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Pioneer Tennis Announcements

coach lawrence eyre

Coach Lawrence Eyre

Meet the tennis coaches

This year we have 2 very reputable coaches teaching the Maharishi School Pioneer tennis teams. On the Pioneer girls’ team, we have Coach Lawrence Eyre, who is both a school teacher and tennis pro and has received the Gold Star Award (making him one of only 100 people to receive such an honor). The award is part of the USTA’s 100th anniversary and goes to those individuals who have grown the game of tennis in their communities.

Lawrence has contributed to the tennis community in many influential ways. Whether it’s through officiating, coaching juniors or college-level players, volunteering at adult tournaments, providing tennis in schools, and even starting the first Community Tennis Association in Fairfield years ago.

coach steve briggs

Coach Steve Briggs

For the Pioneer boys’ team, we are very lucky to have Steve Briggs who has coached the boys from the 2013 season on. During his six years of coaching the Pioneer boys’ team won the triple crown and had a total of five 2nd place finishes at the state level competition. Steve was a former head coach at the Vic Braden Tennis College in Germany and a Head Tennis Pro at several country clubs including Denver, Colorado, and Moline Illinois. He has also trained two Top 50 ATP tour players as well as numerous sectional ranked junior players. Before he came to coach at Maharishi School Steve was a 3-year varsity member of the team at the University of Arizona.

Match reports

Both of our coaches have been asked to write about the match from their point of view. We will be hearing from them home games and this blog will be updated accordingly.

Steve Briggs’ Summary

3/30/21

pioneer boys tennis teamThe Pioneers opened the season with a gut churning victory over Mt Pleasant at the Punj Center yesterday.
But first a story from 2018, the last time the Pioneers took the court as a team.
April, 2018, Burlington

Fifteen minutes into Devan Burke’s rookie match as a Pioneer, the former Swedish boarding student complained, “Coach, I have no idea what I’m doing out here.” Devan came from behind to win that maiden match before going on to become one of the winningest players in Pioneer history (2 time district champ, state runner-up in doubles).

The Pioneers are two weeks into the 2021 season and I’ve already told Devan’s story twice. Why? Because every guy on our team is in the same
 boat Devan was in at Burlington’s Dankwardt Park three years ago.
March 30, 2021, Punj Center, Fairfield
Playing in typically blustery March conditions, the Pioneers took the court for the first time since Devan played in the state championship match in 2018.  Our opponent, Mt Pleasant, is a school that has produced a number of quality players over the years.
Every team develops a unique personality characterized by leaders and supporting players, but the identity of our fledgling squad is a work in progress. Just 24 hours before the Mt. Pleasant match, two of our players requested that they play lower on the lineup than their ability suggested, and a third boy wasn’t sure he belonged in the lineup at all. I told the boys, “this isn’t a democracy but I’m okay with adjusting the lineup.” Rather than assume the team lacked confidence, I decided that humility would become part of our team’s core identity.
Sports has arguably generated more cliched phrases than any other walk of American life. Coaches rely on the same trite phrases year after year. One of my favorites is: “Nobody remembers how you start, they only remember how you finish.”
That axiom proved to be the reason James Nyugen earned “Player of the Match”  honors along with his doubles partner, Budhil ThijmJames started poorly in his match and could have thrown in the towel (see how easy the cliches flow) but when he was reminded that the team needed his point, he launched a come from behind victory that proved pivotal to the outcome of the match.
Playing one court over, Pioneer #2 Budhil Thijm got off to the best start of the day, dominating his mammoth opponent, Jack Schimmelpfenig (shining penny) 6-0, 7-5. Big Jack stands 6’4” and weighs nearly as much as James and Budhil combined. Jack, a 2 way mainstay on the Mt Pleasant football team, has great touch for a big guy, but Budhil played with impressive focus as he moved Jack around the court.
At #1 singles, Romil Patel overcame a poor 2nd set to win in 3 sets, and Dominic Dupoux played with a lot of poise for a first timer in his win at #5.
After singles play, the Pioneers held a commanding 4-2 lead and it appeared that we would cruise to victory the way Pioneer teams have for the past 30 years. But the Panthers weren’t ready to head home. Surviving 2 match points, the Mt P  #2 doubles evened the team score at 4-4.
It was up to our #1 team, James and Budhil, to clinch the decisive point. After falling behind 5-2 in the deciding tiebreak, the Pioneers won the final 8 points of the match as daylight faded and spectators’ shivered.
If our inexperienced squad continues to improve the way Devan Burke did, the Pioneers return to the courts after a 3 year absence will be fun to watch.
The Pioneers are in action against a veteran Keokuk squad on April 8th at the Punj Center.
Match Results

