Allendale Columbia School was recently ranked as one of Newsweek’s Top 5,000 STEM High Schools in America. More than 30,000 high schools in the country were analyzed over a three-year period to determine the rankings. Newsweek, with its long history of reporting on scientific breakthroughs, technological revolutions and societal challenges, partnered with STEM.or to rank America’s Best STEM High Schools.
Recent AC STEM Activities
NASA Thanks AC Sixth Grade Citizen Scientists for Their Research
AC sixth graders just completed a month-long citizen science project through NASA’s GLOBE Program, recording more than 330 cloud observations. On December 17th, the class virtually met with NASA Education Specialist Marile Colon Robles who thanked the students for their work and reiterated the importance their cloud data plays in NASA’s on-going studies. Read more
“Girls Who Code” Club Represent AC at Rochester Maker Faire
This past November, Allendale Columbia School was a sponsor at the Rochester Maker Faire, where our “Girls Who Code” club taught visitors how to make brush bots and paper circuits. Read more
AC Robotics Teams Compete at Local FIRST Robotics Competitions
Four AC robotics teams recently competed in local FIRST robotics competitions. Representing the lower school in the FIRST Lego Robotics City Shaper challenge, were the “Wolf Pack” and the “Lightning Boltz”, led by AC faculty member Donna Chaback. Teresa Parsons, with the help of AC parent John Palomaki, led our middle school team, the “AC Aces”, while the upper school team, “Team 11779”, led by Phil Schwartz and Maya Crosby, competed in the FIRST Tech Challenge. Read more
Second Graders Learn About Cities by Meeting with a City Planner and Building Their Own!
Second graders met with Manager of Special Projects for the City of Rochester, Erik Frisch to discuss different transportation systems and learn more about the City of Rochester as they planned and created their own city, Birchville. Read more
AC-RIT Collaboration Continues to Thrive and Enrich Learning Opportunities for Students
Students in Math 7, Math 8, Algebra I, and Honors Algebra II continue to participate in a series of classes with RIT. Most recently, students conducted a color absorption experiment using RIT’s light equipment, and they have also recently learned about cryptography and the use ciphers to create and crack codes. Read more
This year’s upper school musical was selected to celebrate the best part of AC: our community. The evening featured live art and the work of several local artists. For students, this show was also about what they could learn as actors and as members of a community. It is a unique show in that there is so much left to the imagination beyond the text of the script. The focus throughout the production was on connecting through different acting techniques and art-making that creates a strong ensemble.
On November 26th, AC senior Kasi Natarajan signed his national letter of intent to attend the University of Iowa, where he will pursue his study of business finance and compete at the Division I level as a member of the Iowa’s men’s swimming and diving team.
Kasi has been a member of the varsity boys swimming and diving team for our HAC athletics program for 6 years. He joined the team in 7th grade and during his time he has earned numerous accolades.
Last year, he finished 2nd overall in the 1-M Diving Event at both the Section V Diving Championships and Genesee Region Diving Championships, while also qualifying for the NYS Diving Championships.
As a junior and sophomore, Kasi also took 4th place at Section V’s Diving Championships.
Kasi, throughout his diving club career, is a 5-time qualifier for AAU nationals in the 1M, 3M and 10M events, and is also a 3-Time National Qualifier for the 10M tower diving event.
Kasi has been able to achieve all this, while also balancing a rigorous academic schedule in which he’s earned honors status throughout his entire high school career at Allendale Columbia.
Students also celebrated International Education Week November 18th-22nd. The week was dedicated to celebrating the benefits of international education and exchanges worldwide. It is a joint initiative of the US Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to prepare Americans for a globally interconnected world and encourage the development of global leaders. AC celebrated the week by conducting a Kahoot! cultural trivia contest in the middle school and upper school. There was also a middle and upper school international photo contest. Our Lower School students participated by bringing in photos of their international or domestic travels. Photos are displayed on the Global Engagement bulletin boards in each division.
In December, a month known for holiday celebrations and excitement leading up to a well-earned break, AC student musicians did their part to spread joy with performances in two Winter Concerts, caroling at the Genesee Valley Club, performances at the AC Holiday Book Fair at Barnes & Noble and, of course, to complete the circuit, the Holiday Breakfast.
Mark your calendars for upcoming concerts and musicals!
Students from AC’s Communications, Marketing, and Design class visited Partners + Napier at their new location in downtown Rochester at the Metropolitan building. When we first walked into the conference room there was swag waiting for each student on the table! Mini pendants, pins, and a pencil, inviting us to Leave A Mark.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches
It’s probably best not to wait until 11:56 p.m. on deadline day to submit your Common Application, but if you speak with any Director of Admission, you’ll learn that a good portion of applications actually arrive at colleges in the 11th hour. My advice: don’t be one of the last applicants to submit your Common App, as you risk running into technical issues or, if a college notes your submission time, even portraying yourself as a Last Minute Larry.
Here are 7 key steps to take before you submit your Common App:
1. Give yourself plenty of time to accurately and authentically complete your application.
The summer before your senior year is the perfect time to begin work on your college applications, as we all know how busy things can get when the school year begins. Set aside some time during the summer to write (and re-write!) your personal statement and review any college-specific application requirements.
2. Connect with family members to make sure you’re capturing the right professional and educational information.
You’ll need to know your parents’ job titles, employers, and educational background, including degree dates. If you have older siblings, you’ll need their details, too. Colleges like knowing whether there is a legacy connection, which can sometimes be a boost in the admissions process, or whether you will be the first in your family to attend college.
