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Articles from May 2015

Fellows fifth grade teacher honored by Ames High grad who is Coca-Cola Scholar

AMES–Rachel Kim considers research as something that’s fun to do in her downtime, speaks three languages fluently, has garnered a list of academic awards longer than most adults’ entire resumes, and recently learned she has been accepted to Harvard. But the 2015 Ames High School graduate considers starting an after-school tutoring program for an elementary school among her greatest accomplishments.

Kim’s dynamic set of academic achievements and community leadership attributes helped launch her become a national Coca-Cola Scholars Program winner. From a field of more than 102,000 applicants and nearly 2,200 semifinalists that narrowed to 250 regional finalists, Kim was selected for a rigorous final interview process that set her apart as one of the 150 national winners. She attended the Coca-Cola Scholars Weekend April 16-19 in Atlanta and received a $20,000 award to be used toward her college tuition.

In the midst of these accolades, Kim reached out to honor one of the teachers who helped her believe in her own potential. On Friday, May 24, Kim surprised Elise Wright, a Fellows Elementary fifth grade teacher, as the “distinguished educator” who made a difference in her academic and leadership choices.

2015 Ames High School graduate Rachel Kim, (L) and Fellows fifth grade teacher Elise Wright display their Coca-Cola Scholars program awards. Kim is a national Coca-Cola Scholars winner who named Wright as a Distinguished Educator.

2015 Ames High School graduate Rachel Kim, (L) and Fellows fifth grade teacher Elise Wright display their Coca-Cola Scholars program awards. Kim is a national Coca-Cola Scholars winner who named Wright as a Distinguished Educator.

Flanked by Coca Cola Scholars program officials who presented Wright with the award, Kim told Wright in a prepared statement, “It was because of your dedication that I realized that a great leader is one who can empathize with many individuals.”

Kim said she learned from Wright that it is the “willingness to hear others’ stories and take a momentary pause in life to help others surrounding you that distinguishes a notable leader.”

“Hearing stories from young kids who live a life of day-to-day survival and have insecure futures, my growing compassion for young children has allowed me to realize that a true leader does not simply emphasize self-improvement, but deeply contemplates reform for an entire society,” she said. “Through this opportunity, I would like to thank you for teaching me how to find a window in the walls placed in front of me and developing me to become the leader that you envisioned walking through your classroom door seven years ago.”

Fellows principal Carol Page said Kim and Wright both exemplify true leadership.

“You see, Rachel was always a good student, but Mrs. Wright pushed her to move beyond those comfortable zones,” Page said. “She pushed her to reach out with her leadership skills to help others! Empathy building was key—and leadership isn’t about promoting oneself, but reaching out to others to help them reach THEIR potential!”

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Mitchell students win Governor’s Youth Action Award

Mitchell fourth grade students  in Amanda McGonigle's class enjoy being active.

Mitchell fourth grade students in Amanda McGonigle’s class enjoy being active.

AMES–To Mitchell Elementary School student Cara Mosher, the heart is more than a muscle that keeps the body’s blood supply in motion.

“The heart symbolizes health and inspiration,” the fourth grade student said.

Cara put her inspiration to work to make a poster that won first place in Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s Governor’s Youth Action Award.

This spring, the Governor and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, the Governor’s Council on Child Health and Wellness and their partners created the Governor’s Youth Action Award to honor efforts of Iowa students in kindergarten through 12th grade who submitted posters, essays and/or videos highlighting healthy behaviors or sharing ideas to engage others.

Cara’s teacher Amanda McGonigle said when she learned about the opportunity to participate, she saw it as a way to give her students a “real world application” of  fourth grade science curriculum by teaching others ways to be healthy.

“I learned how powerful being the teacher is for students’ learning,” McGonigle said.”I also learned how much students care about being healthy.”

McGonigle said she was surprised by all the knowledge students already had.

Cara described her poster, which is not available since it will be on display, as a depiction of “Iowa in the middle of a heart made of fruits and vegetables.”

“It’s surrounded by sports balls, and  ‘Healthy is Wealthy’ in 3-D letters,” she said.

McGonigle’s students also produced a video that placed in the top three among elementary schools.

She credits Mary Greeley Medical Center’s Mileage Club for keeping students motivated to stay active and make healthy food choices.

“Our class has 100 percent participation in Mileage Club,” she said. “This year, Mileage Club added a token for keeping a log of the fruits and vegetables students eat.”

The Iowa Action for Healthy Kids Coalition assisted with the selection of winners for each genre.  All participants will receive a participation ribbon and award winners will receive recognition from Governor Branstad during the Iowa State Fair at an official ceremony Aug. 15.

