Unlocking Tranquility: How Transcendental Meditation Can Ease Teen Stress

Life as a teenager can be exhilarating, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. From academic pressures to social dynamics, it’s easy for stress toteen reduced stress creep into the lives of teenagers. As parents, educators, and mentors, we often wonder: How can we help our teens navigate these stressors and find inner peace?

Enter Transcendental Meditation (TM), a technique that has been proven scientifically to alleviate stress and promote overall well-being. In this blog, we’ll explore how TM can be a game-changer for stressed teens, offering them a path to tranquility amidst the chaos of adolescence.

The basics

Transcendental Meditation is a simple yet highly effective meditation technique that has gained popularity for its ease of practice and remarkable results. Unlike other forms of meditation, TM doesn’t require intense concentration or complex postures. It involves sitting comfortably with closed eyes for 15-20 minutes, twice a day, while silently repeating a specific mantra.

Here’s how our students explain TM:

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.

Remember, the journey to inner peace is unique for each individual. Be patient, supportive, and celebrate the small victories along the way. With Transcendental Meditation, your teen can embark on a transformative path toward a calmer, more centered self.

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Future Business Leaders of America & Maharishi School

What is the FBLA and why is it important for our students?

Future Business Leaders of America, Inc. (FBLA) is the largest business Career and Technical Student Organization in the world. Each year, FBLA helps overfuture leaders 230,000 members prepare for careers in business. Their mission is to inspire and prepare students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences.
Maharishi School has always had students who were interested in business and finance, but it seems recently that more have expressed the desire for programs to support passions in that arena. We were fortunate to make a connection with Diane Goudy at just this time, who shared her expertise and vast experience with the future business leaders of America organization. We are excited to apply that framework With its many options for specific interests.
-Head of School, Dr. Richard Beall

The purpose of FBLA High School is to provide, as an integral part of the instructional program, additional opportunities for secondary students in business
and/or business-related fields to develop vocational and career supportive competencies and to promote civic and personal responsibilities.

Goals of the FBLA High School Division are to:

• develop competent, aggressive business leadership;
• strengthen the confidence of students in themselves and their work;
• create more interest in and understanding of American business enterprise;
• encourage members in the development of individual projects which contribute
to the improvement of home, business, and community;
• develop character, prepare for useful citizenship, and foster patriotism;
• encourage and practice efficient money management;
• encourage scholarship and promote school loyalty;
• assist students in the establishment of occupational goals; and
• facilitate the transition from school to work.

Through its diverse opportunities for learning, networking, and hands-on experiences, the league not only empowers students with practical knowledge but also nurtures their entrepreneurial spirit. The Future Business League of America stands as a pivotal initiative for high school students at Maharishi School, offering them a unique platform to cultivate essential skills, foster innovative thinking, and build a foundation for future success in the dynamic world of business.

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Pioneer Robotics Team Success

Pioneering their way with robots

Congratulations to the Maharishi School Robotics team who are FTC Iowa State Championship bound, Your hard work, dedication, and innovative thinking haverobotics team paid off! The Robotics team surged from 17th to 5th place at their league event, qualifying them for State.

