On Wednesday, 21st March, Sea Crest School was honored to host Donna Orem, the President of The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Sea Crest is one of 1,541 K-12 NAIS-member schools in the USA, serving 675,115 of the nation’s children. Appointed in 2016, Donna Orem is NAIS’ first female President in its 56-year history.
“What a true delight it was to visit your school. Your children are so engaged and self-directed in their learning.”
We began the day with a Coffee Meet and Greet with Faculty, Staff and Trustees, followed by an All-school Assembly and Classroom Tours led by our Middle School Admission Ambassadors: Olivia, Mayah, Mike, and Mimi.
“When you ask kids about passions, you normally get very traditional roles. At Sea Crest, I’ve heard students respond with ways to change the world: explorers, scientists […] You are putting good citizens out into the world.”
The Design and Innovation Program at Sea Crest is building up steam! There are students coming in all day to create a huge range of projects. While they are having a blast creating, it’s important to point out how the program impacts children in the long run.
Many of the jobs that exist today did not exist twenty, ten or even five years ago. If current trends continue, it’s likely that many of our children will go into careers that don’t yet exist and demand a great deal of adaptability.
We can prepare them for this shifting landscape with two essential problem-solving skills: empathy and grit.
These two skills are the backbone of our innovation program and design thinking. Each of the students’ projects begin with a challenge that needs solving. Next, they go through the design process, which consists of four steps: find it (research), sketch it (brainstorming), build it (prototyping), and share it (gathering feedback).
As students go through these steps, they learn to see things from another person’s perspective and to adapt ideas to fix complex problems. Below are some examples of the challenges they are solving:
Kindergarten & 1st Grade How might we use simple machines? [Experiment with simple machine combinations to solve problems]
2nd & 3rd Grade How might we keep better track of our things in class? [Create custom logo stickers for your things]
4th & 5th Grade How can we address small inconveniences around the school? [Add plants to the garden area, reduce noise in the locker area, and more]
Middle School How might we help teachers have more functional classrooms? [Build storage, adjust lighting, add plants, etc.]
How might we give the kindergartners more choice time options? [Build and donate a variety of toys]
Our 4th Annual All-School Hygiene Drive is underway. The Sixth Grade has been diligently working on posters, Sign-up Geniuses, and presenting to Lower School classes. All items will be donated to Coastside Hope to help our local community.
Before the Winter Break, girls in the Eighth Grade had the opportunity to empower themselves by learning about self-defense through a workshop led by Kristin Lynn and George Miller. Our girls discovered how to use their voice in a powerful way, as well as several techniques in self-defense.
The Eighth Grade had the opportunity to learn CPR. George Miller and Kristin Lynn guided the students through scenarios of when the use of CPR is necessary. Students learned how to perform CPR, as well as use automated external defibrillators (AEDs).
Touch Your Toes
The Middle School finished a unit on Flexibility. Students were taught static stretching and resistive stretching. The unit emphasized the importance of flexibility and how it can assist in living a healthy lifestyle and prevent injury.
We have begun our dance unit. Students were introduced to the Electric Slide and were assigned the task of creating an updated version of the dance. This unit focuses on line dancing and choreography.
Food for Thought
The Seventh Grade watched the Morgan Spurlock documentary, Super Size Me, and reflected on how frequently food is wasted in our community. In the iLab, they are now utilizing the Design Thinking process to propose solutions for food waste here at Sea Crest. Seventh Graders will present their proposals to school administrators in the near future.
Congratulations to the seventh-grade students on such a successful Science Festival and Innovation Exposition! We were all impressed by their hard work and the deep knowledge demonstrated in their projects. A special thank you to Mr. Twining for getting our students prepared for the event and Ms. Giacotto for helping to organize.
Thank you to the eighth-grade students for your dedication by running the amazing science stations, which the entire school enjoyed. This K-8 event was open to the public and a fantastic opportunity to celebrate science and innovation. There were a number of inventive projects, experiments and hands-on activities for all ages!
Thank you also to our parent volunteers and judges. We could not have done it without your help!
Sixth-grade students are building Solar Suitcases to power a partner school in Kenya, Africa.
We Share Solar is an education program in Berkeley that links science and technology with international philanthropy and service. Through building the Solar Suitcase (a 12-volt DC stand-along solar system that can power lights, cell phones, and small electronic devices) students learn how solar electricity works.
After they’ve built the suitcases, students will write letters to the students in Kenya and deploy the solar units for immediate use.
Sea Crest expands science fair categories. Published in the Half Moon Bay Review on Wednesday, January 17th. By Sarah Griego Guz.
The science fair is a rite of passage for many middle school students. Many adults remember sweating out the details the night before the big day in a final attempt to consolidate months of work on a tri-fold display board.
Sea Crest School has folded this event into an open house and schoolwide science festival that is suitable for all ages.
The hands-on happening offers innovative science experiences such as a banana keyboard made courtesy of Makey Makey. The electronic invention connects everyday objects to computer programs.
The standard science fair challenge is great for students who are wired to conduct experiments and are interested in specific topics, but others view the science fair with apprehension because they can’t find a question that interests them. Sea Crest Middle School science teacher Matthew Twining decided to modify the assignment.
“Traditional science fair projects appeal to a subset of the students,” said Twining. “There are students who are interested in engineering or environmental topics. I wanted to give everybody a chance to do something more closely aligned with their interests and aptitudes.”
Taking a page from Pasadena schools’ successful Innovation Exposition, Twining added categories for Invention, Environmental Innovation, Reverse Engineering, and Science Fiction.
Seventh-grader Chase Urban has been working on a project in the Reverse Engineering category.
“I couldn’t find a project or a question that I wanted to answer,” said Urban. “I like taking things apart. I liked the idea of taking the digital camera apart and mapping it all out and figuring out how it worked.”