Senior Pranav Chhalliyil Attending World’s Largest International Pre-College Science Competition

On May 12th – 17th the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), a program of the Society for Science & the Public, and the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, will be held in Phoenix, Arizona.

Maharishi School Senior Pranav Chhalliyil will be attending Intel ISEF for his fifth consecutive year. Pranav was also recently named Honorary Grand Champion at the State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa, and received an award for 6 years of participation. A total of 5 students are representing the State of Iowa as finalists at Intel ISEF.

Pranav’s project is titled:  “DNA Sequencing of Soil Microbiota From Mulching – A Novel Rotational Fragment Farming for Efficient Agriculture”

“The idea for this project came from my previous research experience on the oral microbiota,” Pranav said,  “which triggered a curiosity on the soil microbiota when I had interesting observations while gardening. I found a higher yield of flowers and vegetables, as well as a higher tolerance to winter frost in perennials after introducing mulching in my home garden.”His project uses DNA sequencing to look at the thousands of bacteria and fungi species which brought diversity in the soil and increased soil fertility.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) unites the top young scientific minds, showcasing their talents on an international stage, where doctoral-level scientists review and judge their work.

Each year, approximately 1,800 high school students from more than 75 countries, regions, and territories are awarded the opportunity to showcase their independent research and compete for on average $5 million in prizes at Intel ISEF. The competition focuses on identifying, inspiring, and engaging the world’s next STEM generation.

Millions of students in grades 9-12 worldwide compete each year in local and school-sponsored science fairs. The winners of these events go on to participate in 420 Society-affiliated regional and state fairs, from which the top projects are selected and receive opportunity to attend Intel ISEF. Each affiliated fair may send a pre-determined number of projects to Intel ISEF to compete in 22 different categories.

Intel ISEF alumni have gone on to receive some of the world’s most esteemed academic honors, including the Nobel Prize, Breakthrough Prize, three National Medals of Science, and six MacArthur Foundation Fellowships and have been involved in some of the most groundbreaking scientific research.

Congratulations to Pranav and we wish him the best of luck!

To learn more about what makes Maharishi School students like Pranav so successful click here.

For more information and updates on Maharishi School and our students follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Regeneron Science Talent Search

Regeneron Science Talent Search

Pranav Chhaliyil named as Regeneron Science Talent Search scholar and Ms. Barbara Hays, the Teacher of Merit.

On January 9, the Society for Science & the Public named the top scholars of the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition. The Regeneron Science Talent Search, a program of the Society for Science & the Public, recognizes and empowers the most promising young scientists in the U.S. who are creating the ideas and solutions that solve our most urgent challenges. The Society for Science & the Public and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals have announced Pranav Chhaliyil as one of the 300 high school seniors named as Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars. Pranav is a senior at the Maharishi School, Fairfield, Iowa to receive this great honor. His mentor and teacher Ms. Barbara Hays also was nominated as the “Teacher of Merit” by Regeneron.

The selection as scholar is a great honor, and signifies talent and promise in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These scholars join a distinguished group of alumni that includes Nobel Prize winners, MacArthur Fellows, entrepreneurs and innovators who, were named among the top 300 competitors in this program as seniors in high school.

Regeneron Science Talent Search scholarEach scholar, selected from 1,964 entrants, receives a $2,000 award with an additional $2,000 going to his or her respective school, resulting in $1.2 million in total scholar awards from Regeneron.

The scholars, who hail from 184 American and international high schools from 38 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and two countries abroad, were selected from an applicant pool of nearly 2,000 students. Each of the 300 scholars and their schools will be awarded $2,000.

Pranav’s Findings

Pranav from his 7th grade had been involved in scientific research on oral microbiome. Last year he conducted research on the effect of sugar causing dental damage and was curious to know if white sugar or unprocessed brown-sugar made any difference. To his surprise, he found that eating unrefined sugar is good for preventing systemic diseases like eating unrefined starches like whole grains. The balance of good and bad bacteria of the oral microbiome was significantly disturbed with white sugar. However while eating unrefined sugar, which is rich in polyphenols, prevented biofilm formation in the tooth.

“I actually invented a new mouthwash that’s rich in polyphenols and it includes my previously developed Nano charcoal. Middle school children volunteered to be his subjects for the research involving DNA sequencing of oral microbiota. The subjects who ate porridge that contained the white sugar got protection from the early colonizers by using the mouthwash.” He plans to commercialize the product as a healthier alternative, Pranav explained.

We Are All Proud

“We’re very proud of him, he set a great example to other students because he is not only highly achieved, but we see the support that he gives to his peers here at the school as well. He has kept his feet on the ground. So, just deep pride,” said Dr. Richard Beall, Maharishi School Principal.

Pranav has some words of advice for students. “Never belittle your small ideas that popup in your brain. If you think how it will help others, it will magically self-develop and will impact the lives of many people more than you can think of. “I always believe that in order for you to succeed, it’s important for you to also give back,” said Pranav.

 

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
hnichols@msae.edu
Fairfield, IA 52556

Exciting News – #1 Ranking!

Exciting News – #1 Ranking!

As the new school year begins, we are looking forward to updating our wider community of the exciting things happening around the school!

First, we are excited to announce Maharishi School’s number one ranking! According to Niche.com, Maharishi School is the #1 Private K-12 School in Iowa. In addition to that, we have receive #1 rankings in several other categories:

  • Most Diverse Private High School in Iowa
  • Best Private High School in Iowa
  • Best Boarding School in Iowa

We received several other rankings:

  • #2 Best College Prep Private High School in Iowa
  • #5 Best High School for STEM in Iowa

View our certificate here: Niche 2019 Certificate #1 Private High School

We are honored and excited to be recognized for our innovation, insight, and success in education. We have our staff and faculty to thank. Each day, they work hard to instill trust in education in their students, to spur our students on to greatness, and to encourage passion and originality in our students – preparing them for future success.

To our current and past students, we are so proud of where you are, who you are, and all that you have and will accomplish. You have been our purpose and motivation as we refine our vision and the direction we pursue. You are the oxygen that allows the organism of Maharishi School to exist. We cherish each one of you.

We do not take our ranking lightly. We appreciate the recognition of our hard work, but we will continue to strive for more. We will not settle, and we will not grow stagnant. This is evidenced by the many new and innovative projects and initiatives we are introducing this year. We will keep you updated!

 

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
hnichols@msae.edu
Fairfield, IA 52556

Make Your Self-Care Routine More Meaningful Than a Face Mask

Where is the Self-Care Movement Now?

It’s 2018. It seems as though everyone is on a quest for self-improvement. In a way, that’s encouraging. Finally, we are collectively caring a little more about our mental health, spiritual health, and emotional health. The understanding that food matters is spreading, and people are taking a hard look at what that means. Although most of this seems positive, it can leave us feeling empty. After a while, we see the holes in the self-care paradigm, and we are left feeling like there should be more to the story. Well, there is…

Cafe-Paradiso-Maharishi-school-performance

The thing the self-care, self-help, self-love movements often leave behind is the inner self, the true self. Now, there certainly is an uptick in “looking within” ideologies, but knowing yourself is still often undervalued. How are we supposed to be true to ourselves, to care for ourselves, to improve ourselves, if we have never taken a single quiet moment to get to know that person?

The Reality of A Busy Life

Life is so busy. Adding a more intense skincare routine to that in the name of self-love does not lessen the stress of life. These things have their own value and sense of fulfillment, but fulfillment that transcends emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental states comes from getting to know the person underneath all of that. When we quiet our worlds (yes, it’s a learned skill, but you can do it) long enough to meet the person who exists under all of life’s circumstances, we bring forth the quietness into our being, our routine, and spread it around to encourage others to do the same. Now, that definitely sounds like a movement worth spreading around – finding our own inner self and fulfillment. 

Girls sit together

 

Make Your Own Quiet

So how do we get to this quiet place? Well, the answer is simple – meditation. There are a lot of options out there so do what works best for you, but one technique many people (and science) have found to be beneficial is the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) technique or TM for short. The TM technique provides a way to access the quietness within and lets you access your inner self. This then spreads to every part of life, becoming the base from which all self-improvement efforts can stem. Suddenly those face masks and bubble baths have a deeper meaning because you have tapped into the source of stillness, fulfillment, and energy – yourself.

 

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
hnichols@msae.edu
Fairfield, IA 52556

So Your Child is Attending Private School – Here’s How to Prepare

So you are planning to send your child to private school next year? You are probably feeling nervous. You are probably wondering if your child is nervous. You worry that there might be something you forget or overlook because you can’t anticipate everything that might be different about private school. All of this is normal. Don’t worry, regardless of where your child plans to attend school, everyone wants you as prepared as possible. No question is a new question. Hopefully the information that follows is helpful to ease some worry and anxiety!

 

What to Wear

Private schools tend to have dress codes. Most are fairly simple, but some require clothing with the school logo. If the school your child is attending requires a specific logo or emblem on the clothing, they will direct you to the place you can purchase this article of clothing. For example, at Maharishi School, we go through Lands’ End for our school uniforms. We provide a special link to our uniforms

 

What to Bring

Just like at public school, private schools have school supply lists. Each grade level at each school is slightly different, but they lists tend to be predictable. Older kids need special calculators; younger kids need crayons and colored pencils. None of that is a surprise. Feel free to view our supply list as an example. We have a few lists for our different age groups.

 

What to Expect

Each private school is different. Each school starts on a slightly different date, but usually in August or September. Usually there are a few different school breaks throughout the year. There are different extracurricular activities for each school. The best place to turn is your school’s calendar. It will give you the best picture of what is going on throughout the school year, what dates to put on your calendar, and when events take place.

Although the atmosphere within each school is different, expect private schools to be a little smaller, to have a tight knit community, and to have it’s own sort of dynamic. One thing you should absolutely expect is to feel welcomed by your school, to feel at home, and to feel included. If you are not feeling like this within your school, please consider it the school’s mistake, not your own. There are other options out there. Read about one here.

In summary, private schools are different but not that different. There are many, many benefits to private schooling, and each one is unique. However, all schools are here to educate. That is the important thing to remember. Take comfort knowing that everything will be okay. To be prepared, read the material your school provides. If you have questions, ask them. Make sure you feel welcome and included in your schools community.

 

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
hnichols@msae.edu
Fairfield, IA 52556

How Do We Put Passion Back into Education?

Passion In Work

The other day, I was filling out some paperwork, organizing some things in my office, and working on a project that wasn’t the most exciting to be doing. It was hard to focus, but I had so much to get done. Now, I am an adult, but I had a hard time getting all my work done. I had a hard time focusing, and I struggled to manage my time. Eventually, everything got done, but it got me thinking about how we ask children and teens to do this all the time in school (or most schools and teachers do). We ask them to complete work, focus on subjects, sit still, learn, and to do it all in a timely manner. However, a lot of students resist. Most end up doing their work, but even those students would likely do better if we approached education in a different way.

In both my situation and the educational expectations of our kids, the thing that often is lacking is passion. I had no passion for the tasks I was doing. Similarly, students often lack passion for what they are learning and the work required of them.

How Do We Fix What is Missing?

So how do we convince kids to excel at the tasks, assignments, and subjects they learn? Passion. Passion is the solution. We have to either 1) show kids how to be passionate about the subjects they are learning or 2) provide space in education for each student to pursue their passion. Both of these solutions are valuable and possible. However, it is likely easier to cultivate the natural passions of a student rather than ask them to adjust their passions, though it may be necessary to ask them to adjust occasionally.

One model of education that allows for the students’ own passions is Project-Based Learning. In Project-Based Learning, Every day students are given time (70 minutes at Maharishi School) to work on a passion project. They problem-solve, experiment, falter and keep striving. Through the process, they learn real-world skills that will serve them when they are adults working on projects at their workplaces. Some of the Learning Goals for project learning are creativity, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, a growth mindset, societal impact and service, interdisciplinary integration, development of student portfolios.

Passion in Education

Not only does Project-Based Learning let the students figure out what they love, allow them to pursue their passions, equip them with essential skills, and show them their passions matter; it also helps them move forward in life by strengthening their portfolios for college and their resumes for future employment.

Project-Based Learning really is an amazing option for our students. We only want to see them excel, to reach their own goals, and to self-manage. This is an excellent way to learn those skills.

 

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
hnichols@msae.edu
Fairfield, IA 52556

Why Do People Choose Private Schools?

Benefits of Private Schools

There are many reasons people choose private schooling for their children because there are many benefits to private schooling. Some students can greatly benefit from what private schools have to offer. Of course, each private school is different, but there are many similarities.

Individual Attention

One of the benefits of private schools is the individual attention that is given each student. At private schools, class sizes tend to be smaller so each student is given more individual attention. This means, if your child has a question or is struggling to learn a new idea, they will be more likely to get their question answered. If your child learns something more slowly than other students, the teacher is able to address their individual needs. If your child does not understand a subject, the teacher is very likely to notice because there are fewer students to keep track of so no one slips by. This can be invaluable to all types of students. All students benefit from individual attention and connection.

Teach to Learn

Another benefit of private schools is that schools are able to teach in order to learn rather than to teach in order to test. Unfortunately, poor test scores can lead to less funding for public schools so public schools often feel the pressure to teach in order to test their students rather than feeling free to teach the ability to think and learn. At private schools, funding is not connected to the test scores of the students which enables teachers to equip students to think for themselves, learn the way they naturally learn, and learn at a speed that works for them. Fortunately, the more student-centric environment actually improves academic performance. Whereas, teaching to test does not work for all learning styles.

Balance

The third benefit to private schooling is a more balanced curriculum. All types of schools try to provide balanced opportunities. Unfortunately, funding issues can make that a lot harder to public schools. Private schools have more ability to provide a balanced education, including extracurricular activities.  Though activities vary from private school to private school, there tends to be a more balanced view of activities and education, allowing for individuals to adjust to their preferred activities and passions while setting them up to succeed academically as well in their extracurricular activities.

Many Benefits, but the Biggest is…

There are many benefits to private schools. These are just some of the reasons parents choose private schooling for their children. Each private school is different and be better in one area than another. But, the best thing about private schools is that you can pick which one fits your child and will provide the best education for your child.

If you want to read more about what makes Maharishi School different from other private schools, check out some more information here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
hnichols@msae.edu
Fairfield, IA 52556

Success – How Do We Measure It?

All the Talk About Success

We all talk about success a lot. We all feel the pressure to succeed, and depending on our reaction to the pressure, we handle our own level of success very differently. Success means something different to everyone. Some measure success by monetary standards. Some measure it by name recognition or fame. Maybe the problem with success isn’t the different ways we define it but how we measure it.

Two Ways to Measure

At Maharishi School, we measure success in two ways.

The way we look at success is by considering inner development and outer achievement. While outer achievement is exciting and worthwhile, it is empty without inner development. We can measure our inner development in two ways. The first way we measure success is by looking at our failures. There will always be failures and setbacks on the path to success. The only way to reach our goals is to be tenacious, persistent, and to learn from that failure. Some of the best and hardest to learn lessons come in moments of failure. Without those moments, we may never find the depth of our success. The second way to measure the inner development of our success is by finding a way to be passionate about what we are doing.

We encourage students to be their own best. Of course, our students are graded on their work. However, they are also encouraged to be themselves, find their own success – failure included – and be passionate about whatever they are drawn toward.

Success looks different for everyone. We encourage our students to find out what it means for them.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
hnichols@msae.edu
Fairfield, IA 52556

What Does Rocketry Have to Do With Real Life?

Our Rocketry Team

First, if you haven’t heard about our rocketry team, let’s take a moment to get you caught up. Here is a quote from our Head of School, Dr. Beall, summing up the TARC season:

“11 Maharishi School students were in Virginia for the Team America Rocketry Challenge nationals. We qualified three teams by scoring among the 100 top performers in the months leading up to nationals, from more than 800 entries. On Saturday morning 99 of them launched and all three of our teams qualified for the Finals in the afternoon, now the Top 44.

The final results? One of our teams finished in 7th Place and another in 10th Place. Both teams received $5000 cash awards. And Maharishi School was the only school with two Top 10 teams.

And Rick Rudloff was named the national Outstanding Team Advisor!!”

In addition to our TARC season, our students were working with NASA (yes, literally the NASA) on another launch that his its own set of qualifying factors and process.

Things to Learn in Rocketry and Use Forever

Aside from our rocketry teams’ success, they learned something they can apply to anything and be more successful. They learned to find balance. Of course, learning the technical skills required to have successful launches is very important and is something these students will take with them into their futures. However, even if they do not pursue a career in rocketry or programming or design or any of the number of things they are learning to do, they will have learned the priceless skill of balancing and prioritizing different tasks in a way that leads them to success.

As you may have gathered from the above description of our season, our kids are busy! They excel, but they have to learn to prioritize. This means asking themselves tough questions:

“What tasks help me reach my goals?”

“What do we need to do first to be most successful?”

“What’s the most effecient path toward our desired outcome?”

“Which problem is the most important to solve?”

Balancing expectations and prioritizing tasks are crucial skills to learn. These are skills that will serve our students the rest of their lives. When discussing with Mr. Rudloff a moment he was most proud of in addition to being proud of the teams’ accomplishments, he was proud of their ability to balance tasks and priorities in order to succeed, the ability to take criticism and learn from it, and that the teams learned from obstacles to come out stronger and more prepared for things they could not predict.  Those are some pretty invaluable skills!