Coaches tell their story

Mr. Pradeep Aikar and Mr. Jeremy Blitz Jones are the coaches for this program, and through their guidance we have seen so much progress with Pioneer Robotics. They highlighted the teams journey below:
“We at Pioneer Robotics have had our set of challenges this year with fewer than 4 students working on Engineering and Robot design, and 3 students working on outreach. The sheer sense of small size of our team meant everyone was stretched to maximum capacity. What really benefited us this year was the snow days that we got additional time to work on our robot. Coupled with the dedicated, and reliable team members, we were able to put on a fantastic show.”
“Phuong, Jessie and Pranit worked on getting our outreach going. This area requires us to connect with the local community engineering firms. We also do outreach with non technical groups, like students and community members who are not involved in robotics. We show them our robot and present what we do at First Tech Challenge. Jessie and Pranit together put a drone designed by them in a designated area on the game field that launches paper. This time our drone launcher was one of the most reliable scoring elements that consistently scored 20 points.”
“Miles and Keshav were our engineers who put the hardware together. They build the chassis on which the robot is built and all other score elements of the robot. We have a claw mounted on the arm that picks up the pixel and places them on a board. They attached a hook on which the robot suspends itself in the end game. Miles came up with a plan of a claw design and mounted it on the robot that did extremely well. He 3D printed parts of the robot so that we have an additional advantage when it comes to scoring.”
robotics team“Poojita worked on 3D printing and design work related to prototyping and final design of the hook. She made clear concise designs of the hook which allowed us to experiment on suspending the robot on a truss.”
“Ishita worked on coding and programming the robot so that all the scoring elements of the robot works synchronically controlled from a gamepad. She also worked on a section of the robot that requires the robot to autonomously work on tasks without the intervention of a human player.”
“Team Pioneer Robotics had a wonderful day at the competition. It was freezing cold on a Saturday morning when temperatures were close to -19F and the bus was even colder. We arrived at the venue and had a quick meeting. We know our robot was mostly ready to perform. The first thing we do is get our robot inspected. We passed the inspection, wherein the judges checked for the dimensions of the robot, safety standards and about 50 different parameters that the robot has to meet in order to participate in the competition.”
“Our team then went for a judging interview where they were asked about their journey and their contribution to the Engineering Portfolio. The Engineering Portfolio is a 15 page document which illustrates the building, programming, fundraising, outreach and any other aspect of developing our robot.
The two coaches and mentors, Mr. Jeremey Blitz Jones and Mr. Pradeep Aikar advised students to stay calm, composed and enjoy the process of the competition.
The teams then prepared the robot for the matches. In these matches the robot picks up pixels which are 3 inch sided hexagonal prisms and places them on to the board. There are many different ways the robot can score points.”
Our robot was built to score in every possible aspect of the game. We scored above 100 points in every game. We started at 17 on the ranking scale and moved up to rank 5 in the tournament. These were the achievements of our team in the Regional Meet.
1. Winners of the Control Award.
2. First time for Pioneer Robotics to be the winning captain alliance.
3. The highest performing team of the day.
4. Team advanced to State Level.
We at Pioneer Robotics are optimistic and looking forward to continuing working on our robot for the State Level competition. If you feel that you want to extend your support in any possible way, please feel free to connect with our team.

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10 Ways to Keep Kids Busy Over Winter Break

Winter break can be a joyous time for kids, filled with festive spirit and a break from school routines. However, it often comes with the challengepreschool students of keeping them entertained and engaged. Here are ten ideas to keep those young minds active and spirits high during the winter break.

Snowy Season Fun: 10 Engaging Activities to Keep Kids Busy During Winter Break

  1. Winter Crafts: Set up a crafting station with supplies for making snowflakes, paper snowmen, or winter-themed ornaments. Pinterest is a goldmine for easy and creative craft ideas!
  2. Indoor Campout: Create a cozy indoor campsite with blankets, pillows, and tents. Tell stories, build forts and have hot chocolate in your indoor oasis.
  3. Baking Bonanza: Spend time in the kitchen baking cookies, cupcakes, or gingerbread houses. Let them decorate with colorful icing and sprinkles for added fun.
  4. Movie Marathon: Have a movie day with educational films or theme-based selections. Set up a mini concession stand with popcorn and snacks for the full cinema experience.
  5. Science Experiments: Conduct simple, safe experiments at home, like making slime, creating a volcano, or exploring the wonders of static electricity. There are plenty of kid-friendly science experiment kits available too.
  6. Book Club: Encourage reading by starting a family book club. Choose a book suitable for everyone’s age range and have regular discussions or activities related to the story.
  7. Winter Wonderland Outing: Bundle up and explore the winter wonderland outdoors! Whether it’s building a snowman, sledding, or having a snowball fight, outdoor activities can be exhilarating.
  8. Music and Dance Party: Turn up the music and let loose! Have a dance-off or a talent show where kids can showcase their musical abilities or create their own musical instruments.
  9. DIY Obstacle Course: Set up an indoor obstacle course using household items like pillows, chairs, and hula hoops. Time each other and see who completes it the fastest.
  10. Community Volunteering: Teach the importance of giving back by volunteering as a family at a local shelter, food bank, or organizing a donation drive for those in need.

