CATS Academy Courier

"A Trusted Students News Source with an International Twist"



L3 Innovation Challenge: The Human-Side of STEM

By Le Dong Hai “DoHa” Nguyen

Best described as a design-thinking bootcamp that mimics a hackathon, the L3 Innovation Challenge is an annual competition hosted by YouthCities in partnership with Boston Children Hospital and LabCentral. During this ten-week bootcamp, students work in teams to create technological solutions to real-world problems. This year, students had to use smart textiles to create prototypes and actual products that addressed pediatric healthcare concerns. Seven students from CATS participated in the competition and, on November 14th, presented their ideas to a panel of health care industry specialists, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists.

CATS students attending the L3 Innovation Challenge 2018 at LabCentral, Cambridge, MA

The spotlight is on, and the eyes of more than one hundred people are on us. Holding the 3D Prototype of SOGAI, which stands for System Of Glucose-Detection & Automatic Insulin-Injection, we gradually move onto the stage for our final presentation in the Youth CITIES competition. Adrenaline that had been accumulating for the past seven weeks of the competition urged every single word on the tip of our tongue to erupt.

This is the story of DoHa Nguyen, Jiho Choi, and Serafina Mei, who have applied Smart Textile, 3D Printing technology and comprehensive research on type 2 diabetes to create the SOGAI and mySOGAI app. The project got the team into the Final Round and was verbally commended by the judge-Dr. Kate Donovan, the Director of Immersive Technologies at Boston Children Hospital, as the Best Research.

Five other CATS students had revolutionary products as well. Anastasia Dvoryanchikova and Alex Shevtcova’s Diaperstic earned Anastasia the individual Award of Rising Innovator. Mia Huynh, Malak Elaouinate and Luisa Maia were complimented by Mr. Peter Parker, the CEO and Co-Founder of LabCentral, for the highly visual prototype of their project, TEMPA Temperature Regulating Children Suit and MyBABY TEMPA App.

Every Wednesday during the eight weeks of the L3 Innovation Challenge, our CATS Team were taken by Mr. O’Donnell to LabCentral in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Here, students from dozens of high schools in the Boston area were divided into groups with the goal of turning innovative ideas into real products that would solve demanding medical problems. We had the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from students of different schools, to meet with our mentors (VIP industry experts in various fields from medical entrepreneurships involved with cancer treatment to Biometrics), and to widen our perspective and respect for backend scientists, who quietly devote their resources and knowledge for a better world. At LabCentral, where the contest was hosted, we saw marvelous laboratories and R&D centers in a 70,000 square-foot historic, MIT-owned facility. I could not help but think that never before had Isaac Newton’s famous saying been so clear and convincing: “What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean.”

The experiences we gained from this competition went beyond the scientific knowledge accumulated from top-notch experts. It broadened and changed our perspectives and attitudes towards STEM as a field of endeavor. I found it realistic, practical and very demanding. Awards, compliments and recognition, albeit valuable and deserving, are just the tip of the iceberg that made this eight-week rigorous journey worthwhile.

Students Enjoy CATS Academy Boston 2018 Prom

By: Sasha Chernysheva

After all of our seniors  received their long-awaited acceptance letters from colleges,  prom was one of the last milestones on the way to graduation. CATS Academy prom night took place at “The Lantana” on May 11th. It was a night dedicated to seniors, for whom it was the last official high school party.  It was also attended by juniors and many underclassmen and everyone appeared to be having a great time!


Capturea sfda.PNGWhat are some of the major components of a good prom night?

First, you obviously need a lot of music and dancing, and we had enough of both.   Second, there is the traditional voting for the prom king and queen and this year we crowned Steven Guan and Anna Merzliakova.

Third, you must have a blinding variety of beautiful sparkling gowns and finely cut suits, which is something that our students never lack.  And fourth, a lot of pictures are required, with your partner and friends and their friends and everyone…. in order for all to remember the night forever.  There were many places to take these snaps because the venue was a beautiful setting exquisitely decorated with lights and flowers.

In general, it was a wonderful night to remember and celebrate our seniors, whom we wish all the best in college and on their journey through life.  For the juniors looking forward to returning to CATS, we wish you a great senior year!

