When high-school teachers Jane Bauman, Glenn Mangold and Sue Nellis stepped up during morning meeting on April 27, a buzz went through the crowd of high-school students.
Everyone knew they were announcing the winners of the Sophomore Presentations.
The presentations – judged by Bauman, Mangold and Nellis – were held in the Matthews Library, April 25-26.
Rick Barros III, who won third place, did his presentation on the lack of business knowledge in professional sports.
He said he chose this topic because he wanted to learn more about it, and because it might even be relevant in his future.
Barros, who plays on the high-school basketball team, would like to go on to play pro sports.
“With the dreams that I’m currently working towards, this could directly affect me,” Barros said.
“Learning from people’s mistakes and having the knowledge to do better for myself is what motivated me to do this topic.”
After Barros, the second place winner was announced: Sonja Hansen.
“I was very, very, very shocked,” she said.
Hansen, who did her project on selectively breeding dogs, said she was originally planning on doing her project on animal genetics.
“I realized I had way too much information, so I decided to just do dogs,” Hansen said.
“I have two dogs. As I found out more about breeding and the whole dog industry, I got into it more.”
Lastly, Annya Dahmani won first place for her presentation on music copyright law.
“When they were announcing honorable mentions, I was just waiting for them to say my name, but they didn’t,” Dahmani said.
“I got confused because I was wondering how didn’t I get an honorable mention, and then people were looking at me and saying ‘Oh, my god, I think you won!’”
Dahmani presented first, which she said was stressful.
“I was the one who had to raise the bar for the others,” she said.
Dahmani said she was inspired to do her project on music copyright law when she saw a tweet on Twitter about how The Weeknd got sued for copyright infringement.
“I got pretty curious and looked at the article that was embedded in the tweet and read about it,” she said.
“From there I just started looking up random copyright cases and found a lot of really interesting stuff.”
While comments regarding specific presentations are confidential, Bauman said the judges carefully evaluated each aspect of the presentations.
“First, the content must be really interesting, and it helps if the student has a special passion for the topic,” Bauman said.
Additionally, the judges evaluated the students’ speaking – their poise, confidence and clarity.
“We also look at the slides – does the student take advantage of technology, using visuals, sound and film?” Bauman said. “Is the slide concise and interesting?
“We try to find the best balance of all of these requirements.”
Barros said presentations done in other classes, specifically Nellis’s freshman history class, prepared him for this one.
“It helped get me used to presenting in front of people, and also presenting information in an intriguing way,” he said.
The honorable mention winners received a $10 gift card to a store of their choosing: Barnes & Noble, Bath & Body Works, Boston Market, Chipotle, Noah’s, Noodles & Co., Peet’s Coffee or Starbucks.
As for Dahmani’s, Hansen’s and Barros’s prizes?
Dahmani has a choice between a fourth-generation AppleTV, a Fitbit Blaze, 10-inch Kindle Fire, a 16GB iPod Touch, a Sphero 2.0 Programmable Robot, Beats Solo2 Wireless headphones, a Pebble Time Round or a Microsoft Band2 (smartwatches).
Hansen can choose a third-generation AppleTV, a Kindle Paperwhite, a UE Boom (bluetooth speaker), a Roku3 Media Streaming Media Player, Beats Solo2 Wired Headphones or a Fitbit Flex or a Jawbone UP3 (activity tracker).
Barros can pick a 7-inch Kindle Fire, a Jawbone UP2 (fitness tracker), an iPod Shuffle, a UE Roll (waterproof bluetooth speaker), a Roku Streaming Media Stick, Chromecast, a Western Digital 1TB External Hard Drive or a 32GB DUO-LINK USB Flash Drive that connects to computer and iPhone.