Winter break is a time for bonding, learning, and making memories together. Mix and match these activities to create a fulfilling and entertaining schedule for your kids during this special time of the year!

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10 Trends in Preparation for College 2024

Navigating the Shifting Tide: Trends in US College Admission

As the academic landscape continuously evolves, so do the trends shaping the US college admission process for hopeful students. Whether you’re a high schoolcollege prep junior setting sail for higher education or a parent guiding this journey, understanding these trends can be the compass that steers your course toward success.

  1. Holistic Admissions: Colleges increasingly emphasize a holistic approach in evaluating applicants. It’s not just about grades and test scores anymore. They seek well-rounded individuals with diverse experiences, passions, and skills. Extracurricular activities, community service, internships, and personal essays play pivotal roles.
  2. Test-Optional Policies: The pandemic accelerated the shift toward test-optional policies. Many colleges continued this trend, recognizing the limitations of standardized tests in gauging a student’s potential. This shift allows applicants to showcase their strengths beyond test scores.
  3. Emphasis on Authenticity: Originality and authenticity are gaining more prominence in application essays. Admissions officers appreciate genuine stories that reflect an applicant’s unique voice and experiences. It’s not about crafting a perfect narrative but sharing a compelling and honest one.
  4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Colleges prioritize creating diverse and inclusive communities. They value applicants who have contributed to diversity or have been advocates for equity. Students showcasing commitment to social causes or fostering inclusivity stand out.
  5. Taking AP Courses: Advanced Placement (AP) classes can boost your GPA and strengthen your college application. But the number of advanced courses you choose to take should depend on your academic interests and your schedule.
  6. Tech-Infused Applications: Technology continues to revolutionize the application process. Virtual tours, online interviews, and digital portfolios allow students to present themselves beyond paper applications. Utilizing these resources effectively can make a difference.
  7. Focus on Mental Health and Well-being: Colleges are increasingly attentive to students’ mental health. This shift involves assessing how applicants coped with challenges, prioritized self-care, and supported peers during stressful times. At Maharishi School we believe the key to preparedness and academic success is to first understand ourselves. We give students the time and the tools to learn more about themselves – their innermost nature, passions, strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and goals. It’s an integral part of the individuation process: forming a strong sense of identity with feelings of autonomy and self-confidence.  We believe knowing yourself is the beginning of becoming your best self.
  8. Demonstrated Adaptability and Resilience: The pandemic highlighted the importance of adaptability and resilience. Students who navigated uncertainties, adapted to remote learning, or initiated innovative solutions showcased these qualities, which resonate positively in applications. Having invaluable tools, like Transcendental Meditation, becomes a trusted ally in navigating the stormy waters of stress that many college applicants face their freshman year.
  9. Strategic Early Decision and Early Action: Early decision/action applications continue to be popular among students aiming for their dream schools. However, with the increasing competition, strategic planning and comprehensive research are crucial before committing to this path.
  10. Impact of Social Media Presence: Colleges might consider applicants’ social media presence. Students should be mindful of their online footprint, ensuring it aligns with the values they present in their applications.

Navigating these trends requires a balanced approach. It’s about being authentic, pursuing passions, embracing diversity, and showcasing resilience. Remember, the journey toward college admission is not just about reaching a destination but also about the transformative experiences along the way. As you set sail into this ever-evolving landscape, stay true to yourself, explore your passions, and let your unique story shine.

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How to Enhance Your Child’s Education

Collaborating with your school is good for everyone

“The partnership with the school will work best if parents are able to trust the school and realize that investment in longer-term learning and growth requires tolerancehappy kids for some shorter-term disappointment.” -Psychologist Rob Evans.

