Belton Tiger Journalism Camp is back with more articles to read

by / 0 Comments / 109 View / July 2, 2017

By Kierra Pixler, Managing Editor

The following articles are continued from our June 8 edition:

Bermuda triangle and its crystal pyramid
By Caleb, who attends SBMS and will join the swim team in the fall

The legend of the Bermuda triangle has been around for many years- like stories of strange disappearances from planes and boats. But new discoveries may provide a new theory for why this happens.
After a storm stirred up the sand under water in the Bahamas, a team of explorers including Dr. Ray Brown and other scientists decided to try and see what was under the sand. What they found was ruins of an ancient yet advanced city.
The most amazing part of the find was a gigantic crystal pyramid. The pyramid had two big holes in it that allowed water to filter through extremely fast causing waves. Inside the pyramid was a room was a spire hanging down from the middle of the room. Under the spire was a pedestal with two brass hands holding a crystal orb. The crystal was loose so they took it back with them. The crystal appeared to repel a metal rod when put near it. But after the rod was placed in the crystals magnetic field the rod became weightless and started to fly. Could this city have caused the city to sink due to misuse of its power? Could the sunken city be Atlantis with its advanced architecture and magic crystal?
Although these claims are fun to think about, they haven’t actually been proven definitively. However, one thing remains true – people continue to be fascinated by the seemingly strange reputation surrounding the Bermuda Triangle.

Belton Rocks encourages residents to create and share art
By Rachel Oaks, going to New Tech, and will be on the Magic Belles dance team this fall

Imagine walking along Nolan Creek and finding a beautiful colorful rock that looks as if someone had really put their heart into making it. On the back of the rock, you read the words “#beltonrocks,” and possibly “re-hide me,” or “keep me.”
If you have seen any colorful rocks around Belton lately, you have stumbled upon a new tradition in our small town. According to the Belton Rocks Facebook page, the goal of the painted rocks is to brighten people’s day and bring art and painting to the lives of Belton citizens.
The concept is simple. People find and paint rocks and hide them around Belton. Some local businesses, like Flamingo Grove, have recently hidden rocks and offered discounts to those who have found the lucky rock.
Brightly colored rocks can brighten people’s day, and you may not even know them. Though we may not know everyone from our small town, we can all be connected by these inexpensive, whimsical art pieces. So grab a paintbrush, some paint, and some rocks with lots of potential and put your heart into your art.

Tennis? We have that?
By: Ezekiel Trahan, grade 8 tennis player at South Belton Middle School

Many middle school tennis players feel that they are not being recognized for their talents in the program. South Belton Middle School student Caleb Bovell says, “The only reason that I know that the tennis program exists in our school is because I have friends in the tennis program. I probably would not be aware of the class if I didn’t have friends in it.” This is obviously a problem as the students in the tennis program want to be recognized for their hard work in matches just as much as football and volleyball players.
Tennis players wake up early in the morning and head to tennis practice. They also show real dedication to the program and deserve to be recognized more frequently and consistently. In order to recognize tennis players, all that is needed is to be featured more prominently on the announcements; for example, feature the star player of matches.
There are many fun and supportive activities such as the tennis-a-thon.
The tennis-a-thon is a fundraising program where middle school players raise money for a high school player then go and spend the night at the high school tennis courts. This raises money for high school tennis and helps buy new things.
More coverage could mean more participation which would result in an increase in the popularity of the tennis program at South Belton Middle School.


Sticks and stones may break bones but bones shatter evolution theory
By Elliott Lehman,
sixth grader

According to on June, 7 2017 something uncommon was unearthed. In Morocco -a country in Africa – a group of archaeologists found new bones. These bones belong to the genus homo sapiens. They hold the record for the oldest homo sapien bones ever found. They date back 300,000 years. The previous bones that held the title were found at a site called Omo-Kibish and dated back 195,000 years. According to the most recent homo sapien bones had similar faces to modern humans. says that archaeologists that worked at the site also found tools and animal skeletons. The tools dated back about 40,000 years. This could mean others lived there or thought it was a sacred place. They could have used it for sacrifices, workplaces, or hunting grounds.
This disproves the theory that we evolved from a single cradle in east Asia. says scientists and archaeologists think that our species started in the African continent and as the world changed and homo sapiens evolved we slowly moved off the continent and spread out through the world. This shatters all of our previous thoughts about human history and evolution of our species.

