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Posted Friday, Nov 1, 2013 

Students in 6th grade instrumental music are learning songs in major such as Frère Jacques and playing them in minor to learn about different music modes. The class listened to German Romantic composer Gustav Mahler's famous example of Frère Jacques in minor ("First Symphony," 3rd movement) and created their own ghoulish arrangement to perform for the delight of students and employees during break.

Posted Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 

Come see Bye Bye Birdie, this year's Middle School Musical! This hit production boasts a cast of 50 Middle School actors and 15 Upper School designers, choreographers, stage managers, and assistant directors. Travel back in time to the 1950s, and meet Conrad Birdie, the rock sensation who is about to be inducted into the Army; Conrad’s manager, Albert, and his loyal girlfriend, Rosie; Conrad’s biggest fan, Kim Macfee; and a legion of teen-aged female devotees. Will Conrad go into the army? Will Albert finally marry Rose? Will Harvey Johnson get a date to the prom? All of these questions will be answered on Friday at 7:30, and Saturday at 2:00 and 7:30. Buy your tickets here. Questions? Contact Kristin Walter.

Posted Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013 

Did you have a FABulous weekend? Some Casti folks certainly did ... by attending the FabLearn Conference at Stanford! FabLearn is an annual conference for educators, students, researchers, and policy-makers to discuss digital fabrication in education, the maker culture, and hands-on learning. During Sunday's sessions, Zoe S. '18 talked about her experiences in the Bourn Lab as a panelist on the Young Makers Panel and Heather Pang presented her history classes' monuments project during an educators panel. On Monday, Director of the Bourn Idea Lab Angi Chau moderated another panel of educators from K-12 schools, local museums, and community programs. To learn more about Castilleja's Bourn Lab click here!

Posted Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013 

Last spring, just before the finals of the Technovation Challenge, CBS came to campus to interview Castilleja's "Innogators," who were selected as regional finalists to advance to the World Pitch Competition. The five-woman team (Claire H. '16, Heejin H. '16, Jolena M. '15, Mayuka S. '15, and Wings Y. '15) championed their mobile app "CommUnity," which helps connect users with local volunteer opportunities, at Twitter Headquarters in front of experienced designers and entrepreneurs. After much anticipation, CBS ran a news story this weekend about how the contest helps women excel in STEM, and featured our Casti girls! Click here to watch the clip and read the transcript. Congratulations ladies!

Posted Thursday, Oct 24, 2013 

The Visiting Writers Program continued this week with the visit of US Poet Laureate Robert HassSeniors in AP Poetry had the opportunity to meet for a lively discussion of the art of poetic translation during an EOP session. The girls posed questions throughout the discussion--and were clearly delighted by Hass' thoughtful answers. He shared lively stories from his work translating both traditional Japanese haiku and the poetry of his friend and neighbor, Czeslaw Milosz. The session concluded with a challenge: Hass asked the seniors to try their hand at translating a Rilke poem, beautifully read and sight-translated by senior Alice Z.'14.

Hass will return to Castilleja on November 6th for an all-school assembly, then meet again with the AP Poetry students to continue our conversation.  We can't wait to hear more from this wise and vibrant poet.

Posted Thursday, Oct 24, 2013 

Former U.S. Poet Laureate and translator Robert Hass visited the library to speak with seniors about the art of translation. In a presentation with Q&A sprinkled throughout, he answered the students' questions about his experiences and shared funny stories of mistranslation, challenges with rhyme, and more. He will return on November 6 to speak before the entire student body.

Posted Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013 

¿Hablas español? It turns out that a large contingent of the Castilleja community speaks Spanish! Over 60 students, teachers, parents, and other Casti folks united for a festive celebration of delicious food and fun conversation. From Spanish sing-alongs, to Spanish Bingo!, to the ever-popular piñata, everyone had a fantastic time. People are already eagerly planning the next evening, so stay tuned for future opportunities to practice your Spanish!

Posted Monday, Oct 21, 2013 

Castilleja is proud to announce that three semifinalists and two regional finalists in the 2013 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology hail from Castilleja! Despite student participation (2,440) and project submissions (1,599) reaching an all-time high, five Casti girls finished at the top:

Among the 15 regional finalists in California:
- Ayesha Bajwa '14 - astrophysics
- Smriti Pramanick '14 - astrophysics

Among the 51 semifinalists in California:
- Kiana Borjian '16 - astrophysics
- Sarah Dunn '15 - ecology & evolutionary biology
- Tara Thakurta '16 - ecology & evolutionary biology

Ayesha and Smriti will advance to the next level of the competition at CalTech (November 15-16), where they will contend for one of the most prestigious science awards for high school students. Good luck ladies! 

