Science & Arts Academy Students Spread Message of Kindness
Third and fourth graders from Science & Arts Academy in Des Plaines have just finished reading and discussing the book, Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. The main character’s experiences in navigating through childhood with facial differences deeply resonated with SAA students and helped them understand the importance of acceptance and empathy. They culminated their novel study with a field trip to the AMC Randhurst Theater on Thursday, December 7th to view a screening of the movie, Wonder. Students all wore specially created t-shirts with the words “CHOOSE KIND” on the front, in an effort to help spread this important message in and around our community. “Appearances don’t matter. It’s what the person is actually like once you get to know them that matters,” shared Nico Lopez, third grader at SAA. Students learned that the words of Mr. Tushman ring true, “Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”
In the December 20th edition of the Des Plaines Journal, an article appeared documenting our culminating activity for the third and fourth grade novel study of the book Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. The text of the article is copied below.
Our Science Olympiad Team had a great showing at the first invitational at British School South Loop. Many of our Varsity and JV team members earned medals in a variety of events. Overall, our Varsity team earned First Place and our JV team earned Second Place. They worked hard and are ready for more! Kaboom!!!
Read the full story Science & Arts Academy in Des Plaines celebrates 25 years on the Daily Herald website.
The National Merit Semifinalist announcements were recently publicized. Five SAA class of 2014 graduates earned this distinction: AJ, Matthew, Annelise, James, and Lucas. This is a very impressive accomplishment as only about 16,000 students of the 1.6 million students that take the test become semi-finalists, representing the top 0.01% of all test takers. Congrats to our SAA alumni!
SAA was once again well-represented at Northwestern University's Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS) Awards Ceremony this past Saturday, September 9th! NUMATS offers above-grade level testing to gifted students: PSAT 8/9 for students in grades 3-6 and SAT/ACT for students in grades 6-9. Those honored at the 2017 NUMATS awards ceremony scored in the top 2% of over 12,000 students from throughout the Midwest and from states as far away as Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Oregon. Current and former SAA students receiving awards were fifth grader Grace, 7th grader Jaden, 8th grader Michael, and SAA alum Ellie.
We would like to extend a big thank you to everyone that participated and helped out with the 25th Anniversary Homecoming Picnic. We were pleased to welcome over 600 guests to this special event. Please click here to read the program and view the list of our amazing sponsors and volunteers. We are so grateful for your support!
Special thanks to FSA Picnic Co-Chairs Jennifer Ilko and Amy Wang for all of their efforts supporting this milestone event. Also a big thank you to all of the student, parent, business partner, staff, alumni and alumni parent volunteers that provided such a welcoming atmosphere and helped the event run smoothly.
Special guests included Susan Bartz Herrick, the daughter of SAA’s founder, the late Helene Bartz; State Senator Laura Murphy; Park Ridge Mayor Marty Maloney; and Marisa Marton from the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce, who joined SAA personnel in cutting the ribbon to officially kick off and commemorate the 25th anniversary celebration. Please click here to view a video containing remarks from the specials guests, as well as other highlights from the event.
Other special guests included Fire Chief Alan Wax and four vehicles from Fire Station 61, and Officer Meyer from the Des Plaines Police Department.
The Message & Memories Board at the picnic had some wonderful notes, one of which is shared below:
Although we will miss the Class of 2017, we are confident that they are ready for the next stage of their educational journey. Selecting a high school can be a difficult decision, especially when a student is accepted into multiple high quality schools! In addition to the final list of high schools that graduates will be attending, please reference the table below to learn more about the many additional high schools where SAA students registered (public) or were accepted (independent).
This past Saturday, May 13th, SAA hosted its first ever Elementary Science Olympiad tournament. Five teams competed in 12 different events including Anatomy, Bridges, Junkyard Cars, and Trajeggtory (an egg toss device to protect the egg). Our team earned medals in most of the events. The Elementary Science Olympiad team has been practicing Mondays after school with coaches Aaron Feinberg and Colleen Storiz since November. Students have been working hard to learn new Science concepts and prepare for the tournament.
We would like to thank all the parent and student volunteers that made the tournament such a huge success, we couldn't have done it without you. We would also like to congratulate all of our ESO students. Way to go, SAA!