Global warming stops now
By Chinedu Ogwudu

Ice caps. Greenhouse effect. The ozone layer. If we don’t stop wasting materials and managing the carbon layer of the earth, we could end up like Venus, our twin planet, with temperatures that are about 860 degrees Fahrenheit, acid rains, and pressure so strong it can crush you. That might be Earth in the future.
Cars, trucks, planes are taking over how we used to travel. Bikes, scooters, walking, skateboards, anything that doesn’t need oil or gasoline is much healthier and more energy-efficient for us and the Earth. If anything, we should have vehicles that don’t use gasoline. Solar energy could be efficient. The cars could recharge themselves in the sun, use them when they need to, and charge them when they’re done. Other renewable resources could be useful like geothermal energy, biomass, wind energy, and hydroelectric could work, but will cost a lot of money. Electric cars are the most efficient types. According to, there are over 540,000 electric cars on the roads today. That lowers the chances of the greenhouse effect.
Trees are also important to stop global warming. Trees are being cut down in rain forests that contain about 80% of the world’s trees. Most of what we use are made from trees. Paper, cardboard, shelves, corks, etc. But too many trees are being cut down, and a lot of creatures are losing their homes and some creatures are dwindling. Only another reason we should lower the amount of trees we cut.
According to, the greenhouse effect started to rise after the Industrial Revolution. Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, humans have increasingly been contributing unnatural sources of greenhouse gases into the system, causing the system to become unbalanced. The Earth maintains a habitable temperature due to the greenhouse effect, which allows heat from the sun to penetrate our atmosphere, where it is absorbed by the Earth’s surface or radiated out and reflected back to Earth by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Without it, the earth would be a cold and hostile planet, and would most likely be uninhabitable.
So, greenhouse effect is good, but not too much of it. If you want to live to see Earth in the future, then go and help. Turning off lights in empty rooms and turning off faucets in your bathroom is a great way to start. So remember, stop global warming.

Pets have feelings too
By Kara Shin, who plays violin, piano, and voice

How do you feel about pets? Do you have a pet? Do you care and love your pet?
Pet abuse is not something a lot of people consider as an issue of concern, but unfortunately some people abuse their pets. According to, about 70% of dogs are abused and 21% of cats are abused. Killing or being cruel to pets has major consequences. Being cruel to a pet carries a fine of up to $4000 or imprisonment up to one year in Texas. Torture, killing, fighting, and other more violent forms of abuse can result in fines of up to $10,000 or even imprisonment from 180 days to two years, says
Pet abuse constitutes anything from leaving your pet in an un-air conditioned car to abandoning your pet. It may be obvious that abandoning pets is bad but leaving your pets in an un-air conditioned car for five minutes can be just as bad. Pets have feeling too.
Pet abuse may not seem important, but I think it is. Every living thing deserves to be in a good family with a lot of love, just like you and me. I want to stop pet abuse so please try to care for your pets correctly with care and love.

Belton needs tennis courts in middle schools
By Axel Hernández, eighth grader on the South Belton tennis team

