December 7, 2019

SMHS Mateobotics Gears Up for the Season -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Leap from High School to College Sports -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Mateo Comes up Short: 2019 Little Big Game -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Master of Self-Deprecating Humor -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

How Old is “Too Old” for Trick-or-Treating? -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

We Need to Get Serious About Shootings -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

How Boyan Slat Is Helping Solve The Great Pacific Garbage Patch -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Youtube’s Yankovic turned Chinese TikTok Star: Bart Baker -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

#TeamTrees -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Varsity Football -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

CA Bill Pushes School Start Times Back -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Why the Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Movies to Watch during Halloween -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Bearcats Strike for Climate -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Personal Account On Vaping -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Girls Water Polo Resumes Winning Ways -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Running into the 2019 season -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

How Media Affects The Mind -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Matilda Provides Hope -

Monday, October 14, 2019

SMHS’ Boomwhacker Club

Jessie Jiang and Grace Wang holding boomwhackers.

The xylophone can produce about 40 different pitches; the piano, a whopping 88. The boomwhacker? One. 

A boomwhacker is a hollow plastic tube that produces a sound when hit against a surface. The length of the tube determines the pitch, with longer tubes producing lower pitches. Crucially, this means that each boomwhacker can only make one sound. Combine this with the fact that you can only play one or two boomwhackers at a time, and you have a recipe for monotony. But with several people working together, entire octaves can be spanned –– and, with practice, music can be created.

In San Mateo’s newly formed Boomwhacker Club, a handful of plastic-tube enthusiasts hope to do just that. The club, sponsored by Mr. Thrasher, meets on Thursdays in C114.

Boomwhackers were introduced to SMHS “as a physics demonstration,” explains Mr. Thrasher. “When you bang a boomwhacker against something, air particles are vibrating back and forth … producing what’s known as harmonics.”

The club was created by seniors Grace Wang and Jessie Jiang, who learned about boomwhackers in their AP Physics class. “It kind of started out as a joke last year,” says Jessie, “and then over time, we thought, ‘why don’t we start an actual club?’”

Producing music with nothing but one-note boomwhackers is undeniably difficult. No two musicians follow the same score; each must learn the exact timings of a few notes repeated ad nauseum. But that challenge is precisely what appeals to the Boomwhacker Club. “I feel like a big part of boomwhackers is teamwork, cooperation, and synchronisation,” says Grace. Working with boomwhackers, she says, is an experience unlike anything done with conventional instruments. 

The club hopes to eventually perform at lunch or pep rallies. In the meantime, they can be found practicing in Mr. Thrasher’s room, turning sound into song.

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  • onebearcat

    Cool!!