On Friday, March 18, elementary parents were invited to our annual S.T.E.A.M. Showcase, which was facilitated virtually this year, with teachers providing classroom tours and their S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) projects via the web. Each grade level learned about the engineering design process, which includes the following steps: ask, imagine, plan, create, test, and improve. Using the curriculum from Engineering is Elementary, a curriculum developed by the Museum of Science in Boston, students solved real-world problems connected to stories of students around the world.
Our transitional kindergartners designed a house for various environments, utilizing the names and characteristics of shapes they had learned together in class. They first planned their house using a variety of materials such as blocks, rubber bands, Unifix Cubes, and Legos, then created structures for the environment of their choice, such as the beach or mountains. The structures were tested for strength and whether they provided shelter from the environment of that region.
The concept of habits was the focus for our kindergartners, whose engineering project included creating animals with UV-light-sensitive beads, then creating habitats for their critters. The test portion of the project saw the students bringing their habitats outside mid-day to see if the UV beads changed colors. If not, their animal was in a safe environment!
First graders explored insects and plants and applied agricultural engineering to solve a pollination problem. The unit begins with the storybook Mariana Becomes a Butterfly, in which a girl living in the Dominican Republic explores the field of agricultural engineering to determine why her ohelo plant won’t make berries. Over the course of the unit, students learned about agricultural pest management, the life cycles of plants, and the interdependence of insect pollinators and plants. Like Mariana, students then followed the steps of the engineering design process to imagine, plan, create, and improve their own hand pollinators.
Students in second grade learned how engineers use their knowledge of energy transfer to design solutions for using energy without harming the environment. The unit begins with the storybook Lerato Cooks Up a Plan, in which a girl in Botswana uses her knowledge of green engineering to build a solar oven to cook food for her family. Students explore the life cycles and environmental impact of products, then collect and analyze data to compare how different materials perform as thermal insulators and conductors.
In third grade, students explored magnetism and its applications in engineering. The unit begins with the storybook Hikaru’s Toy Troubles, in which a boy in Japan applies his knowledge of transportation engineering to design a special attraction for his family’s struggling toy store. Over the course of the unit, students analyze the design of transportation systems, investigate the properties of magnets, and build model toys that use magnets.
Fourth graders explored electricity and its use in everyday technologies. The unit begins with the storybook A Reminder for Emily, in which a girl living on a ranch in Australia learns about electrical engineering to build a system that alerts her when she needs to fill the sheep’s water trough. Over the course of the unit, students explore energy and electricity, investigate closed and open circuits, and create diagrams of circuits.
Students in fifth grade explored organisms and recognized how engineering can help provide for the needs of a small animal. The unit begins with the storybook Juan Daniel’s Fútbol Frog, in which a boy in El Salvador uses bioengineering to design a safe environment for his fútbol (soccer) team’s mascot, a small frog. Over the course of the unit, students explored the concepts of biomimicry, conservation, and biotechnology, and tested how quickly or slowly water passes through different materials.
As we kick off 2022, FCS wanted to share some of the academic, athletic, and extracurricular highlights from the first half of the school year.
MAP Scores: The majority (70-77%) of our elementary and secondary students scored above the 2020 national normative data on the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test. This means that our FCS students are performing at or above pre-pandemic levels –– even after learning from home for the majority of 2020 and even part of 2021.
We are heartened to see this level of achievement in our students, due largely in part to our dedicated teachers and supportive parents, who sought to make the “new normal” as conducive to learning as possible.
Student Satisfaction. The Student Satisfaction Survey, facilitated by Charter Oaks Research organization, showed that 75% of our secondary students rated FCS as a “very friendly” atmosphere, the highest rating in that category. That is a much higher percentage than Charter Oaks typically sees from other schools, as normally even a score of 50% is considered very good!
Student Participation. We want to celebrate that our students take advantage of the many “big school” opportunities at FCS: 90% are involved in performing arts and/or athletics. Their participation builds community, character, and skills that will transfer to college and career!
