Six Christian Brothers Academy seniors were given an opportunity to showcase their impressive, multi-year scholarly studies during the third annual CBA Scholars Colloquium on Monday evening.
Under the direction of Mr. Jeff Matson, the CBA Scholars Program offers students a unique chance to embark on college-level independent research and thesis development during their upperclassmen years at CBA. Members of the program are free to pursue a thesis they are most interested in, and final presentations are held during the month of March. The top senior projects are selected for the annual Colloquium, which is open to the public.
This year’s members showcased an incredible degree of dedicated research, experimentation, and practical findings. Each senior provided a 20 to 25-minute presentation of their topic, led question-and-answer session, and explained their plans for continued study.
With Associate Principal Sean Nunan as the moderator, Monday evening featured the following five presentations in Henderson Theater.
Lucas Capone – How Marketers Are Capitalizing on Lives Consumed by Technology
Capone focused on the increasingly alarming fact that statistics show people are “addicted” to technology, especially smart phones. The increase in screen time and the dependency of technology has caused marketers to develop new techniques and strategies to adapt, engage, and sell in this new era. Capone touched on “Search Engine Optimization,” the process by maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears on the list of results returned by the search engine. He also spoke on the “Power of the Teenager” in terms of what a teenager will spend time on versus their parents. (College selection: University of St. Andrews, Scotland)
Michael Guarino – Music as Biology and Psychology
Guarino, an accomplished actor and performer himself, focused on how music can be directly related to human behavior and motions, which is reflective of the biological process. He made a note that humans are the only species that can communicate through music and language, which he said are linked. He used examples from television marketing, where upbeat music is linked to selling products, while solemn music is integrated when a company is trying to solicit donations. Guarino also touched on how changing the way a song is played (i.e. faster or slower) can change how it affects the listener. (College selection: Georgetown University)
Garrett Hegel – Producing Colors from Coordination Complexes
Hegel dove into the world of chemistry for his study, focusing on coordination complexes, which occur when certain types of metals are dissolved. These complexes produce colors when you synthesize them. Hegel took iron, a transition metal, and complexed it with different ligands (ions) to produce colors. He then measured the different colors with a spectroscope and used that data to draw conclusions on how coordination complexes changed the overall electronic structure of the complex. With the assistance of the CBA Science Department, he was able to conduct these experiments himself in the CBA chemistry lab. (College selection: Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Michael Paduano – Climate Change: Across the World and in Your Backyard
Paduano took on the frightening thought of climate change, and in particular, how it could affect the Jersey Shore. He noted a few developing factors over the past 100 years, including the warm median temperatures, how poles are warming faster than the equator, the weakening of jet streams causing more storms, and the increase in droughts and floods, among other factors. He referenced the devastation from Hurricane Sandy as a warning sign that it could happen again off the Jersey Shore. Paduano displayed maps of New Jersey towns that could be most vulnerable to increased sea levels, but he also offered potential solutions, including changes in house construction and barriers on beaches and inlets. (College selection: Tulane University)
Jack Coleman and Aidan Broderick – Senior Quotes Podcast
Coleman and Broderick took their love for sports and created a podcast based out of CBA. They discussed the hottest sports topics with different guests each week. Their guests included ESPN’s Tony Reali ’96, MLB pitcher Pat Light ’10, various students, and CBA faculty members Steve Bazaz, Vito Chiaravalloti and Jason Lutz. While an entertaining study to conduct, both students had to produce the podcast from the ground up. They created a “game” out of the podcast, where they gained points for correctly guessing who said each other’s quote. They had to research their topic extensively to be prepared to talk about it for upwards of 10 minutes on air. The students had to advertise the podcast on social media and around school to gain listeners, posting each podcast on both SoundCloud and iTunes. They did a quick live demonstration of a podcast for the audience on Monday night. Both Coleman and Broderick will attend Boston College, where they look to continue their podcast and possibly incorporate real-life advertisements into the show.