics tournament cup at Johns Hopkins University.

Mr. Boone helped Patterson teachers & students in all aspects of the VEX robotics program, from designing and building to programming and fundraising. He was always available to lend a helping hand.

We all started together back in 2004. He was one of the first teachers to engage in the VEX program and to offer workshops for new teachers interested in setting up a robotics program at their schools.

Prior to his retirement last year, he was teaching at Digital Harbor High School and served as the VEX Robotics Summer Training Instructor.

I’d like to think he and I were close professional colleagues. He was an incredible resource for Patterson High School. My students looked forward to working with him during the school year as well as the summer. He and I also hung out at “Beer & Bots” to learn about the latest “high-tech” gadgetry used for robotics. Talk about awesome–he even brought us donuts during the Saturday competitions.

Kevin Boone was an amazing person; kind; wonderful; generous (especially with his time). He was respected and admired by his peers, and quick to support his colleagues and his students. He will be greatly missed.

Amazon donates money to Patterson engineering department

By Moses Jeuronlon

The Patterson High School engineering department received a sum of $15,000 in support from Amazon on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.

The students of the engineering pathway, Amazon staff, and a representative from the mayor’s office all gathered in Ms. Ball’s classroom to meet each other.

A representative from Amazon give a brief presentation on some of the things they do each and every day. He also talked about some of the opportunities and benefits Amazon has given him as well as some of the fun times he had working for them.

According to John Digzon, a member of the robotics club who participated in the Amazon event, “I am really relieved because with Amazon support we can buy more resources we need for projects”.

After the presentation, the group left Ms. Ball’s room and went to the robotics room where students presented the robots they have been working on. They also demonstrated some of the things their robots can do at the Vex robotics competition practice stage.

Patterson High student election postponed due to internet failure

By Moses Jeuronlon

The Patterson High School Student Government Association held a election on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018 to select their new new president and officers.

Students were required to vote through Kahoot, an internet tool used for surveys quizzes and discussion. While preparing to vote, The internet connection was lost and they could not show the results. The teachers tried refreshing it but it ended in failure.

The audience was whispering, saying, “someone is trying to hack the school WiFi”. In reality, the voting was not being conducted on the official school WiFi network (which does not have a strong enough signal to work in the auditorium) but instead utilized a teacher’s private network.

They kept trying over and over and time ran out. Students got dismissed and the election got postponed to a later date. According to John Digzon, the former SGA President, “the internet connection in the auditorium is not good and too many people used Mr. Bey’s WiFi.”

Dingzon gave his opinion on the candidates, saying, “I’m proud of them and the things they have accomplished.” He suggested that perhaps the candidate can see this as a opportunity and try to encourage more people to vote for them when the true election takes place. It also gave Dingzon the chance to enjoy few more days as President. “I feel happy because I’m trying to finish what I can” said Digzon.

The election was rescheduled to take place early the following week in social studies classrooms.



Internet is keeping teens up (OPINION)

Using an iPhone to access the internet

Smartphones make it easy for teenagers to access the internet from anywhere. (Photo: J Haymesisvi Photography — CC)

By Moses Jeuronlon

Teenagers all over the country are using technology everyday for many different reasons, but is technology affecting how teens perform in school and at home?

In my opinion it is. Teens are mostly tired in class, falling asleep on the bus, and running late to class. It is mostly because they stayed up late at night surfing the web. Also when the teacher is teaching, they take their phones out and start to text each other and get distracted. Then, when a quiz comes based on the lesson, they fail it.

According to the computer science teacher at Patterson High School,  Mr. Nicholas Yates, “the internet provides information for students, but it also provides an easy source for distraction”.

Teenagers are a group of young adults who have taken a half a step into society. Yes, the internet gives us entertainment, but it also has its negative effects. Taking the internet or technology as the top priority of a student’s life and only giving 5% of their time to his or her education is abysmal and it will lead to that student destroying his or her future.

Teens and students need to be responsible for their lives and balance the amount of time they spend on the internet and the time they spend preparing for school.

“Sometimes the internet provides distraction because it makes us lazy and keeps us away from actual work”, said Josine Mamno, a Patterson student.

When students have homework or classwork, they can rely too much on the internet and it can make them too lazy. Then, when they really need to solve a problem and the rule says no phone is allowed, they may not understand the work and fail.

There’s no law in the country that says people should not be on their phones, but teenagers can make their own set of rules about when to be on their phones and when to put them away and get serious.


