by Donna Chaback
Allendale Columbia School teams brought home three awards at the VEX IQ Robotics Qualifier, and at least two teams, VEX Chargers and MAGMAS, will be going on to the State Championships.
The Qualifier was held Saturday, January 26th, at the Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) in Syracuse. A total of 38 VEX IQ Robotics teams of students in Grades 4-8 participated. AC’s teams were all composed of 5th-graders. The State VEX IQ Championship will be held at the MOST on March 9th. AC has had teams go on to the World Championships in each of the last two years, with last year’s team winning one of the Sportsmanship awards. (more…)
Posted in: Authentic Learning, Centers for Impact, Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Invent, Lower School
Join us for a special viewing of SCIENCE FAIR by National Geographic
Hailed by critics as “infectious and exuberant” and “the funniest movie of the year,” National Geographic Documentary Films’ SCIENCE FAIR follows nine high school students from around the globe as they navigate rivalries, setbacks and, of course, hormones, on their journey to compete at the International Science and Engineering Fair. As 1,700 of the smartest, quirkiest teens from 78 different countries face off, only one will be named Best in Fair. SCIENCE FAIR won the audience award at Sundance and SXSW.
This event has already occurred. To watch the documentary on your own, please check Amazon or Netflix.
Watch the trailer and see for yourself why science is so cool.
Allendale Columbia School presents this event as part of our commitment to exposing students and the Rochester community to STEM and entrepreneurship opportunities. Learn more about the AC Invent Center for STEM and Innovation and the AC Center for Entrepreneurship.
Posted in: Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Invent, Lower School, Middle School, Upper School
By Maya Crosby
It’s midterm week at Allendale Columbia School, but around here you will see a different kind of test. End-of-semester exams measure Upper School science students’ understanding of concepts through more authentic, challenge-based assessments.
In Analytical Chemistry, a required science course, students take part of their exam in the lab, discovering the identity of an unknown. They answer questions about each reaction, focusing on “why did this reaction occur” and “what does it mean?”. In Forensics, they take on a case-based challenge, trying to understand the nature of a crime using clues provided to them and the tools in the lab. Using this kind of assessment requires much more work on the part of faculty than a traditional multiple-choice exam. However, it’s worth the extra effort in terms of the quality of the learning that the students can demonstrate and the lasting understanding that a student takes with them after the course. (more…)
Posted in: Authentic Learning, Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Invent, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School
Abdul Wali Akrami, a humble hero who helped U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan, received a car and insurance to help him resettle in Rochester as a result of AC ninth-grader, Elina Natarajan’s inspired “Change You Can Count On” fundraiser at Allendale Columbia School.
Natarajan rallied the Community Service Club to help with the project, in which students in each grade and faculty sought to fill 2-liter bottles with loose change. All those coins added up to $743.00 to support No One Left Behind (NOLB), an organization that helps resettle the Afghan and Iraqi heroes who assisted the U.S. as drivers, interpreters, and special assistants.
“I was inspired when I met Matt Zeller and Janis Shinwari after a discussion at school,” Natarajan explained. AC alumnus and 2018 CNN Hero, Matt Zeller ’00, is a co-founder of NOLB with his Afghan translator Janis Shinwari. “I heard Ellen Smith (the Rochester Chapter Head) talk in the evening forum about raising money to help provide vehicles to these relocated helpers, and I thought, we can do that!”
“Wali” and his family fled his home country of Afghanistan to go to Pakistan when it became too dangerous under the Taliban. He returned when U.S. forces arrived to, as he put it, “help restore our country”. He became the trusted driver and special assistant to Fulton Jones, DynCorp International’s Deputy Program Manager for the Ministry of Interior’s Mentoring Program working with the Afghan National Police. Jones is the one who sponsored Wali’s visa. “On two occasions while we were traveling in my vehicle around Kabul, nearby coalition military bases or Afghan governmental institutions were attacked by Taliban insurgents. Wali quickly assessed the situation and realized that we were in danger of being hit,” Jones wrote in his letter of recommendation, and related how Wali got them to safety. “Wali risks his life daily just coming to work…but firmly believes what he is doing is right and worth the risk.”
Wali’s son, Aleem, related some of his father’s story to the packed Curtis Performance Center at AC, while tears of gratitude streamed down Wali’s face. A family friend, Jawad Tawakali, who moved here as a child, translated Wali’s thanks to the group. “It feels good to know we could help,” said Natarajan, who also noticed the tears. “It was a very emotional moment.”
Interested in supporting No One Left Behind? Send donations to:
No One Left Behind, Inc.