 

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
hnichols@msae.edu
Fairfield, IA 52556

Tennis Update – Substate

We had great success at Substate tennis this weekend. Here is an update from coach Briggs:

Pioneers Prevail Against Rival Pella — 5-3, Punch Ticket to State Finals

By defeating North Polk and Pella on Saturday, the Maharishi Pioneers tennis team added to their record of the most trips to the state finals in Iowa history.

“It was far from easy,” exhaled Pioneer coach, Steve Briggs. “Our backs were to the wall, but sometimes that’s when the magic happens.”

After defeating North Polk 5-2 in the morning, the Pioneers turned their attention to their longtime rival, Pella, who had thwarted the Pioneers bid for a state final birth in 2017.

“Leaving Fairfield at 6:30 am to play Pella in their backyard may not seem like an ideal way to spend a Saturday,” said Briggs, “but I told the team that these are the best possible moments for an athlete because they offer a chance to rise to levels we might never have experienced before.”

The Pioneers kept on rising until they captured a 5-3 win over a tenacious Pella squad. In the singles pairings, Maharishi swept positions 1, 2, and 3 while Pella returned the favor at 4, 5, and 6.

Just prior to the start of the doubles matches, thunderstorms rolled through Pella, forcing the teams to shuttle to Oskaloosa to finish the meet at an indoor facility. “Our team loves playing indoors so the coaches viewed it as a good omen.”

“We sent our top two teams out, feeling confident that Kai and Daniel would pick up a point for us, but no one was expecting the absolute demolition of a very capable Pella team,” said Briggs. “Our guys literally didn’t miss a ball the entire match, winning 6-0, 6-0. I think Pella was in shock!”

Vessey and Zhu’s win left the Pioneers needing just one point to punch their tickets to the state finals. The Pioneers hopes rested in the hands of Devan Burke and David Zhang, a relatively new combo that had not played together much during the regular season. When Pella jumped out to a 4-1 lead, things looked bleak for the Pioneers.

“We were out of sync… unable to find the flow,” assessed Briggs. “We were pressing, but sometimes it takes a few gritty, blue-collar points to turn things around, and that’s what our guys came up with. From being down 1-4 in the opening set, Devan took matters into his hands and dominated the match with all-out aggression. David’s steady play perfectly complimented Devan’s forcefulness. You never know how the chemistry of a new team will hold up under pressure, but Devan and David lifted each other up… it was gratifying to watch.”

The Pioneers #2 team nearly matched the performance of their teammates, Kai and Daniel. From a 4-1 deficit, the Pioneers #2 ran off 11 straight games to take the match, 6-4, 6-0.

“Running the table with a trip to Des Moines on the line is difficult,” stated Briggs. “Everything we do is geared toward reaching the state finals, and every person on the team knows what’s at stake in the final doubles matches. To play your absolute best tennis with everything on the line is extraordinary… and to have all four guys do it at the same time is more than we coaches could ask for. Kai, Daniel, Devan, and David all found their peak performance in Oskaloosa. As Devan said afterward, ‘I can’t believe how good this feels.’

“We buried a ghost or two today,” laughed Briggs, referring to the past two years when the Pioneers were within a whisker of reaching the state finals.

“To see our seniors celebrating was cool,” said Briggs. “Those guys do everything together. They’re great friends on and off the court… and they represent our community so well. The group of parents and school administrators who witnessed the match will have a sweet memory. Sometimes the parents don’t get enough credit, but they’ve been there for the team all these years and you can feel the love and appreciation they have for the team.”

The Pioneers will make yet another record-breaking trip to Des Moines on May 29th.

Maharishi – Pella

Singles

#1 Kai Vessey def Jordan Roozeboom 6-1, 6-1

#2 Devan Burke def Colton Edwards6-2, 6-1

#3 Daniel Zhu def Jack Edwards6-4, 6-0

#4 David Zhang lost to Carter Briggs6-3, 6-3

#5 Karthik Vempati lost to Isaiah Martin6-4, 6-2

#6 Frank Wang lost to Austin Adrian6-1, 6-0

Doubles

#1 Vessey/ZhudefRoozeboom/J. Edwards6-0, 6-0

#2 Burke/ZhangdefC. Edwards/Briggs6-4, 6-0

Note:

The State Singles and Doubles tournament is Friday and Saturday, May 25 & 26, 9:00 at Byrnes Park Tennis Center, 1110 Campbell Ave, Waterloo (Daniel Zhu in singles, Kai Vessey and Devan Burke in doubles).

The State Team Final Four is Tuesday, May 29th, 8:15, at Waveland Park, 4822 Observatory Rd, Des Moines.

 

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
hnichols@msae.edu
Fairfield, IA 52556