Weapons at School

Some extremely intriguing events have happened around the world, but what I will cover first is the USA’s expectation to arm volunteering teachers with firearms in the hopes to prevent more school shootings. However, it’ll be interesting to know that law enforcement agents on the Florida School’s premises were hiding behind vehicles, while the shooter ran loose inside the school. So the US government came up with a plan that was mediocre at best, which was to equip teacher volunteers with firearms to prevent school shootings, however, in an interview, Trump himself stated that the teachers he has talked to does not want to bear arms to take part in the prevention of school shootings, saying that “When the time comes that I have to decide whether or not to take the life of one of my students to prevent more deaths is not a decision I want to take.” Practically all teachers are not on board with this seemingly absurd idea, as we can see multiple trained professional agents of the law failing to stop school shooters, how can educators, with only basic and rudimentary firearm training take down a shooter that has none to little regard for their own lives? I personally think that this proposed course of action would hardly make a dent in school shooting related casualties, however, it will cause stress and complication to a great deal of students and teachers.

    Another topic I will cover is coincidentally, also on the topic of firearms and the United States of America. A whole lot of people are talking about how Trump’s military parade is “Flashy and a waste of money.” Trump claims that a military parade would bolster the nation’s spirits, but currently, there’s more criticism than praise on the topic of the parade. I think a parade would be great, as America hasn’t had a large military parade recently, but everyone’s a critic.

This week at Alpha…

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and from Feb 5th-15th, Alpha Photojournalism and Alpha GSA will be hosting a series of fun events to promote nice, fuzzy, feelings. Events include: telegrams, free photo booth, and comfort food day.

Course selections have started! Presentations are on for Grade 10’s and 11’s today and tomorrow, on Feb 14 for Grade 8’s, and Feb 22 for Beta Mini-School. Students are encouraged to contact their counselors for consultation if they need any help with course selections, post- secondary, career plans and future goals. Which courses will you choose? Happy picking!

On Friday the 10th, the Improv club had a trip to Kitsilano University to witness the Canadian Improv Games Finals. The performances were amazing, and you could never tell they were thought up on the spot! They were funny, hilarious, and pleasing to watch. In the end, the three person team from Crofton House won the match. Though lacking in members, the three girls in the team completely made up for it in enthusiasm, energy, and creativity. Good job Crofton!

Hey everyone, guess what? On Wednesday March 7, the Burnaby school district will be hosting its 2nd annual Diversity Dance. This dance is being held at Byrne Creek Community School, and it’s open to all high school students in the district, in the spirit of celebrating the diversity of our students. The dance will last from 6pm-9pm. Tickets will be sold in the school office from Monday, February 5th until Wednesday, March 7th, for $10 each. There are only 40 tickets available per school, so buy themes soon as you can so you don’t miss out! The year’s theme is “Space” so wear your best star-speckled outfits that are outta this world! See y’all there! ​​

From, Beta


BETA in Competition

Science Fair

Science fair has been an eventful journey of learning. Here’s a recap.

We started off with a proposal, to make sure we started on the right track. We had to describe what we were going to do with the topic we picked, if it was going to be a study, experiment, or innovation project, and elaborate on the structure of our project from beginning to end. We were told not to present our science fair in a regular tri-fold poster and be more creative with our presentation.

Study: A project that is an analysis of data and facts used from natural, social, biological, or health sciences.

Experiment: the undertaking of an investigation to test a scientific hypothesis with the experimental method.

Innovation: the development and evaluation of devices, models, theories, inventions.

We all picked an area of study that hopefully interested us. We got our scimatics teacher Ms. Neumann to approve our proposal, and we built upon our project from there on.

Our first checkup seemed to be a somewhat stressful deadline for some people. Juggling IDS homework and science fair homework was challenging, and many relied on winter break to catch up. Some of us were pushed behind on IDS by science fair. We all were working on our creative ways to present our science fair, some of us were still researching.

