Pueblo Science Night: Another ‘Explosive’ Success

By Jose Jovel

On Friday, March 22, Pueblo’s Science Club held their 17th annual “Science Night” in the patio and South Gym after school for guests to enjoy and to intrigue.

The Science Club was not the only group present; multiple science classes showcased several types of science experiments and activities to entertain and fascinate visitors.

Science club sponsor Ms. Vaishali Jaiswal said, “Students did an amazing job with participating during Science Night, and my anatomy class dissected a rabbit and sheep’s eye.”

Pueblo High School’s physics, chemistry, physiology, and biotechnology students and teachers answered questions to the science-curious, and they boasted their knowledge of various sciences.

PHS’s Mariachi Aztlan, Tucson Electrical Power, and representatives from the University of Arizona food safety group also made their presence known.

Science Club president junior Esmeralda Almazan said, “Science Night was an immense success in my opinion, and I cannot wait for next year’s event to make this an even grander event.”

Science Club members were successful organizing this evening, spending weeks orchestrated various activities and to set up for visitors from not only PHS students, faculty and staff but also community members.

Science club sponsor Ms. Elaine Straub said, “We sponsors just make sure to facilitate the meetings and ensure we have the space ready for Science Night. The students are really the ones who run the show.”

Science clubs plan to continue meeting every Thursday after school, conduct more experiments, recruit more members, and get more advertising for next year’s Science Night for an even better turn-out.

Science Club vice-president Czarina Grijalva said, “We need to advertise better, but everything else about Science Night was a success. I love science—as all of us do who were involved in this evening, and we want to promote all the great things we do in our science classes at Pueblo.”

Feminist Club Hosts Valentine’s Day Carnival

By Ariana Garcia & Leia Ortega

After a month of organizing and three hours to set up, Pueblo’s Feminist Club held its 3rd annual Valentine’s Day Carnival.

This year, the Feminist Club hosted a lunchtime carnival with games and prizes that ranged from big to small. Each ticket was a mere 25 cents, and all money raised was donated to Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse.

“Not everybody attends club meetings regularly, but they like this event, so they all came out to help organize,” said Ms. Caroline Fioramonti, sponsor of the Feminist Club.

Warriors enjoyed all the games, including ping-pong, darts, and even wheelspins with small, medium, and large prizes redeemable with tickets won. There were also lots and lots of balloons!

“I was pretty impressed with how well our carnival turned out, and by the end of second lunch nearly all the prizes were gone,” said junior Jasmin Raygoza, a staff member of the carnival.

“I can’t wait for next year, when I’m a senior—the carnival will keep getting better with each new year,” Raygoza added.

Welcoming ‘Feminist Club’ To Pueblo

By Dayanara Gonzalez and Arnold Ochoa

From left to right:
Caroline Fioramanti (Sponsor), Luis Salazar, Cielo Rangel, and Anindita Farzana

A new school year often brings new clubs to schools; one of these is the Feminist Club, which has the purpose of uplifting, empowering and supporting women through the focus on women’s issues, not only at Pueblo but in the community at large.

The Feminist Club’s advisor, English teacher Ms. Caroline Fioramanti, said that the club will achieve their goals by sharing their ideas publicly and raising awareness through several types of activities and fundraisers.

The club has already gained over 40 members through “word-of-mouth” around school and through her own promotion of the club in her classes. All students are welcome to attend the weekly meetings.

“I wanted a group open to all genders, and the interest has been amazing!” said Fioramanti. “This [students joining] tells me we needed something like the Feminist Club.”

Junior Lailani Figueroa, a member and treasure of the Feminist Club, joined because she believes we should have equal rights for men and women. Figueroa also wants to share information with club members and to help women who might be troubled by women’s issues, as well as to help students initiate peaceful protests and marches and inspiring students to volunteer to help various charities.

Figueroa said, “I advise people come and join the Feminist Club. I want everyone to feel included and respected.”

Certainly, not all members of the club are female.

Senior Armando Soto said that he joined the club because not only does he really like Ms. Fioramanti as an educator, but also because he was interested in what the club could teach him.

