Monthly Archives: November 2015

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By Alyssa Matheson

One group’s experiment. The ‘empty’ petri dish at the top has bacteria without the glowing gene.

It’s not every day that students get the chance to become genetic engineers; however, on November 4th, two grade twelve biology classes travelled to the Ontario Science Centre to do just that.


The students split into two groups; the first explored the science centre before going to the lab, while the other got right down to business. After suiting up in lab coats, goggles, and gloves, the students followed precise instructions to mix the plasmids (small loops of DNA) from jellyfish into cells from a colony of bacteria.


Because the DNA was taken from a bioluminescent jellyfish, the process resulted in glowing bacteria! Cathleen McRitchie, a student in Mr. Cates’ biology class, said, “The lab was an amazing experience, and I’m so glad we had an opportunity to try a field of science that we can’t really test in the labs at school.”


Although many may say that biology is “the easiest science,” genetic engineering shows that it is also one of the coolest.


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By: Catiyana Adam

Students take part in CK’s first annual March of Silence, broadcasting the issues they care about to the school.

On Friday, November 20th, well over a hundred CKSS students stopped speaking to stand in silent solidarity with the millions around the world who lack a voice. Dubbing themselves the ‘soldiers of silence,’ each student pledged to raise a minimum of $10 to remain quiet for the entire day. We Are Silent, Free the Children’s annual campaign, seeks to raise awareness about human rights issues by empowering every participant to make a statement…without speaking a word.


Each student signs up for the campaign by identifying an issue that touches them especially. The results were diverse, with choices spanning the refugee crisis in Syria and Europe to the mental health issues right here at home. The money raised by the students went towards the Food Safety and Agriculture Pillar in Gufubao, China.


It was one of the school’s most successful years, with Craig Kielburger’s visit the day before inspiring many to sign up the day of. This year’s We Are Silent also marked the beginning of a new CK custom. With music pulsing through the hallways, the stage was set for the powerful “March of Silence” to begin. This unique school-wide event allowed those participating in We Are Silent to put their issues on display for every class to see. YIA Minister, Tanzeela Rehman, described the March as a ‘powerful way to make your message known.’


While We Are Silent was a success, it was also a challenge for its participants. With the goal to remain completely silent for the entirety of the day, many found it a struggle to make it through even a few periods. “I had to break it at lunch,” said one student, “I’m just too social!” For those who managed to make it through the whole day, the result was both satisfying and rewarding. One student said, “I think there’s a certain sense of community when you lock eyes in the hall with someone else who’s silent. You read what they’re passionate and for many of them, it means displaying their heart on their sleeves – literally. That takes an incredible amount of courage, and so you all have a mutual feeling of respect for each other; you’re a team, an army, and you’re standing up for what you believe in.”

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By: Zainab Syed

On November 4th, the DECA team travelled with Mrs. Hill to the Hamilton Convention Centre to compete in the DECA regionals. The CKSS team competed against local schools including Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School, White Oaks Secondary School, Milton District High School, and Bishop Redding Catholic Secondary School. Verdah Ansari, Diljot Jawanda, and Zainab Khan are all members of the DECA team who took time to answer a few questions about their experience for the Spectator.


As with any other competition, the team members found themselves incredibly exhausted by the end, which is understandable considering they started the day at five in the morning. The nerve wracking feeling of trying to impress the serious, stone-faced judges and future employers is truly a tough experience. Verdah describes this sensation quite insightfully, “Many students would agree with this: the wait before being called into your competition is definitely one of the worst feelings ever. Eminem describes it quite well, ‘Palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.’ […] It really is nerve wracking”.


Overall, Verdah, Diljot, and Zainab were all able to take away a few main concepts from the experience. They tell the Spectator that it is important to maintain a professional composure, communicate articulately with others, including your teammates (who could be possible coworkers), judges (who could be possible bosses or CEOs), and competitors (who could be your rival company). Zainab said,“From this experience, I learned how to maintain composure in pressuring scenarios. Verdah Ansari and I were competing in the topic of Sports and Entertainment Marketing. We were brought into a room, along with about 40 students. who were also competing with us during that time frame. We received a case study that we had to analyze, as well as answer questions, all in 30 minutes. Those 30 mins passed by like a blink of an eye, and suddenly we were presenting to a judge”.


Diljot describes the day as a chance to compete with, and thus better understand, people who take interest in the same ideas and passions as him. He believes understanding how others think and feel is fundamental to humanity: “We [had] the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals, put our communication and decision making skills to the test with the judges, and get to know our DECA chapter a lot better,” he said.


