The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

Kicking the ball down the field, junior Jake Briseno punts to his teammates during their district match on Feb. 9 against Leander. The team battles through the second round to secure a spot in the postseason. The little things we do definitely contribute to the chemistry we have with each other, Briseno said. This year it has been continuing and I think we can go far with how close we are.” Photo by Mai Cachila
Get Your Kicks Up
Penny Moreno, Reporter • February 28, 2024

He looks at the clock and sees...

Setting up for her kick, junior and varsity forward, Meredith Koltz, swings her leg for the goal she is about to score. The varsity team is currently 7-2-1 and plays Buda Hays tonight on the home field at 7:15 p.m. “I think this team is full of amazing individuals who all have the same goal of wanting to compete with the best and play our best soccer,” Koltz said. “I have high expectations for this team and I know with our chemistry and worth ethic we can get just about anything accomplished.” Photo by Caroline Howard
A Prodigy Since Birth
Heidi Williams, Reporter • February 27, 2024

Steam from the players rises up...

Senior Adriana Slack works on her computer in her AP Capstone Research class. Slack’s research project looked into the connection between how K-pop idols and their companies utilize social media accounts to connect with American K-pop fans. “It’s hard to look at two months worth of content on a total of 100 accounts across three social media apps,” Slack said. “I’ve learned that there is a lot of potential for mistakes to be made in the research process. If the variables aren’t clear, or your survey questions are accidentally worded in a guided way, or if the identity of your participants is leaked, it could ruin your research by skewing your data or result in what could be considered an ethical wrongdoing in research.” Photo courtesy of Romy Ford
Searching for an Answer
Kassidy Wilkinson, Reporter • February 27, 2024

The Capstone program involves two...

Senior executive editor Natalie Murray, senior associate editor Lily Cooper and junior designer Ava Eaton all sit in conversation with recent clients. After the completion of the Parks and Trails Foundation logo, representatives visited the T-Wolf Agency to provide thanks for all the work done. “I know how beneficial it is to be able to work with clients,” Murray said. “We had a previous executive editor come back and tell us how good of an opportunity it is to have this agency here especially if you want to go into graphic design after high school. The people she’s in classes with didn’t have any access to the things we do here and theres only one other LISD school that has a class like this. It’s just a really good opportunity to get real world experience especially when we get to work with people outside the school. It’s just so real to get that experience with actual clientele and how things really work in the industry.”
Photo by Paige Hert
Sketch to Screen
Jane Yermakov, Reporter • February 23, 2024

Walking through the halls, climbing...

Posing with the gold ball trophy, the varsity girls basketball team takes a team photo after beating Liberty Hill 42-37 in round three of the playoffs. The team will face Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial High School on Friday at 5:30 p.m in San Antonio. “I’m feeling so excited [to move on in the playoffs],” senior guard Avery Allmer said. “I feel like this is a big moral boost because we’ve lost a lot of close games and I feel like this is just a really big win for us.” Photo by Alyssa Fox
Third Time's a Charm
Alyssa Fox, Reporter • February 21, 2024

The varsity girls basketball team...

Carefully balancing one piece of paper over another, junior Ryder Wilkinson builds a paper tower with his team at the Architecture Club’s second meeting. Ryder said he was interested in architecture in the past, but the Architecture Club allowed him to get back into it and learn new things. “I [won] one of the competitions, the first one that we had,” Wilkinson said. “[In the second competition] we lost [because] we could not build a tall enough tower that could withstand the blow of a powerful fan, [but] I still had fun because I was with my friends.”
Building A Legacy
Kaydence Wilkinson, Reporter • February 21, 2024

After hours of sketching, days...

How to make the sun shine

Inside the luminescent nebulae of deep space, molecular clouds bunch together more and more until they become so dense that a gravity well is born, and the mass of dust and elements collapses into a newborn star.  This is the beginning of one of the greatest dynamos in the cosmos, a ball of plasma and light that pumps out phenomenal amounts of energy over the course of billions of years.  Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) — a government operated lab in California — have been attempting to recreate this process of controlled inertial confinement fusion, effectively creating a star in hopes of solving the world’s energy crises, since June 2009.  In Livermore, California, home of LLNL and its National Ignition Facility, tests are ongoing.

The idea of creating a star here on Earth obviously raises a few eyebrows, and undoubtedly conjures up images of Star Trek reruns, but the science of this ambitious endeavor are quite real.  So what’s the fact behind this seemingly fictional experiment?

Using the National Ignition Facility (NIF) — one of the world’s largest lasers, essentially a factory of channels and complex mirrors for directing concentrated beams of light — 192 separate laser beams, which initially total up to one mega-joule of energy, are thrown through the channels and tubes, amplifying more and more as they travel.  After approximately a mile, all 192 beams of light converge on one single nuclear pile, a pile no bigger than a droplet of water.  This nuclear pile is a heterozygous mix of deuterium and tritium — two hydrogen isotopes that can, conveniently, be found in seawater — encased in a small, gold capsule for safe containment.  When all 192 beams from the facility converge on the gold-encased capsule of nuclear material, the nuclei of the contained tritium and deuterium are fused together with tremendous heat and pressure, heating the material to 100 million degrees Celsius and collapsing it under 100 million times the pressure of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Naturally, with this sort of seemingly chaotic and mindless atomic fusion, people begin to fear that those “nut-case” scientists are going to destroy our Earth through some miscalculation or cliché world domination plot — comparable to the fear that was conjured up by CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, which some supposed would create a micro-singularity significant enough to suck in the entire planet.  However, just like the fear surrounding CERN’s LHC, fear of this project is unprecedented.  Though this project may sound like an exhibition of awesome power, the truth of the matter is that the results of Livermore Lab’s “Titan Laser” experiments can be greatly exaggerated.  In actuality, the “star” will be unfathomably small — about five microns, which is smaller than even the width of a strand of hair — and it will only last for 200 trillionths of a second if it’s produced at all. Livermore may be cooking up stars, but it is highly unlikely that these stars will be cooking up us.

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In early 2010 the experiments at Livermore Lab’s NIF began to catch the public’s eye (and fear).  The goal was to reach a successful ignition by summertime that year — however, this was not to be.  In fact, the first successful ignition LLNL reported wasn’t until October of that year.  Currently, LLNL plans to finish all research by 2012.

Although there have been many setbacks, like the NIF ending its construction five years behind schedule, or delaying ignition through summer 2010, workers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and advocates of this “starry-eyed” project that come from outside the government facility, are highly confident that the creation of a star is not only capable, but is the solution to all the world’s energy problems, creating a virtually limitless power source.  LLNL may not exactly be ahead of schedule, but it seems that science is beginning to quickly outrun science fiction.

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The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School
How to make the sun shine