3. Know which standardized test scores to self-report.
With score choice and test-optional schools, you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to reporting test scores. My advice is to use an SAT/ACT conversion chart to see if one score clearly trumps the other, in which case, the lower score can be omitted from your application. I also recommend only self-reporting AP scores of 4 and 5.
4. Have a game plan for the Activities Section.
This is one of the most important sections of the Common App, as it’s the place where you can brag about your commitment and contributions to extracurricular activities. You should carefully consider the order and descriptions of your activities. The activities in which you’ve held leadership roles should be given priority, while one-year activities should be listed towards the bottom of the list.
5. Don’t draft your Personal Statement (or any other essays) in the Common App.
You’ll go through many iterations of your essays, and believe me when I tell you how devastating it can be to lose your work when you encounter an internet issue or technical glitch in Common App. Instead, draft your essays in Word or GoogleDocs. You’ll be able to save (and share) these more easily without the risk of losing hours of work!
6. Have someone thoroughly review your application.
Before you submit your application, it’s a good idea to have your college counselor or parent review your Common App for accuracy and authenticity. They’ll be able to catch spelling and grammatical errors and even let you know whether the application reflects your personality. However, if you are applying to more selective colleges, you could benefit from having a former admissions counselor review your application (see details below).
7. Don’t wait until the last minute to submit.
This is for all of those procrastinators! Do not wait until deadline day to submit your application, as there’s a chance you’ll run into internet issues or the Common App website will be overwhelmed by user volume and crash. The safest bet is to submit your application at least one day in advance of a deadline. Plan accordingly!
Interested in having your Common Application reviewed by a former Associate Dean of Admission and Director of Selection?
As we approach application deadlines, please consider Emily Nevinger a resource and “final check” before submitting your application. During an application review, Emily will review all sections of your Common Application from the perspective of a former admissions counselor. Emily will pay close attention to your Activities, making sure you’re maximizing the order and descriptions of extracurriculars, and she will also review your Personal Statement.
Emily NevingerEmily Nevinger is Allendale Columbia School's College Advising Consultant, guiding students in the greater Rochester area and beyond on the college application process, financial aid, interview preparation, essay review, and more! Emily began working at the university level in 2003 and was a senior member of the admission committees for University of Miami, Emory University, and UNC Chapel Hill. Emily holds a bachelor's degree in Public Policy from Duke University and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration and Enrollment Management from the University of Miami, and a College Access Counseling Certificate from Rice University.
Posted in: AC College Consulting, College Advising News, Eleventh Grade, Events & Workshops, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School
This year in Essentials of Entrepreneurship, an entrepreneurship course for Upper Schoolers, students are choosing local businesses, start-ups, incubators, entrepreneurs, and co-working spaces to visit. The students are calling and making arrangements for our visits. Many of our students have never been responsible for seeking out local organizations and people then cold-calling to begin a relationship with them and make arrangements for a meeting. It’s a great opportunity to get them thinking about and planning logistics, timing, details, and travel arrangements.
AC ninth grader Adam Rogers chose to visit RIT Venture Creations. This is an incubator space associated with RIT in Henrietta. On our visit, we explored one start-up and two successful businesses who graduated from the incubator.
Phase Innovations provides new solutions for energy conversion and storage applications. Our work is grounded in a commitment to clean water, air, and energy.
BlackBox Biometrics is the industry leader in sensor technology to instantly assess forces that can cause traumatic brain injury.
Optel provides a variety of services to companies in the medical device field including product design services from concept to initial prototypes through completed product ready for manufacture, manufacturing services in compliance with the requirements of the U.S. FDA current Good Manufacturing Practices, the European medical device standard ISO 13485, and other medical device manufacturing requirements around the world.
Amy Oliveri reflected, “Venture Creations at RIT was a fantastic visit for our entrepreneurship students. Not only did we see businesses in the incubator phase but also successful businesses who had ‘graduated’ from the program within one facility. It seems ideal to be housed with other startup businesses in order to share resources and gain insight. Perhaps the most interesting innovation we saw was from Phase who are investigating new ways to convert heat into cooling solutions. The best advice students received was from the father and son team who run Optel. They said that many people think of entrepreneurship as unstable and uncertain. Their advice – “Entrepreneurship is more certain and stable than working for someone else because you are your own boss.”
Our next visit was to the historic American Hotel in Lima. Thomas Riveros, AC ninth grader, chose this location because of a phenomenal dining experience and the businesses long-standing history.
There has been an American Hotel on this site since about 1790. The first two were made of wood, and the present day building was built in 1840. After two fires in the 1850’s, it was rebuilt in 1861 by Mr. Mosley. The hotel has been owned and operated by the Reynolds family since 1920.
Thomas shared, “I chose this location because I had eaten there before and I really enjoyed it. I loved learning about their history. If you want to be in the restaurant business, then you have to truly care about what you’re doing. If you own a restaurant for the money, you might not be as successful; you have to love what you do and truly care about it.”
Our third location was Atlas Eats. AC tenth grader Alex Wexler chose this location due to his long-standing interest in culinary arts.
At Atlas Eats, they continuously explore the tastes and traditions of foods from around the world. Their changing menus reflect their interpretation of the standards and classics from many cuisines. Atlas Eats procures the freshest ingredients possible from a host of sources in search of the unique and authentic. During the growing season, they engage local farmers and growers for produce whenever possible.
Andrew explained, “I chose this location because I am very interested in the food industry. Atlas had a unique idea to change the menu every two weeks. I thought that the most interesting part of the visit was going into the storage room to see how they stock their supplies and food. One thing I took away was the need to be very enthusiastic about your career in the restaurant business. I would definitely recommend this location to others, it was a very comfortable and nice environment, and I think that it is a must-try!”
Posted in: Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Partnerships, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches