Student Activities Update – Robotics, Speech, and Empty Bowls

Student Activities Update – Robotics, Speech, and Empty Bowls

Maharishi School offers a wide range of activities to teach, inspire, and provide students with useful life-tools. Recently, our students have been very busy succeeding in their various activities. We want to take some time to update you about our school events.

Robotics Team

Saturday, January 27, 2018, our Robotics team won the Control Award and got 3rd place for the Inspire Award. This means they advanced to the super-qualifiers. The Robotics team will compete this coming Saturday (February 3rd). We are so excited for these guys!

Speech Team

Maharishi School speech team competed this past Saturday, February 2nd. We got to experience their performances during a couple of our school assemblies. We are excited for our speech team, though we are still awaiting results to see if our group with attend All-State Speech. Maharishi School has been competing in the IHSSA Large Group Competition since 1988 and has received Critic’s Choice awards 18 times in the areas of Musical Theater (1), One Act Play(1), Choral Reading(6), Group Mime(6), Solo Mime(2), Reader’s Theater(1) and Radio Broadcasting(1). We have also had teams perform at All-State in the categories of Ensemble Acting and TV News and received the sweepstakes trophy for the most entries honored at All-State in 1998 and again in 2003.

Empty Bowls Event

Maharishi School students hosted our 3rd annual Empty Bowls event on Sunday, January 21, in the School’s Courtyard Kitchen. Each of the 135-plus people who attended enjoyed four varieties of delicious soup in bowls of their choosing. Both the bowls and the soup were made by the students in their 2nd quarter project class. Emily and Mike Cantafio performed jazz standards, contributing to the warmth of the community gathering. The students raised over $3,500, which went to the Lord’s Cupboard, a local organization, and Action Against Hunger, an organization that serves people around the globe.

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

Student-Led Conferences

Student-Led Conferences
Student-led conferencesAt Maharishi School, we love to encourage our students to take ownership of their own education and learning experience. We want to foster a lifelong love of learning in our students. One way we cultivate the love of learning is to conduct Student-Led conferences instead of parent-teacher conferences. In student-led conferences, students come with their parents, or our boarding school students come with their host parents, to talk about how their classes are going. Students guide the conferences, showing their initiative, strengths, and areas that need improvement.
The Enrollment Management Association spoke to 2,700 families and 97% said their primary reason for considering a private school was they wanted their child to develop or maintain a love of learning. Well, of course! When you see your child so engaged that he or she actually wants to talk, then talk more about it, you just want to dance and do high fives after she leaves the room. That’s the love of learning we want to foster in our students!
After our first student-led conferences in the Upper School, parents and students were eager to share their experiences. The following are a couple of parent experiences.

Parent Experiences

Insightful DaughterStudent-led conferences

It was quite gratifying to hear our daughter express personal responsibility in describing not just the content of her classes and assignments, but also her learning process. She was quite insightful about both her strengths and the knowledge/skills that she needs to develop further, explaining the action steps she feels she should take to accomplish her goals. We were surprised and delighted at the level of ownership and holistic understanding our daughter expressed about the nuances of the learning process, her triumphs, and her struggles.
The process of the presentation is also a great way for our daughter to prepare for life after high school when she must self-evaluate to achieve personal goals without administrative oversight, as well as advocate and market herself for higher education and employment opportunities.
We were delighted and impressed!

Our Introvert

Our child is fully capable of speaking, she simply doesn’t have the energy to speak when she gets home from school. She’s an extreme introvert: being around other people drains her. Now that our loquacious son is off to college, the house is quiet at nights. Our daughter comes home, puts her head in the books, watches a half hour of Cheers, and then heads to bed at 9:30 pm. I love that she’s disciplined but, gosh, it’s really quiet.

Student-Led ConferencesWe went to Maharishi School the other night for her student-led conference. Her advisor sat quietly, and our daughter was on – addressing her learning process, what she struggled with, her triumphs, what she wants to improve, how she plans to extend herself. She took responsibility for her learning, gave an unflinchingly honest evaluation, and articulated her plan for the 2nd semester.

I realized mid-way my husband and I were grilling her as we would any other adult colleague. She was acting like a self-directed adult, and we reacted naturally.

Here’s the best part. As we were climbing into bed, we hear a knock at the door. Our daughter quietly crawls onto the bed and plops down between us, pulls out her portfolio and piece by piece she talks…about her papers, her tests, the honors program, her journal. And she keeps talking. She probably spoke more last night than we’ve heard cumulatively for 3 months – she was that jazzed about her learning and the direction she wanted to take.