When we finally presented our science fair projects, it was interesting to see the variety of design and thought that people had put into their project. Some people kept it digital, and some people brought live models. Each project had different many different perspectives on a specific issue or topic. Everyone had a unique idea about a particular subject and did a great job of incorporating their scientific reasoning. Particularly meaningful projects were recommended to continue to the regional science fair contest.

Some people did better than others, but we all can personally learn something from this experience, whether it be time management, creative design skills, or scientific thought. There were a variety of projects, and they all were unique in their own way. Ranging from stall tests, to mosquito repellant, to a new form of chess design, to hovercrafts. It was interesting to see all the projects laid out.

B.C. Skills Canada

There has been a new field trip announced. It is called B.C. Skills Canada. At first, only those who wanted to go could go, but the field trip has been made available to the entire class.

This unique ADST project is a form a contest that multiple schools will participate in. There were a variety of competitions to choose such as cardboard boat racing or wind turbine building. There will be a gold, silver, and bronze medal awarded. Our class voted to enrol in spaghetti bridge building and wind turbine designing contests.

Students either got to chose to design a wind turbine out of included construction substances as efficient as possible to generate power or build a bridge made of brittle spaghetti sticks as light as possible to hold a 1 kg weight for at least 60 seconds. Both sound like fun, but there seemed to be much more people who wanted to do the more straightforward spaghetti building contest.

This project is meant to test the cooperation and teamwork of our group as a whole, while also assessing our ability to create prototypes, drafts, and reports.

Update from BETA

This month in Mini School our class did some pretty interesting things including playing with fire!!

We started the month off with wrapping up our Science Fair projects. Everyone’s presentations were really cool!

Thanks to our Scimatics teacher, Mrs Neumann, we were given the opportunity to have a wonderful new experience…playing with fire! We watched her make this slimy ball and light it up. People could touch the flames, pick them up and prod the little flaming ball.

After that, the class each got to create and display to each other their representation of an atom. The students had to show the nucleus, protons, neutrons, electrons, quarks, leptons and electron shells. All the student’s models were great!

Along with many other classes, the mini school took part in a district-wide geography challenge. Congrats to Karen and Simon who did a fantastic job representing our class in the school level.

This week at Alpha…

Alpha, being the incredibly busy school it is, has a lot planned for the next few weeks!

For one thing, students from Alpha, can now purchase tickets for the highly awaited Diversity Dance. Better scurry along; make sure to go to the second ever Diversity Dance. Keep in mind, there are only 40 tickets offered per school, so you better snatch up your tickets fast or else you’ll be missing out on such a invigorating night of fun such as this! This year’s theme is Space. What an incredibly cool theme! Don’t you think? Just simply imagine all the cool space-style costumes and outfits! Invite your friends along, and together, simply enjoy a night of awesomeness. This dance, is like no other, it is meant to celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of all. A spectacular event  you can’t miss! Truly out of this world!

A dance with a special message; to accept, respect, and celebrate the differences in every individual, so together we can work towards our common goals! As shown by the LGBTQ flag on the poster, this dance is supposed to spread the warm message that everybody is included in this warm and caring community. Come join in in this celebration of inclusiveness and have a load of fun in the meantime! Wednesday, March 7th, will be a night to remember!

Now for some serious news. Parent teacher conferences are coming up. For some, it is a chance to show off academic excellence and drastic improvement; for others, it’s the ultimate dread, Judgement day. It’s is the day, when parents are personally informed the teacher of the student’s activities and behaviours, an important day no matter what.

Also, on another serious note; course selections will have closed; you have now chosen all the classes you want to take for the next entire year. An important decision, one that will determine the fate for the next 365 days. Better make a good decision; for the consequences both good and bad will become apparent in the near future. However, with course selection, in addition to being subjected to a new environment; you also get a chance to meet new people, teachers, and experience new passions and interests.

Also, all the Grade 8s are now going on a field trip! And an exciting one at that! A field trip that is fun yet at the same time extremely educational! A world religions project; visiting various worship sites across Burnaby, Richmond and Vancouver. What an exciting way to learn World Religions. I certainly can’t imagine a way to learn that’s more fun! The educational purpose of the trip is “to gain knowledge of religious faiths and appreciation of cultural diversity in our community”; sounds fun!

Now for the most important. I’ve saved the best for last; Spring Break. Two weeks off! Even for people who love school such as myself; it’s important to have a break to recharge and refresh. With enough rest, will your work quality live up to its potential. Many people have already made plans for the upcoming break; vacations, get-togethers with friend, a resolution to stay productive (which works in only some cases).

People will be busy bees for the next few weeks; after all, the period before every break is always filled with the frantic scurrying of trying to get an assignment to meet a deadline. However, hopefully, everyone will get a chance to enjoy the break and enjoy the springtime!


Falcon Heavy Launch

One of the most broadcasted, and incredible scientific achievements of the past year is the launch of Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy. The launch, of the mega-rocket on February 6th, will forever go down in history as a moment of human civilization’s pride.

The Falcon Heavy, dubbed the world’s most capable rocket flying, bested only by the Saturn V rocket, last flown in 1973. The next rocket to be near the Falcon Heavy payload was the Space Shuttle, at just over a third of its payload. With more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, and the ability to continue even after multiple unplanned engine shut downs (that haven’t happened yet), this launch could be considered historical in terms of advancement in the field of rockets.

Elon Musk, the inventor and business magnate, has done something quite remarkable! Using the 27 engines it has, the Falcon Heavy will equal the thrust of 18 Boeing 747 jetlines, to go up into the heavens above. Various doubts have arisen before the launch; will it be an incredible launch or an extravagant fireworks display? However, now we know that the Falcon Heavy was successfully, and that somewhere in the skiers, Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster still floats around.

The Falcon Heavy, sent itself, roaring up into the heavens, all 141,000 lbs of it! That, in itself, is the epitome of how advanced earth’s rocket technology is nowadays. 64 tons! 64000 kg of weight that manages to fling itself up! And now that rocket has launched his car into space, which will be orbiting on a path to the asteroid belt for who knows how long.

However, one of the aspects I found the most striking, was the fact that Mr. Musk and his colleagues weren’t part of NASA or any other registered government agency; they are private scientists, researchers, inventors and people who are doing things without the support of government. I feel that this says something about the future; that if we want to, if we strive to, accomplish of feat of great magnitude, that we don’t need to be in public domain, we can do it ourselves. Such an advance in rocket technology, done by a private company. That guy sent his car into space!

Even though SpaceX (Elon Musk’s company), does not compare to NASA in many ways, it still has achieved extraordinary feats. It has figured out a way to cut the cost of launches down exponentially, and made truly reusable rockets.





Playing With Fire

This Month we played with Fire. This may sound dangerous to let VERY responsible 13 year old students to play with fire but Ms. Neumann said she had everything under control. The project we did was called california snowballs. Ms. Neumann taught us how to be safe with fire and how not to get hurt. She had students come up and measure the liquids using a graduated cylinder. A graduated cylinder looks kind of like a test tube with Measurements on it. The specific one we used had a max measurement of 25 mL.

We also had a yellow tub of water just in case things went wrong. After mixing the two liquids we had a snowball. Now picture this, you have a snowball in your hand but instead of a snowball its a slushball. That’s what it felt like. Ms. Neumann then lit the slushball on fire and one by one we went up to “play with fire”. To make sure you didn’t get burned you would have to soak your hands in water creating a protective barrier and then scoop up the burning slushball from the bottom. 

This was a very fun experiment and i want to do something like this again.


Florida School Shooting Hero

February 14th, 2017 was the day of the Parkland, Florida school shooting. On that day, 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School died, while many more are still injured. It was a day of loss and trauma for everyone. However, on that day heroes were recognized. Below is the story of Peter Wang who sacrificed his life for the lives of his fellow peers.

Peter Wang was a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and he was part of the American Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC). One of his future goals was to attend the The United States Military Academy in order to serve and aid his country. However, his life soon came to an end before he got the chance.