“I would say that I really enjoy getting to socialize with the members,” Soto said. “I’m having a lot of fun meeting new people and getting to know more about them.”

Fioramanti said that she started this club because not only has she experienced sexism in her own life but feels very passionate about feminism and women’s issues in the lives of young people.

“We are not at place of equality yet. There is much work to do,” she added.

“I have been involved in a few different feminist clubs in my teaching career, and I truly feel that educating others about feminism is important, especially for young people.”

The meetings are held on Mondays after school from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

“I want everyone to feel safe here [at Pueblo] and in our community,’’ said Fioramanti.

New Seeds Sprout In Pueblo Garden

by Jose Jovel

Pueblo Garden Club with sponsors Ms. Espindola (flowers shirt) & Mr. Pitts (gray shirt)

The seeds have been planted; the sun is shining. There is hope.

Pueblo High School’s Garden Club has big plans for the 2021-22 school year, and they have already begun to plant new vegetation—setting their goals high for a productive year and a promising future.

The club will continue the reconstruction of the garden and discuss new directions for Pueblo’s little acre of botanical bliss.

One of the club’s primary goals is to continue to clean and clear the garden after it was destroyed two years ago. (Those responsible for the garden’s “massacre” have never been determined.)

With new enthusiastic sponsors and a tenacious group of students, everybody in this club is ready to roll up his and her sleeves and get a little dirty.

Pueblo science teachers Mr. Nicolas Pitts and Ms. Melissa Espindola, this year’s Garden Club sponsors, are eager to provide learning opportunities for students this school year and for years to come.

“We don’t know exactly what happened to the garden two years ago, but everybody in the Garden Club is excited to make the garden better than ever,” Espindola said.

Garden Club member, sophomore Jolette Coronado, said, “Working on this garden provides new opportunities to learn. We are planting foods that we can actually eat as well as learning how to nurture to everything that we grow.” She paused and said, “Everybody in the club is excited about our harvests after all of our hard work.”

Pitts said, “The Garden Club will definitely live on but in a new direction.” He added that the garden will take multiple years to return to its original state, but he hopes that new students in the club will be creative and add their own footprints to the garden.

Progress made in the garden.

Every student is welcome to join the club; meetings are held Thursdays after school. Everybody is encouraged to share ideas how to resurrect the garden and bring new life to the northwestern corner of Pueblo’s campus.

“We already have all the garden beds working,” said Pitts. “We’re on our way to making this garden a new learning environment for all teachers and students.”

Road Warriors Break Bicycling Record

by Palmira Henriquez

Road Warriors All Smiles After Breaking Record

Records are meant to be broken, and that’s exactly what five amazing seniors accomplished on Wednesday, Nov. 13. Seniors Aaron Kuzdal, Janice Salazar, Leonard Parra, Joel Bustamante and Reannah Rodriguez cycled for a city record of 17 hours, a record previously held by a Desert View student several years ago.

A sixth senior, Danielle Rojas, attempted to break the record, but she only rode for 12 hours, which is still considered to be quite a physical accomplishment!

According to Kuzdal, Bicycle Club sponsor Mr. Ernesto Somoza announced to the club the city record and challenged any of his cyclist team members to break it.

“Sometimes you wake up one morning and want to break records,” he said. “Once Mr. Somoza told us about this challenge, it was like, ‘Heck, yeah!’”

Kuzdal and Parra decided to commit to the record-breaking challenge just two days before the event; the other four members committed just the day before!

At 6 a.m., in Somoza’s classroom, the six cyclists began their challenge.

“The only break students received was five minutes per hour to drink water, go to the bathroom and eat a quick snack,” Somoza said.

After two or three hours, all of the bicyclists admitted that they were beginning to experience excruciating physical pain.

Salazar said, “My legs, back and butt hurt horribly, and the pain was even worse after we had our five-minute break to go to the restroom and stretch.”

Another cyclist, Rodriguez, said, “Not only were we in great pain, we were being watched like zoo animals! Student Council came in to visit us, and a lot of them just stared at us like we were freaks.”

Parra echoed Rodriguez; he said, “It was difficult [cycling in the classroom] with other students because it was like we were on stage being observed.”