 

Singles
#1  Romil Patel  defeated  David Nyugen  6-2, 1-6, (10-1)
#2  Budhil Thijm defeated Jack Schimmelpfenig   6-0, 7-5
#3  James Nyugen defeated Owen van Sickel 2-6, 6-4 (10-6)
#4  Jayanta Wegman lost to Levi Graber 6-2, 6-4
#5  Dominic Dupoux defeated  Link Henrickson  7-5, 6-2
#6 William Nyugen lost to  Brian Hyunh 6-4, 5-7 (10-7)
Doubles
#1  Budhil/James   defeated  Nyugen/Schicmmepfenig  9-8 (10-5)
#2  Romil/Jayanta lost to van Sickel/Graber 9-7
#3  Dominic/William   lost to  Henrickson/Hyunh 8-1

Lawrence Eyres’ Summary

4/5/21

pioneer girls tennis teamMaharishi School girls’ tennis team played their first match in two years and won 9-0 versus West Burlington/Burlington Notre Dame at the Punj outdoor courts today.
Team captain Lily Fenton (11)  won her #1 singles match 8-1 and teamed with Ishita Mukadam (9) to win a come-from-behind #1 doubles thriller 8-6.
“Our players adjusted well to windy conditions and found ways to balance their opening day excitement with the need to keep the ball in play.” -Coach Eyre
Other winners for the Pioneers include Vaisnavii Mohanraj (11) 8-3 at #2 singles and 8-5 at #2 doubles with Daira Queveda-Valls (9); Sara Queveda-Valls (10)
8-1 at #3 singles and 8-2 at #3 doubles with Evelyn Ding (10).
Pioneers’ next match will be Monday, April 12, when they host Centerville at 4:15 pm.
Ishita Mukadam won 8-0 at #4 singles
Daira Queveda-Valls won 8-4 at #5 singles
Evelyn Ding  won 8-3 at #6 singles

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

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Robotics at Maharishi School

Maharishi School is not new to robotics as this is their sixth year participating in the First Tech Challenge. This year’s team has eight members, five of whom are participating for the first time, and two of which have been participating for three previous years. In terms of skills and interest, this may be the most diverse robotics team in Maharishi School’s history, with over five countries represented. With the guidance of our experienced mentors and returning members, as well as the novel ideas of our new members, we strive for innovative and effective solutions to the problems presented to us.

Last Years Robotics Team

Fundraising and Outreach with COVID

During the lockdown, the team has come up with various ways to fundraise and spread information about our robotics team. Through a new Instagram account, and the help of our local businesses, our team was able to financially support our innovations.

Programming Innovations

The programming team has been leveraging the use of Vuforia** technology to detect rings, a new addition to our team̗’s skill set and robot̗’s capabilities˼ We are also increasingly mindful of optimizing the driving experience and have devoted a lot of time towards significantly reducing the precision and number of controller movements required to complete tasks such as launching rings and placing wobble goals.

Current Robotics Team

Technical Advancements

The most demanding and new task for the design team this year has, by far, been the in-taking and launching of the rings. Our answers to these criteria were an intake ramp and a hopper with a fly-wheel powered launch ramp. Difficulties mainly arose around efforts to maximize effectiveness and efficiency as well as minimizing complexity, given the complications of building with new materials and mechanisms. Successful construction was owed to a balance of practical and systematic engineering methods, along with communication within the team, particularly with programming.

Who’s on the team?

maharishi school student 2021
Budhil Thijm- Engineering Notebook Supervisor

As a senior at Maharishi school participating in my first year of robotics and possibly my last, I hope to do the best I can with my team. As the future progresses I believe robotics and automation will benefit all of us depending on how it is used and learning about it, I hope to be capable of being involved in that future.

Dominic Magnus Dupoux- Fundraiser and Calculatormaharishi school students 2021

Being a junior in my second year of robotics, I hope to take on responsibilities and go out of my comfort zone so that I might help lead the team next year. I worked as the head of fundraising initially as well as in design and construction, particularly in calculations, hoping to approach design in a more systematic way. My strengths are my attention to detail, creativity, and focus.

maharishi school students 2021

Ishitia Paras Mukadam- Junior Programmer

As my first year in robotics, I truly wanted to learn the basics in this field, especially the programming side of it and how it worked alongside the mechanics, so I can use that knowledge in the future. I loved being there and learning the process of connecting the dots between the code and the robot. The main thing I learned is to be patient and persevere through the challenges. There’s no doubt in my mind that I will continue to be a part of this robotics journey throughout my years of high school.