Thank You: Newspaper Reaches New Heights in 2nd Year of Publication!

By: Dmytro Zhuravel

Dear Reader,

The past year has come and gone quickly for us! Throughout the 2017-2018 school year, our second year since launching the CATS Academy Courier newspaper, we have worked tirelessly to bring you relevant and exciting news about happenings here at CATS Academy Boston.  We hope you have enjoyed reading the seven newspaper editions we published this year!

A lot of amazing people have contributed CATS Academy Courier.  First, I want to thank Mrs. Bowen and Mr. Walecka, our newspaper faculty advisors, who have helped us to write and create the Courier each month.  I also want to highlight our senior staff reporters who will graduate on Friday.  Our Artist, Shirley Li, has been with us from the start and painted the picture of the school that appears on the header of the newspaper and has designed a unique footer for us each month.  We will miss her terribly. Our other senior is Amber Nguyen, who has been one of our key staff reporters. We wish these Griffins well as they soar on to college.

Our Lead Reporters this year have been Sasha Chernysehva, and Nuray Salina.  Staff Reporters who have contributed their talents to the newspaper include Helena Fauvel, Anastasia Dvoryanchikova, Maya Stoilova, Jess Ngo, Dmytro Zhuravel and Howard Ng.  We also would like to thank the other contributing writers who have generously reported for us on various events throughout the year. It was an honor to work with these fellow students who devoted time, energy, and effort into making the newspaper the best it could be!

Our future plans are to continue to grow, improve, and write articles for years to come. We hope you will continue to be devoted readers next year and beyond. For those who are not returning to our school, we wish you the best of luck in your endeavors and hope you continue to stay in touch.  You can stay connected and read our articles at Again, thank you for reading our newspaper and we hope you have a great summer!


“CATS Academy Courier” Newspaper Team

The Little Mermaid Musical Shines

By: Helena Fauvel

On May 18th and 19th, after months of rehearsal, CATS Academy students along with the Arts Department presented its marvelous production of the Disney musical, The Little Mermaid.  Mr. Punches, the school’s Theater Director, and the Art Department helped the students create on stage the the magical underwater world in which the play play takes place. The students dedicated their time to rehearsals four times a week during the semester in order to perfect their performances. They all enjoyed the fabulous experience of being part of this theatrical production.

Producing the fantasy world on stage required the incredible dedication of many teachers and students. The lighting by Mr. Punches and Anna Carolina Alves helped create the underwater effect. Music teachers, Mrs. Segal and Mr. Lewan, played in the band along with their students and gave great live musical performances both nights of the show!  All the amazing costumes for the musical were created by Ms. Jacobson and her Fashion Design course students.The costumes gave life to characters such as Ursula the octopus, the little mermaid, the hilarious sea gulls, Sebastian and the entire cast.

The creation of the set relied on the work and ingenuity of many including the arts teachers the students of the Theatre Production class and other crew members.  There were also CATS Innovation course students who helped create the scenes and props used on set. An especially notable prop was the amazing shell which was created with our school’s 3D printer. The stage construction was completed by students from the Theatre Production Class along with several others involved in the production who devoted many hours after school to ensure the musical set would be perfect, and it was!

Capture 230

Last, but most definitely not least, the entire student cast and production crew did a really professional job staging The Little Mermaid.  It was clear they had dedicated heart and soul to the show.  Ariel was played by the talented Nina Sunago, who put on outstanding performances. She and Ms. Segal had spent many hours together perfecting her part.  Prince Eric, played by the Thiago Venturi, sang in spectacular fashion bringing his character to life. Daniel O’Hare, played Sebastian and turned in a most convincing crab performance.  Minh Binh Nguyen portrayed the villain, Ursula in a very memorable performance. Anastasia Dvoryanchikova and Alice Nguyen, as the eels,created their characters well by  sliding and slithering about the stage. Other notable performances were given by Lucas Eduardo, as Grimsby,  Pearl Carroll, who was a wonderful Flounder, and Kate Manley Rowe, as Scuttle the seagull, who got some of the biggest laughs of the show.  Daniel Rodriguez was well cast in his roles as the Pilot and Chef and the chorus including the Mersisters and sailors were also superb!

