At the conclusion of our unit on Ancient Egypt unit, the 6th grade students submitted short stories that reflected what they learned about Egyptian society, government, and religious beliefs. Here is a sampling, along with students’ original artwork.
The Creation of Life
by Charis K.
For many people, the coming of summer is a blessing as it brings warm weather for crops to grow. It was also a large blessing for the ancient Egyptians; they believed that Renenutet, the goddess of nourishment and harvest, would provide them a bountiful harvest. However, one summer was far from a blessing as floods came and destroyed fruits such as figs and dates. The floods destroyed all the fields except those growing wheat. With an abundant amount of wheat but lacking fruits and vegetables , the king announced that if a cook could be used the available crops to create a successful dish, the recipe’s owner would be given the privilege to live in the palace with the royal family.
Up on the highest hill in the kingdom far from the floods lived a farmer named Aharon and his daughter Akila. When Aharon harvested the wheat and fruits, Akila would weave the wheat into beautiful baskets and fruits into delicious jam. They were a poor but happy family. However, they barely paid for their land with the money they made at the market, selling figs and dates. When they heard of the king’s announcement, Aharon rushed to Akila and asked if she would want to take on the challenge. Akila, who enjoyed cooking, agreed and started to gather materials. Next door to their home lived a sly woman named Anippe. She looked friendly and caring, but she hated Aharon’s family because she felt competition. Knowing Akila’s amazing cooking skills, she decided to wait until Akila created a recipe so she could steal it and win the prize. So she waited for 6 months until she heard Anippe squeal with delight as the air filled with a delicious aroma. She quickly knocked on the door and caught a glimpse of Akila’s papyrus roll full of different recipes. As she casually talked with Akila, she slipped the most recent recipe into her basket and quickly excused herself. Before Akila could realize, Anippe ran to the palace to claim her creation.
When she reached the palace everyone was stunned by the amazing smell and the taste. Just before the king could grant her the prize, Akila rushed and said, “That is my recipe and the woman, Annipe, has stolen it.” Everyone was stunned but did not believe her. However the princess, Sara, saw through Annipe and knew that she had not made the dish. Therefore, she suggested holding a small competition to find the real owner of the recipe. Each woman would be granted two stalks of wheat, a bundle of grapes, and five large, ripe dates. The one who makes the dish perfectly without the recipe would be the winner. Annipe, panicking, added all of the ingredients in a bowl and over baked them. However, Akila ground the wheat, extracted the juice from the grapes, created a thin syrup with dates, and baked it for just the right amount of time. While Akila’s dish was soft, sweet and delicious, Annipe’s was hard and burnt. Seeing this, the king threw Annipe into prison for her deceit, and Akila and Aharon lived in the palace happily. Akila named the creation “eish,” which meant living, as it had stopped the famine and led to many healthy and happy people.
The Fate of Khufu
by Brian S.
It’s 2520 B.C, and after much work by his subjects, King Khufu had finished the Pyramids of Giza a decade ago. Settling in with satisfaction, Khufu collected the tribute from his conquered lands.
“Thank you, and thank you, and thank you,” said King Khufu, while collecting the tribute of gold and other riches. All the people from the lands he conquered had to pay this tribute, or face dire consequences.
Later, while his viziers were doing much of his work for him, Khufu was enjoying his beautiful garden, where he could wander around until his dinner. Khufu took a deep breath in and announced, “Free time is sometimes all a pharaoh needs to stay calm and ready for life. What a beautiful gar–” In that brief instant, an assassin had stuck a knife to his back, causing Khufu to fall to his knees and cough out blood. Before the guards could arrive, Khufu had died. His final sights were the flowers and bushes in his garden, and the pool of blood around him. He realized his time had come, and closed his eyes to prepare for eternal darkness of death.
He woke up after what seemed like several hours, to a room surrounded by 42 gods, with some who Khufu knew, such as Anubis, the jackal-headed god of the dead, and Ra, the Sun God. Then, one of the gods stood up and announced, “Welcome, King Khufu, son of Sneferu. You were assassinated with the use of a knife, and are now here at the sacred Weighing of the Heart ceremony. To pass the ceremony and join your ancestors, your heart must not weigh more than the feather of Ma’at, the goddess of truth and purity. Otherwise, your heart will be fed to Ammit, and your soul will be stuck wandering Egypt for all of eternity. We will begin with your Negative Confession. Now, in front of all the gods and former pharaohs, list the sins you have not committed.”
Khufu could immediately tell that the god was Osiris, since he seated at a magnificent throne. Behind him stood his wife Isis and her sister Nepenthes, watching the ceremony. Khufu stood up and walked to all the gods, stating the sins he did not commit, all while Thoth, the god of wisdom and sacred scribe, used his pen to write down all the sins not committed. After about an half-hour Khufu’s various not-committed sins, Osiris announces, “Now that the negative confessions were written down, your heart, Khufu, will be placed on a scale and weighed against the feather of Ma’at, and we will determine if you get to pass, or if your heart will be eaten by Ammit.”
Khufu’s heart was placed on one side of a golden scale, while on the opposite side, Anubis, the god of the dead, placed the feather of Ma’at. Khufu watched as his own heart beat faster as he awaited his final destination, and the other gods started wondering what his heart was doing, as they had never studied the anatomy of a human body.
Finally, the weighing was over, and Osiris announced, “King Khufu, your heart weighs the same as the feather of Ma’at, meaning you are allowed to reunite with your ancestors and farm in the fields for the rest of time. Enter through the doors in front of you to enter your new home. Congratulations to King Khufu, son of Sneferu.”
Relieved that he can now visit his dead parents and grandparents, Khufu thanked the gods and entered through the doorway, revealing a large field of wheat, a beautiful garden, a comfortable home, and his long lost ancestors. He was happy to live here for the rest of time, even if it meant he no longer has access to his riches back on earth.
by Sofia K.
Light flooded her eyes as Anipe opened them to a room full of indescribable scents and colors. She felt tired, as if she had just woken up from a long rest. Unbeknownst to her was how she had gotten there, and she searched her memory in a panicked frenzy. Finally recognizing the scenery from paintings of the Hall of Osiris, she still couldn’t figure out how exactly she had come to be there.
It had been her coronation: they had spent weeks preparing for the celebration, and Anipe had been waiting for the day the throne would be handed to her. She had made sure everything was perfect; an offering was given to every god, a plate for every guest, and food was prepared to the best of the cook’s abilities. Had one of her servants deceived her? Perhaps one of the cooks poisoned her food? Or maybe someone slipped something in her drink? No, that couldn’t have been it, she thought to herself.
After all, it had been her younger brother who had picked out the wine especially for this day which she had been looking forward to for so long. Abrax would never have let someone poison the wine while it was left unattended. Suddenly, Anipe’s blood ran cold. He hadn’t left the wine unattended, he had been the one to poison it. As soon as the realization struck her, she felt utterly stupid. Abrax, the person she trusted more than anyone she knew, had been the one to betray her? It couldn’t be. But the more she thought about it, the more it made sense to her. He was the next in line to the throne; if she was gone, there would be no one in his way to power.
Anipe’s thoughts were interrupted by a deep voice urging her to come forth. Looking around she realized she was surrounded by gods, waiting for her to recite the Book of the Dead. She recognized the person urging her to come forth as Osiris, and as she neared where he stood, she caught a glimpse of the feather of truth. The feather was unlike anything she had seen before: it was as if it was made of light itself. Anipe brushed off her previous thoughts of the betrayal, she needed to focus now if she wanted to avoid a terrible fate. She began to recite her Negative Confession as the gods around her watched. She wasn’t worried about the fact that what she said could be counted as false. Considering what she was being judged on, she had done no wrong. After she was finished, she watched in silence as her heart was weighed on Anubis’ scale, to ensure that it was not heavy with sin. Not to worry, it was perfectly balanced with Ma’at’s feather of truth. As pleased as she was of the outcome, Anipe could not shake off the feeling of hatred and resentment she now held for Abrax, who had caused her death.
Although the afterlife had been everything she had been told of and more, her thirst for revenge only grew stronger by day. No longer being able to bear the hatred that was eating Anipe up from the inside, and she went to consult one of the other past pharaohs for his advice. Each and every one she consulted told her the same thing, “The feeling will disappear with time and be replaced by a feeling of content” or “You must let go of those feelings” and a lot of other nonsense; none of them seemed willing to provide her with the answer she had hoped for. She tried her best to forgive or even forget what had happened, but time went on and days passed slowly.
Anipe was able to live with the feelings she had. After all, what else could she do? She pushed her vengeful thoughts into the back of her mind and was able to live a content, peaceful afterlife. That was, of course, until she saw him. Seeing Abrax changed something in Anipe. As she walked up to him and saw him dressed in amulets and ceremonial pieces adorned with gold, lapis lazuli, and amulets that were meant for the pharaoh, she was engulfed in rage. Yet she remained calm, faked a smile, and made an attempt to strike up a conversation:
“It’s been too long, Abrax! Welcome to the afterlife, it’s magnificent! Don’t you agree?”
