by C.J. Delaney, staff writer

MAY 2022 — Cords have been used as symbols of achievement and awarded during ceremonies since the 14th century, and are worn around the neck. To showcase various accomplishments, seniors at Bio-Med Science Academy receive cords of recognition upon graduation. There are five senior cords, and it is possible to earn each one of them over the course of a student’s time at the Rootstown campus. 

Civic Engagement Cord

To graduate from Bio-Med, each student must complete a total of 60 community service hours that can be accumulated from the start of their freshman year. The Civic Engagement cord is awarded to those who complete 120 or more hours of community service.

 One of those students is senior Ian Ruehr, who has logged around 183 service hours. 

“My advice [to those who want to earn the Civic Engagement cord] would be to try to find a volunteer staffing position for a camp or retreat. If you can, you can also see if there are any community projects that are looking for volunteers,” said Ruehr. “I was lucky enough to get all of my hours in one week. I staffed a summer camp in June of 2019 that ran from June 8 to June 15. The camp is called National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT), and it is run through the Boy Scouts of America.”

Competition Cord

While Bio-Med might not have a football or soccer team, the school still offers competitive clubs like Science Olympiad or Quiz Bowl, where students can earn the Competition Team cord after two years of membership. 

In Science Olympiad, students prepare to face off against other schools in various science and engineering-related competitions that involve experiments, machines, tests, and more. 

The captain of Science Olympiad, Kelsea Cooper, has competed since her freshman year. 

“If it weren’t for Science Olympiad, I would not have discovered my love for genetics,” said Cooper. “I would encourage others to get this cord because Science Olympiad is kind of like our own little community where we get to be science nerds and have some fun. Yeah, we don’t always place very well at competitions, but we always have fun hanging out as a team and we get to expand our scientific knowledge.”

Club Cord

The club cord is given to those who have been a member of a club for two or more years. The diverse selection of clubs available and the unique experiences offered have been a highlight for senior Zack Kelly. Kelly has been a member of the Esports club for the past three years.

“[My favorite part about Esports has been] playing with different schools,” he said. “[To earn the club cord], just have fun and it’ll be easy.”

National Honor Society Cord

Those who are inducted members of the National Honors Society receive the NHS cord. One of those students is senior Nora Haddon, who was invited to join NHS in her sophomore year and has been a member since. 

For students to get this cord and keep their membership, there are rules that must be followed. 

“To maintain an NHS membership, you needs exceeds mastery in all your classes except one,” said Haddon. “You are expected to attend all chapter meetings. You can have five excused absences and two no shows.”

 If these expectations are not met, the student no longer qualifies for the cord. 

Some may find the idea of being in NHS daunting, but Haddon suggests it’s achievable for every student. Haddon’s advice for those seeking to join is to “work hard in your classes to get good grades, demonstrate good character and leadership skills. Once you’re in NHS, stay an active member of the chapter and participate in chapter activities.” 

According to Haddon, it’s a worthwhile goal to strive for:“Overall, my experience with NHS has been great! I really enjoy volunteering as a group and hosting fun activities and fundraisers for the school and chapter.” 

Honors Diploma Cord

To earn an Honors diploma in the state of Ohio, a student must meet the requirements listed on the Ohio Department of Education’s website for both Academic Honors and STEM Honors. A minimum GPA, ACT/SAT score, and class credits must be met. Students may omit one of the requirements. 

“The hardest requirement, in terms of Bio-Med, was the foreign language,’’ says senior Daniel Zalamea who has earned STEM honors.“In general, the hardest is the ACT. The ACT is also important for both STEM honors and Academic honors. Getting a 27 on the ACT is probably easier than doing an entire extra credit for math.”

Both he and Haddon both highly encourage students to begin working toward an honors diploma in the first half of high school.. 

“If you want honors you gotta be on top of it at the beginning of sophomore year.” said Zalamea, “If you want to start CCP in junior year, which is probably the best way to do it, you should sign up for it during your sophomore year.” Haddon added that “[It’s also really helpful to] go to your counselor and let them know that you want to [earn an honors diploma] so you know what you need to study for and you’re on the right track.”

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