Miles Christopher Siemsen- CAD Mastermaharishi school student 2021

I joined robotics in search of developing new skills and finding other ways I could work with a team. It has been a great experience this year in learning the basics of coding in java as well as learning how to almost replicate the robot my team has built-in CAD. My strengths are that I’m a fast learner, persistent, and cooperative in a group.

maharishi school students 2021

Saraswati Paz Quevedo-Valls- Business Chef

I joined the robotics team to get out of my comfort zone and learn a variety of new skills. As the season is coming to an end, I can say that I have learned a lot since joining the team. Before joining, I was unable to even screw and tighten screws. As well as better communication skills, as I worked a lot on fundraising˼

Shristi Sharma- Senior Programmer

maharishi school student 2021

I love learning new technologies such as programming mecanum wheels, experimenting with Vuforia, and creating driver enhancements. In my last robotics season, I’m optimistic about the team’s future and have been working with our fantastic members to help them take on the programming portion of the challenge for future years. My strengths are my ability to be organized and collaborative.

Skylar Anthony Halley- Head of Design

maharishi school student 2021

As a senior in my third year in FTC, this year my goals have been to help design mechanisms for the robot that will allow us to succeed at each element of the task as well as share some of my knowledge to help prepare future teams after I graduate.

 

Yeabtsega Woubishet Taffesse- Public Relations

I joined the robotics team because I was always interested in engineering and coding. Once I joined the team I realized that I like being involved in the community so I specifically focused on reaching out to people to talk about the robotics team. Before joining the robotics club, I was not aware of the process of making a robot. I have worked on the base of the robot-like the wheels and the motor part of it. I also worked with fundraising and that helped me build up my communication skills.

Fundraising Goals and Efforts

Our fundraising goal this year was to fundraise ̥2000 to put towards our robot. In an effort to do so, we made a list of 38 target companies that we would like to contact for donations. We contacted each of these companies by either calling or emailing in an effort to fundraise money. After contacting all of our target companies, we spent a couple of hours driving to local businesses to get more donations.

When contacting companies or speaking to the managers of our town’s local businesses, we made sure to include what a robotics team is, what we were working towards, and what we would use the money for. If the companies we emailed did not respond, we respectfully sent a follow-up email. So far this season we have been able to raise 1803, which is 197 away from our season fundraising goal.

Sustainability

The Legacy

This year was the last season for three of our robotics team members as they will be graduating. Two of the soon-to-be graduates have been doing robotics their whole high school careers and are the head of our robotics team. The three seniors have been taking this season to not only work on our robot but to teach all of the members who will be here next year.

Our head coder, Shristi, has been working closely with a freshman who is very interested in coding, Ishita. For the whole season, they have been working side by side on the coding elements of our competition. Another soon-to-be graduate, Skylar has been making sure to educate and teach us his thought process and skills he uses when building the robot. I have been working with him alongside Dominic, Miles, and Yeabstega. They take every opportunity they get to let us in on their past experiences and knowledge they have gained from their years in the robotics team. 

Recruiting New Members

At the beginning of each quarter at our school, teachers have the chance to advertise their clubs to students. During the first quarter, the robotics club takes the opportunity and advertises the club to high school students. When we present, we explain all the aspects of robotics such as fundraising, to show how much thought is in the club. As well as pictures of past robots and competitions. We make it clear that you don’t need any experience to join the club, to not limit the students. As someone who has only been doing robotics for less than a year and is fairly new, I think that the team does a good job of teaching and making new teammates feel welcome.

 

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 and Instagram.

 

**Vuforia is an augmented reality software development kit for mobile devices that enables the creation of augmented reality applications. It uses computer vision technology to recognize and track planar images and 3D objects in real-time.

Consciousness, Connections & Life Skills (CCLS)

What is CCLS?

This subject, originally called SCI or the Science of Creative Intelligence, has been part of the school since its inception and has gone through many changes over time. Eight years ago, there was a major overhaul of the curriculum based on alumni response. In 2018, the curriculum underwent a further change with the addition of SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) and Comprehensive Health lessons to the curriculum. The name of the subject changed from SCI to CCLS (Consciousness, Connections, and Life Skills) to reflect this change. To expand on the name: Consciousness (the understanding and experience of consciousness through Transcendental Meditation), Connections (between different areas of life; interdisciplinary), and Life Skills (practical skills useful to everyday life, including SEL and sexual health).

The mission statement of the school is: To create an innovative, consciousness-based educational environment, where students think deeply and become creative,project period maharishi school compassionate, contributing citizens of the world.

There are four components of CCLS that directly teach to this mission statement: SCI (Science of Creative Intelligence), SEL (Social and Emotional Learning), the Comprehensive Health Curriculum (called Rights, Respect, and Responsibility), and Positive Discipline. We also have incorporated Restorative Justice talking circles.