Also, a huge thank you to University of California Santa Cruz and the Science Internship Program (SIP) for providing such meaningful projects and experiences for high school students. Of the 16 Castilleja students that participated in the 2013 SIP Program, 11 submitted papers to the Siemens Competition, and, as seen above, 5 placed as either a semi or regional finalist. 

 

Posted Friday, Oct 18, 2013 

On Thursday Castilleja's Parent Ed team hosted a talk by Tony Wagner about his new book, Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World. Dr. Wagner is an Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, as well as a former teacher, administrator, and co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research centers on the knowledge, skills, and abilities today's students will need to succeed in the 21st century.

At Castilleja Dr. Wagner focused on the key forces for cultivating innovation (play, passion, and purpose), and how both parents and educators can create an environment which fosters students' creativity. Following his talk, History Teacher Jeannine Marston facilitated a panel discussion featuring Casti faculty members Brian Valek (Physics), Helen Shanks (Art), Evelyne Nicolaou (French), and Rebecca Sherouse (English), who posed questions to Dr. Wagner stemming from their own innovative teaching at Castilleja.

Posted Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 

Each year, members of Stanford's incoming freshman class are invited to acknowledge a former teacher or mentor who played a significant role in their intellectual, academic, social and personal development, as part of the university's Teacher Tribute Initiative. Congratulations to Josh Genauer, who was recognized this year by Camille Townshend '13.

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Student Life
Posted 08/27/2014 05:54PM

On August 26-27 the Class of 2014 started the college process with a bang. A five-hour College Kick-Off Program covered the “nuts and bolts” of the college application process, including Naviance, the Common Application, college rep visits, standardized testing, requesting recommendations, and communication with colleges. Director of College Counseling Gabi McColgan and Associate Director Alyson Tom asked students to reflect on intentional decision-making and to consider how the college process will fit into their senior year, both from a practical and a philosophical perspective. Ms. Tom and Ms. McColgan are thrilled to be working with the Class of 2015 and look forward to being a resource for all Castilleja students and parents throughout the college process.

Posted 08/01/2014 09:52AM

On Friday afternoon Castilleja's Peninsula Bridge Program concluded with a series of spectacular student performances and a fun-filled reception. Peninsula Bridge is a summer enrichment experience for academically motivated rising fifth-grade girls from under-resourced communities. The girls connect and enjoy learning through language arts, math, art, science, and other activities, including gardening, yoga, dance, field trips, and much more.

As assistants and leaders, Castilleja students design curriculum, engage in program management and development, and mentor the Bridge students. With a variety of leadership opportunities that draw on their personal interests and reinforce their academic learning, Middle and Upper School students help to bring science, art, math, poetry, health, sports, cooking, and myriad other topics to life for the fifth graders. As they cultivate the inquisitive curiosity and budding confidence of the youth around them, Castilleja participants develop leadership skills, gain greater confidence, and experience the lasting rewards of personally meaningful, socially significant service.

Some of the highlights? Nancy L. '17, one of the Casti student leaders, says, "I remember the girls telling us how much they loved spending time with the TAs and playing fun games such as cat and mouse, sharks and minnows, and mafia. The field trips were also one of the highlights, because they gave the Bridge girls the opportunity to explore new environments, such as the beach, a farm, and museums. Of course, they also really enjoyed the lunch. :) In reality, the students loved all of the Peninsula Bridge Program. They received a prompt that asked them to list ten of their favorite things about Bridge, and they covered so much."

And the Bridge girls aren't the only ones who enjoyed the Program: "The TAs definitely loved writing back to the students' journal prompts, and getting to know them. We also loved teaching them new things and showing them different perspectives on many subjects. My favorite part of Bridge was talking to the girls about how their week was going, and learning new things about them. I'll never forget the End of Summer Celebration. It was beautiful, but bittersweet because that's when I felt like I was saying goodbye to such a wonderful moment. I do hope to continue to communicate with the girls."

Watch the slideshow below to get a glimpse of their summer!


Posted 07/23/2014 08:30AM

26 enthusiastic Middle School French students traveled to Paris in June with Evelyne Nicolaou, Doris Mourad, and Lauren Schryver. In addition to visiting renowned sites such as Notre Dame, the Louvre, Versailles, and Giverny, they also spent a morning in a girls' school, took a cooking class during which the girls prepared their own dinner, learned how to make baguettes and croissants at a top bakery in Paris, and spent an afternoon in the outskirts of Paris at a Maison Bourgeoise, where American pilots hid during World War II. The highlight for most was engaging with peers at St. Pie Catholic School in St. Cloud. A number of the girls exchanged emails and addresses to keep in touch!