Overall, the production was a huge success with the talent of CATS Academy Boston shining at every turn. Congratulations to everyone who helped bring this magical world to life on our stage!  Mr. Punches and Mrs. Segal deserve special thanks because they really made the students feel part of something special. And, it was very special!

Is It Worth Running for Student Government?

By: Anastasia Dvoryanchikova

Running for a Student Government office can be a great learning experience.  Although politics, in today’s climate, has been taken to an extreme, a school election is far different. Many might consider running for office an undesirable experience, but they would be wrong.  Campaigning can be associated with stress from competition, doubts and an unbreakable desire to win no matter what. However, it does not have to be this way, the situation is complex and there is much to be learned by campaigning for a student office whether or not you win the election.

Competition is an inevitable part of running for any elected position, because at the end there can be only one winner. But between the day when candidates are announced until the day when people vote, there is campaigning to be done: making posters, slogans, and organizing different activities to draw voter’s attention. There is also a process of getting to know people who you haven’t known before. Since every candidate must expose his or herself to become known in order to be elected, they must  become more active in events around the school. In this way, it is easy to get acquainted with more people. Elections are also about thinking in creative ways because candidates want to stand out and be more recognizable. Candidates must use their skills to figure out how to target their audience. They must determine what can fit into their budget and still be efficient reaching potential voters for the campaign. You also need to learn to use your individuality to shape your campaign by figuring out what makes you who you are and incorporating that into your message.  

Finally, the campaign process is a test of you as a leader.  You need to show you care about the school, its students and making positive change.  Improvement will not happen on its own, being an officer is about representation of the student body and making improvement. So, running for  a student government office is not what people would normally think. Sure it is fun, creative and social but it is also an indescribable and unforgettable process of personal growth and social development.  At the end, what really matters is the process, not winning the election.

May 2018 Artist of the Month

Nicole Phan

April 2018 Artist of the Month

Winner: Suet Yi Li (Shirley)

Students Attend Boston College Fair

By: Helena Fauvel (Reporter)

On Thursday, April 12th, our colleges counsellors took juniors to a college fair at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. The fair was an incredible experience for all students who dream of attending college in the United States.

From my own experience, the fair was a great place to explore options for my professional future as well as for my college options.  There I also discovered the option of taking a gap year and how this might affect my academic life. The fair included more than 100 representatives from colleges around the world. These representatives were very helpful in guiding students about the majors and services their colleges offer.

According to CATS student, André Shibata, “The college fair was fairly interesting, certainly more than my initial thoughts. I expected a tiring experience with crowded booths which was definitely not [the experience] I had. I believe that it helped me to decide my safety colleges and provided me with rather valuable information that I will likely use when I choose my college. ”

The college fair allowed CATS’ students to take a broader view of their academic options. Our well-trained college counselors will now help us navigate the next step in the college planning process, which is to create a personalized college list.

Overall, the Boston College Fair was an important step for juniors to get exposed to the endless educational possibilities American universities offer. The opportunity of going to this fair definitely made several juniors to start thinking more about the future that awaits them – and to start preparing for it.

Day of Silence is Today!

The Day of Silence is today (April 27) so we call on students and others to join together and show support for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community which includes your friends and family members.  

What is Day of Silence and its purpose?

The Day of Silence is a national student-led day created to show support for LGBT members of our community. Often, LGBT students feel they are forced to be silent about who they really are, and this is something we want to help change. We want to show the community that every individual is valued and has the right to be their own true self.  

How did it start?

In 1996, students at University of Virginia organized the first “Day of Silence” as a project and non-violent protest. The “Day of Silence” officially became a national event in 1997, when over 100 schools took part.  In 2001 the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) took over as an official sponsor for the event.

What you can do?

  1. Sign up and get an event sticker which will allow you to keep silent without feeling awkward.
  2. Participate in the “Day of Silence”.
  3. After the event “break the silence”, you will have a chance to share your experiences with others.

Where can you sign up?

In your Advisory and the Dean’s Office

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