What is SCI?

SCI (Science of Creative Intelligence) is the study of creativity and intelligence and principles found in everyday life that allow us to make connections between different fields of study and human experience. SCI deals primarily with the experience and understanding of consciousness.

  • The experiential part of this subject is that all the students practice Transcendental Meditation as part of curriculum every day in the morning and afternoon. (Students begin practicing TM starting in 4th grade. From ages 4 to 10, the students practice a simpler technique that is preparation for sit down meditation. Included in this program is a series of yoga asanas (postures) and a simple breathing exercise which serves to prime the nervous system for meditation, pranayama.
  • The theoretical or intellectual component involves an examination of the nature of consciousness, the relationship of consciousness to the physical world and the laws of nature. This exploration of consciousness is age-appropriate and occurs at all grade levels throughout the school, beginning in Preschool with more concrete activities and becoming more complex and theoretical in upper school.

What is SEL?

SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) in our Upper School consists of five main competencies as formulated by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). SEL is implemented differently at various grade levels, including the Preschool, Lower School, Middle School and Upper School.

  • Self-Awareness: the ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior.
  • Self-Management: the ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations.
  • Social Awareness: the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Relationship Skills: the ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups.
  • Responsible Decision-Making: the ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions.

Comprehensive Health Curriculum

We use the K-12 curriculum from Advocates for Youth called Rights, Respect, and Responsibility. This curriculum includes age-appropriate lessons that cover a wide range of health areas, including relationships and consent, STDs and contraception, dating abuse, etc. In Preschool, the students are taught early consent, boundaries, and becoming comfortable with using anatomically correct words to describe their bodies. In upper school, we do a couple lessons a month and design our own slide presentations to supplement the materials.

Positive Discipline

Positive Discipline is designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful, and resourceful members of their communities. It teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for children and adults. In the summer of 2018, the school adopted Positive Discipline as part of our professional development program and invited a specialist to provide in-depth training. Our overall goal for positive discipline is to culture mutual respect between peers and adults, and to make sure all children are heard, respected, and intrinsically motivated.

  • In Preschool, the focus is on conflict resolution, but also includes understanding feelings, recognizing their own voice, making sure every child is heard, and maintaining boundaries, with class meetings or circles to facilitate communication.
  • In Lower School, the emphasis is on classroom management and conflict resolution.
  • In Middle School, communication skills and conflict resolution are the main focus.
  • In Upper School, many aspects of Positive Discipline (such as effective communication and problem-solving skills) are covered in the SEL curriculum and practiced in the classroom. Upper school also utilizes Restorative Justice talking circles and practices, which are much in line with Positive Discipline.

 

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 and Instagram.

The Sisterhood of the Girls Who Code

Starting a Girls Who Code Club in Fairfield, Iowa

Girls Who Code (GWC) is an international non-profit organization whose programs educate, equip, and inspire girls with computing skills they’ll need to pursue 21st-century career opportunities. Maharishi School student Shristi Sharma has been a self-taught coder since the 4th grade when she heard about a GWC club that had opened in the local public high school. Even though there were only 3 other kids at the time Shristi says, “It was the first time I had found other girls who were also doing something that I was interested in, and the club became a way of making new friends for me. When the club shut down I was very sad that I couldn’t continue to find this support group. That’s when I asked myself, why can’t I start my own club?”

Shristi found out that you have to be 18 to start a club and at this point, she was only 13 but felt strongly that she had the skill set necessary to teach coding. 

girls who code club maharishi school“I did something which is pretty uncharacteristic of me. I cold emailed the founder of GWC, Reshma Saujani, who is a huge celebrity in the tech world. I told her how even though I was too young, I had the skill set necessary to start my own club, and that there was a need for it because there wasn’t a single club within a 50-mile radius of Fairfield.”

Shristi’s desire to have a community of female coders, coupled with her exceptional ability to code, got the founder’s attention. She responded to Shristi’s email and gave her the contact person that would help bypass the rule of being 18 to start a club.

“I got to start my club! Our first supervisor was Sophia Blitz who was our math teacher at the time and also had software engineering experience, so it was a lot of fun. Now my co-facilitator is Anne McCollum, a Computer Science professor at Maharishi International University.”

Learning How to Lead

The club not only attracted girls from Maharishi School but some were traveling from surrounding towns to attend, as well as home schools and the local public school.

“I enjoyed meeting people from all around the area, we are open to anyone willing to travel. There’s a saying in the GWC organization, be a guide on the side, not sage on the stage. I took that to heart during my first year of teaching because it’s not about me lecturing them as much as it’s a collaboration. We teach each other and learn together.”