The day was filled with chaos and anxiety for the DECA team, yet somehow they still managed to to laugh, communicate, eat delicious food , make some fond or maybe not-so-fond memories, and even win some CK recognition. Our school’s DECA Team took away seven awards from this day. This is truly an accomplishment that all DECA members agree wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of Ms. Hill, Mr. Riggs, and Ms. Park. Great work, and congratulations to you all!

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By: Nathan MacKinnon

The month of November is the launching pad for many big budget films; I guess the light snow disengages something deep in the brain. Feeling the cold winter air awakens the idea of snuggling up and watching fiery heroes save the day, and the release of the final chapter in the Hunger Games Chronicles is no different. The first of an array of films to come with big budgets and a bigger appeal, the classic dystopian theme is present in The Hunger Games Chronicles. Katniss Everdeen is pitted against a tyrannical regime bent on crushing the little guy. In spite of this, a dystopian look on the world can become blanche, boring and dead. Rarely is something new implanted into these big budget dystopian films; they focus more on level of destruction than the technical design.  


Since The Hunger Games Chronicles is ending, I wish to review a different dystopian tale; one that does not simply shoot to impress, but shoots to feel. I refer to Alfonso Cuaron’s 2006 film, Children of Men; a dystopian movie that is something entirely different. Set in the near future, the world encounters a difficult issue; all the women on the planet have become infertile. Population numbers begin to sink, and humans begin to look into themselves and see the end of civilization. One man who feels these sentiments is Theo Faron (Clive Owen). Once an activist against overpowering governments, Theo finds himself looking at the end of the world. However, Theo is given a sliver of hope, a way out of the slow progression towards extinction; he finds one woman, Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey).  This one woman is pregnant.


She is also a refugee, which doesn’t bode well. The government has a strict no refugee policy, anyone found without proper documentation is thrown into a camp. This is where we see a wonderful dystopian themes slide in. Theo and Kee run for their lives against the government and enemies alike. Alfonso Cuaron, the director, does an immaculate job with this film.  He is able to juxtapose a dystopian and dying culture, something always present in apocalyptic flicks, with the pure beauty of human perseverance and hope. Opera ballads creep in at specific times, hinting that there’s hope within man’s destruction. Mr. Cuaron was able to elicit an amazing performance out of Clive Owen as well. One of my personal favourites, Mr. Owen, plays smoothly and elegantly a man who feels overwhelming sadness and outrageous belief in dire times. It’s easy for an actor to over-play his role in apocalyptic stories like these, often making the character seem whiny or even dull. Clive Owen genuinely expresses himself through his role as Theo, leading to a more personal connection with the film.


No huge explosions or massive battles here, but the cinematography in Children of Men is unheard of. Emmanuel Lubezki is the director of photography, probably one of the greatest of all time, no doubt. His recent work includes Birdman. For those who do not already know, that whole film is shot to feel as if there are no cuts within it at all, completely one shot throughout. Lubezki successfully shoots whole scenes within Children of Men in one swooping shot. These shots are extremely difficult; they include major planning and preparation. However, when they are pulled off, they lead to some of the most famous scenes in history. Alfonso and Emmanuel do more than that, they are able to make the audience members feel as if they are a bug on the wall, a lucky listener to an amazing tale. Within the first 30 minutes, viewers forget where they are and are transported beside Theo and Kee on their voyage to safety. There are scenes which continue a split second after the last word is spoken, allowing the viewer to really understand the reality of the moment. When you actually see people focusing on these details, it can only make you smile. You may not be able to put a word on it right away, and some things you won’t immediately notice, yet when you watch Children of Men, you’ll end the movie feeling different. The way they shot this film, the way they decided to bring a greater reality to dystopian and apocalyptic films, is amazing. This film is justly considered one of the greatest of all time in its genre. Most haven’t seen it in reality, which is a shame, because it’s one you won’t forget afterwards.


Children of Men is important for anyone to watch. Before you run out of your way to watch someone destroy a controlling government in big hero style, stop, turn around, and watch Children of Men. You’ll feel better in the long run. P.S.: Before I get any of the book worms coming to me and stating how much the book is better, I must say the following. Books will always be better – that’s coming from the movie guy too! But, I am reviewing the films and looking how effectively they send their messages across to me. So, don’t hate me, hate the director who destroyed your book. But, back to the point – find time to watch this film because it brings the human aspect to a genre that otherwise forgets the fact that real people have to live with terrible circumstances.