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

Consciousness-Based Education – We’re Different

Consciousness-Based Education Defined

In the words of our Head of Schools, Dr. Richard Beall…

“We can define consciousness very simply: How alert or awake are we, to our environment or ourselves? At Maharishi School, the foundation of our college preparatory program is optimal alertness. This isn’t a new idea. The Latin roots of “education” contain two concepts. First, educare: to train or mold. That’s traditional education. Students are like empty vessels to be filled with information, or unformed clay to be molded into shape by outer hands.

But there’s a second root concept, educere: to lead out. That’s inside-out education. That’s acknowledging that there is something inherent within each student to be nurtured and unfolded. That’s been missing from education, and that’s what Consciousness-Based Education (CBE) provides: inner development for outer success. That’s 200% education.”

Consciousness-Based Education and Meditation

What if you could start your day with clarity?

What if you could start your day grounded and focused?

We give your headspace a little breathing room so that you can start your day with potential.

Every single day, students and teachers at Maharishi School close their eyes for a few minutes to practice the Transcendental Meditation® technique and experience a state of rest that is deeper than sleep.

When your body is rested, powerful chain reactions are set forth. Blood pressure normalizes. Heart rates slow down. The brain gets more oxygen. Big problems become small problems and stress becomes manageable.

At Maharishi School, meditation is the cornerstone of our unique learning model. Imagine driving through a rainy, stormy night without your headlights working. The road is dark and you have to drive with fear, small mistakes almost guaranteed to happen. That’s what our brains and bodies are like on stress.

Getting adequate sleep is like having functional headlights. This is the absolute, bare minimum. You can see what is ahead and the stress lessens, but that drive down a dark road remains challenging. However, practicing the Transcendental Meditation® technique does more – it quietens the stormy mind.

When our bodies and brains are functioning optimally, it’s suddenly like driving on a bright, sunny day where you can see with clarity, move with purpose, and travel beyond your comfort zone without leaving your center.

Research studies show us through neuroplasticity that the mind is not fixed, but expandable. We don’t just fill students heads with information, we systematically expand the container of knowledge, the student’s own consciousness. With this expansion, absorbing new ideas becomes simpler, friendships deepen, and you start to understand how you are connected to and interconnected with the world.

We call this Consciousness-Based education. Because expanding consciousness is a game changer.

 

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

Project-Based Learning

Project-Based LearningProject Showcase

Project-based learning is at the core of the Maharishi School experience. Through project-based learning, students are inserted into our key principles: know yourself, think deeply, unleash your creativity, succeed.

Daily Process

Every day students are given 70 minutes 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.

How the Students Pick a Project

Each project is either designed by a teacher or proposed by the student at the conception stage and addresses an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. The students work either independently or in small teams and exercise real-life skills in their areas of interest while being fully supported by teachers, community experts, and leaders brought in to match the students’ interests. At the end of each quarter, all the students’ projects are showcased as part of a community-wide event.

Maharishi School RoboticsSuccess 

In a recent Play Production Project, the students vetted and selected the play, built the sets themselves, sourced the costumes, learned stage makeup, created and executed a marketing plan to promote the play, created a budget and managed finances, built a lighting and sound plan, created a cleaning schedule, made refreshments for the intermission and finally produced and performed in the play. With only guidance, the student handled every aspect of the play from soup to nuts allowing them to not only complete a behemoth task but leave with pride and joy as they shared the fruit of their passions with others.

 

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

A Parent’s Perspective – We Fell in Love

A Parent’s Perspective

We Fell in Love

A little more than two years ago, our family moved to Fairfield, Iowa for our daughter to attend Maharishi School. There were many factors leading to this decision: the school itself is stunningly beautiful and the teachers are radiant, wise, and caring; project-based learning is a powerful way for students to learn; and Dr. Beall, the school’s charismatic headmaster, leads the school to academic excellence while cultivating the wisdom of the heart. Add in a twice-daily Transcendental Meditation practice, yoga, and organic lunches and you have a winning combination. The school was a perfect fit for our family. But it was the Dosha Café that sealed our decision.

The Fifth-Grade Cafe 

While we were visiting the school, we were staying with our friends whose son was working on a project in his fifth-grade class. That project was the Dosha Café. He was preparing a dish to take to school for this project based in Ayurveda. The children had designed a business plan, as well as the menu based on the principles of Ayurveda for this café. Each of the facets of running a restaurant was addressed in this project. Not only were the children learning how to create and run a business from start to finish, they were learning about healing tools, not only for themselves but for others too. We were blown away that eight and nine-year-olds were learning about the ancient principles of Ayurveda, as well as having Math, English, Art, and Social Studies brought to life through this fun project. Wow! The school simply is alive with learning on every level!