Each year the 6th-12th grade girls have a goal to create a project that benefits the local community in some way, while the 3-5th grade girls learn the fundamentals of computer science. Once they decide on a project they learn the necessary technology to build it.

“The first year we wanted to raise awareness about food insecurity and how much food goes to waste. We made an IOS Apple game, it was very simple. You have a trash can on the bottom of the screen, then there are fruits and hamburgers falling from the sky. The goal is to make sure the fruit doesn’t fall into the trash and every time you lose you’re faced with a statistic or fact about what you can do to decrease food insecurity and increase sustainability.”

“I had never made an IOS app before so I had to teach myself Swift, which is a programming language. Then I had to teach the other girls how to use it as well. We had to get verified and pay a $99 setup fee. Through GWC I learned about how to write grants and how to get funding.”

The Culture of Girls Who Code

For the 18 girls this year, it’s more than just a club. It’s a sisterhood. Not only do they learn complex coding languages but they celebrate holidays, and sometimes throw a party just because they feel like it! Shristi explains, “I’m a big foodie and I like to have snacks at every meeting. I think food brings people together, so every week we have a fun snack. It’s a club and extra circular but it’s become more than that. In GWC you find a group of friends. You meet people who you would never usually talk to. I’ve learned a lot about how to manage and work with different people.”

“The whole reason I’m doing this club is that; I’m a self-taught programmer and I understand how difficult it is to get yourself up and running on your own. I’m doing it because I like coding and I enjoy it, it’s a hobby of mine. As a girl in coding, you’re on a different playing field and it’s not always equal. There’s a lot of discrimination and prejudice. I’ve faced some of that too. GWC is about having a community of female coders that can support each other while learning a challenging subject.”

GWC exists to close that gender gap in the technology profession. Shristi explained that while younger girls are excited and curious about STEM-related fields, that interest is diminished when they become a teenager and are told: “this is not a field for girls, it’s a guy thing.” The whole point of GWC is to overcome this challenge and flip that thinking so more women are normalized in programming.

“We need more women in programming. Especially women of color, because technology has taken over the world. It’s pervasive in every single field, and being able to code and create those technologies is an extremely useful skill to have. It’s also important that we have diversity represented in the room when we’re coding because if we don’t, then we can’t cater to those populations in the end. Products and tools are being made that are not taking into account the female perspective. So that’s why I feel it’s important to emphasize diversity and create an environment for younger girls to thrive. That way they can feel supported enough to pursue this as an actual career opportunity.”

What Shristi learned from GWC

“I’ve had to work with all sorts of girls over the last four years and it’s been amazing for me to open up my bubble. I’m a naturally introverted person. Through GWC I’ve learned to lead in a way that I’m not overpowering others but I’m also not letting things stray off course. Especially with the younger girls because I have to come up with creative lesson plans that are fun and engaging. Taking incredibly difficult concepts and breaking them down into simple step-by-step solutions is a skill I’ve had to learn. That has helped me help them be more interested in what they’re doing and have fun.”

“Because of GWC, I’ve become more confident in my ability to have an impact. For example, there was a girl at the beginning of the year who was ready to give up. I worked through the issue with her and calmed down her frustrations. Once I got her to a successful point with her work, she then turned to her friends to help them out. It was such a powerful moment for me because I helped her and her immediate thought is to then help her friends with the same problem. I love that I can have a domino effect in that way.”

“Moments like that encouraged my participation in interact which is a Rotary club for youth. We do community service projects in Fairfield and internationally. I also joined the Student Council in high school and am president this year, so I’ve taken on a lot of leadership positions. Because of what I learned in GWC, I now enjoy the idea of being able to make small impacts that can snowball and help people on a grander scale.”

Future projects for GWC

This year because of covid the Fairfield community has been missing our “First Friday Artwalks” in the town square. The older GWC club decided that their community impact project this year will be to create a website where local artists can upload what they’ve been doing to an online gallery. The girls will also create a 3D map. This way you can virtually walk around the square and click on all the various shops to see coupons and different ways that you can support local businesses during this time.

Shristi says that the girls are currently learning the necessary skills to be able to create this and she hopes to be finished with it by the end of this school year.

“Through this whole process, we are learning industry-level concepts that real software developers use when they’re working in their companies. The main goal is to go through that process. No matter the end results, no matter how polished or perfect it is, we are proud to have a product that reflects what all that we have learned throughout the year.”

 

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 and Instagram.