888 Pittsford Mendon Center Road
Pittsford, NY 14534
You can also email Irwin Solomon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted in: Alumni News, Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Global Engagement, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School
Allendale Columbia School’s Middle School Ceramics class presented a check for $717.00 to Maddy Campbell, Event Coordinator and Executive Assistant of the Ugandan Water Project, on Wednesday, January 8th, 2019, the proceeds from their fourth annual Empty Bowls project.
Ceramics students organized and ran the entire Empty Bowls event. Members of our AC community created over 75 bowls for the silent auction, held on December 12th, 2018, including Upper Schoolers, faculty, and of course the Middle School Ceramics class. Additionally, artists in Rochester donated 7 vessels for a raffle, and local businesses contributed delicious food and coffee for the fundraiser.
The Ugandan Water Project is a global, non-profit humanitarian organization that provides clean water, sanitation, and hygiene resources to communities in Uganda. A representative from the Ugandan Water Project visited the Ceramics class on Monday, December 3rd, to talk with the students and answer questions about their work.
Empty Bowls is an international grassroots project to fight hunger, personalized by artists and art organizations on a community level.
For more information on AC’s Empty Bowls Project, go to https://allendalecolumbia.org/emptybowls.
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Highlights, Middle School, Partnerships, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade
On Tuesday, visitors from Rochester’s sister city of El Sauce, Nicaragua, met with Middle and Upper School Spanish classes to raise awareness of the existing needs of Nicaraguan children. Marta Rojas and Ashley Sullivan, a Hilton native, both live in El Sauce, and they have dedicated their lives to making an impact on children of need in their community through the Ciudad Hermana (Sister City) Scholarship Project. (more…)
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Global Engagement, Highlights, Middle School, Upper School
When life gives you challenges, some people build an app! Noah Levine, a senior at Allendale Columbia School, knows that life on the autism spectrum can be overwhelming at times. He was born and diagnosed with autism and has worked hard at self regulation. He was inspired by the therapeutic content that he found helpful and started building an app that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help kids on the spectrum self-regulate when they are overwhelmed. It also gives health providers valuable data about what content works for kids so they can adjust their care accordingly.
On National App Day, December 11th, we celebrate apps that people couldn’t imagine living their lives without. One day soon, Noah’s app will be one of those.
If you are thinking about creating an app, here are 4 things Noah recommends you consider:
Have a clear idea.
Noah saw the need for a tool that would help kids living with autism to self-regulate. He knew that therapeutic videos and content worked for him, but some kids can’t ever access this content in the first place, much less tell their doctors about what’s working. He knew he wanted to make it easier for more kids to access the therapeutic content and for doctors to see what’s been working for each person. When creating your own app, figure out a clear vision for what you want to accomplish before you get started building it.
Network. Network. Network.
Noah found helpful people through LinkedIn, family connections, and his Allendale Columbia community. His idea first got started with help from teachers during May Term, a three-week independent study opportunity for all AC Middle and Upper Schoolers. Telling people about his idea was the first step to making it a reality.
Always ask questions.
Like anything new, it’s natural to not have all the answers. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” said Noah. When developing his app, Noah reached out to experts from Duke and University of Rochester to help him resolve issues that came up.
Make the most of your opportunities.
What started during May Term has become an everyday project for Noah. Through the help of the AC Center for Entrepreneurship, Noah was able to continue working on his idea while getting critical feedback and mentorship from teachers on business, technology, and so much more.
Noah will graduate from Allendale Columbia in 2019. His app, called Horizon Autism, is still in development but he hopes to launch it soon. To connect with Noah (Network. Network. Network!) or to stay updated on his app, you can visit Noah on LinkedIn.
About the AC Center for Entrepreneurship
We believe our students must identify and solve problems creatively. The AC Center for Entrepreneurship will create opportunities for our students/participants to make an impact on the world by learning to adapt to a constantly evolving world, connecting globally, and carving their own path. Learn more about the AC Center for Entrepreneurship.
Posted in: Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School
Veterans Day celebrates our soldiers and marines who served this country or, in some cases, made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. But what about all those people who help our troops? The people who live in the country that is being torn apart by war. The people who risk their lives to help our soldiers communicate, navigate, and survive. What about them?
Matt Zeller, an AC Class of 2000 alum, left our campus with ideas of being a lawyer or a politician and went on to earn degrees from Hamilton College and Syracuse University before joining the U.S. Army.
In 2008 his life, and his future, changed forever. (more…)
Posted in: AC in the News, Alumni News, Authentic Learning, Entrepreneurship, Global Engagement, Highlights