After a long blank stare Abrax answered, “I’m sure it is, as an accomplished pharaoh must lead a glorious eternity. Now fetch me something to eat, will you? My ceremony has been postponed until tomorrow due to some conflict between my fellow gods and I’d rather spend my time here in comfort.”
Anipe’s blood boiled. After all he had done to her, he regarded her as if she was a servant. She didn’t know what she had expected, for him to beg for forgiveness? Or maybe just an apology. At the very least recognition.
Finally she asked, “Aren’t you worried? After all, you won’t be spending long here. The horrors of the other afterlife await you.”
With a laugh Abrax responded, “You think I’m that stupid? I ordered a servant to poison the wine. As I did not do it myself, that horrible eternity will not be mine to endure,” he said smugly.
As this realization came upon Anipe, she felt defeated but suddenly had an idea, “Thank goodness,” she replied with a fake sugary voice. “You deserve to be here just as much as I do, I’ve come to realize this after all my time here.”
“I’m glad you have come to your senses,” Abrax said with a cold smile.
As soon as Anipe was able to flee from the dreadful small talk she had been forced to engage in, she quickly made her way to where Ma’at kept the feather of truth. Anipe quickly switched the feather out with a regular ostrich feather with a smirk on her face. Now all she had to do was wait. Anipe wished Abrax good luck for his ceremony with a wave and a cheery, “I hope to see you back soon!” Without looking back Abrax replied, “Yes, I hope the ceremony doesn’t drag on for too long.”
Those were the last words Anipe heard from Abrax, for he never did return….
by Ryan Park
The Aviation Club is a new club formed this year that helps to educate members around aspects of the field of aviation and to teach its members the mechanics and engineering behind aviation. It was founded by Aviation Club president, Solomon Sharp, who answered a few questions recently in order to encourage students to join. The club meets every Wednesday after school in Mr. Bradfield’s room, located in W30.
When simulating a version of flight, the Aviation Club uses multiple tools in order to have members experience the closest thing to real flight. They have multiple tools that have been programmed to act like the real tools you would find in an aircraft such as the yoke, also known as the control stick. The yoke is used in order to control the movement of the aircraft inside the simulators.
What is the purpose of your club?
The Aviation Club is based on educating our members about all aspects of aviation as a whole and teaching them how to use flight simulation technology. As the world is in high demand for pilots and engineers, having knowledge and experience in the field is an important foundation when choosing a career related to aviation. Being involved with aircraft requires many different skills, many of which are applicable to everyday life, and none are exclusive to a specific field. When I started my training as a pilot several years ago, I realized how much I wanted to share this world with other people wanting to take that first step, and how beneficial it could be to their lives.
What is some background info about your club?
A technical and mechanical understanding of aircraft, such as understanding the science of how a vehicle flies and what comes with it, is important not only for engineers but for pilots as well. Flying requires a fundamental understanding of the machine you are commanding and by having that understanding, you can be that much more effective. Aerodynamics, engine mechanics, electronics, and more all go beyond aviation and can be applied in many different fields. One of the most important skills in the world of aviation, though, is of teamwork. Every pilot, engineer, and mechanic all work in conjunction with one another, and none can work with a missing link.
What are some major projects you plan on releasing?
This year, one of our goals is to get everyone hands-on experience with real aircraft, both for maintaining them and flying them. We have already formed strong connections with professional aviators, and the date is currently being coordinated for these goals to be achieved. We are also shooting for designing a remote control model for a plane/drone and constructing it to demonstrate the effectiveness of our design.
What would you say to people interested in your club?
To anyone who is interested in the club, feel free to come and check it out! If you want to see what we’re up to, come to Mr. Bradfield’s room on Wednesdays after school and you might catch us on the simulators. We would love to have new members, and if anyone is interested in joining, come and let me know!
by Milan Riley and Jordin Lim
Mother’s Day is a celebration in honor of mothers, motherly figures, or those with whom we have maternal bonds, in addition to honoring the influence of mothers on society. It is celebrated on different days in over 40 countries, but most commonly in March or May. For the United States, it is scheduled on the second Sunday in May, which this year is Sunday, May 8, 2022.
The History of Mother’s Day
Celebrations of mothers occurred long ago by the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of their mother goddesses. The Phrygians and those in ancient India also had festivals celebrating their goddesses. A more modern event that most likely inspired the making of Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.”
Mothering Sunday occurred on Sunday, March 27 this year. This tradition dates back to the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, which had Mothering Sunday fall on the fourth Sunday in Lent. The time was to allow the faithful to return home to their “mother church” for a special service. This celebration helped inspire the idea of Mother’s Day and even merged with it in some areas around the 1930s and 1940s.
Medieval origins of Mothering Sunday
Now that we know the background for the idea, how did it actually arise? Ann Jarvis was a social activist and community organizer during the American Civil War era. Sadly, she died on May 9, 1905, but was not forgotten. One of her goals was to establish a holiday honoring mothers. Anna Jarvis, her daughter, accomplished this for her when she led the movement for the commemoration. Anna founded Mother’s Day when she held a memorial service for her late mother on May 12, 1907, in her church in Grafton, West Virginia. The celebration spread until, within five years, almost every state in the U.S. was observing the day. Finally, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday.
However, some might be surprised to hear that Anna Jarvis actually tried to abolish the holiday that she herself started. Ms. Jarvis believed the event had become too commercialized. However, because the holiday is still celebrated today, she did not succeed in stopping Mother’s Day because too many people enjoy devoting a special day in honor of their mothers.
How Mother’s Day is Celebrated Around the World
United States: Tokens of Affections
In many U.S. households, Mother’s Day is celebrated with tokens of affection such as breakfast in bed, a bouquet of flowers, and homemade cards. Mother’s Day in the U.S. is also celebrated by giving mothers a day off from household chores or work.
India: 10-Day Festival
Each October, Hindus celebrate Durga Puja, a 10-day festival that honors the goddess of mothers, Durga.
Durga, the goddess of mothers
The puja is performed in homes and in public, the latter featuring a temporary stage and pandals, or structural decorations. The celebration is thought to date back back to the sixteenth century, considered to be both a religious ceremony and a time for family reunions. According to Hindu scriptures, the festival marks goddess Durga’s victory over the shape-shifting asura (power-seeking spiritual beings in Indic religions), Mahishasura. Therefore, the celebration embodies the victory of good over evil, whilst being a festival celebrating the goddess Durga as the motherly power behind all life and creation
Japan: The Right Flowers
After World War II, Mother’s Day in Japan became a way to comfort mothers who had lost sons due to the war. Carnations will be presented around this holiday, symbolizing the sweetness and endurance of motherhood in Japanese culture. Children would give red carnations if their mother was alive, but would display white carnations if their mother had passed away. Japanese Mother’s Day gifts include kanji (calligraphy art) prints, lacquer jewelry boxes, kokeshi dolls, and food (consisting of oyakodon, chawanmushi, and tamagoyaki).
Ethiopia: Singing, Dancing, and Cooking
At the end of the rainy season in the fall, the 3-day feast of the Antrosht festival is dedicated to mothers. As the weather clears, family members come together to their homes for a large meal and celebration, preparing “hash,” the traditional recipe of the country. Traditionally, daughters bring vegetables and cheese while sons bring the meat. With these ingredients, hash is prepared, with singing and performing dances that tell stories of family heroes.
The Antrosht Festival
Denmark: Mors Dag
The first Mother’s Day in Denmark was celebrated on Sunday the 12th of May, 1929. The idea of Mother’s Day came from America, brought to Denmark by Christian Svenningsen. The original intention of this celebration was to collect money for war widows and mothers who had lost their sons during World War I. Mors Dag (as Mother’s Day is called in Denmark) is all about flowers, as it has become a tradition to buy your mother a bouquet of flowers. Some invite their mothers out for lunch or dinner. For children that still live at home, it is tradition that the child prepares the breakfast and serves the breakfast together with a homemade card and flower.
A bouquet of flowers
Philippines: Great Respect
In the Philippines, children and fathers spend the whole day pampering their mothers and showing off their love to them. Mother’s Day in the Philippines is considered a token of showing gratitude to the immeasurable sacrifices mothers make for their families. Children in the country denote their mother by “ilaw ng tahanan”, meaning the light of the house. Mother’s Day is extraordinarily respected, and is therefore celebrated throughout the country with utmost zeal. The people in the Philippines don’t only celebrate their mothers, but for their grandmothers, cousins, aunts, and every other female member in the family. Children make cards for their mothers, while some arrange breakfast in bed for their mothers. Husbands also give gifts to their wives, or take their wives to a trip or a day of relaxation. The day begins with hearing Mass in the morning, thereafter presenting to the moms with a delicious lunch at one of their favorite restaurants.