Building STEPS prepares students for college and careers

By Christian Pietrowski,

Building STEPS is a program that prepares students in Baltimore for college and careers with a focus on science and technology. I want to say thanks to everyone in Building STEPS and everyone that’s involved with the program. My journey through Building STEPS has been an experience of a lifetime, from climbing trees at Genesee Valley all the way to learning science, technology, and engineering and mathematics skills.

When I got the acceptance letter into Building STEPS at the end of my tenth grade year, I was so excited. I was excited because I knew I was going to get the help I needed to get into college. Believe it or not, before Building STEPS, I was shy and would not approach people for help and would not talk to people unless spoken to.  They made my confidence level go from zero to a hundred. Building STEPS has helped me overcome a lot of challenges. The main challenge I overcame was being put outside of my comfort zone. I learned how to talk to people I didn’t know, and learned how to appreciate working in groups instead of on my own.

Building STEPS has also helped me with the college process.  Without them, I probably would have pulled my hair out while I wrote my college applications.  They helped me write my college essays, which I didn’t think were good until my Building STEPS writing advisor helped me. I am extremely proud that I got accepted to more than one college. I would not have been able to do that without Building STEPS. Building STEPS has helped me get into colleges I would have never dreamed about being accepted to.

In the fall, I plan to attend Mount Saint Mary’s University. I am going to play college baseball and to study criminal justice so when I graduate college I can be in the FBI.

Building STEPS has taught me a valuable lesson in life, which is to never be afraid to leave your comfort zone and don’t be scared to ask for help if needed. Thanks to Building STEPS, I have made friendships with people that I know will last a lifetime.

Syncere Harris: Scholar-Athlete

Syncere Harris excels both on and off the track. Photo: Amadou Bah, Patterson Press)

Syncere Harris excels both on and off the track. (Photo: Amadou Bah, Patterson Press)

By Amadou Bah,

Syncere Harris is an 11th grader, an honor roll student, and a track team member who has been doing indoor and outdoor track for 1-2 years at Patterson High School.

He started doing track in middle school but stopped because his heart wasn’t in it. When he got to Patterson, he was more involved in his 10th grade year and became interested in track again. What motivated him to start doing track again is his love for running. When he was little, he ran a lot for fun. Eventually, he started running every day.

The track events Harris participates in include the 100 meter, 200 meter, 4 x 200 meter relay, and the 4 x 100 meter relay. Track is one of his favorite sports and he is thinking about doing this in his future and for college. He always come in 1st or 2nd place. Recently he won 1st place at Mervo in the 100 and 200 meter races.

Harris excels off the track field too. He is currently taking a digital electronics class with Ms. Ball. “He’s always busy because Coach Smith comes and gets him for a track meeting for two minutes but he comes back in 30 minutes,” said Ms. Ball. He does get his work done though, and he is passing her class with an “A”. He is an active learner. He answers all the questions and goes up to the board to impress everyone with his skills.

Overall, Syncere Harris puts education first, then sports. He makes sure he is passing all of his classes. If he is failing or doesn’t understand what he’s doing, he stays after school for coach class. He is very intelligent and self-motivated, a great role model for other Patterson students to follow.

Where is Patterson’s New School Building?

The current building, constructed in 1959, will be demolished after the new building is finished. (Photo:

The current building, constructed in 1960, will be demolished after the new building is finished. (Photo:

By Alvaro Flores & Amadou Bah,

In 2013, funding was approved to replace the whole Patterson High School building with a brand new one, but little progress has been made since that time. Patterson High School has a poor facility condition which means that the school is pretty run-down and is now getting worn out. The Patterson Press decided to investigate the reason for this delay and discover what the plan is for the new building.

Back in 2013 a bill was passed and the General Assembly agreed on a financing plan to allow Baltimore to spend roughly $1 billion dollars on school construction to repair or replace broken-down buildings over the next seven years. The plan is known as the 21st Century Buildings fund. The plan requires Baltimore, the city school system, and the state to put up $20 million a year each to help pay back this loan over the next 30 yearsPatterson High School is among the schools scheduled to benefit from this money.

The Patterson High School building is currently 303,582 square feet. The original building was built in 1960 at 230,000 square feet. Additions were built in 1968 with 49,634 square feet and in 1977 with 23,948 square feet. In 1977, a 9,211 square feet renovation was completed. Science lab renovations of 10,800 square feet were completed in 1995 and locker room renovations of 9,225 square feet were completed in 2001. This means that in previous years, instead of building a new school building, they were adding more space to the school.

