We had a wonderful Week withOut Walls this year. Many chaperones say that it was the smoothest and most fun in their memories! A big thank you to all of our amazing vendors, wonderful chaperones and incredible trip leaders for all their work to pull of a great trip!
Energy levels were high for the first MS Social of the year. With black and orange and plenty of spooky decorations, students had fun dancing, playing table tennis, watching movies and hanging out with friends. Socials are a great opportunity to build community and have fun. There was also a fun costume competition with winners being a witch, a break dancer and the grand prize to a washing machine!
After so much learning with the Population Project all spring, 8th grade students then shared their learning through a Creative Expression project. Students chose one of the options below in order to present their expertise to a target audience as a way of raising awareness of their topic.
In the last 6 weeks of the year, 8th grade humanities students engaged in writing guild work once a week. It was very open-ended and didn’t receive a grade, however as a whole, the students were highly engaged. All 8th grade students presented their work at the end of May, and it was very impressive. Enjoy these amazing presentations below.
This year, I got the chance to attend the 2015 National MATHCOUNTS Competition that took place in Boston. 224 kids from around the world were invited to this event. I was part of the State Department team, which was composed of me, Rohan from Singapore, Jason from Hong Kong, and Joseph from Taiwan. Mr. Davis from Hong Kong was our coach. I arrived a day early and met Rohan first, and had dinner with him before my teammates arrived. I roomed with Joseph, the 7th grader from Taiwan. Although we were there for four days in total, the math competition part only took one day, and that definitely was not the best part of this trip. We got to explore Boston, like take a tour of Harvard and go to the Science Museum, and ate good food at Quincy Market. But I think that the best part of this trip was meeting all the cool people there and bonding with my team. I got to meet many MATHCOUNTS celebrities like Lou DiGioia and Richard Rusczyk, who most of you probably have no idea who these people are. I also traded state pins with almost all 50 states, plus 6 other teams invited to Nationals. Another awesome thing was all of the swag we got from MATHCOUNTS – a heat sensitive pencil, a hat, shades, a water bottle, earphones, and the most awesome of all- a TI-Nspire CX CAS! As for the actual competition, Kevin Liu from Illinois won the tournament, our team placed 41th out of 56, and individually I placed 174th out of 224. But that’s not what really matters in this tournament. I think that the experience of being in a place where there are 223 other people that share the same passion that you have for math is a life changing experience, that lets you make so many memories.
On Friday, May 29th, we said farewell to many beloved students and faculty at our end-of-year Farewell Assembly. Please look out in the month of June for past due posts from events and celebrations in May! 🙂
Our theme for Earth Day 2015 was: People Need Nature. Students on our Green Team Committee came up with the theme after watching the following video, put out by http://natureisspeaking.org
We kicked off our celebration by listening to our very own Hema Maira, Elementary Indian Studies teacher and Tiger Advocate. Ms. Maira has taught at AES for more than 30 years and is currently the ES Indian Studies teacher. Her first trip to Ranthambore was in 1984. She had not even heard of the place or dreamt about seeing tigers in the wild. Her environmental activities and work started actively and seriously in March, 2010. A dream come true for her is organizing the fifth grade trip to Ranthambore thereby providing such a rich wildlife experience for our students. While her heart seems to beat for tigers, she is passionate about nature and the environment as a whole. She is a birdwatcher, too and LOVES traveling to game reserves more than anything else.
Students worked in Advisory Groups and spent the afternoon involved in two ecology-centered activities.
The first activity involved choosing a topic, investigating the topic to gather some information that would help students to come up with short creative eco-skits that were performed to kindergarten and 2nd grade students. The topics explored were: Water Conservation, Litter and Solid Waste, Recycling, Conserving Energy, E-Trash, Paper Usage Air Pollution.
The skits included the following components:
What is the problem?
Why is it a problem?
Who is responsible for creating this problem?
Do you have a role in this problem?
What are some possible solutions?
How can you be a part of the solution?
In addition to creating eco-skits, students also sorted, decorated, and wrote eco-messages to elementary students. These messages accompanied a Kochia sapling gift.
After presenting the skits, sixth grade students gifted each elementary student a Kochia sapling.
Seventh grade students went on an environmental tour and planted trees. In the environment walk, there were three different strands: food, water and air.
For FOOD, students visited the Compost Station behind the Tennis courts where Ms. Sarabjeet Kaur, the Assistant Facilities Manager spoke. This station has a new digester which is a machine that expedites the composting process. Waste food from the cafeteria is ‘fed’ daily to the machine. It creates compost that is used across the grounds of the school. Also, more traditional composting methods are used for the leaves, grass from the school grounds.
For WATER, students visited the Water Filtration/Sewage Treatment Plant where Mr. Vishal Verma, a supervisor at FMO spoke. First students looked at the school’s water filtration system, which is located under the pool. The water filtration system is an RO filtration system much like what many people have in their homes. The water, provided by the NDMC, is taken through multiple filtration processes to make it clean and drinkable. Secondly, students looked at the Sewage Treatment Plant, which is located in the area between gate 5 and the gym. The STP is a place where the excess water from toilets and sinks is treated. This water, after it has been cleaned, in not drinkable, but can be used to water the plants on campus.
For AIR, students focused on air quality and looked at what AES is doing with Mr. Ashwani, the AES head of security, and Mr. Jeff Smith, a parent and air quality advocate. This station was located in the ESMPR, which is in the Peepal Building. The Peepal building has been a pilot project for AES, and has undergone many changes to improve the air quality in the building. Students learned about some of the changes that have been made that have contributed to the improved air quality in the building, and the new machine that AES has purchased.
Eighth grade students had the opportunity to work with 2 different documentary filmmakers to learn about how to craft an advocacy message by
Telling a story visually
Conveying a strong message in a short period of time
Reaching an Audience
Students then broke up into small groups of 2-3 students each, and they filmed and created an advocacy video or slideshow using the strategies learned about in the larger group presentation. They created final productions that were 20 – 30 second PSAs (public service announcements) that focused on a variety of themes. PAPER: