Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Explore 2000 Students Explore - Nicaragua

My Adventure To Nicaragua

by Adelina Parra


     Last week I traveled to Nicaragua for a vacation. I had a very amazing trip. In this report, I will be telling you all about it. I learned some new things and I had fun. There are such beautiful places to visit in Nicaragua. There are stylish clothing stores. Nicaragua has many fun cultural activities.

Sacuanjoche (The National Flower)

     The Sacuanjoche is Nicaragua's national flower. It grows on the Plumeria tree and blooms around May. It's also called the May Flower. The name of the flower comes from the Nahuatl word "xacuan" or "sacuan" which means "beautiful yellow petals" and their word for flower, "xochilt" or "joche." The Sacuanjoche has no nectar to attract bees. Sphinx moths are attracted to the blossoms by their fragrance which is strongest at night and then the moths do the job of pollinating them.

     The colors of the flowers can be yellow on the inside and white on the outside or yellow on the inside and pink on the outside.

El Gigante (A beach in Nicaragua)

     This is a very popular beach. The name of this beach translates into English as The Giant. El Gigante has fresh, clear water. (Even though I had to wash sand out of my hair for 2 days.) When I went, it was a very hot day. El Gigante is located in Tola,Managua. I went with my grandma's 5 sisters and 1 brother. It was very fun.

El Teatro Nacional Ruben Dario

     I attended the national theater of Ruben Dario. Ruben Dario was a Nicaraguan poet. At the theater, I saw the ballet called Sleeping Beauty. This ballet was performed by Russians. I like it a lot! Many people come from all over the world to see ballets and plays in this theater. On the same day I went, the resident Nicaragua's daughter came to watch Sleeping Beauty.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Explore 2000 Middle Schools Revs Up for STEM Race Car Competition (Jersey City, NJ)

Campers of Explore 2000 just completed their first week of Summer STEM Race Car Challenge.  Girls and boys throughout Hudson County, from various schools within our community have been actively engaged in forming teams, designing logos, creating air-propelled puff mobiles, testing cars, trial races and practicing their driving and technical skills with the race cars. “I am having a lot of fun!” exclaimed Kai of Jersey City, 6th grade.

Everyone enjoyed their week and only had positive things to say about their experience, students, teachers and observers. “The first day of the camp was challenging, but then I got used to helping my team. Now it’s really fun! I like to take the lead in racing the car because that is a strong ability of mine,” explained Jonas of Jersey City, 5th grade.

The culminating activity was a race competition among the campers. The winning team proved steadfast through the races.  Bringing in 1st Place was Team Electrix: all from Jersey City - Henry, 5th grader,  incoming 6th grade student, Daniela and 8th grade student, Patrick.  

Teamwork Results in Victory with Principal A. Lin-Rodriquez and Consultants from STEM Education, LLC.

“It was an exciting race and we are proud of all of the participants who showed creativity, perseverance, teamwork and good sportsmanship,” stated Ms. Rapaport, STEM Camp Facilitator.
We also had some special student guests who came to support the race from The A. Harry Moore School. The race was even announced by their very own Charity.  Camper Kevin, 8th grader of West New York added, “I have met amazing people and it was always fun to have a one-on-one race against them.”
“I think I definitely improved on my racing skills. I believe I will keep my strategy the same as before, slow and easy, since it worked for me before; I think that if I keep using that technique, I’ll get better,” shared Zaynab of Jersey City, 7th grade student.

Thanks to the professional development provided by STEM Education LLC and the support of the HCST Foundation, our first STEM Camp has been a strong success for these campers! While the activities were exciting and hands-on, it was almost impossible to detect the hidden Science and Math lessons. Who knew there was so much to be learned from racing remote controlled cars????

We plan to continue these winning activities during our final week with an Ultimate Race Car Competition to be held on Friday, July 29th.

Friday, June 24, 2016

High Tech Students “Dig” in at the Hard Rock Cafe

(New York, NY—June 17, 2016) Veteran High Tech Language Arts instructor Robert Dillon and Social Studies teacher Ronald Kliesh escorted sophomores to the famous Hard Rock Café to complete their final project on rock and roll’s connection to critical moments in history and American culture, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech.

Sophomores researched songs, wrote papers, prepared speeches, and created art relative to the political impact that these rock and roll songs had on America in the fifties and all the way through the end of the 20th century.  For their projects, they chose songs that focused on such topics as gun violence, police brutality, race, religion, and gender discrimination.  

“This project is rooted in a teaching philosophy that holds that students learn best when they connect with curricula that holds their interest,” says Dillon.  “Obviously, popular music is one such point of connection.”

By touring the Hard Rock Cafe, the sophomores had access to hundreds of artifacts from famous rock and roll musicians.  On the current site of the Hard Rock Cafe, the historic Paramount Theater once hosted acts such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and Buddy Holly.  Using a Rock and Roll Guide, students learned how rock music has impacted their culture.

“We saw handwritten lyrics by Dylan, Hendrix, and Johnny Cash,” sophomore Daylen Ala, a resident of North Bergen, says.  “We even saw Bo Diddley’s homemade guitar and many items from the groups associated with the British Invasion, like the Beatles.”

Dillon, who has been accepted into the Rock and Roll Forever Summer Teacher Workshop this summer, reminds us that this field trip to the Hard Rock Cafe accentuates the significant impact of bringing music into the classroom. 

“Music is a gateway to substantive and meaningful exploration of a wide range of topics,” he adds, “especially in Language Arts and History, not to mention the Humanities, too.”

High Tech’s Jeremy Lewan and Friends Embark on Twenty-two-Mile Hudson County Bicycle Tour

(North Bergen, NJ—June 22, 2016) Bayonne resident Jeremy Lewan, a sophomore at High Tech, and three friends embarked on a 22-mile bicycling tour, documenting their journey in an amateur, but professional-grade, video, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech High School.

This video, recorded and edited by Lewan himself, captures his bicycling adventures with his trio of friends and fellow Bayonne residents, Samantha Lobo and Paolo Rivera—both High Tech students, too—and Bayonne High School sophomore Sarah Zaki, on Saturday, April 30th.  Their tour takes them through Jersey City, Hoboken, and Weehawken en route to Guttenberg, along the banks of the Hudson River. 

During their tour, the quartet took part in geocaching (a “hide and seek” activity, in which “geocachers” employ GPS navigation to place and/or locate containers—geocaches) around Hudson County. The video documents the geocaching experience, of course, as well as stops for brunch and snacks at the Turning Point Restaurant and Vivi's Bubble Tea, respectively, in Hoboken, and later, dinner at Porta, a Smith Restaurant, in Jersey City.  Afterward, the quartet pedal their bicycles back to their homes in Bayonne.

To watch Lewan’s video and to experience his adventures, please go to the following link:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

High Tech Science League Honors Shrevas Agarwal and Mingyu Zhao

(North Bergen, NJ—June 23, 2016) High Tech Science League competitors Shrevas Agarwal and Mingyu Zhao have scored in the top 10% of all New Jersey students for AP Physics I, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech High School.

Agarwal, a Secaucus resident, took 1st place in AP Physics I, scoring 296 out of 300 points.  Amazingly, he only answered one question incorrectly, ranking him first among all 186 competitors in New Jersey. 

“No one [at High Tech] remembers if any of our students ever took first place in any New Jersey Science League competition,” says Dr. David Cincotta, esteemed chemistry instructor at High Tech. 

Zhao, a Harrison resident, took 17th place, putting him in the top 10% of all competitors in New Jersey as well.

Dr. Giammarella presented Agarwal with a plaque for his outstanding score.  Zhao, visiting Europe at the time, will receive a plaque in due time.  Also, High Tech instructor Tatyana Zhukova, who coached the AP Physics I team, received a plaque on behalf of her team’s 5th place ranking in the state of New Jersey. 

The High Tech Science League teams entered four competitions this past April.  Top scorers in each science field include the following students: for AP Biology II, Eleanore Woodruff of Weehawken and Mihir Vora of North Bergen (both tied); for AP Chemistry II, Sophia Velasquez of Bayonne; for AP Environmental Science, Bayonne residents Althea Ato and Raymond Deif (both tied);  for AP Physics C, Sabina Ohkawa of Kearny; for AP Physics II, Kisha Beltran of Union City; for Chemistry I, Jeel Shah of North Bergen; for Earth & Space Science, Sean Manuel of Bayonne; and for Physics, Elisavet Gallou of Secaucus.

from left, Dr. Cincotta, Shrevas Agarwal, Ms. Zhukova, and Dr. Giammarella

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

High Tech Scores Big in 2016 National Spanish Exams

(North Bergen, NJ—April 28, 2016) – Thirty-six High Tech students of Spanish, levels I and II, scored exemplarily well in the 2016 National Spanish Exam (NSE), sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP), announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech High School.

The NSE assesses students’ proficiency in the Spanish language as they compete on a national level with their peers in grades 6 through 12.

“Attaining a medal or honorable mention for any student on the National Spanish Examinations is very prestigious,” claims Kevin Cessna-Buscemi, National Director of the Exams, “because these exams are the largest of their kind in the United States, with over 160,000 students participating in 2016.”

The following students performed highly the exams:

West New York resident Marvin Martinez earned the Oro (Gold Medal).

Keysie Argueta and Marla Paneque of North Bergen, Secaucus resident Marissa Conde, and Hillary Ordonez of Jersey City received the Plata (Silver Medal).

Bronce (Bronze) Medalists included North Bergen residents Valeria Mesa, Alyssa Mojica, and Maria Paneque, Bayonne resident Jeremy Lewan, Cole Quist of Hoboken, Jersey City resident Hillary Ordonez, Gabriella Espinal of Kearny, Secaucus residents Alyssa Conde and Mahek Virani, and Jillian Melendez of West New York.

Mencíon de Honor (Honorable Mention) candidates include Bayonne residents Rawda Elsayed, Ghenwa Hassan, and Julia Orlowski, Guttenberg residents Bruno Risotto, Estefania Ruano, and Anushka Teckwani, Jersey City residents Joan Marie Tubungbanua and James Williams, Kearny residents Jennifer Curi and Zahra Fallah, North Bergen residents Christi Arango, Sarah DeCaro, Gabriel Garcia, Alex Miranda, Dalton Morley, Tanushri Shah, Yael Shriki, Jeffrey Zarzuela, and Sebastian Vasquez, Secaucus residents Shelina Chotrani, Aimee Gamboa, and Smriti Sukesh Kumar, and Union City resident Anaia Rodriguez.

County Prep Theatre Arts Students Receive Scholarships to Summer Workshop

County Prep Theatre Arts Students Kailyn Vazquez and Elizabeth Flores received full scholarships to attend prestigious theatre program!
Circle in the Square Theatre School, the only accredited training conservatory associated with a Broadway theatre in NYC, awarded County Prep Junior Kailyn Vazquez and County Prep Senior Elizabeth Flores full scholarships for their 7-week intensive Summer Workshop in Musical Theatre and Theatre respectively. The scholarship covers tuition, transportation and lunch stipend for the entire program. The musical theatre workshop consists of various Acting Technique classes (Theatre Program), as well as Singing Interpretation, Music Theory, and Musical Theatre Scene Study (Musical Theatre Program).
Also Sophomore Kyle Velazquez auditioned and was accepted in the program with a partial scholarship.
Mrs. Shields and Mrs. Warfel are very proud of all our performers and excited about the opportunity our students have been offered.
Circle in the Square began training actors in 1961. The school shares a theatre facility which presents commercial productions. At the moment the Circle in the Square facility is host of the Tony Nominated Broadway show Fun Home.