Posted 07/17/2014 08:31AM

On Casti's campus athletes are taking advantage of the summer to brush up on technique. Castilleja's Varsity coaches are conducting summer clinics for girls. Volleyball Head Coach Jac Heler just completed four days of clinics for both Middle School and Upper School athletes. Softball Coach Robert Burley will run a Middle School clinic August 11th through 15th. For more information click here or contact Athletic Director Mary Jo Pruitt.

Academics
Posted 08/29/2014 12:28PM

For their Opening Day assignment, the AP Statistics class tested the absorbency of different brands of paper towels. This activity exposed the students to experimental design, data collection, simulation, data analysis, and statistical inference. According to Mr. Barriger, "It is great to have the students participate in an activity on the first day that introduces them to all the big ideas they will see in the course." At the end of class, the students concluded that their results were not statistically significant and thus they were unable to conclude that one brand was more absorbent than the other.

Posted 08/27/2014 05:54PM

On August 26-27 the Class of 2014 started the college process with a bang. A five-hour College Kick-Off Program covered the “nuts and bolts” of the college application process, including Naviance, the Common Application, college rep visits, standardized testing, requesting recommendations, and communication with colleges. Director of College Counseling Gabi McColgan and Associate Director Alyson Tom asked students to reflect on intentional decision-making and to consider how the college process will fit into their senior year, both from a practical and a philosophical perspective. Ms. Tom and Ms. McColgan are thrilled to be working with the Class of 2015 and look forward to being a resource for all Castilleja students and parents throughout the college process.

Posted 08/04/2014 09:27AM

i2 Camp finished up its first summer at Casti with one last Parent Showcase, at which campers presented their projects from the week. The camp gave 5th-8th-grade girls a chance to do hands-on science in topics ranging from Nanotechnology to Forensic Science to Colonizing the Moon. Highlights included creating "monsters" that sing and light up, isolating each camper's own DNA, making carbon dioxide bubbles with dry ice, building solar ovens, examining bioplastics, solving crimes, building balloon vehicles, and riding on a hovercraft!

Posted 07/25/2014 08:26AM

Castilleja's Director of Technology, Gabe Lucas, and Academic Technology Support Specialist, Rachel Tennant, presented at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 2014 Conference in Atlanta, an education technology conference that had 12,000+ attendees. In a session titled "Flexible Learning and Responsible Oversight with a Hybrid 1:1 iPad Model," they described how Castilleja manages our iPad pilot from grade to grade. The program -- and their presentation -- center on the ideas that a 1:1 iPad program can be scalable from 100 to 1000 (and more) devices and customizable to meet the developmental needs of each grade from K-12. To learn more check out the outline of their conference presentation, or read Castilleja Systems Manager Cameron Johnson's blog here.



Posted 08/01/2014 09:52AM

On Friday afternoon Castilleja's Peninsula Bridge Program concluded with a series of spectacular student performances and a fun-filled reception. Peninsula Bridge is a summer enrichment experience for academically motivated rising fifth-grade girls from under-resourced communities. The girls connect and enjoy learning through language arts, math, art, science, and other activities, including gardening, yoga, dance, field trips, and much more.

As assistants and leaders, Castilleja students design curriculum, engage in program management and development, and mentor the Bridge students. With a variety of leadership opportunities that draw on their personal interests and reinforce their academic learning, Middle and Upper School students help to bring science, art, math, poetry, health, sports, cooking, and myriad other topics to life for the fifth graders. As they cultivate the inquisitive curiosity and budding confidence of the youth around them, Castilleja participants develop leadership skills, gain greater confidence, and experience the lasting rewards of personally meaningful, socially significant service.

Some of the highlights? Nancy L. '17, one of the Casti student leaders, says, "I remember the girls telling us how much they loved spending time with the TAs and playing fun games such as cat and mouse, sharks and minnows, and mafia. The field trips were also one of the highlights, because they gave the Bridge girls the opportunity to explore new environments, such as the beach, a farm, and museums. Of course, they also really enjoyed the lunch. :) In reality, the students loved all of the Peninsula Bridge Program. They received a prompt that asked them to list ten of their favorite things about Bridge, and they covered so much."