To learn more about Girls Who Code watch this video:

Hands-On Learning in Middle School

Sheila Higgins gets Middle Schoolers hands dirty with hands-on learning

In my experience, middle school students naturally resonate with the open-ended structure of hands-on learning. They’re more excited about, engaged with, and invested in the learning process when they’re given the freedom to actively create their own knowledge, rather than passively consuming it.  Hands-on learning is an immersive experience that enhances a student’s ability to think critically and take ownership of their inquiries. Hands-on projects offer a safe space to make mistakes and learn organically through trial, error, and iterative thinking.

I love this approach to teaching because it creates the conditions for play, which is such a natural (and important!) way of engaging in authentic learning. While a hands-on model can take many forms, it’s essentially “learning by doing”–a practice that not only develops competency, but also strengthens the
qualities of curiosity, creativity, and collaboration within the learner. Students retain more
information about experiences that are memorable; for instance, investigating Newton’s Laws of Motion becomes much more engaging–and impactful–when they are physically explored in the context of a design challenge…rather than a traditional textbook lesson. In my 8th grade class, students design Balloon-powered Race Cars for a competitive engineering experience. Through this, their learning becomes a dynamic process in which scientific principles are explored in a real-world, immediate context.
I believe that learning is a lifelong process. Through hands-on projects, I hope to cultivate a sense of wonder and empowerment in my students’ approach to school.
Click here to watch Sheila’s Middle School class in action!

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

Find out about our school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

What is Project Period?

Project-Based Learning: Discover and test-drive your passions

Upper School students are given 70 minutes to work on a passion project 3 days each week. They problem-solve, experiment, falter and keep striving. Through the process, they learn real-world project period cookingskills that will serve them when they are adults working on projects at their workplaces.

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.

Goals for Projects:

Creativity. Students achieve project outcomes in a variety of ways and are given the tools, resources, and freedom to do so. Students experiment with a variety of possible choices/solutions. Students engage in original thought based on their own understanding and experience. Students understand that foundational knowledge and basic skills allow for more nuanced creativity.

Collaboration. Students work together to achieve project outcomes. Students apply effective strategies to get the most out of group work, in terms of conflict resolution, division of labor, peer feedback. 

Communication. Student practice using various communication methods: reading, writing, speaking, listening, and visual expression.  

Critical thinking. Students use goals/criteria to assess the quality of their group’s ideas/outcomes. Students explore various material and come to an informed, justified conclusion. 

A growth mindset. Students experience that hard work and constructive critical reflection lead to improved outcomes. Students make use of opportunities to complete several drafts/prototypes for a project. Failure is delayed success.

Societal Impact and Service. Students understand that the value of a project comes in its ability to contribute to society. Project outcomes will be considered in terms of both local and social sustainability. 

Interdisciplinary Integration.  Students explore topics from a variety of perspective and integrate skills from across disciplines to create meaningful project outcomes.

Portfolios. Students work towards creating products that can be documented and shared.

2021 Projects to choose from…

  • iPhone Film Production 
  • Podcasting
  • Rocketry
  • Music
  • Robotics 
  • Improv 
  • Cooking
  • Science Fair 

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

Find out about our school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

From Maharishi School to Princeton

Yenet Tafeese graduated from Maharishi School, six feet apart from her friends in the summer of 2020. What is she doing now you might ask? Well, she’s currently in the process of taking her mid-terms at Princeton, one of 12 Ivy League universities in the United States. I was lucky enough to steal a few moments of Yenet’s time to find out her story.

Can you tell me a little bit about growing up in Ethiopia?

While I was in Ethiopia I went to an international school so I was able to learn some English however I obviously didn’t know much. When I was younger I really liked jumping rope, even when I moved here I would jump rope a lot. Some specific memories that stand out in Fairfield were breaking my leg about 2 weeks into 5th grade. I had just moved here and I was trying to make friends and I ended up breaking my leg. Honestly, I was really scared about making friends especially after I broke my leg but I realized that through that I was able to meet the people that I am friends with now.

How has Maharishi School helped you on your journey to Princeton?

Maharishi School had helped shape a lot of what I think and it has cultivated my personal thought on a lot of things. Because of programs like project-based learning and consciousness-based education during my time at Maharishi School I was taught to think for myself and try my best to accept others and meet different people. The international environment and the home-like community at Maharishi School gave me a safe space to learn both academically and just general life skills. 

What was your first reaction to being accepted at Princeton? 

I was extremely surprised I got accepted to Princeton. Princeton was one of those schools that I applied to as a why-not school. The school that I just wanted to apply to for fun. So I was surprised to finish my application let alone get accepted!  I went through the Questbridge application process so I applied to almost all of my reach schools through that. In that process, I applied to WashU, Northwestern, UPenn, Princeton, Stanford, Yale, Duke, Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth, and Rice. My plan had been to finish my Questbridge application then depending on how it goes I would have applied to some of my “match” and “safe” schools through the common application. 