At the time of the shooting, Peter was holding open a door for students to pass through and he even helped push students out to safety. Instead of scrambling himself to safety outside, he sacrificed himself for the safety of others and was soon shot by Nikolas Cruz, the shooter.

Today, we remember Peter Wang as a hero to the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and we appreciate the sacrifice he made in order to protect his fellow peers. To honour Peter, The United States Military Academy recognized him with the Medal of Heroism and awarded him with a posthumous acceptance letter to the school.










A Challenge for Mr. Murray

Welcome to a mostly anonymous semi-fictional BETA Bits o’ Business report!

You may have noticed the contraction in the first sentence. As other BETA Bit writers have mentioned, there was a Poetry in Voice competition in class! As exciting as this was, something else happened…

The week before the presentations:

“All Y’all that’s spicy!”  a voice blurts out.

Mr. Murray sighed.

The owner of the voice that uttered the contraction using sentence was rebuked, and the owner of the offending voice apologized. Profusely. Repeatedly. Whilst claiming it wouldn’t happen again.

Similar scenes play out in different forms all over the week.

Finally, presentation time arrived.

The Day before the presentations began:

A group of students are talking to Mr. Murray. The topic of Mr. Murray’s memorization skills are brought up, and a bet is quickly made.

The bet in question?

Can Mr. Murray memorize a poem of the student’s choosing in one night, to prove that it can be done?

Cries of the Iliad, the odyssey,  and other epics are heard!

Mr. Murray smiled in what appeared to be a confident manner.

The Wager was set. Should he lose, the class may decide an appropriate punishment.

Presentation day:

The suspense grew as students arrived on the day of presentations.

Poems were hastily recited.

Print-outs were read over.

Encouragements were received.

The first poems were read.

It is not my job to describe them. That, I leave to others.

Mr. Murray was questioned.

Where was his poem?

He regretfully informed the class that he had lost the bet.

However, the class could choose: Punishment or an Extension.

Someone threw around some words, full of contractions.

Mr. Murray grimaced.





The vote was tied.

Absent people were messaged.

Still the vote remained tied.

A compromise was suggested. An extension over the weekend, and a poem.

A poem using a contraction in every sentence.


On a random subject of the classes choice.


The weekend passed. Poems were presented. All of the presentations were amazing, but only two could continue to the next level. A vote was undertaken, yet I shall not publish the results.

Soon Mr. Murray shall present his “Poem”.

Mr. Murray asked for his topic, as well as contractions he must use.

For two minutes jumbles of frantic consonants were scribbled onto the board.

And then it began.

The class before, everyone was working on IDS. Certain people were very far ahead, or very far behind, and Mr. Murray performed his poem, where the few understandable words were about IDS, and how much had been completed, as well as how much more could have been done, had the class not been interrupted so many times.

There are two existing videos, but I do not have either.

It was hilarious. It was sad. It was unintelligible, and this BETA bits o’ business report is now finished.

Winter Olympics 2018 (Day 11)

On February the 9th,  the winter Olympics ceremony kicked off with Kpop performances and the traditional Parade of Nations. Winter competitors from 92 different countries have all traveled to Pyeongchang County, South Korea for this major event. For a first in Olympic history, North Korea and South Korea will have a unified women’s hockey team. Talk about a major event bringing people together, right? Anyways, so far, Canada has 6 bronze medals, 5 silvers and 7 golds from long track speed skating, figure skating, luge, bobsled, curling, hockey and more. Max Parrot and Mark McMorris won the first medals of the winter Olympics for Canada in the men’s slope style. Canada is currently in 3rd place and will hopefully beat their record from 2010 of 26 medals.


Here are the current number of medals won by the top 10 countries:


  • Norway: 29
  • Germany: 23
  • Canada: 19
  • Netherlands: 14
  • France: 13
  • U.S: 12
  • Sweden: 7
  • Austria: 10
  • South Korea: 8
  • Japan: 10



The Olympics are always an exciting event, especially since they only happen every 4 years, bringing people together to compete against or with each other. Fingers crossed for Canada!


To read more about this event, click on the links below.