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Catiyana Adam, Staff Writer

Little known fact: this summer, Milton’s food bank ran out of food. Completely. That meant that the hundreds of Milton residents relying on the Salvation Army for food had to go hungry yet another day. The week of Halloween, students at Craig Kielburger Secondary School kicked off their annual We Scare Hunger food drive to help make sure that never happens again.

We Scare Hunger is a Free the Children-based initiative that empowers youth to make change through the collection of items for their local food bank. It’s an important campaign because it allows students to benefit their own community, rather than one thousands of miles away. “It kills me to know how eas[il]y we take advantage of simple things such as bread,” writes one student, “when there are families in our own backyard, worrying about where their next meal is coming from.”

This year, the focus wasn’t just on foods, but on personal care products, something the Salvation Army has a serious lack of. Items like shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, and toothpaste were high on the list, as were juice boxes, cookies, hot and cold cereals, and kid-friendly snacks.

We Scare Hunger was organized by the Youth in Action team, but headed by two students with the help of their ‘We Scare Hunger Action Team’. The campaign ran in-school from Monday, October 26th, to Friday, October 30th. Students from every class were asked to bring in non-perishable items to their first-period classes, which were counted and recorded by the teacher. The food has yet to be counted, but the class that raises the most food will be rewarded a hot and delicious breakfast prepared by the food school. Students even had the option of bringing their donations to the Star Wars night on October 30th, or receiving a discount on their ticket to the Hallowe’en dance if they brought in five non-perishable items.

An important portion of the We Scare Hunger initiative took place on Halloween night. Weaving their way through groups of costumed children, members of Youth in Action went door-to-door collecting donations from their neighbours. Community members were informed in advance of the food drive, and many were prepared with shopping bags of food for the groups. Residents who were not slotted for community collection drove to the school and dropped off their contributions in person.The Youth in Action Team thanks everyone for their help. Any further donations can be made to the Salvation Army, Khi Community, Milton.

“We Scare Hunger reminds everyone that making a difference doesn’t always have to mean helping someone in another country,” remarks Rabeeyah Ahmed, a member of Youth in Action. “It is important to know that change starts in our local communities, and I think that’s very powerful.”


A tally of the items collected is still in process, but it is sure to be one of the most successful years yet. The food and toiletries amassed by CKSS should ensure that many families no longer have to go without. The campaign has benefits beyond simply helping those in need, however, argues Tania McPhee, one of the staff advisors of Youth in Action.  “It teaches [our students] about interconnectedness and how important it is to give back to our community. As a teacher, I am inspired by the leadership of my students, [and] by their power to be true agents of change in their own community.”


The students have something to say about fighting poverty in their own communities, too. “Many find themselves scared or ashamed about living in poverty or on the poverty line, leaving this issue not just unheard of, but completely voiceless,” articulates YIA member, Zainab Syed. “The anonymity of this campaign’s allocations allows us to strive to end poverty, while creating a sense of community and solidarity in the process.” Rishimaa Bhardwaj, who also participated in the initiative, writes, “We Scare Hunger campaign is a great opportunity to help families all over the world who don’t have food… This small change can make a huge difference.”
The students in Youth in Action have put in hours of work, creating posters, dropping flyers, and giving up lunches to prepare for the event, but it’s been worth it. Last year, CKSS raised over 2400 items and this year, they’re shooting for even more. “I believe that our school will reach ou[r] goal [of] 3000 non perishable[s] this year,” exclaims Mirka Josifosky, another Youth in Action member who’s been a part of the campaign since she joined Youth in Action. Whether or not we exceeds that goal, the hard work and dedication that was put forth is a testament to the character of the students here at CKSS. As Ms. McPhee put it the best, “I’m so proud of [us] all.”  

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Zainab Syed, Staff Writer

DECA Ontario is a nonprofit organization striving to aid youth in bettering their business and leadership skills, as well as innovating ideas that directly influence entrepreneurship, finance, hospitality, and marketing related jobs and workplaces. Where is such a sophisticatedly organized co-curricular found? Well, right here, at CKSS. Our very own CKSS DECA Team is working to compete in the DECA regionals this year. When asked for a little perspective, Deevain Bedi (President of CKSS DECA) and Eman Faisal, a member, had quite a lot of input to provide.