The Bottom Line 

We have had our daughter in three other schools, both private and public. Quite simply, an education like the one Maharishi School offers is not available elsewhere. Consciousness-based learning is so important to our children’s entire being. It is beyond powerful, and seeing it in action is mind-blowing. There is a school that combines Yoga, TM, organic meals, a caring and connected community, illustrious alumni, heart-centered teaching, and academic excellence. That school is Maharishi School.

– Janet Jenkins

The Jenkins Family

The Jenkins Family

 

 

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

Maharishi School – Our Supportive Community

Maharishi School – A Support Network

Our Commitment to Community

At Maharishi School, we know how important a community of support is for a student. We seek to nurture the individual at the core of who they are. Again, this is echoed in our Science of Creative Intelligence Principles and quest to teach our students to know themselves. We know a student needs a fertile community to sink his or her roots deep into so that as the student grows, matures, and realizes his or her potential, the influence and turbulence of daily life do not deter him or her. We continue to cultivate that soil.

Below is a letter from one student who has found refuge and encouragement in our community at Maharishi School.

Community: A Letter From a Student

I have been in the performing arts world for most of my life, taking dance lessons, doing competitive choir, working behind and on stage in musicals and plays, and in speech competition. This has all taught me a lot about one of the Science of Creative Intelligence Principles: “Water the root to enjoy the fruit.”

I have often received the opportunity to play difficult characters, and I feel my study of Science of Creative Intelligence Principle has helped me step up to the plate and play these characters, as well as grow as a performer and a human being. For example this year in speech competition, I play a shy man who struggles with himself being gay and living in a conservative community. He loves his job and community but has to hide a part of himself to be able to enjoy that. The character who is played opposite of me, is different from my character in the sense that he is open and confident in his sexuality, asks my character to write an essay about being a gay man in America, and my character does a wonderful job. Naturally, the other man wants the essay to be published. My character does not want that to happen because it will out him to a community that most likely will not accept him any longer. This made me think about our development of self in the sense that if we cannot be our true selves, especially in any extremely simple way – being gay – in our immediate environment, something is wrong.  We must take care of and accept ourselves before we can do our best work.

Being trans and gay myself, I can relate a lot to the position this character is in. I know that once I came out I felt much more comfortable at school and my ability to perform was instantly much better because I could play male characters. I connected with this character’s shyness, strong belief in doing what is right, nervousness of coming out as gay, and wanting to do things on his own terms. This made me realize that so much of performing is inward. A performer must be comfortable with being on stage and being themselves before we can let go and give into pretending to be someone else. When one is acting, we do not entirely play another person, we are an extension of ourselves. We take a piece of the character and find it in our own being.  One must know themselves and have a strong sense of self to be able to do this.

We must work on ourselves before we can expect and enjoy our best selves and work.

– Josh Halley

Eli Lieb in Maharishi School Auditorium

Eli Lieb in Maharishi School Auditorium

 

Community Support

In a display of Maharishi School community support, Eli Lieb, an LGBTQ+ ambassador who has worked with The Trevor Project (click here to learn more), visited our school today. He brought a message of encouragement and hope to those who may feel alone, isolated, or different. In our ongoing efforts to always provide a safe, supportive, and accepting environment to everyone within our community, Eli will be hosting a Support Night this Thursday, February 1st, at our school. This event is geared toward students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Nut and Bolt – Our Robotics Team Competes

Nut and Bolt – Our Robotics Team Competes

Competition: January 27th, 2018

Meet Our Team

Maharishi School Robotics Team

Maharishi School Robotics Team shows off their skills in a community demonstration.

Nut and Bolt is a nine-person robotics team from Maharishi High School. The robotics team includes five twelfth grade students, three tenth grade students, and one ninth grade student who are all instructed and supervised by Mr. Jones. A Maharishi School Robotics Team representative said, “Out of our nine team members, we have a 5:4 ratio of boys to girls. We have teammates from China, Ethiopia, India, South Korea and United States. With great diversity, we discover and help each other and have created a strong harmony between us.”

Team Growth

FIRST Tech Challenge has been introduced to Maharishi School for three years. Each year, the team has learned and grown. This year, our team has reached a new peak. We have improved immensely in aspects including the robotic design and building, coding, fundraising, journal, engineering notebook, outreach, and sustainability.

