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Mavericks Making Waves: June 2022
Rachel Freeman

Mavericks Making Waves is our latest roundup of exceptional student and faculty accomplishments and activities happening beyond Nueva's walls. 

Nueva Pair Earns Top Award at International Innovation Competition

Sophomore Amrutha R. and freshman Charlotte R. teamed up this year to participate in the Conrad Challenge, an international innovation competition in the field of science and technology. Their project, the patent-pending innovation GreenSwing, is a device that easily attaches to a door to recharge batteries by harvesting renewable energy from door swings. 

GreenSwing can charge one AA battery in 20 swings, and an AAA battery in 10 swings. 

Competing against more than 950 teams spanning across 45 countries and 33 states, the Nueva pair was selected as one of the top five teams in their project’s category, Energy and Environment. As one of these top five teams, they were invited to present and pitch their project at the week-long finalist summit at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. They did not leave Texas empty-handed, earning the Conrad Power Pitch Award.

“This journey has been an amazing learning experience and has provided us the opportunity to network with industry leaders to take our venture, GreenSwing, to the next level,” Amrutha said. 

“Currently, we are working with Compassion Kind and Sustainable Energy for All to provide underserved communities with our device to help solve climate change and energy poverty.”


Senior Fiona T. Selected as Cooke College Scholar

Senior Fiona T. was recently selected by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation as one of 100 high-achieving high school seniors to receive the Cooke College Scholarship. The Cooke College Scholarship Program seeks to help high-achieving students with financial need earn a college degree, and as a scholar, Fiona will receive an annual scholarship to cover costs associated with her undergraduate education. 

“We admire the determination displayed by the finalists this year, and we’re extremely proud of these students’ achievements,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, in announcing the 100 Cooke Scholars. “We look forward to witnessing their future accomplishments.” 

Congratulations, Fiona!


Team of Juniors Selected to Represent USA at 8th Annual International Mathematical Modeling Challenge

A team of 11th graders—Akshay S., Annli Z., Huxley M., and Dylan W.—were selected last month as one of two teams to represent the United States in the 8th annual International Math Modeling Challenge (IM2C). The team was chosen from 210 teams that participated in the 2021 High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling (HiMCM). Upper school math teacher Kathy Paur served as the team’s advisor. 

For the international competition, the team spent five consecutive days during the open competition window (March 7 to May 2) working on the 2022 problem. Their modeling paper submission will be judged this month by an international expert panel, and the winner will be announced in late June. Congratulations to the Nueva team and good luck in the international competition! 


Nueva Science and Environmental Center Wins Design Award

Photo credit: W.L. Butler

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on Architecture for Education recently named the Nueva School’s science and environmental center (SEC) as the winner of the 2022 AIA National Education Facility Design Merit Award. This award recognizes state of the art learning environments being developed and celebrates innovation across the entire learning continuum, displaying how architects are creating cutting edge spaces that enhance modern pedagogy. The architecture firm, Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, worked with Nueva to create the SEC, a net zero carbon learning space that, the press release stated, “embodies the school's mission to cultivate a passion for lifelong learning, foster social acuity, and teach environmental citizenship. Indoor and outdoor learning spaces are linked to shape an ‘ecology of learning’ wherein students practice sustainability, conduct environmental and social studies, and collaboratively explore potential solutions to a broad range of environmental challenges.”  

“The scale and materials are excellent, and the jury loved how sustainability and resilience are woven into the curriculum,” one juror noted. “The materials are down to earth, simple, and humble.” 

Another juror commented, “The walkways are engaging and accessible, and the students are living with the surrounding environment. The experience of the location for students is incredible; it initiates a very important conversation about outdoor learning.”

For more information about this award, click here.


FanFan J. '25 Performed at Carnegie Hall

Two years after he was named a 2020 American Protégé International Vocal Competition winner in the Opera Aria category, freshman FanFan J. finally had his moment on the stage at Carnegie Hall in New York City after the venue closed for two years due to the pandemic. On Sunday, June 5, FanFan performed two pieces: "Ombra Mia Fu," the opening aria from the 1738 opera Serse by George Frideric Handel and a well-known Italian Neapolitan song written in 1898.

Congratulations to FanFan for the honor of performing at Carnegie Hall! 


Math Competition Round-up

Nueva students had another very successful year in math competitions.

"We salute all those who took a risk, had fun, and grew mathematically, and we value these contests primarily as learning opportunities," said Steven Chanan, math competition coordinator. "Here we honor those who earned special distinction." 

