SECC hosts 7th annual Adventurer Campout
The 7th annual SECC Adventurer Campout welcomed over 1,400 adventurers, family members, and club leaders for a weekend full of fun and fellowship at Pine Springs Ranch, April 21 to 23, 2023. SECC Club Ministries is blessed to be able to host amazing gatherings like this, and we're already counting down for next year!
La Sierra Academy student recites 1000 digits of pi in annual recitation content
By Israel Carreón Jr
Joseph Nguyen, a 12th grade student, broke a new La Sierra Academy (LSA) record by reciting 1000 digits of pi. LSA holds its annual Pi Recitation Competition with junior and high school brackets. This tradition dates back to 2011. The previous record was held by LSA 2018 alum Ezra Sarmiento with an impressive 370 digit recitation. This year, the judges sieved through 16 pages before finally exhausting the numbers available to count. One thousand digits of pi had been recited.
Nguyen still had 111 memorized digits left in the tank.
What had first started out as an ostensible feat quickly evolved into a history-making moment unfolding before faculty and fellow peers. A crowd of few soon matured into a cheering assembly. Nguyen continued with assiduous focus.
“I tried to block out external conversations, but I couldn’t help but hear the exclaims of ‘How does he know all this?’ and ‘The teachers just flipped another page,’” said Nguyen.
Nguyen began his journey towards memorizing over 1000 digits of pi during Christmas break. He memorized digits in divisions of 10 and subdivisions of 5. Sometimes a pattern of numbers would appear. Patterns facilitated fluid memorization. His goal was to memorize 15 digits per day–totaling to 1325 digits by March 14–Pi Day, the day of the recitation content. “This was my commitment to consistency instead of procrastination.” He took his practice wherever he went.
Nguyen carries no measure of hubris in victory. Quite the contrary, in fact. He demurred at any assertion of being a mathematical sage. “I am no innate genius or math wizard. I only committed myself to consistency and perseverance to achieve this feat.”
Herein lies the true genius of Nguyen's talents–the proclamation not of inherent mathematical aptitude, but of dedication, discipline, and the grit to strive towards the achievement of an ambition. This type of genius is available to us all.
Nguyen no longer chooses to stay sequestered behind a computer screen. Along with picking up new record-breaking hobbies, he has traded the computer games for a table tennis paddle. He’s got a mean serve. He is currently applying to Seventh-Day Adventist universities that offer majors in computer engineering. His shortlist includes Walla Walla University, Union College, and Andrews University. He attributes his decision to pursue this major due to his enjoyment of mathematical thinking, analyzing problems, and crafting solutions. After setting a new LSA record, Nguyen was ready for some actual pie. He settled for lemon meringue.
Loma Linda Academy is launching a Strider Bikes Program which is the first of its kind in the Inland Empire. This program has been made possible due to the generosity of LLA graduate, Alexander Smith (‘04), of Malcolm Smith Motorsports. They recently donated 27 fully assembled Strider Bikes and an instruction bike for Kindergarten PE classes.
The Kindergarten PE classes will enjoy learning how to ride a bike along with many healthy life lessons that come along with it. PE Coaches Rhonda Bonney and Robert Castillo are thrilled with this new addition to the elementary PE program and the kids are excited to get riding.
Students at Laguna Niguel Junior Academy (LNJA) gathered for their first annual Entrepreneurial “Shark Tank” Academic Fair on March 10th. Modeled after the popular TV show, students were tasked with the assignment of coming up with a fresh invention that helps to solve a problem in today’s world. Alongside a class partner, each student came up with a creative concept, researched how to make it, how they would advertise and sell it, and prepared a presentation board along with a prototype to showcase. This was presented to parents, friends, and the community at the “Shark Tank” event held at the school campus on March 10.
The panel of “sharks” was made up of parents and school principal. They judged the presentations. Students entered the room for their presentations to the theme music of the “Shark Tank” show and dressed in their product’s theme or in professional attire. Many of the students in grades 6-8 had google slides or PowerPoint presentations to accompany their dynamic and often humorous presentations. After each presentation, the “sharks” each gave a critique and/or asked a follow-up question to each team presenting.
An invention from the K-2 class was a lunch pail tracker, which was a tracking device that goes inside student lunch pails, backpacks, water bottles, and other items commonly misplaced during a typical school day. One of the student teams from the grades 3-5 class featured a toothpaste dispenser that ensured just the “right amount” of toothpaste was dispensed onto a toothbrush with the slogan, “Clean the teeth that you want to keep!”
A dynamite team from the grades 6-8 class featured a “Firehead,” which was a ski pole that heated up so that the tip of it can melt any ice that is blocking your ski boots from being clipped out of easily due to snow stuck in the part where the poles clip you out. There were impressive product ideas, such as the “Wello,” an eco-friendly hydration tablet (instead of a water bottle) that kept plastic from being thrown in the ocean and harming animals when one is being active and out in nature.
This event was a wonderful time to celebrate the marvelous and innovative minds of young people today. Thank you to the parents and teachers that nurture and support this growth daily. By God’s grace, mercy, and guidance the students of LNJA will prayerfully continue to shine in their minds, hearts, body, and soul. It is their desire to have their talents used for God’s glory and to honor Him.
Students in the Southeastern California Conference were blessed and inspired through two Bible Camps in February and March. After not being able to have either Bible camp last school year, students and staff were thrilled to come together again to grow closer to God and each other.
The Junior High Bible Camp for 7th and 8th graders was held at the Loma Linda University Church on Sabbath afternoon, February 26. Nearly 100 students from around SECC gathered for this powerful time entitled, The Experience. Through speakers and breakout leaders, these middle schoolers were given practical, hands-on guidance for walking with Christ. The focus for this year’s event was on the four spiritual disciplines: Bible study, prayer, service, and sharing faith.
The Junior-Senior Bible Camp was held at Pine Springs Ranch on March 13-15. Around 250 students from across all the Southeastern California Conference Senior Academies as well as three schools from Southern California Conference focused on the theme: “Movement.” Students not only developed a deeper relationship with God, but also grew in their leadership skills. Almost all elements of the program were led by students themselves including drama, worship leading, prayer groups, and facilitating “family groups” of about 15 students.