As adolescents, it’s only natural to deem the world superficial and observe the perfunctoriness of the everyday. Despite this, both Eman and Deevain have an optimistic and enlightened view on what DECA can offer the teen mind. When asked what qualities DECA can establish in a young person, both Eman and Deevain stressed the importance of communication, creativity and flexibility. These three qualities are not just essential to business, but also to our daily lives. However, the most crucial characteristic to have in you, no matter what you are passionate about, is inspiration. Take it from Deevain, whose role model is Elon Musk because of his drive towards excellence and passion for environmental sustainability, or Eman, whose role model is Oprah Winfrey because of her exceptional success in brand developmentation and countless list of achievements.

Often we find ourselves saying, “Watch out! We may have the new Steve Jobs in this classroom!”,“We may have another Picasso sitting amongst us!” “We may have a Shakespeare just dying to write another story fixated on death.” Youth, whether we be interested in business, art, writing, music, teaching, engineering, anything at all, have the potential to be more than those  before us because we live in an age where we are able to correct past mistakes. Deevain plans on establishing a renewable, sustainable energy source that will eradicate toxic and destructive congestors, thus maximizing the use of green energy. Though these ideas may just seem like hopeful words, the implications of these concepts are… revolutionary. So CKSS, what do you plan to enlighten?

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Over the past couple of weeks Youth in Action has been preparing for a monumental election. This vote will determine which village they adopt through Free the Children’s, Adopt a Village program. YIA previously adopted the village of Asemkow, in Ghana, and raised $10,000 throughout the year to support the cause. After raising this money for Ghana, YIA has to choose a new village to adopt, and to make this decision the club split into smaller groups to represent each candidate country, Ecuador, India, and China. Over the course of three weeks, planning was in full swing to raise awareness for the issues that are present in each village. In the last week all three groups sought to raise awareness and showcase their country to gain support from the CKSS student body. Ecuador set up an elaborate booth, complete with a 3 fold board and rice krispy squares. China displayed a colourful banner in the atrium and handed out cupcakes, and India held a henna booth, complete with traditional music. After a week of campaigning, the day of the vote finally arrived, ballots were given to every first period class along with a video discussing which pillar YIA was going to support in each country. After a whole week’s wait, they have announced that China won! The proceeds from all of Youth in Action’s fundraisers will go to Gufubao, China! Congratulations to the China team, and both Ecuador, and India for their commitment and effort. Hopefully every student has enjoyed the week long festivities and learned something new!

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    As the 2015-2016 editors of Spartan Spectator, we are pleased to present this year’s first edition of Craig Kielburger Secondary School’s very own newspaper! Extremely excited about our talented team of new writers, we look forward to working together to bring you a creative and dimensional platform for school, community, and global events. Along with our reliable staff advisors, we hope to engage our readers with more than just a portal for school updates. We hope that our newspaper gives our writers the ability to present a more in-depth and creative analysis on events that concern our student body.


    Our newspaper functions on the fundamental belief that students and staff should feel integrated and part of a closely knit community within our school; we hope to make our newspaper the tool to achieve this belief. Last year, the Spectator successfully connected CK students to events occurring in their community and made sure they were not restricted to the clubs and events they were a part of. This year, we hope to continue that legacy and make sure everyone experiences the important events in our school on a wide range.


    We have many innovative ideas to make this year’s newspaper a huge success, but this cannot be achieved without an incredible team of writers that make up the very community we would like to project onto the school. Our writers come from varying interests and backgrounds in writing, each with his or her own set of skills that they bring to the table at every meeting. And so, without further ado, we would like to give you the opportunity to meet with our writers, all of whom will work hard to bring you another great year of the Spectator:


    • Aysha Ansar & Deevain Bedi – Editors in Chief
    • Maryam Usmani – Current Events Coordinator
    • Ms. Bullard, Ms. Burnett & Mr. Featherstone – Staff Advisors
    • Safeyyah Raji – Web and Print Designer
    • Bhavani Narayanan – Social Media Coordinator
    • Shalini Mohan & Shivaneiya Siva – Photographer
    • Nathan MacKinnon & Amrita Lally – Sports Writers
    • Catiyana Adam & Alina Yusufzai & Zainab Syed – Current Events Writers
    • Jamie Li & Reilly Knowles – Arts and Culture Writers
    • Alyssa Matheson – Creative Writing
    • Grace Zhu & Maryam Asif & Ahmed Naji – Contributing Writers

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    Maryam Asif, Staff Writer

    On Thursday, November 5 2015, Coast to Coast is bringing Inside Ride to Craig Kielburger Secondary School. Participate in fundraising money to help improve the survival rate and the quality of life of children and their families impacted by cancer.