Girls’ Varsity Volleyball. Our team went undefeated the entire season and won both the Bay Counties League (BCL) Tournament and B.C.L. League Championship, with a record of 14-0. The Warriors also claimed the #1 seed in the California Interscholastic Federation North Coast Section Playoffs (CIF NCS). And, for the first time in school history, the volleyball team hosted a NorCal playoff game. Way to go, Warriors!
Boys’ Varsity Soccer. The team ended an incredible season with a 13-7-1 record and a second-place finish in our BCL League. They also qualified for the NCS Division 3 playoffs, surging all the way to the NCS championship game, where unfortunately they lost 1-0 in an epic battle against Valley Christian.
Additionally, the team earned the North Coast Section (NCS) Scholastic Championship Team Award for fall 2021. This award is presented to the top three NCS varsity teams in each division or classification in each sport with the highest composite GPA of 3.0 or above. Recognizing that there are 179 schools in the NCS, this is indeed an outstanding achievement.
Girls’ Junior High Softball. We finished 6-4 and qualified for the league playoff tournament. We are so proud of our girls, many of whom had not played prior to this season. With each game, they improved tremendously and fought hard — and with heart.
Boys’ Junior High Baseball. Our 7-3 record helped propel us all the way to the year-end championship tournament, where our team showed tremendous fortitude to finish third.
Both JH softball and baseball showed enormous growth throughout the season and proved to have resilient mindsets. We are super excited to see what the future holds for our junior high sports program.
School & Community Events
See You at the Pole (Sep. 22). Our Warrior students took part in this global event, in which participants meet at flagpoles to pray for their school. It is estimated more than 1,000,000 students participate yearly. More Info
Annual Warrior Family 5k (Oct. 9). Now in its sixth year, this new FCS tradition saw 228 participants, with third-grade teacher Timothy Voogd outracing all his fellow faculty members and placing second overall.
Scholastic Book Fair: Dive Into Reading! (Nov. 2-5). FCS had more than $5,000 in sales and earned $2,500 in Scholastic credit to purchase books for each elementary teacher's classroom library and for the school library. Thank you for your participation!
Secondary Choral and Instrumental Concert, Hope & Praise (Nov. 12). Pastor Tim Inman opened the concert, presented by the Fine Arts Department. Visit our YouTube channel for the full concert and a QR code to the concert program. Don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel so you don’t miss more great FCS performances! Watch Concert
Elementary Christmas Concert (Dec. 3). They may be young, but our elementary students feel the music in their hearts, which you can see in the YouTube video. Watch Concert
Pangolin Soccer Project. Secondary history teacher and soccer coach Nick Liston leads the ongoing initiative to provide gently used FCS uniforms and curriculum to those in need in Tanzania. This year, we sent 35 boxes of needed goods.
Seniors Simeon Godwin, Karen Ly, and Alice Zhou have been announced as three of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The FCS Class of 2021 has 49 members. These academically talented high school seniors will continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $30 million, that will be offered next spring.
More than 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screening of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
Congratulations, Simeon, Karen, and Alice! We are so proud of you!
From the Siemans' Foundation website:
The Siemens Competition is the nation’s premier competition in math, science and technology for high school students. Every year, students submit innovative individual and team research projects to regional and national levels of competition as they vie for college scholarships ranging from $1,000 up to $100,000. The Siemens Competition honors the best and brightest students for their accomplishments in math and science – students who are changing the world for the better.
This year, out of the more than 1860 projects submitted, 491 students are being recognized as semi-finalists. This select group of students and their notable projects are judged to determine who advances on to 6 regional competitions held in November. Individual and team winners of the regional contests earn the opportunity to compete in the National Finals held at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in December where $500,000 in scholarships will be awarded, including two top prizes of $100,000.
The prize, launched by the Siemens Foundation in 1999, was established to increase access to higher education for students who are gifted in STEM and is based on the culture of innovation, research, and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens. This competition seeks to recognize and build a strong pipeline for the nation’s most promising scientists, engineers and mathematicians.
