History of Oakwood

By: Kyra Richardson, Reporter

February is Black History Month. With Oakwood, a historically black Seventh-day Adventist university, being in such close proximity to ASCTE we are now sharing Oakwood’s History

Oakwood was established on the former Beasley plantation in 1896. Ellen White of the Southern Missionary Society and Charles M. Kinney envisioned Oakwood as an institution to educate African Americans in the southern United States. Sixteen students were in the first class; they enrolled in a curriculum that had paths for various trades and skills. 

It was renamed Oakwood Training School in 1904. Then, by 1907, they were able to grant degrees. Two years later, Oakwood graduated its first class containing five students. In 1917, the institution was again renamed as the Oakwood Junior College and reached its highest enrollment of 100 students. Also in 1917, James I. Beardsley was elected president. By 1927, Oakwood doubled their enrollment numbers. In 1931 after the students’ riot against the university’s white leadership, Oakwood appointed their first black president, Professor J.L. Moran. Later on, in 1944, the university took the name of Oakwood College. 

 Martin Luther King Jr. visited the college in 1962 and inspired the college to hold a commitment to civil rights during the movement. The Oakwood students that participated in protests, sit-ins and other forms of resistance were mostly male. Women were facing oppression during this period and were being actively reinforced into their circumscribed roles.  

Oakwood finally changed their name to Oakwood University, which is the name they use currently, in 2007. At present, the college grants degrees for forty-seven of their academic programs. Their students come from at least forty-two of the states and approximately thirty countries. Another program that was developed in 1952 and continues even now was outreach and education for the incarcerated public of the Madison County Jail. This was created by Mary Inez Booth, who was the chair of the Music Department. 

We thank Oakwood University for their kindness during our new school’s transition process. It is amazing to know that the people here at the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering are part of a community with such a rich history. 

Edited by Seth Birdsong, Jaelyn Longino, and Tanner Wright

Source: http://encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-2500 

COVID-Friendly Activities in Huntsville

By: Kyra Richardson, Reporter

Huntsville is starting to open back up! After the mandated stay-at-home and quarantine order was lifted, many places opened themselves back up to the public, however, with restrictions. Here are some COVID-friendly activities that you can do in Huntsville:

Space and Rocket Center 

The Space and Rocket Center is the perfect place to visit if you love space. They hold a spaceflight collection including the first American satellite, Explorer I, the current models for the SLS and more. The Space and Rocket Center is now open with the requirement of face-masks being worn and social distancing being enforced. Operating hours have been shifted to allow for cleaning and sanitization. 

Huntsville Botanical Garden 

The Huntsville Botanical Garden is an amazing place to spend the afternoon outside. From beautiful flowers to their butterfly house, you will never want to leave. The garden is open for visitors that have reserved a ticket online from their website. Evening programs are also being offered again along with normal garden hours. They require face-coverings to be worn inside and outside when social distancing is not possible. 

Huntsville Museum of Art 

The Huntsville Museum of Art has its own collection of 2,522 works of art not including the traveling exhibitions that they change every year. The Huntsville Museum of Art has re-opened back to its regular operating hours. By visiting their website, you can purchase tickets in advance. The staff is requiring face-masks and social distancing. 

Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment

Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment focuses on the visual arts through working studios, galleries, a theatre, a community garden and performance venues. Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment is open Wednesday through Saturday. Face-coverings are required to enter and staff members are encouraging the public to stay six feet from others. They have also hired cleaning crews to sanitize surfaces and doors throughout the day. 

With Huntsville re-opening in many places, we hope that everyone will continue to stay safe and stay connected. We also advise everyone to research the restrictions businesses have put on visitor entry before going somewhere. Remember to social distance and wear your face-mask! 

Edited By: Seth Birdsong, Jaelyn Longino, Tanner Wright

ASCTE’s Beth Blair is not an Average School Counselor

By: Kyra Richardson, Reporter

ASCTE’s counselor, Beth Blair, is not what you would describe as a typical high school counselor. While a standard school counselor would help with students’ schedules and college applications, Mrs. Blair’s position focuses more on the mental and emotional health aspects of students. 

“Ms. Dee, Dr. Hodges’ assistant has a background as a counselor in a high school and she will take over that piece of [applications, schedules, and testing] as a part of her job… She will focus on college applications, financial aid, and scholarship, and I’ll be focused strictly on the therapy side,” explains Beth Blair. 

Mrs. Blair discusses her background in counseling; “I had a private practice before this for about a year and a half, almost two years. Before that, I did mental health at a mental health center, and I worked there for over a decade. I ran an outpatient program [and] a day-treatment program.”

Mrs. Blair received her undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama in New College. She has an education in psychology, social work, and child development. While at Alabama, she went through the counselor-education program and majored in vocational rehab counseling. 

Beth Blair clarifies why ASCTE chose to bring her in as a counselor specifically for students’ emotional well-being. With being a boarding and higher-performing school, people advised Mr. Massey, President of ASCTE, to have someone to help deal with the mental health facet. She also explains that there are several factors outside of the school, such as COVID-19, that were affecting students cognitively at other schools. 

In conclusion, ASCTE wants to address mental health foremost and make sure that counseling is available to any student that might be struggling. 

“[Remember to] focus on how you are managing stress [and] learn how to manage stress in healthy ways. Also, the self-care piece, part of stress management, is actually taking time to do things that [positively affect] you and your mental health.” 

This is advice for the entire student body of ASCTE from Mrs. Blair. 

Any student at ASCTE can get in contact with Mrs. Blair through email, or even by just pulling her aside during the school day. Students of ASCTE, remember to stay positive and healthy during stressful times! 

Edited By: Seth Birdsong, Jaelyn Longino, Tanner Wright

Upcoming PSAT and NMSQT

By: Kyra Richardson, Reporter

On the 26th of January, the students of ASCTE will be testing their knowledge with the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, otherwise known as the PSAT. The Freshmen will be taking the PSAT 9, while the Sophomores will take the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). The NMSQT is a standardized test that opens students up to scholarship offers based on their scores. 

After interviewing our teachers about their plans to prepare us for the test, this is the feedback we received: 

Mrs. Dugger, ASCTE’s Language Arts and Technical Writing teacher, explained her methods; “We started preparing this week through cold-read passages to correlate with the evidence-based reading portion of the PSAT. We have also started doing mini-lessons to review grammar concepts. These mini-lessons will help more with the evidence-based writing part [of the test]. I have also made sure to explain the format of the test because some students don’t know how the test is composed. All of the teachers have also been helping students with test-taking strategies.”

In preparation for the math portion of the test, Mr. Bohon has discussed his plan moving forward, “We are practicing, mostly reviewing, basic algebra skills using an online website called Odysseyware. There is also the 201 Precalculus class that includes standards that cover most SAT/ACT material.”

Along with in-class preparation, there are plenty of other resources for students to use. There are several different options for PSAT Student Guide textbooks that can be purchased and practice tests that students can take. Another option is enrolling in an online PSAT Prep course. We have provided links below to several online courses, instruction material, and textbooks.




With the upcoming PSATs, we wish all the students good luck and happy prepping! 

Edited by: Seth Birdsong. Tanner Wright, Jaelyn Longino

Ravn X: The Solution to the Digital Divide

By: Addison Hammond, Reporter, and Audrey Oberle, Reporter

       Manci, Yanga. “Ravn X.” Business Tech Africa , 7 Dec. 2020, http://www.businesstechafrica.co.za/technology/aevum-unveils-worlds-biggest-drone-ravn-x/#prettyPhoto. 

On Friday, December 14th, 2020, Aevum, a company based in Huntsville, released the largest drone in the world, the Ravn X. This massive machine is 80 feet long and has a wingspan of 60 feet. Aevum plans to use Ravn X  to make the process of launching satellites cheaper and more efficient. 

They plan to do this by launching small satellites from the drone into space, which greatly reduces the cost to send them into orbit. But for what reason? Aevum aims to increase communication around the world and give internet access to people in rural areas. 

Regarding that, Elon Musk and other entrepreneurs frequently launch large rockets in the hopes of solving the digital divide, the gap between those who can easily access the internet and those who cannot. This will bring great promise and increase jobs in STEM fields.

Also, with this reusable drone, it is possible that the process can be repeated several times daily with fewer resources needed than other systems;  with this, the digital divide becomes less large each launch.

The military is extremely interested in this technology and how it can be applied in defense. Therefore, the military will be working with CEO Jay Skylus to improve communication for U.S Troops that cannot contact each other, which will save lives. The Air Force is also going to be involved with these defensive measures and more, so the Air Force is going to be the host of Ravn X‘s first launch. 

Regarding all of this, the Ravn X will help advance space travel, communication, and defense. This will mark a turning point in more cost-effective, efficient transport into space, and will bring us closer to commercial space travel. We will just have to wait and see where the field advances from here.

Edited by: Seth Birdsong. Tanner Wright, Jaelyn Longino