“Thank you Mom” in FilipinoRead More
by Milan Riley and Ava-Ray Pributsky
Easter is a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, the religion’s prophet. Easter is considered a “movable feast,” meaning it doesn’t occur on the same day every year. However, it is always observed between March 22 and April 25. In 2022, Easter occurred on Sunday, April 17.
Jesus Christ was a Jewish preacher and religious leader whose teachings started Christianity. Scholars estimate Jesus died between AD 30 and AD 36. According to the New Testament, Jesus died from crucifixion by the Romans in Golgotha, a place close to Jerusalem. Christians believe Jesus resurrected three days after he died on the cross. It is thought that Jesus died on Friday, now celebrated as Good Friday, and was resurrected, or returned to life, on Sunday, now celebrated as Easter.
Though Christians most likely commemorated this day earlier, the first recorded observance of Easter was in the mid-2nd century. Early Christians called this event the festival of Pascha.
One of many depictions of Jesus Christ
One common tradition of Easter is a feast. In addition, many individuals color and hide eggs for an egg hunt or give away baskets. This is because the egg symbolizes life; therefore, it has become a well-known symbol of Easter and Jesus’ resurrection that opposed death.
Practicing Christians go to church for Sunday worship as usual on Easter. Families listen to Easter music and share a special meal for the holy day.
Decorated eggs for Easter activities
Passover, or Pesach, is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the story of how the Israelites escaped Egypt. This holiday is celebrated once a year and lasts for seven days. On Passover, families will hold a special meal called a seder. In English, “seder” means order. Each food that is served at the seder symbolizes a certain aspect of the holiday. At the seder, families recite prayers and blessings from the Haggadah, the book of the Exodus.
The Seder Plate
The Story of Passover
Passover is the story of the Israelites and how they escaped slavery. The story begins around 1200 B.C, when the Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, worries that the Jews will outnumber the Egyptians. He forces them into slavery and commands every Jewish boy born to be drowned in the Nile. One baby, Moses, is cast into the Nila, saved and adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter. When Moses gets older, he is told by God to command the Pharaoh to free the Jewish people. As a way to convince the Pharaoh, God sends to Egypt a set of Ten Plagues.
These plagues include the Nile turning to blood, frogs covering the land, the dust turning to gnats, and flies filling the houses and land. Every time one of the plagues would rain down upon Egypt, the Pharaoh would promise to free the Israelites, but every time God took the plague away, Pharaoh would change his mind again.
During the tenth and final plague, Pharaoh decides to finally free the Jews. While they are running away, however, he changes his mind, resulting in a wild chase involving the parting of the Red Sea and the drowning of the persuing Egyptian soldiers; eventually, the Jews return to the sacred land of Israel.
The Passover Seder
During the Passover Seder, we set out different foods that symbolize different parts of the Exodus. Five foods are placed on the table: shank bone, egg, bitter herbs, parsley in saltwater, haroset (or charoset, which is a mixture of apples, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, sugar, and wine), and matzah. The shank bone represents the tenth plague on Egypt when all the firstborn Egyptian sons were killed. The egg represents the cycle of rebirth and renewal, and the cracked shell represents sacrificial offerings. The bitter herbs represent the bitter suffering of the Israelites while in slavery. The parsley in salt water represents all of the tears and pain that the Israelites experienced in Egypt. The haroset, or charoset, represents the mortar and brick used by Israelite slaves to build the pyramids and other buildings. The matzah represents how the Israelites did not have time to leaven their bread as they were escaping Egypt, so they had flat unleavened bread.
My Family’s Traditions
During Passover, my family likes to get together and have a huge seder. We sit together and connect, and we cook together. Some of the food that we eat during Passover include gefilte fish, matzah ball soup, matzah brei, and brisket. After we eat, the adults hide the afikomen. The afikomen is the middle piece of matzah that you hide, and if the children find it then they get a prize. I always find the afikomen because my parents always hide it in the same three places. My father always tells the story of how my grandfather would hide the afikomen in the strangest places. One time he hid it in the VCR!Read More
Friday – April 22, 2022
By Jordin Lim
Earth Day is a yearly celebration during which support for environmental protection is displayed through a wide range of events that are coordinated globally. Earth Day also marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. During Earth Day, awareness is raised about pollution and environmental issues as well as ways to maintain a clean environment.
How did this important commemoration come to be?
The first Earth Day was in April 1970. Before this time, there were no legal or regulatory procedures to protect our environment; there was no EPA, no Clean Air Act, and no Clean Water Act.
- EPA: Environmental Protection Agency
- Clean Air Act: requires the EPA to set national emission standards for large or worldwide sources of air
- Clean Water Act: prevents, reduces, and eliminates pollution in nation’s water
In the spring of 1970, Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson organized the first Earth Day and rallies by 20 million Americans in various U.S. cities raising awareness about environmental issues took place across the country. This movement was successful and by December of 1970, the U.S. government had created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). By 1990, Earth Day was an event celebrated by more than 140 countries around the globe.
How can you help protect Earth this Earth Day?
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Plenty of you have surely heard of the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” but what are some ways you can incorporate this saying into your daily life?
- Reduce: Reduce means to cut back on the amount of trash that is produced. One main way to reduce is to compost, which can be done by creating a mixture of food scraps that will eventually turn into pure organic nutrition that can be used for fertilizing and conditioning land. Also, purchasing items with less packaging is another way to cut back on your trash footprint.
- Reuse: To reuse means to find new ways to use items that would otherwise be thrown into the garbage. For example, an easy way to reuse is to use plastic food containers you may get from ordering take-out as a portable food storage for snacks.
Recycle: Recycling involves processing something regarded as “trash” into a new item, thereby saving materials and resources. An easy way to recycle is to create a can just for recyclable material (if you don’t have one already). Materials that can be recycled include glass, cardboard, aluminum, and lead batteries. If you are eating out, throw recyclable material in a recycle bin, if one is available.
Plant a tree: Not only do trees provide us with oxygen while absorbing carbon dioxide, they also function as shelter for animals such as squirrels and owls. If you plant one in your yard, you can even use it as shade during hotter months, which can help in keeping our homes cooler.
Limit electricity and water usage: Both electricity and water are limited sources, so excessive use of them is not beneficial to our planet. Electricity is most commonly produced from fossil fuels, which greatly contribute to climate change; as fossil fuels are burned, they release vast amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. As more greenhouse gasses are trapped in our atmosphere, more global warming is caused. Although electricity can come from other sources such as wind and the sun, it is still important to conserve electricity, so turn off that lamp whenever you can.
Water is a limited resource and less than one percent of water on Earth can be used by humans, due to the fact the rest is either too salty or difficult to obtain. Turning off the faucet whenever not in active usage or taking shorter showers can greatly reduce the amount of water we use.
Volunteer: Volunteering is a great way to contribute your time to helping clean our Earth. You can volunteer at local parks to pick up trash or maybe even begin a drive to collect recyclable items. In addition, if you’re ever taking a walk outside and see some trash on the ground, don’t hesitate to pick it up and place it in the nearest trash can. It’s really as simple as that!Read More
by Ryan Park
The SciFi Parents sponsored our first in-person STEM Talk of the school year in December with Joshua Spitzen, a man familiar with the concept of success. Having graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Pomona College with a focus in Mathematical Economics, Josh was always on a path of betterment. After graduating from Pomona, he became an investment banker with Patricof and Co. in New York City, helping to manage several mergers and acquisitions. Josh later followed his passion for fitness, serving as an executive with Equinox Fitness Clubs where he honed his leadership acumen. Eventually, Mr. Spitzen joined one of the nation’s largest real estate companies, Keller Williams, with high ambitions for a career with the company. Over time, Josh Spitzen honed his leadership skills and was chosen as C.E.O. of KW’s Beverly Hills offices. Josh now personally oversees and manages close to 1000 agents, and 20 staff members in four Keller Williams offices – culminating in a powerful network of global reach and authentic partnerships.
In addition, Josh volunteers his time to offer his motivational skills in order to help students maximize their potential. He is a big believer in the concept of Grit as outlined by Angela Duckworth in her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. He believes that the resilience that comes from developing Grit can go a long way towards helping students persevere on their pathways to success. The five core ideas of Grit are Beast, Effort Counts, Gritty Passion, Grow Grit, and Wise Parents. He shared the video linked below, by Brian Johnson, which goes into more detail on these components and helps students learn how to incorporate these elements into their lives:
In addition, like many people, Mr. Spitzen is a big believer in affirmations: daily statements that help you visualize a desired outcome. At the culmination of the STEM Talk, Josh led the school in his series of affirmations:
I prosper wherever I turn because…
- I am in control of my destiny and I choose to succeed.
- I choose love, joy, and freedom.
- I am brave and fearless. I embrace fear and let it propel my growth.
- I deserve to be happy, healthy and wealthy.
- I have many reasons to be grateful.
- I have a growth-mindset.
- I embrace the process.
- I am changing and I am improving every day.