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Science Olympiad Team places first in State Competition

IMG_2083The Ames High Science Olympiad team finished in first place at the State Science Olympiad competition at Coe College on Saturday, April 18th.  This qualifies the team to represent the state of Iowa at the National Science Olympiad competition in Lincoln, Neb. in May.

Finishing with first place medals:

  • Kween Agba and Brynna Bargfield for Cell Biology
  • Nathan Chen and Katie Fukushima for GeoLogic Mapping
  • Sarah Shen and Nathan Chen for Dynamic Planet
  • Brynna Bargfield, Nathan Chen, Seamus O’Connor-Walker for Experimental Design
  • Yichen Xu, Nina VanderZanden, Sarah Shen for Protein Modeling
  • Alex Lee and Yichen Xu for Chem Lab
  • Julia Meyer and Yichen Xu for Technical Problem Solving
  • Nina VanderZanden and Tifany Chu for Forensics
  • Seamus O’Connor Walker and Takeshi Suzuki for Bridge Building
  • Tifany Chu and Zhi Li for Bungee Drop

Second Place Medals:

  • Sarah Shen and Katie Fukushima for Fossils
  • Brynna Bargfield and Seamus O’Connor-Walker for Disease Detectives
  • Ben Moats and Katie Fukushima for Entomology
  • Tifany Chu and Kween Agba for Anatomy and Physiology
  • Alexander Lee and Ben Moats for Astronomy
  • Julia Meyer, Jeremy Meyer and Takeshi Suzuki for Mission Possible
  • Julia Meyer and Jeremy Meyer for Air Trajectory
  • Takeshi Suzuki and Zhi Li for Wright Stuff
  • Nina VanderZanden and Yichen Xu for It’s About Time

Third place medals:

  • Takeshi Suzuki and Mica Magtoto for Compound Machines
  • Kween Agba and Shi Li for Green Generation
  • Takeshi Suzuki and Julia Meyer for Scrambler

 

 

 

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Science Olympiad Team takes top honors at State Competition

IMG_2082The Ames  Middle Science Olympiad team finished in first place at the State Science Olympiad competition at Coe College on Saturday, April 18th.  This qualifies the team to represent the state of Iowa at the National Science Olympiad competition in Lincoln, Neb. in May.

Finishing with first place medals:

  • Anyang Yu and Steven Lian for Entomology
  • Joseph Norman, John Kim and Jason Chen for Experimental Design
  • Amy Yang and Caleb Kong for Meteorology
  • Eddie Wei and John Kim for Air Trajectory
  • Hannah Huang and Shria Chug for Disease Detective
  • Sarah Song and Eddie Wei for Road Scholar
  • Caleb Kong and Seth Durbin for Elastic Launched Glider
  • Anyang Yu and Joseph Norman for Crave the Wave
  • Maria Kosakova and John Kim for Solar System
  • James Lin and Fergal Hennessey for Bottle Rocket
  • Anyang Yu and Shria Chug for Fossils
  • Amy yang and Seth Durbin for Robo-Cross
  • Jason Chen and Steven Lian  for Wheeled Vehicle
  • Fergal Hennessy and Jason Chen for Dynamic Planet
  • Maria Kosakova, Amy Yang, and James Lin for Picture This

Second Place Medals:

  • Hannah Huang and Sarah Song for Anatomy
  • Steven Lian and Seth Durbin for Bridge Building
  • Sarah Song and Joseph Norman for Crimebusters
  • Caleb Kong and Fergal Hennessy for Simple Machines

Third place medals:

  • Sarah Song and Fergal Hennessy for Can’t Judge a Powder
  • James Lin and Shria Chug for Bioprocess Lab
  • Maria Kosakova and Steven Lian for Green Generation
  • Hannah Huang and Eddie Wei for Write It Do It
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Presidential Scholar Semifinalists

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Ames High School seniors Rachel Kim, Akash Mitra and Kushan Tyagi were selected as national semifinalists to advance to the final round of this year’s U.S. Presidential Scholars competition. From nearly 3.3 million graduating high school seniors, more than 4,300 students were identified as candidates in the program, and 565 semifinalists have been selected from across the countryas the pool from which the 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholars will be chosen. Only Six students from Iowa were selected as semifinalists.

presidentialscholars

L-R: Rachel Kim, Akash Mitra, Kushan Tyagi

The other three Iowa semifinalists are Laurel Dusek, Cedar Rapids George Washington High School; Edward Yao, Coralville West High School; and Rachel Schneider, Des Moines Roosevelt High School.

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