What this means in terms of how you look at your children’s time at an independent/private school like Maharishi School is that instead of pointing at the problems, you take on an active role in discovering solutions.

As parents we need to have both confidence and patience with our school, as it serves our children with a safe container to struggle through physical and emotional discomforts, while also preparing them to be contributing citizens of the world.

Ask yourself; what can you do to help support your school be the best it can possibly be for your child.

“Jobs are changing, whole industries are changing – kids need to be adaptable and flexible. They need to know to seek out their teachers and then their professors to ask questions. To work with other people. To get ideas from peers. To learn from people who see things differently. They need that sense of confidence in their own ability to do the work and face the challenge. Those are the gifts that parents and schools together need to give children, so they’ll learn and grow.” – Jack Hall, Head of The Walker School in Mariette, Georgia.

Remember, it takes a village to raise a child, and a collaborative effort between parents and schools can build a stronger foundation for a child’s success.

Get in touch with your Parent Advisory Council member, or reach out to Danielle Wallace (the head of the PAC at our school).

dwallace@maharishischool.org

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Ayurveda 101: Pule Diagnosis with Paul Morehead PhD

Ayurveda for Teens

In the bustling world of teenage-hood, where physical, emotional, and social changes occur at a rapid pace, maintaining amiddle school healthy balance is essential. Ayurveda, the ancient science of life and holistic well-being, it’s prevention-oriented, natural and time-tested, approaching health from every level: mind, body and environment. This offers valuable insights and practices that can greatly benefit teenagers. Which is why Paul Morehead spoke with our Middle School students about how to take their pulse and understand the implications of that reading.

Paul Morehead is associate chair of the department of physiology at Maharishi University of Management, and co-director of the Evanston Transcendental Meditation Center. He is an expert in Ayurveda and pulse diagnosis, and offers personal wellness consultations by appointment.

What is a Pulse Reading?pulse ayurveda

Maharishi Self-Pulse Reading allows one to detect imbalances early before they manifest as disease. Reading the pulse allows one to precisely determine where the imbalance is and how to restore balance. Furthermore, pulse reading is therapeutic in itself. Just taking the pulse increases the balance in the pulse and thereby the balance of the whole mind and body. Taking the pulse enlivens the connection between mind and body, consciousness and matter.

Understanding Individuality

Ayurveda recognizes that each person is unique, with varying body types and energy compositions (doshas). By understanding their own body type—Vata (air and space), Pitta (fire and water), or Kapha (earth and water)—teens can make informed lifestyle and dietary choices. This self-awareness empowers them to eat, exercise, and rest in ways that support their natural constitution.

How to Feel the Pulse Free Preview from Paul Morehead

https://vimeopro.com/user9598450/maharishi-self-pulse-reading-16-lesson-course-free-lessons

The password to view this video is: selfpulse

 

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Let’s Talk Middle School CCLS

An exciting development for the upcoming Fall 2023 school year is that  Diogo Santos, who is an experiencedmiddle school teacher International Baccalaureate (IB) art teacher and examiner–and who teaches TM–will be taking the lead in reimagining  CCLS in Middle School.  Diogo’s strength is in curriculum design and integration–and he is also passionate about Consciousness and Creativity, making him the ideal person to take on this opportunity and challenge. (Diogo will continue to teach in Lower School as well.)

 

Interview with Diogo Santos

  • As an educator and a TM teacher I’m really excited to teach CCLS to the Middle School this year, it feels like the perfect combination of academics and the special unique thing that our school has to offer. We are currently working on crafting a curriculum that corresponds to the Middle School student’s realities and expectations of CCLS this year.
  • We are trying to integrate what’s really special about Maharishi’s teachings and the student’s real world experiences with what is meaningful to them at this point in their lives. In order for this to happen we have to collaborative on the development of this curriculum with the students themselves.
  • We will work together to help figure out the topics, the life skills they want to learn, and integrate those to Maharishi’s teachings. The fulfillment of this is to have a curriculum that aligns with the school’s mission and core values and further them along on their learning journey.