In late January, close to 60 students took the AMC 8, the “younger sibling” of the AMC 10 and AMC 12 and of the two most prestigious middle school math competitions in its own right (along with MathCounts). Many students earned honors and have collected certificates for their achievements. Chief among these include eighth grader Anika G., who earned a gold certificate for finishing first in the school, eighth grader Ryan A., who earned a silver certificate for finishing second, and fourth grader Elbert P., who earned a bronze certificate for finishing third. Anika and Ryan also earned Honor Roll of Distinction certificates for finishing in the top 1 percent nationally. Elbert, fifth grader Aanik C., seventh grader Hubert C., seventh grader Analise C., eighth grader Taiga H., and eighth grader Kayla L. earned Honor Roll certificates for finishing in the top 5 percent nationally.

In February in this space, we reported on the AMC 10 and AMC 12 results and listed the 13 students who, through their fine performances on these exams, qualified for the AIME (American Invitational Mathematics Examination), which is the next contest in the series leading to qualification for the International Mathematical Olympiad. Through their excellent performances on the very challenging 15-question three-hour AIME exam, senior Jack A. and sophomore Taiga N. earned spots at the next level—the six-question, nine-hour, two-day USAMO (USA Mathematical Olympiad) exam—where Jack earned a USAMO Silver Winner award.

Earlier this year in this space, we listed the 12 students who qualified to compete in the MathCounts Chapter Competition. We are pleased to announce that our four-person team (the other eight qualified as individuals)—eighth grader Anika G., seventh grader Julia S., eighth grader Nate B., and eighth grader Ryan A.—came in first place in the San Mateo chapter. Furthermore, Anika, Nate, and Ryan qualified to compete in the MathCounts State Competition. All did well, finishing in the top half among all competitors at this elite competition, with Ryan doing especially well, finishing in the top 40 out of 310 competitors.

This year saw the welcome return of this beloved local competition after a two-year absence. BAMO (Bay Area Math Olympiad) is unusual in that it consists of only four or five questions in four hours and students are scored on their ability to construct reasoned arguments (proofs) in support of their answers. This year, 22 lower and middle school students (BAMO-8) and 13 upper school students (BAMO-12) took the BAMO. All should be proud of their efforts on this challenging contest. Many students scored a perfect seven on at least one question: a “fine achievement,” according to BAMO. On the BAMO-12, junior Alex T. earned top honors at Nueva and an honorable mention overall with his nearly perfect 33/35 score. On the BAMO-8, seventh grader Darmook K. earned top honors at Nueva with a very impressive score of 26. Sophomore Joshua K., eighth grader Jason C., sixth grader Arya R., and fifth grader Atticus L. also distinguished themselves with scores over 20. Nueva itself earned a third place prize for participation.

Exactly 100 (!) lower and middle school students took at least one MOEMS (Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle School) contest this year. MOEMS is a popular, accessible math contest given in five monthly installments from November to March. Many students earned pins and other prizes, which were given out this final week of school. At the E (elementary) level, taken by students in fifth grade or lower math classes, fifth grader Aanik C. finished first with a score in the top 2 percent nationwide. Fourth graders Theo M. and Iliya S. tied for second place with scores in the top 20 percent nationwide. At the M (middle school) level, fifth grader Brandon N. came in first place with a perfect score 25 out of 25 and eighth grader Jacob R. finished second one point behind; both performances were in the 2 percent nationwide. Tied for third, one point back, with scores in the top 10 percent nationwide, were eighth graders Alicia C. and Kayla L., seventh grader Analise C., and sixth grader Arya R.

Other competitions
Many of our students take part in math competitions offered outside of Nueva, and when we learn about it we try to report it here. To this end, we are pleased to report that fifth grader Aanik C. finished 12th place nationally in the Math Kangaroo math competition.

Congratulations to all of our Nueva students who competed in math competitions this year! 

We make every effort to be accurate, but please do let us Steven Chanan know if there are any mistakes and we will look to rectify them.

Read More

Photo Walk Series: Intersession at the Lower and Middle School

Last week, lower and middle school students participated in a myriad of Intersession courses, exploring new areas of learning and digging deeper into areas of passion. Take a look at a sampling of offerings our lower and middle school students participated in last week.

Karen Tiegel and Steven Channan honor Sin-Tung on stage

On Sunday, May 22, community members past and present gathered at Hillsborough and, through Zoom, around the world to celebrate 30 years of brilliant teaching and music-making by our very own Sin-Tung Chiu. If you were unable to attend, you can still enjoy the touching tributes and inspiring performances by the Nueva String Ensemble, current and former violin students, and Sin-Tung himself, accompanied by Nueva alumnus Dmitriy Cogan, on this professionally produced video. Log in to to watch here.

Mavericks Making Waves: June 2022

Mavericks Making Waves is our latest roundup of exceptional student and faculty accomplishments and activities happening beyond Nueva's walls. 

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Mavericks Making Waves is our latest roundup of exceptional student and faculty accomplishments and activities happening beyond Nueva's walls.