What is life currently like for you at Princeton?

My life at college has already started and I am currently taking my midterms. It is very odd to think that it had been a year since I started this process. I think college is very different than what people say it is; but, it is also exactly what people say it is. To further elaborate, college is really based on what you make of it. There is a lot of freedom so discipline and time management are very necessary. There is also the aspect of college that is non-academic and for that time you really have to get yourself out there! 

A lot of the things I do here has been based on me making an active decision. This might be obvious but I didn’t fully grasp this concept until I came here and understood that every decision that I make is up to me and I have to be the one managing things. 

We want to thank Yenet for taking the time to talk to us and congratulate her on this incredible accomplishment! The Maharishi School community is so proud of you, we cannot wait to see what more you will conquer in your life!

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

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Top 10 Achievements from Maharishi School

Teacher’s Holiday Party 2020

 

 

 

Top 10 Achievements for 1st Semester
2020-2021
Outside is the joy of the drop. Inside is the joy of the ocean. —Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
richard beall
Head of School Dr. Richard Beall
1. During the summer of 2020, prior to the opening of school, we formed a COVID task force to prepare the learning environment. Dr. Beall confirms that we met our commitment to make informed, data-driven decisions and preparations for the coming school year.
Families were given a choice: students could attend in person, online locally, and online internationally. Our website describes these detailed decisions and preparations in the “Return to Learn” plan required by the Iowa Department of Education.
We are proud to say that we got through 2020 without a single case of COVID.
Niche Ranking, woohoo!
4. In 2021, Maharishi School ranked #1 in FIVE categories through Niche.com: #1 Most Diverse Private High School in Iowa, #1 Best College Prep Private High School in Iowa, #1 Best Private High School in Iowa, #1 Best Private K-12 School in Iowa, and #1 Best Boarding High School in Iowa. Click to see our success!
Harmony Exists in Diversity
6. Being ranked as the #1 Most Diverse Private High School in Iowa (of 51) is a huge benefit for our students as they prepare to navigate through our multicultural society and world. In our dorm alone we currently have boarding students from China, Korea, Germany, India, Vietnam, and the US.
“Lets talk about race” Book Club
8. Our Diversity-Equity-Inclusion (DEI) Committee sees a strengthening in our DEI programs with new diversity curriculum and workshops, resilience surveys, and expanded counseling services.
Beautification in the School
10. We have successfully completed renovations of all three levels of the Hopson Building. New colors, flooring, and other visual features have brought our main building into the 21st century. Notice the social-distancing decals?
montessori in elementary school
Montessori in the Elementary School
2. The Lower School successfully integrated a half-day Montessori curriculum into the 1st and 2nd grades, and also brought kindergarten into the Lower School building this year. The Lower School also lengthened the school day to provide Social Studies and Science lessons on a daily basis. Click here to read more about this.
Cooking in the Maharishi School Kitchen
3. The Middle School Team works closely together to provide a wide variety of hands-on, project-based learning experiences, from science labs—in the kitchen—to communication skills shared with the community.
Student Council meeting
5. The Upper School Student Council has provided outstanding leadership during the pandemic, organizing weekly safe social activities to sustain school spirit and social-emotional well being. Pictured above is a New Year’s party organized by Student Council!
Acts of Kindness
7. Raise Craze, our biggest fundraiser of the year will officially become a new annual tradition. Students asked friends and family to donate to Maharishi School, and as a way to pay their generosity forward, they performed Acts of Kindness for others. Surpassing our goal of $15,000 we were able to purchase much needed COVID supplies and increase technology for online instruction.
#GivingTuesday
9. Maharishi School is deeply grateful for the support shown during our December “Season of Giving” campaign. Our Development Team together with your help, raised $37,000 through Giving Tuesday and Matching Funds–more than we ever thought possible.
Thank you all for your wonderful support!
Cheers to your good health, happiness, and abundance in 2021!
Maharishi School | www.maharishischool.org | 641-472-9400

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

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Day In the Life at the Children’s House

Watch a Day In the Life at Maharishi Preschool

Preschoolers develop responsibility through routine

maharishi preschoolAt Maharishi Preschool we are cultivating within each child a sense of independence and capability.  When the children enter into the gates of our playground carrying their lunch and wearing their backpack, a sense of responsibility, independence, and capability is enlivened in them. They know where to put their belongings and they know where they are when they need them or when it is time to go home. During their time at school, they make many choices and their sense of capability grows each day. They are following their internal drive to master skills, grow, and learn, and by allowing them to be responsible for their own belongings, these qualities will continue to be reinforced.  The sense of pride when children feel responsible in these small but significant ways is such a beautiful thing to witness!