Belton needs tennis courts in middle schools. Every middle school in every district we’ve been to has tennis courts. They have the advantage of practicing even more than us. Lake Belton and South Belton Middle Schools share the University of Mary Hardin Baylor tennis courts and North Belton practices at the Belton High School tennis courts. The period is about 55 minutes, and we practice about 35 minutes because we have to travel back to the school and get ready for enrichment. If we had tennis courts behind our schools, we would have more time to practice.
It’s not fair that we have tracks and football fields and volleyball courts but we can’t have tennis courts. The other sport teams have the privilege to practice at school and that’s not fair because they get more time to practice and they are more prepared for their opponents.
New tennis courts in our middle schools will cost a good amount of money, but they will pay off later by saving the school district money. If you practice in the afternoon, you either have to go to the BHS tennis courts or go to some other tennis courts. Sometimes the BHS tennis courts are being used by the BHS teams and the UMHB tennis court are always being used. Each Belton Middle School needs their own tennis courts because when we go to the UMHB tennis courts, we have to share them with another school, and we can’t do as much as we would like to do during practice.
According to an estimate based on a search, each tennis court cost could around $22,000; we would need about six. That sounds expensive, but it’s better because we would get more practice and be ready for matches. If they build six tennis courts for every Belton Middle School it would cost about $250,000. Over the years it will pay off. Our schools spend about $20 in gas money on transportation. In about 50 years it will pay off; that may sound like a long time but you end up saving a lot of money in the end. If we choose not to add the tennis courts then we will have to pay about $600 a year for transportation. It takes about 60 days to build a tennis court so the tennis courts would be ready in about 4-5 months to complete. If they do decide to get tennis courts for the middle schools it will make a difference in all the Belton tennis teams.

Save the tigers
By Zora Reyes, eighth grader and very passionate about animals and drawing

Tigers: beautiful, sly, brave, fearless. All of theses things describe a tiger. Tigers are disappearing faster than they should. indicates there were nine subspecies of tigers, but sadly three have become extinct. Tigers are losing their habitat and people are poaching them.
How are tigers losing their habitat; we aren’t even doing anything to them? Are some things people may ask. Well, while people in America may not have a direct impact, others around the world are cutting trees, and destroying forests to build homes.
Also, tigers are at the top of the food chain. If other animal habitats are being destroyed, then the tigers won’t able to survive; they depend on other animals as their food source. They won’t be able to eat and they will starve. The other animals help stabilize the environment. So in all, if the other animals are dying, the tigers, will soon die; the whole food chain will disappear.
Finally, people are poaching them. It’s the principle of why tigers are disappearing. They are sold for their skin, bones, meat, and Asian medicine. Poaching is actually bigger than it seems. Some tigers are actually defenseless, like the cubs. If you kill a mother tiger, then you leave a defenseless cub that cannot fight and protect itself; it will also go hungry.
So in all, Tigers are becoming extinct because of people destroying habitats and people poaching them. Tigers are beautiful creatures and they shouldn’t be killed or hurt because of their looks. So help save the tigers so tigers won’t become extinct and become history. Visit to learn how you can help.

Volunteering middle schoolers
By Hannah Hillard, eighth grader and member of NJHS, student council, AVID and the Diamonds Dance team

You may think middle schoolers have a lot of opportunities and yes, that is true. But one opportunity we would like to have is more volunteering jobs in the community. Many places we go to volunteer require our parents to come with us; however, parents always have other things to do, and it may not be convenient for them to stay with us. With all of the hours we have to get for different clubs, sometimes our parents can’t accompany us to places that require a parent or guardian to be there with us.
In middle school a lot of clubs including Builders Club, National Junior Honor Society, Student Council, AVID among others require students to have five or more volunteer hours. Getting these hours means having the expectation that you will obtain the requisite hours in order to remain active in the club. If you are unable to meet the requirement, you may be put on probation. In some clubs once you have so many strikes, you get kicked out. Which means we need to get these volunteer hours. Many students do want to try to get the volunteer hours, but we have so many barriers that stand in our way.
One of the things that students can volunteer to do without a parent is cleaning up area parks, but who will be there to say that we did this volunteering? Another issue is that new technology has also gotten in the way of students from volunteering at some places. You may be thinking that there are volunteering opportunities in schools and yes there are, but a lot of students want to help out in the community, too. Some places do let students volunteer without a parent but a lot of places don’t. So in my opinion, I think that places that require parents or guardians to have to accompany their student should be more relaxed about having to accompany a student so that we can get our volunteer hours in on time. One solution that businesses and organizations could do to help is to have parents or guardians sign a form indicating consent acknowledging their student is responsible enough to work unsupervised.