CATS Academy Courier

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Student news

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.

“Black Wings” Fashion Show

By: Nuray Salina

On Thursday, April 26th, CATS Academy Boston held its spring fashion show and the theme  was “Black Wings.” The event took place in our gym which was fitted with a runway. It was led by Ms. Jacobson and attended by students, teachers, and international guests who came to see the masterpieces of our young designers. All of the costumes and clothes were created by CATS students, who put enormous effort into their designs.  Hundreds of hours and a wave of emotions and worries preceded the students inevitable success.

The staging and lighting was tremendous and really showed the fashions to their best!  A single bright spotlight effectively illuminated the podium and student models. Black and red shades created an atmosphere of mystery and romance. All this generated an environment in which students could not wait for the show to start.

It began with Ms. Jacobson’s introduction of the “Black Wings” theme. She then began inviting the models to the stage individually to walk the runway.  First, clothes made by the students of the Introduction to Fashion Design class were shown and this was followed by the creations of the Advanced Fashion class.  In total, there were nearly 30 designs displayed with many of them being dresses and tunics. The array of dresses were unique, graceful and shiny, elegant and dark, colorful and catchy.  They all looked fabulous! The models looked terrific showing them as well! Their hairstyles, makeup, gait, and self-expression absolutely fit the “Dark Wings” theme of the event. It was an amazing show to see!

In my opinion, the atmosphere, design and presentation of the show looked professional! It is hard to express my visual impressions of the show in words.  However, the fashion show was definite proof of the impressive creativity of CATS Academy students who are clearly headed for future success!

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.

DECA Club Notice

Dear CATS Community,

Some of you have seen us selling pizza in the Student Lounge or heard our club president, Minh Tuan, speak during assembly. Maybe you have seen our colorful posters or read our emails about events we have sponsored this year.  In case you don’t know who we are — we are the DECA Club.

As promised, we accomplished a lot this year! We raised enough money to attend some competitions, where, after long hours of hard work and preparation, we won some district and state awards. after gaining experience with competitions, we brought one to our school—The Stock Trading Competition.

In addition, we also raised some money for charity through several events we planned. Events such as the Halloween Prank Sale and the So-Needed Coffee Sale were a big success! None of this could have been possible without the support of our advisor, Mr. O’Donnell, and some of the other teachers, including Mr. Walecka, Mr. Pendley, and Mr. Wilkins.

Most importantly, as the end of the school year approaches, we would like to announce that we are looking for some additional officers for the 2018-2019 academic year. Please access the link: for the application. Email us at for more information or if you would like to find out more about our club.

Have a wonderful summer break and be ready for an even more exciting year with our not so small business club!

On behalf of the DECA Club,

Maya Stoilova


Ultimate Frisbee Wins 1st Match of Competitive Season

By: Kenneth Luk (Contributor)

On April 13th , the school’s Ultimate Frisbee team had a dominant win against the Cambridge School of Weston with a final score of 9-2. This was the first victory in the start of the competitive portion of the season for the frisbee team.

The CATS Ultimate Frisbee team has come along way in the past few seasons because of the hard working players. Even though the competitive season doesn’t start until spring, the team has been training and recruiting since the fall.

Under very cold and unpleasant weather this spring, the team has continued to train on the rain soaked fields, or by throwing their frisbees in the gymnasium. They have also incorporated some fitness training, gathered to discuss tactics and watch professional frisbee matches in order to get a more comprehensive understanding of the sport.

CATS’ Ultimate Frisbee coach, Mr. De Santis, the visionary for the program, has established a positive and hardworking environment for the squad. The main goals of this season are for the players to improve their physical fitness and frisbee mechanics; to improve their mental toughness, field sense and decision making; and for players to have fun when they play.  This attitude has brought the team together to train harder to become better at the sport. “We are for ourselves and we train for ourselves,” said the team’s captain Steven Wang. This self-ownership and passion for frisbee is what brings the team together on a daily basis. Don’t be surprised to see big

April 2018 Artist of the Month

Winner: Suet Yi Li (Shirley)

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