Taking precautions in the preschool

children house preschool montessori

When entering the school area all children will get their temperature taken, temperatures at 100 degrees or higher will be sent home.

Masks

Teachers will be required to wear masks while inside, or while down on children’s level outside. Face shields are


Hand washing
 recommended, especially for toddler teachers. Masks will be required while inside for all children 3+. Masks will not be required for children under 3.

Children will wash hands upon arrival, before and after eating, when entering from outside, when seen with hands in mouth/nose, and a minimum of every 2 hours. Washing is completed with soap and water for 20 seconds.

Social distancing

Drop off times are arranged by class so that there are no traffic jams between parents and children. Transitions into the school house for class will be staggered to avoid congestion in the hallways.

Changes to the environment

preschool environmentThe children each have a cubby where they can store their shoes and backpacks. Cubbies will be outside of the classrooms in the hallways so children do not enter the classroom with outside shoes and backpacks. There is only one child per table in all classrooms, unless the table is very large. The classrooms with ages 3 and up will have sanitizing stations for the children to clean their own work, under adult supervision as needed. Water and soap will be used for plastic, metal, and glass materials and natural disinfectant spray for wooden materials. When a toddler completes a work, they will return it to a special shelf to be cleaned between use. A teacher will sanitize the work items and return them to the shelves with available work.

The protocol for Maharishi School’s Children’s House was created with reference to DHS requirements and CDC recommendations, and with approval from IDPH

If you would like to learn more about the Children’s House, click here.

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

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Interviewing Science Teacher Asha Sharma

asha sharma

Asha demonstrating a lab to her students.

Learning about Asha

Growing up in a rural town in Rajasthan, India, I was a typical small-town girl. I cared for my family’s cattle and did many household chores, including making dung cakes for fuel. But I knew that when I grew up, I wanted to become more than a housewife. I wanted to learn about and explore the world of science. Even though girls were not encouraged to pursue education, I worked diligently to become the first girl in my large extended family of over 165 people to pursue a career in STEM and to attend a co-ed college. I graduated first division in my undergrad degree and was the only student selected from my state for the prestigious honor of working at AIIMS with one of India’s three electron microscopes.

Teaching science

asha teaching

Asha teaching.

When I worked at the Children’s House at Maharishi School, I loved watching the preschoolers explore the world around them with awe in their faces. They reminded me of my younger self and I felt elated to be able to feed their curiosity. As time went on, my role at Maharishi School changed, and now I’m teaching those same toddlers much more advanced topics in their high school science classes!

This year, I plan to focus on hands-on projects and labs rather than working through a textbook, because I know from my personal experience that exciting, tactile learning helps students retain the knowledge they’re learning for longer. They also enjoy seeing what they learned be put into action, allowing for a better understanding of the material.

maharishi school students wearing mask

Asha’s Science students working.

My long-term goals for teaching are to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic with new skills and to give my students a memorable experience which will bring them joy, not sadness. Like everyone else, the biggest challenge I am currently facing is managing technology and tri-brid teaching (in-person, online, and remote). Because I teach 4 different classes and 3 different subjects where I keep switching between different classes and labs, I need multiple sets of technology (computers, webcams, microphones, etc.) for each period. I knew this would be a hassle both practically and monetarily, so I worked with our wonderful custodian to create a portable cart that transports all the necessary equipment between my classes. It’s like science on wheels!

Covid-19’s impact on her classroom

asha sharma science

Asha and her science cart, it says “Science is everywhere for everyone.”

As a teacher, when I think of school, I think of the joy of seeing students’ bright faces as they walk into my classroom, of watching the kids as they plan something mischievous (and maybe even joining in), and their excited faces as they work in the lab. When the Coronavirus hit, my lesson plans were thrown out the window and I was forced to find something fun and engaging that would prompt my students to hit the unmute button. Online, there were a limited number of projects and labs we could do, and I struggled to find the right balance between work and leniency in my lessons to fit everyone’s different workloads at home. So, it was a relief when we started hybrid learning, but in-person learning came with another set of problems.

Now, I had to figure out how to keep both students in person and online engaged all while dealing with new technology. I tackled the first challenge by joining many online webinars and finding many free online resources, like virtual labs. The second problem was a bit harder to fix due to the fact that I had four different rooms that had to be visually accessible to students, but with a little inspiration I came up with the solution of my science cart. Now, this cart is like my super handy tool and making my life way more easy and manageable.

To watch Asha in action, click here.

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

Find out about our school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.