- I achieve my goals.
- I believe in myself and so do others.
- I am decisive.
- I am healthy and fit.
- I take responsibility for creating my life.
- I am intelligent and kind.
- I project an image of power and confidence.
- I ask for help when I need it. Asking for help is a sign of strength.
- None of us is as smart as all of us.
- I help others become successful.
- Together we all accomplish more.
As Josh stated, talent attracts talent and environment matters. Hopefully, his advice can help you create the right environment to realize your talents!Read More
by Daniel Svediani
This February, our very own Middle School Science Bowl Team successfully qualified for the National Science Bowl competition in Washington, D.C. by winning the Southern California regional Science Bowl competition! We are overjoyed by our students’ performance and would like to congratulate each and every team member. Our star five-person team consists of Naira Badalyan (7th grade), Saket Pamidipathri (8th grade), Ryan Lee (8th grade), Sean Yeh (8th grade), and Eric Chung (6th grade), and we would like to individually congratulate each and every one of them for their incredible performance as well as their amazing co-coaches, Ms. Musial and Jaden Penhaskashi. This has been a dream come true and the Science Bowl Club has been building up to this moment since we moved to our new North Hollywood location. In 2019, our middle school team placed in the top five; in 2020, our middle school team placed third; in 2021, our middle school team placed second; and this year we finally placed first!
So, in honor of all of our past and current Science Bowl team members, we wanted to enlighten everyone with the history of the Science Academy Science Bowl team by interviewing the team’s founder, Jaden Penhasakshi:
“In 2016, I was lucky enough to be able to create our middle school’s first Science Bowl team thanks to the help of previous coach and current Science Academy teacher, Mr. Knauss. At the time, Science Bowl was uncharted territory, but we were ready to accept any challenges in an effort to increase our knowledge and understanding of scientific studies. We formed a team of five people, four of whom attend Science Academy to this day, and we began our journey.
“We spent our first few years learning from our mistakes and gaining experience, but we only truly began to flourish during our third year of competition, where we placed second place in the Southern California regionals with the help of one of our school’s science teachers, Ms. DiMonaco. The next year we placed third and the following year, second again. It was a grueling process, but coming so close to advancing and qualifying for Nationals constantly pushed us to work harder and harder year after year.
“During the same time, our oldest middle school competitors advanced to the high school tournament, a difficult transition, because the majority of teams at the competition were composed of seniors, while our school only had freshmen. Similar to our middle school experience, we never gave up working harder and harder each year, seeing the fruits of our labor ripen as we slowly climbed in ranking.
“And that leads us to where we are today. Our current coach Ms. Musial has hosted our club for the past year and her help as well as all of our previous coaches has undoubtedly brought us the victory that we are proud to have today. We currently have four teams, two middle school teams and two high school teams, and hope they achieve similar success within the coming years. So let’s cross our fingers for all of our Science Bowl teams and wish them luck!”
Feel free to talk to Ms. Musial or any of the Science Academy Science Bowl members if you are interested in joining the team and check out our website to find out more about Science Bowl: https://stemsciencebowl.weebly.com/
Our first Science Bowl team.
Our current Science Bowl team.
From left to right: Jaden (student coach), Naira Badalyan,
Saket Pamidipathri, Ryan Lee, Sean Yeh, Eric Chung
BREAKING NEWS by Desmond Devine
Our school is relatively new, and it is well known that starting a site of education is an endeavor that requires land, motivated people, and above all else, cold hard cash. Now our school has been lucky enough to be able to receive the support needed to launch a new campus, and we have an amazing faculty, but we still need a ton of money to pay the teachers, purchase supplies including textbooks, and ensure student well being. In addition, since we just survived a pandemic, it is extremely important that we save money and use it for the best causes.
Well, apparently there are more important things than the best causes. It has been brought to the attention of the Journalism Club that our school could be hiring a doorman. A doorman! Something only billionaires and the most upper-crust of hotels have. Can’t our students open doors by themselves? Go check out the link below at home if you’ve forgotten how to open a door:
Come on, guys! We’re the SCIENCE ACADEMY. The gifted and talented individuals who will go on to achieve greatness! If we are inhibited by a simple unlocked door, then why bother coming to such a prestigious school in the first place? This is the problem with this possible purchase. We don’t need it. That money could be used to help clubs, buy more lab equipment for science classes, or purchase tissues that don’t feel like cardboard. Anything would be better! But apparently, the two guardian angels of our school, SciFi and ASB, think hiring a doorman will benefit our school, when in reality it is a waste of money that tells us impressionable children that it’s okay to rely on others to get basic responsibilities done.
