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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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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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Ukrainian Teens Find Refuge on the Tennis Court in Iowa

Written by Andrea Gallagher | June 30th, 2023

While bombs flew through the sky in a war-torn country last year, three Ukrainian teenagers were safe in Fairfield, Iowa.

ukraine students

Ukraine students in front of boarding dorms.

Thanks to a generous community outpouring, they were able to go to school at Maharishi School, an independent, non-denominational college-prep boarding school.

While the three girls, a freshman, sophomore and senior, left their country and family behind during wartime, they were able to find refuge on the tennis courts. None of them had played the sport before, but decided to give it a try.

“We felt getting to smack tennis balls is good therapy for them,” said their coach, Lawrence Eyre. “It’s nice to be on a court where there are rules and they relished all of it.”

Eyre has been coaching at the school since he founded the tennis program back in the late 1980’s. The boys tennis team won 16 state singles, doubles and team championships under his leadership. He was selected by the USPTA as National High School Coach of the Year in 2009.

Pioneer Girls Tennis Team with Coach Eyre

Originally from the Quad Cities, Eyre later graduated from Yale University and came back to Iowa to work at the Maharishi School as a history teacher and tennis coach. He also coached collegiately at Grinnell College and Knox College.

“It’s fun for me to take whoever comes and see how much they can grow,” he said about coaching. “Improvement is how we measure success.”

“I signed up and instantly fell in love with the sport,” said Mariia Minieieva, the senior. “My coach, Mr. Eyre, was amazingly supportive, patiently guiding me and offering words of encouragement.”

Minieieva was very athletic as she was an aerial gymnast back home. According to Eyre, she had quick feet and was able to get to the ball to win points. She loved being part of a team.

“There’s something genuinely magical about how I feel when stepping onto the court. I don’t know how to describe it, but it feels like all my troubles disappear, leaving me with an overwhelming sense of lightness, ease, and pure enjoyment. In those moments, winning or losing becomes irrelevant,” she said.

ukraine tennis boarding iowa

Mariia Minieieva on the tennis court.

The sophomore, Olena Lysychonok, was a very patient learner and Eyre hopes she will come back and play next year. The  freshman, Sofia Kandyba, had worked her way up on the tennis court. By the end of the year she was playing at the #6 singles slot on the varsity team.

“She had good shot-making skills,” he said. “There was one match against a rival team and it came down to her. She lost the first set, won the second set and won the tie-breaker. She was thrilled to win the match, and we (the team) won the match.”

Eyre acknowledged that each of the girls had a lot going on when they arrived in Iowa, and he did the best he could to help them acclimate to their new environment.

“They had a lot on their plates, and we were extra alert to their feelings. We tried to keep a softer environment around them,” he explained. “Their opponents had no idea they’re from Ukraine where bombs were going off.”

The boarding school is unique as it incorporates Transcendental Meditation twice daily. They call it Consciousness-Based education.

“Our students and teachers take time to transcend twice a day, with the practice of yoga and Transcendental Meditation,” according to the school’s website. “It improves brain functioning. In a world of nearly incessant outer stimuli, it gives them a respite of inner silence, a connection with their own individual true self.”

Eyre said each of the girls are from different parts of Ukraine, so did not know one another when they came to Fairfield. The oldest, Mariia, graduated this year and will be attending Grinnell College in the fall, which is about two hours from Fairfield. However, the transition was anything but easy.

ukraine“The war changed so many things that I wasn’t prepared for,” she said. “Reflecting on it all, during my first semester, I dedicated my days and nights to working on college applications, leaving little time to form close connections or truly enjoy life. This period was the toughest I’ve ever experienced. I worried not only about my future, but also about the fate of my younger brothers, parents, grandparents, and the entire country.”

Mariia’s family recently moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where they are renting a house and looking for jobs. They had to abandon their properties, jobs, schools and country, all while learning a new language. Things are difficult but she’s thankful they are closer, and for the kindness of others.

“While things may seem challenging, I take comfort in knowing how strong my parents are and how many wonderful people support them. I believe that with their resilience and the help of those around us, everything will work out in the end.”

Eyre has coached many kids and adults in his storied career. Marria, Sofia and Olena have left quite an impression on him.

“Their willingness to take on so much change inspires me,” he said.

Meanwhile, Olena and Sofia will continue their education and tennis at Maharishi School, a world away from their former lives.

 

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End of Year Wrap Up 2023

ROCKETRY
Our team qualified for The American Rocketry Challenge (TARC) Nationals in Virginia as one of the top 100 in the nation. There we finished 17th in the US, out of almost 800 original entries, which also qualifies our team to apply for the NASA Student Launch Program next year.
DESTINATION IMAGINATION
Our Upper School team advanced to the international Global Finals in Kansas City and received 1st place in Instant Challenge and 7th place overall in their Secondary Technical category. This is the first time a Maharishi School team has won the Instant Challenge award.
SCIENCE RESEARCH
We participated in multiple science fairs with achievements in each. At the Hawkeye State Science Fair, our students placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Honorable Mention in their categories and Poojita Mukadam received an invitation to observe at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Dallas.
Ishita Mukadam earned an invitation to the National Junior Symposium in Virginia to present her research project.
ROBOTICS
Our team in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition advanced to the Super-Qualifier round in the Iowa state tournaments.
TENNIS
Both our girls and boys teams advanced to the “Sweet 16” in the state competition.
Junior Ishita Mukadam earned a trip to the State Singles tournament and finished 7th, the first girl to place at State since 2011.
COLLEGE ACCEPTANCES
Our 17 multicultural seniors were accepted at universities across the United States, from UC-Berkeley and UC-Irvine to Purdue, Grinnell, Iowa and Iowa State, to Emerson College (Boston). Four will be attending Maharishi International University.

 

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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.