Up to the Challenge
In the Middle School, students are thinking big and putting themselves to the test by participating in a number of competitions that span subject matter and the globe. Seeking challenges such as these can be difficult yet rewarding, not to mention a powerful lesson in the steps (and stumbles) that lead to success. While rewards don’t always come easily, partici- pating in competitions provides students with the opportunity to test drive not only the road to
success, but also their strengths and interests. Sometimes
they come out on top and sometimes they discover, by
putting themselves out there, areas where they can grow
and improve—ultimately to try again with newfound
determination. Without risk some valuable lessons can
French American Middle School
students have been competing in the
Randall Museum Science Fair for
over 20 years. In February, every 6th,
7th and 8th grader uses class time to
develop projects from hypothesis to
testing to conclusions. Compellingly,
many used their personal experiences as a springboard to develop
their experiments. Altogether, students
worked on an astounding 132
projects, of which nine were chosen
by an internal panel of teachers for
submission into the Randall Museum
Science Fair. On February 28, 12 of
our middle students (some of whom
worked in pairs) represented French
American, one of 28 schools participating. French American sixth-grade
student, Juliana Karp (pictured at left)
brought home First Prize.
be lost and success hard to come by.
No matter the outcome, these young and ambitious
contestants have many reasons to be proud, among them
for taking on a challenge and for respecting their own
hard work, that of their peers and the decision of a jury.
In doing so, each participant demonstrates characteristics
of personal and academic maturity that we all hope to
instill in our students, such as confidence, passion, risk-taking and perseverance.
It isn’t easy stepping outside one’s comfort zone or
finding time to pursue new ventures when the demands
of academic rigor at French American are already so
consuming, but our middle school students have shown
that they are up to—and ready for—the challenge. The
results speak for themselves.