Unfortunately, Rojas couldn’t bare the pain any longer.

“We must all suffer from one or two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret,” she said.

To help ease the indescribable pain from hours of cycling, students said that they sang—including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Christmas songs and John Legend tunes to keep their mind off of their agonizing body parts.

This record-breaking event was hardly ignored by local media. Channel 4 (KVOA) and Channel 13 (KOLD) were on campus, and they covered the story for television; also, reporters from The Arizona Daily Star were present.

“Having a few local media channels here boosted morale,” Somoza said. “This [media coverage] really helped students complete their goal knowing that their school and entire community was behind them one hundred percent.”

The five cyclists completed their 17-hour event, breaking the old record by an hour.

“Way down inside of me, I really believed that we would be up for this challenge,” Bustamante said.

“I’m proud to have been part of this record-breaking experience, but I really wish—and I think we all wish—that we could have sat on a bigger, softer seat,” Kuzdal said.

Road Warriors Find Their Finish Lines

by Ilyasah Molina, beginning journalism

Road Warriors
Road Warriors at the finish line.

For the 17th year, Pueblo’s Road Warriors participated in the world-renowned El Tour de Tucson, which was held on Saturday, Nov. 17; three students and three faculty members were among the more than 9,000 riders.

Seniors Andrew Romero and Jose Antonio Pesellin and junior Leo Parra, along with faculty members Mr. Ernesto Somoza (sponsor), Ms.Marie Little and Ms. Tina Bruce, all made it to their finish lines.

In the past, Somoza has bicycled from Oceanside, CA to San Diego, about 50 miles. He’s also cycled from the U.S.-Mexico border to Ensenada, Baja California.

Two Pueblo students, Pesellin and Parra, finished the 100-mile race, as did teacher Somoza and his sister, Melissa; Somoza’s father, ­­­­­Xavier Somoza, also participated.

“Practicing was easy,” Pesellin said, “but riding 100 miles was a bit challenging. After the race, I had to see an on-site medic because of the pain in my leg muscles.”

Parra said, “The race was tiring. It was tough, but it was really important to me to reach the finish line.” He added that he raced on his Scatante bike and completed the race in eight hours. Parra plans to beat his time next year as a returning member of Road Warriors.

Teacher Somoza completed the full 100-mile course—mostly to ensure that students would be safe and that they would finish the complete race.

Somoza has participated in many races in the past several years, including 50-miles rides in California.

Another teacher, yearbook and exceptional education teacher Little, participated in the event for the first time, finishing her 25-mile course.

“I will definitely be doing this [El Tour de Tucson] next year,” Little said, “and I will be challenging three of my family members to join me.”

Gabrielle Giffords with Andrew Romero
 Andrew Romero with Gabrielle Giffords.

El Tour de Tucson began in 1983 with just a few dozen riders. In the past several years, as many as 10,000 riders have participated in this event, held each year on the third Saturday in November. This year, a record number of riders dominated the streets of Tucson (an estimated 11,000) in different distance races.

“It’s not necessarily about finishing first, and El Tour de Tucson is not necessarily a race,” Little said. “Being part of the Road Warriors is about having fun. All of the training that prepares us for El Tour really is effective. We hope to get even more students and faculty members involved next year.”

Sponsor Ernesto Somoza also adamantly encourages students to join the Road Warriors Club if they are looking for something to do after school that’s a little bit different than just joining a sports team.

“Road Warrior members have the opportunity to meet other bicyclists in the community. Tucson is truly a bicycle-loving and bicycle-friendly city,” Somoza said.

He added that earlier this month, the club had a new member drive that added nine new cyclists who did not participate earlier this semester. These students will continue to participate in monthly rides until the end of the school year. Rides, which will last about five miles, will beheld on the first Thursday of each month from 3:45 until 5:30 p.m. No prior experience is required, Somoza said.

Somoza said that bicycling has been very therapeutic and allows his mind to rest, and he would like others to discover the mental and physical benefits of bicycling. “If I’m really stressed out, I just go hiking or biking,” he said. “This helps me take my mind off of the chaos in this world.”