And the Bridge girls aren't the only ones who enjoyed the Program: "The TAs definitely loved writing back to the students' journal prompts, and getting to know them. We also loved teaching them new things and showing them different perspectives on many subjects. My favorite part of Bridge was talking to the girls about how their week was going, and learning new things about them. I'll never forget the End of Summer Celebration. It was beautiful, but bittersweet because that's when I felt like I was saying goodbye to such a wonderful moment. I do hope to continue to communicate with the girls."

Watch the slideshow below to get a glimpse of their summer!


Posted 07/23/2014 08:30AM

26 enthusiastic Middle School French students traveled to Paris in June with Evelyne Nicolaou, Doris Mourad, and Lauren Schryver. In addition to visiting renowned sites such as Notre Dame, the Louvre, Versailles, and Giverny, they also spent a morning in a girls' school, took a cooking class during which the girls prepared their own dinner, learned how to make baguettes and croissants at a top bakery in Paris, and spent an afternoon in the outskirts of Paris at a Maison Bourgeoise, where American pilots hid during World War II. The highlight for most was engaging with peers at St. Pie Catholic School in St. Cloud. A number of the girls exchanged emails and addresses to keep in touch!



Posted 07/21/2014 08:21AM

On June 15, Sanah Imran '14, Katherine Hobbs '13, and eight other students presented to a group of parents, physicians, and CEOs about their experiences as the first class of Lefteroff Interns at the Fogarty Institute for Innovation. The presentation, title "Rules of the Road: Navigating the Fogarty Institute," highlighted eight key lessons the interns learned during their internship, such as "always bring a pen and paper" and "embrace ugly ducklings."

Each intern spent time working on group and individual projects with one or more of the start-ups in the Institute, heard from influential guest speakers and CEOs, and spent time learning with physicians from El Camino Hospital.

Katherine researched the demographics and regulatory environment in Indonesia for InPress and Prescient devices, and also edited content for Materna Medical's website. Sanah, only a week deep in her internship, has also helped design and edit Materna's website, and is planning to help build new devices for clinical trials.

The Fogarty Institute for Innovation promotes medical innovation by providing support to promising innovators and researchers as they transform their creative ideas into practical solutions to improve patient care. They offer mentorship at every step of the process, coordinating access to intellectual, physical, and financial resources to propel medical concepts from initiation to application. For more information, please visit their website.

Posted 07/14/2014 11:25AM

In Jill Helms' laboratory at Stanford University — past a glass case filled with skulls of mice, ducks and a two-headed pig and shelves stocked with glass beakers and rows of chemicals — a group of high school interns are gathered around a lab work space feverishly working on a set of experiments.

As one intern gently applies a piece of transparent film onto a slide of a mouse tibia sliced as thin as tissue paper, recent Castilleja graduate Stephanie Flamen consults with research assistant Andrew Smith regarding the section of human DNA sequence displayed on her laptop. The sequence has not mutated the way she had hoped.

In her third summer working at the lab, Flamen is helping a group of researchers who are studying the stem cells of hair follicles and how certain proteins in the cells can be stimulated to trigger hair growth and potentially treat baldness, aid cancer patients who have lost hair or help individuals with alopecia.

"When you're bald you are still harboring stem cells, but the hair is in its resting phase. They've lost some signaling that would control the hair to keep growing," Flamen says as she excitedly explained her team's work. "We found a certain protein that could (give signals to cells) and could make hair grow longer, which was so cool because we're like, 'Oh, my God, we found the solution to Rogaine' — or a better version of it."

Flamen is just one of the many young students passionate about science who choose to spend their summers doing internships working directly with graduate and doctoral students, postdoctoral scholars and faculty who lead publicly and privately funded science research at institutions like Stanford University, University of California, Santa Cruz, Stanford School of Medicine, NASA Ames and Lockheed Martin.

Far from washing glassware and fetching coffee, interns are given the responsibility to directly help with the research, involved in tasks like pipetting bimolecular samples, using high-tech lab equipment, analyzing vast amounts of data and programming. Oftentimes the work is later included in the research's findings in scientific papers.

In their 30 to 40 hours per week for eight to 10 weeks, interns may want to explore a future career; others are curious about the real-world applications of the science they study in school. Some seek job experience and a boost for college applications or the chance to enter their work in national competitions like the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology or the Intel Science Talent Search.

And many of their mentors say the internships not only directly provide more manpower towards their research but give them a chance to inspire the next generation to pursue science and show them that research is far from the stereotype of the "old guy sitting behind a microscope all day."

Click here to read the full article

--By Veronica Weber / Palo Alto Weekly (July 11, 2014)

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