Not only are we going to get a new building in the near future, we are also going to be pairing up with a Special Education school called Claremont Middle/High School. Also, there are some really special features planned for the new school, such as three additional basketball courts, two additional tennis courts, bleachers for visiting teams, a press box and scoreboards for baseball and softball fields.

According to Jessica Clark, “In 2013 the Government Association approved for the construction of the new Patterson building to occur and will be complete in 2019.” This proves that the new Patterson building is guaranteed, but no updates have been made since that time. The Class of 2017 seniors were all wondering why they won’t see the new building before they leave. It’s coming, Seniors! You’ll just have to come back as alumni.

Patterson High School’s program contains several education programs which will impact the design of the building and the space requirements. These programs are: AOP program, Life Skills, Academy of Engineering / Project Lead the Way / Design Technology, Advertising and Graphic Design, Allied Health, Emergency Medical Technician / Homeland Security, Business Administration / Finance and Accounting, Cosmetic Services, Child Care, and ROTC.

The new building has been delayed for a number of reasons, including disagreements about how to spend the money that has been allocated for the new school (for example: we currently have a pool but a new pool will cost millions of dollars that could otherwise be spent on technology or other things). With that being said, the plan is finally moving forward. Construction on the new building will start this year. It is expected to be finished in the school year 2020-2021. This will be the 3rd Patterson High School building. This new school building will be the future.


Enrollment projection:


Code Baltimore teaches students how to program apps for Apple products

(Image: Jonathan Bradley)


By Faran Nadeem,

Code Baltimore is an after school program at Patterson High School. The program is about learning the Apple’s official language, “SWIFT”.

The teacher is not from the our school. His name is Ian Han and he is a technology officer at Iron Forge. He teaches us how to code our own apps for Apple iPhones, iPads and Macintosh computers. He brings a MacBook Pro for every student, because of the fact that we can only code SWIFT on Apple products.  The program takes place every Wednesday after-school from around 4:00 to 6:00 PM.

So far we have made 3 apps in total with the assistance of Mr. Han. These apps we made were somewhat difficult to make but it did not take long to make them and they are useful. Then we were given 3 weeks to complete one app on our own by doing research. When the app is complete we will upload it to the Apple Store.

It is really interesting to have our own app on the app store where everyone can download it. I am working on an app with Amadou Bah and Yamen Khalil and I really want our app to be on the app store. Our app is a sticker pack in which there are different emojis and text and most interestingly we three have our own face emoji. Hopefully it will be done next week.

Coding is always fun when you know what to do and how to do it. I remember when I used to code for website development. I sat down in one spot and keep coding all day long because I knew what to do. Wednesday, March 29 is the last day of Code Baltimore, but there is another session that is starting about one week after the end of this session. Anyone who is interested in coding can join this program. It is free of cost and also you will get a certificate after you are done making your own app.

Journalism class visits Newseum

By Alvaro Flores-Villegas,


The Journalists Memorial remembers reporters who died in the line of duty (Photos: Amadou Bah, Patterson Press)

Students from Mr. Pesa’s journalism class along with students from several other classes participated in a field trip to the Newseum in Washington D.C. on March 24, 2017. The purpose of the trip was for the students to learn more about how the news is made, explore issues surrounding first Amendment freedoms and see the history of news back in the day through rare artifacts, hands-on exhibits and multi-media displays.

It took students and teachers several hours to explore the massive 7-story building, where they saw all kinds of news articles and other exhibits. One of the other things that students saw include a piece of the World Trade Center that was destroyed on 9/11, surrounded by news headlines and video footage captured by journalists during that tragic event. Another interesting thing students checked out was the virtual reality (VR) room where we could interact with the screens and see how virtual reality brings media to a whole new level. “It made it seem like I was in a video game. It was a wonderful experience”, said Amadou Bah, a student who tried out the VR goggles. Another room that really got a lot of students’ attention was a memorial for all the journalists that died doing their jobs.

Because there was so much to see, some students went off on their own to visit parts of the museum that others skipped over. A student named Faran Nadeem went into a 4-dimensional movie and shared his experience. “That was the most amazing thing I have ever seen! I didn’t know technology can go so far.”,  Nadeem exclaimed. The movie contained the first woman journalist ever and a radio reporter who was outside when German planes were bombing London at night during World War 2.  Other students recorded themselves reading the news using a teleprompter and a green screen to make it appear like they were reporting live on the scene.

The field trip to the Newseum was such an amazing experience, not only for the journalism class but for all the other students who were not part of the class but will hopefully be in it next year.

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