Everyone, speak out now to ensure our school’s financial security! Scroll down to learn more on how to help stop this egregious waste:
By the way, I know this money stuff sounds complicated and frustrating. But you know what isn’t complicated? Taking 15 minutes to save 15% or more on car insurance by switching to Geico!
p.s. Here’s some history on the origin of April Fools’ Day:
Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. In the Julian Calendar, as in the Hindu calendar, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1.
People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes and were called “April fools.” These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.
by Jordin Lim
Saint Patrick’s Day, well known for clever leprechaun-catching and for pinching those not wearing green, has an interesting history and fascinating traditions. Saint Patrick’s Day traditionally takes place on March 17th, but how did this day come to be?
The Origins of Saint Patrick’s Day
Saint Patrick is one of Christianity’s most widely known figures. Born in Roman Britain and alive during the fifth century, Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and its national apostle.
After being kidnapped by a group of Irish raiders who had been attacking his family’s estate, he was brought to Ireland at age 16, where he spent six years in captivity. During this time in captivity, Patrick worked as a shepherd, away from people. His feelings of loneliness and fear caused him to turn to religion as a sort of consolation, eventually becoming a devout Christian. According to his writings, Patrick escaped after he had heard the voice of God telling him to leave Ireland. Upon his return to Britain, Patrick is said to have experienced another revelation, one of an angel telling him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Upon his return to Ireland, he is said to have brought Christianity to its people.
The mythology of Saint Patrick’s life is deeply ingrained in Irish culture. Perhaps the best known legend of Saint Patrick is his explanation of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) with the usage of the three leaves of the shamrock, a native Irish clover. Another well known legend regarding Saint Patrick was that of him driving snakes out of Ireland by chasing them into the sea, until they began attacking him during a 40-day fast he undertook while atop a hill. Saint Patrick also used bonfires to celebrate Easter, since the Irish were used to celebrating their gods with fires. The Celtic cross was created when Patrick superimposed a sun onto the Christian cross, so that reverence of the new symbol seemed more natural to the Irish people.
Although Saint Patrick is known for being the patron saint of Ireland, he was never canonized, or made a saint, by the Catholic Church, simply due to the era he lived in: during the first millennium, no formal canonization process was present in the Catholic Church. However, as he helped spread Christianity throughout Ireland, Patrick was proclaimed to be a saint due to popular acclaim rather than an official proceeding.
By the time of his death, said to have been on March 17, 461, Saint Patrick had established monasteries, missionaries, and churches. Therefore, his religious service is commemorated on March 17th every year. In general, Saint Patrick’s Day is the global celebration of Irish culture, particularly remembering Saint Patrick. This day is celebrated in most countries with people of Irish descent.
Saint Patrick’s Day Traditions
There are several traditions that are associated with Saint Patrick’s Day. There are also some that are carried out to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day.
The Shamrock: The shamrock, also called the “seamory” by the Celts, is well known for being associated with Saint Patrick’s Day. It was a sacred plant in ancient Ireland due to the fact that it represented the rebirth of spring. The shamrock eventually became the symbol of emerging Irish nationalism during the 17th century. As the English began conquering Irish land, many Irish people began to wear the shamrock as a symbol of their pride and heritage.
Music: Music, in general, has been associated with Saint Patrick’s Day and Irish culture. The Celts had an oral culture, in which their religion, legends, and history were passed down by stories and songs. After being conquered by the English, the Irish turned to music to allow them to remember important events and to hold onto their history and heritage. However, music was then outlawed by the English. Today, traditional Irish bands use the same instruments that have been used for centuries, such as the fiddle, bagpipe, and the tin whistle.
The Snake: As previously mentioned, Saint Patrick was fabled to have driven snakes out of Ireland, only to be attacked by them during a 40-day fast he carried out on a hill. However, the island nation was never home to any snakes. The “banishing of snakes” was a metaphor for the removal of pagan ideology and the success of Christianity.
Food: During the celebrations of Saint Patrick’s Day, traditional Irish foods such as corned beef and cabbage are plentiful.
Leprechauns: The most renowned icon of Saint Patrick’s Day is most likely the leprechaun, figures of folklore who were believed to have come from the Celtic beliefs in fairies. In Celtic folklore, leprechauns were said to be cranky souls who were responsible for mending the shoes of other fairies. They were well known for trickery, often used to protect their much-fabled treasure. Many people dress up as leprechauns on St Patrick’s Day.Read More