Team Goals

Maharishi School’s Robotics Team’s goal this year is to make use of our resources to achieve high-quality development in all the aspects of the challenge. Specifically, we are aim to qualify for the State Competition and continue to be a competitive team in all the competitions with the use of computer vision, strong autonomous skills, and teamwork. Meanwhile, we focus on the general improvement of creative thinking, collaboration, and technical skills of every teammate. We hope to make the FIRST Tech Challenge an experience that’s fulfilling and helpful for students, now and in the future.

Material for this blog post comes from the Robotics Team’s Executive Summary.

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

Grand Champion Honors at State Science Fair

Maharishi School senior Bimba Shrestha with FHS partner Doga Ozesmi were the Grand Honorary Champions of the Iowa State Science Fair in Ames on March 26-27. They also won 1st place in Computer Science, the INTEL Excellence in Computer Science Award, the Mu Alpha Theta Innovation Award, and they qualified for an expense-paid trip to the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair, held this year in Pittsburgh.

Joining them in Pittsburgh will be 8th grader Pranav Chhalliyil, who also won the 2015 Iowa State Fair Grand Champion award, for the Junior Division. In addition to the Grand Champion award Pranav placed first in the Microbiology division in the 8th grade, overall championship in the Microbiology division, Broadcom championship, and the special Discovery in Science Award.

In May, Bimba, Doga, and Pranav are representing Iowa at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), Bimba and Pranav for the second consecutive year. Intel ISEF is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. More than 1,700 high school students from over 70 countries, regions, and territories are awarded the opportunity to showcase their independent research and compete for more than $5 million in prizes. Millions of students worldwide compete each year in local and state science fairs, from which the best win the opportunity to attend Intel ISEF.

Doga Ozesmi participated in the science fair program in the 7th and 9th grades at Maharishi School and decided to participate again as an 11th grader at FHS. “This year,” Doga said, “I wanted to do science fair again and found this cool idea about photonic fences. I thought it would be very difficult to do alone though so I pitched the idea to Bimba who also wanted to do science fair. It turned out he liked it, so we sat down and worked out some ideas and the rest is history, I guess.” That “history,” of course, is he and Bimba winning Grand Honorary Champions of the Iowa State Fair.

Bimba Shrestha

Bimba and Doga’s project this year is titled “Tracking and Killing Insects Using Photonic Fences.” For their project, they designed and developed a photonic fence that locates and tracks insects. Bimba said that photonic fences have a wide array of uses. They can prevent disease-carrying insects from entering a building, they can track and identify insects, and they can help protect crops. “Using cameras,” Bimba stated, “the system locates dark spots against a reflective background. If the spot matches certain criteria, like size, shape, and independence, it is identified as an insect.” Once the insect is identified, a laser could be used to eradicate the pest.

Doga said this year’s project involved “a lot of experimentation and constant testing to get our sensitivity and lighting right. In addition we had to sit down with pencil and paper several times to work out the math behind the location of our mechanism for each setup we tried. Overall, though, it was made a lot easier by working together and we were able to bounce ideas off each other to come up with the best solution.”

Pranav Chhalliyil

Eighth grader Pranav Chhalliyil’s award winning science project for this year is titled “The Efficiency of Mouth Cleaning Methods on Oral Bacterial Count Analyzed Using Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) Method.” Last summer he visited a middle school in a remote village in Tamil Nadu, India, where he found himself teaching the importance of bedtime toothbrushing. “I found the students were using different methods of toothbrushing. They wanted to know which method was efficient. That motivated me to do this project. They all volunteered to be my subjects.”

In his research this year, he tested 8 different oral cleaning methods and found that of the 8 different methods, two, “Toothpaste Brushing + Tongue Cleaning” and “Finger Rubbing + Water Swishing,” were found to be statistically significant as the best. “Between these two, Finger Rubbing + Water Swishing is the easiest, most cost effective and convenient way of cleaning.”

Pranav feels his Maharishi School teachers Barbara Hays and Richard Incorvia, through introducing project-based education to the classroom, have provided him with the competence to present his project in an impressive manner. “Ms. Hays was my adult sponsor, and she supported and motivated me throughout my research. My participation in the Maharishi Middle School radio show, guided by Mr. Incorvia, gave me a lot of confidence and strength.” He also is thankful for the Fairfield company Genetic-ID for allowing him to use their lab.

“Doga Ozesmi and Bimba Shrestha winning the state science fair together, as students from FHS and MSAE respectively, is a first, and something the whole community can be proud of,” said Dr. Richard Beall, Maharishi School Head.