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Let’s Talk Middle School Science

Mr. Aikar has been teaching Technology courses to our Upper School students this past years using a curriculum that ranges from cyber security and authentic sources, to designing games and building robots.
He will continue to teach technology as a Project to 7th and 8th graders in the Fall 2023 school year–and he will be incorporating technology directly into the curriculum as he teaches Grade 6 Science as well.

Interview with Mr. Aikar

 

  • What I intend to do next year is to make it a lot of hands-on activities. Students will be coming in and playing with things, and experiencing the joy of doing. I will have them get into the area of 3D designing and printing. I want to also introduce to them some coding so that we will gradually prepare them for our High School Robotics program. Then coding will lead to the programs Sketch (for 3d printing) and Scratch (making their own games). Then we will have 3D modeling and making their own remote control cars to play with.
  • We want them to enjoy learning and start their day with something like CNN10, so they can see what’s happening around the world and celebrate everything in class.
  • What I intend to do with Middle School Science is bring the lab into classroom. They can use a lot of props or materials of everyday use and see the science in them. They should be able to take a leaf, extract the chlorophyll out of it and see how the leaf looks without the chlorophyll. They will be able to answer their own simple curious questions. They will feel very fulfilled once they can know the answers for themselves. I don’t want to give them all the answers, I want them to be playful and joyful in the discovery of finding outthose answers.
  • Why students may not like Science and think it’s too hard or difficult to understand is because the approach is exactly the opposite in schools of what we should be doing. We come down with heavy theory and concepts that students feel are too abstract. What we want to do at Maharishi School is take those ideas, those concepts, take those phenomena and break them down into simple concrete theories that are associated with them. So students will learn as if they are breaking down real physical phenomena into simple math and that’s how I believe strongly that by looking at the nature around us we can use math rather than learning math and trying to fit it into nature.

 

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Learn More About the Education Savings Accounts (ESA) in Iowa

What is the ESA?

The Students First Act, introduced by Governor Reynolds and signed into law on January 24, 2023, supports the success of every K-12 student in Iowakindergarten by makes state funding available. The bill establishes a framework and funding for education savings accounts, which may be used by eligible families to cover tuition, fees, and other qualified education expenses at accredited private schools in Iowa.

How does ESA work?

Parents who choose to enroll their eligible children in an accredited private school will receive an amount equal to the per pupil funding allocated to public school districts for the same budget school year. Funds will be deposited into an education savings account (ESA) to be used for tuition, fees, and other qualified education expenses as specified in the legislation.

The state has signed a contract with Odyssey to manage program administration for Students First Education Savings Accounts, including applications, financial transactions, compliance, fraud prevention and customer service. Odyssey was selected through a competitive bid process based on its ability to first gradesecurely administer funds, provide families with direct customer service and support and offer the state real-time insight into the program’s effectiveness.

The Office of the Governor, Department of Education, Department of Management, and Office of the Chief Information Officer are working with Odyssey to implement the technology platform. The state plans to begin taking applications during the month of May, but a specific date has not yet been announced. Details regarding the application process will be provided later this month to help families prepare to apply. Applications will be due on June 30, 2023, for the 2023-2024 school year.

 

Who is eligible?

Students First ESAs will be available based on the following eligibility:

Year 1: School Year 2023-24 

  • All entering kindergarten students
  • All students enrolled in a public school
  • A student enrolled in a private school with a household income at or below 300% of the 2023 Federal Poverty Guidelines, $90,000 for a family of four

Year 2: School Year 2024-25

  • All entering kindergarten students
  • All students enrolled in a public school
  • A student enrolled in a private school with a household income at or below 400% of the 2024 Federal Poverty Guidelines that will be updated January 2024

Year 3: School Year 2025-26

  • All K-12 students in Iowa regardless of income

Find more details, here.