Congratulations to these students and their outstanding accomplishments!
2017 senior Allen W. placed as a semi-finalist for the Siemens Research Competition, as one of the 80 students from California. It is very exciting to see our students doing independent research, and being awarded for their efforts. Allen has expressed his gratefulness to his teachers and counselors at FCS and is very excited for placing as semi-finalist.
We are so proud of you, Allen! You are paving the way for future FCS students with similar interests.
Every October, students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) — a test which serves as an initial screening of approximately 1.6 million juniors each year — and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.
FCS offers this exam to all 11th-grade students in October during the school day. Students in grades 9-10 also get a chance to view and practice the SAT with their own versions of the PSAT in October.
Last school year, in our class of 63 seniors, three students earned all three levels in National Merit status. Jocelyn S. earned Commended, Daniel F. earned Semi-Finalist, and Leon W. earned Finalist. By earning these distinctions and honors, those seniors were recognized as being in the top 4% of the nation from all high schools.
In the 2017-18 school year, there are 34,000 students being recognized for their exceptional academic promise as National Commended Students. Of more than 1.6 million students who took the PSAT NMSQT, these students are among the top 50,000 scorers. These students will be recognized by colleges for this very exceptional honor through their college applications and potential scholarships.
This year, FCS is so proud to announce five seniors who have just been announced as National Merit Commended students. Today, we want to award the following students their National Merit Commended Letters, please join me in congratulating: Ivan C., Solomon C., Joshua M., Ritu M., and Allen W.
If you would like a chance to join this elite group of students in the nation, your chance is coming up this October! All juniors will take the qualifying PSAT/NMSQT while the 9th and 10th graders will take preliminary practice exams through the PSAT 9, 10 and Pre-ACT.
Our AP Biology students are conducting an inquiry-based investigation of animal behavior as their first lab of the year. Students observe the orientation and movement behavior of pill bugs (roly-polies) in response to environmental stimuli.
Groups design and set up their own experiment, record the pill bug preferences, and analyze the results to determine what type of orientation behaviors the pill bugs display.
Transitional kindergarten, often referred to as TK, is an exciting educational opportunity for your child who turns five between September 1 and December 31. It’s the first phase of a two-year kindergarten program that uses age-appropriate academics.
Transitional kindergarten acts as a bridge between preschool and kindergarten and is designed to provide our youngest learners with the pivotal skills and experiences needed for success in kindergarten, including music, computer lab, and physical education. Our TK teachers provide a loving environment, a perfect place for your child to grow.
“We saw how our son has grown and learned a lot at TK class, and continues to learn to be nice and gentle to all his friends.” — Kun-Han, mother of 2016-2017 TK student
“Our daughter has made great progress in the TK class since last year, when she just came back from a long vacation in China, and could barely speak any English. Now, she expresses herself freely in English. She has so much knowledge of all kinds of animals and space, which she always proudly shows off to the family.” — Anqi Zhang, mother of 2016-2017 TK student
Congratulations to Leon W., Daniel F., and Jocelyn S. on your accomplishments in the 2017 National Merit Program! These three students, part of our 63-student senior class, are in the top 4% of the nation.
In October 2015, students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) — a test that serves as an initial screening of approximately 1.6 million juniors each year — and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.
Commended - Jocelyn S.
Of more than 1.6 million students who sat for the PSAT test in October, only 34,000 received the honor of being named National Merit Commended.
Semi-Finalist - Daniel F.
Of more than 1.6 million students who sat for the PSAT test in October, only 16,000 received the honor of being named National Merit Semi-Finalist.
Finalist - Leon W.
Of more than 1.6 million students who sat for the PSAT test in October, only 15,000 received the honor of being named National Merit Finalist.
Daniel has been with FCS since 2015, while Jocelyn and Leon both qualify as 13 year students. Jocelyn started in 2004, and Leon has been with Fremont Christian School since 2002. Congratulations again to our Class of 2017 and all their accomplishments!
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