    Cancer is the leading cause of non-accidental death in children in Canada and the treatment and cure is a 24/7 process, the effects of which can smother childhood or teen years as well as influence families lives. Coast to Coast presents Inside Ride, where students in groups of six ride stationary bikes for 1 hour and 45 minutes, dividing the time into 10 minutes per rider. Members must raise a minimum of $300, $50 each, to be eligible in participating in this activity. Also all donations,100%, proceed to helping this cause.

    Coast to Coast has many ambassadors, and Jocelyn Lamont, part of Candlelighters Ottawa, explained why we ride; “The fundraising gives us the means to help our families in real, tangible ways. Together we’re making a difference in the lives of children with cancer! Thanks for keeping our kids smiling!!” Jocelyn conveys how much the Inside Ride fundraiser has helped over the years.

    Mrs. Ronan is the supervisor who is organizing the Inside Ride at CKSS, and she expressed last year’s success; “It was a lot of fun! There were 15-16 teams and we raised $6000! All in all, it was a blast!” Mrs. Ronon has high hopes that this year will be even greater.

    Compete and participate in the Inside Ride, and help reach the goal of raising $8000. The requirements to take part in the Inside Ride are, pick up a TEAM PACKAGE, create a team and theme, register online at, fundraise at least $50 per person, and hand in your TEAM PACKAGE before the event day. Come and engage in this fun, safe, team-based, physical activity that promotes helping children with cancer and their families.

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    Nathan Mackinnon, Staff Writer

    Hard work is the great equalizer. No matter what one chooses to pursue, hard work will always outshine talent. It may sound cliché to some, irrelevant to others, but such ideals are praised around the world everyday. It isn’t difficult to find an example of someone putting 100% into something they love, look no further than the football field behind CKSS. Monday through Friday, down on that field, 30+ brothers we’ll be seen working their hardest, together.Yes, the Senior Boys Football Team practices every single day for 3 plus hours, rain or shine. Many times going past the point of exhaustion, the Senior Boys Football team worked, when most would have quit. Even with a stern work ethic, the football team had not found their first team win. Yet, after every gruelling loss, that same football team could be found, working their very hardest to get better, and did this until they could not be beaten. On Friday, October the 23rd, at approximately 5:30pm, such hard work finally paid off.


    The monkey clinging to the backs of coaches and players alike was thrown further than any football last Friday when the Senior Boys Football Team won their first ever game. After coming up short in 3 straight home games, the Spartans’ football team was hungry for a win, but so were their opponents. The Aldershot Lions were also looking for their first win and held home field advantage. When both teams geared up and the pigskin was kicked to start the game, both teams went in with everything they had. The players ran faster and hit harder on both sides. Points were going to come at a premium, that was sure from the very first drive. When the dust settled, the helmets ripped off and the score board cleared, the CKSS Spartans were on top 7-2. An odd score, but a win none the less. When the final whistle was blown, many Spartans teammates didn’t know how to act. Some jumped with joy, others hugged with wide smiles. Some of the seniors that had felt success two years earlier, simply took the moment in, speechless.


    Huddling around their coaching staff at the end of the game, every player and coach reflected on why they had just won. The collective group looked at each other and agreed that hard work had paved the way for their success. One player stating, “We sweat, bled and puked for this moment right here. When every other team is taking a break or not working to their best abilities, we did. We won today because we simply worked harder, and wanted it more than the other team”. It should be celebrated, the first win for a team that’s worked so hard, yet everyone was reiterating the point, “Next play”. It is a mentality demonstrating that no matter what, a win or loss, the past is in the past and one must look to their next opportunity. That is why 3 days later, on that same football field behind CKSS, anyone can find the Spartans’ Football Team working their absolute hardest.


    The Senior Boys Football Team is gearing up for their next game now, an away game against a fierce rival, Lester B. Pearson. A huge thanks goes to the coaches, even though they’ll say it’s the players that deserve the praise. Coach Hannaford, Nelson, Burke and Forsyth all deserve huge praise for taking teenage boys and turning them into disciplined men. Despite the cliché, hard work can take anyone to new heights. Ask any football player and they’ll agree, Hard work will always pay off.