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Celebrating Student Successes: June Edition
Louise Shultze

Nueva encourages students to explore their passions inside and outside the classroom, and we are pleased to share a collection of these achievements.  





Nueva Seventh Graders Bring Home Tech Challenge Award

A five-member team including three Nueva seventh graders — Akshay S., David F., and Luca L. — won the coveted Outstanding Device Performance Award in the 7th–8th Grade Division at the Tech Challenge 2018 competition on Sunday, April 29.

The Tech Challenge is the signature program of the Tech Museum of Innovation. Every year it invites teams of students in grades 4–12 to use the engineering design process to solve a real-world problem. This year is the 31st year of this program, and over 2,000 students participated in the challenge. 

The topic this year was Drop and Dash, where students had to design and build

a device that could withstand a 10-foot fall and then be able to move 10 feet up a ramp, all without any batteries. The team started the brainstorming, designing, and building process last October and met once or twice a week. Their invention was a modified, carbon fiber–based mousetrap car, with a crossbow-inspired trigger mechanism and an air-compression shock absorption system. After hours of innovation and modification, their vehicle was able to complete the challenge repeatedly to earn the prestigious award. Congratulations to all!




Nueva Middle School Students Receive Distinguished Honors on National Spanish Exam

The National Spanish Exam is a Vocabulary, Grammar, Listening and Reading Comprehension exam, given by levels 1–6 to students who take Spanish around the country. Administered by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, the exam is one way to assess student learning, and rounds out the Nueva Spanish program offerings of projects, classwork and homework, oral and written quizzes, and culminations. 

“Nueva students historically do rather well on this exam, although they do not use text books or have this sort of standardized test, as do many other programs around the country,” said Veronica Guevara, Middle School Spanish Teacher/Advisor. “It is a testament to the skill, drive, and dedication of students to their ongoing proficiency work. We are happy to offer this sort of assessment and proud of all of the student efforts in these exams. Each year students tend to increase their percentage proficiency — also a testament to their growth mindset and determination to improve across the grades.”

The students who distinguished themselves this year are:

Sixth Grade

Mención Honorífica: Gabriel C., Sophie G., Grady L., Taylor M., Syon P., Lauren S., Brynn S., Kate K.

Bronce: Anya M., Owen Y.

Seventh Grade

Mención Honorífica: Luke B., Colin D., Kevin H., Alexandra K., Samantha K., Winston L., Luca L., Clayton M., Eli P., Anya P., Rohan S., Gigi S., Lael S., Mia T., Abi W.

Bronce: David F., Anoushka K., Olatayo S.

Plata: Dhruv C., Akshay S., Michelle M., Alexa W.

Oro: Owen H.

Eighth Grade

Mención Honorífica: Charlie D., Miles F., Lee G., Anna I., Callisto L., Annie M., Adrienne P., Yoav R., Samuel T.

Bronce: Audrey A., Maya B., Mollet C., Andrew C., Rajeev S.

Plata: Emma M., Connor M.

Oro: Maya A., Akshar R.

iFelicitaciones a todos!


MathCounts Team Successful at States and Beyond

Congratulations to the Nueva MathCounts team, who took place sixth place at the NorCal State MathCounts Competition held at Stanford University on March 31! Nueva’s MathCounts team consists of eighth graders Akshar R., Jack A., Timothy Z., and Vedant K. They were joined by eighth grader Pascal D., whose individual performance at the regional competition qualified him to advance to the state round.

At the competition, Timothy and Vedant both scored in the top 25% of all individuals for the written round, and Jack finished in first place, winning the Top Eighth Grader Award and qualifying for the MathCounts National Championship in Washington, DC, on May 12–15.

This was Jack's second year competing at Nationals, where he and the other members of the California team won second place overall. Jack also earned the highest individual written score on the California team, and qualified to participate in the countdown round, a fast-paced oral competition where pairs of "mathletes" compete against each other and the clock to solve math problems. The highlight of this year's countdown round was the appearance of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Big Bang Theory actor Wil Wheaton as host. Jack remarked, "Wesley Crusher bombarded us with math questions. That was awesome!”

MathCounts is a nationwide middle school math competition intended to excite students throughout the country who enjoy math. Roughly 40,000 students take part in the program annually, challenging themselves with subject matter ranging across number theory, combinatorics, probability, algebra, and geometry. At Nueva, MathCounts is also an afterschool club open to any middle school student interested in doing challenging and fun math problems in a relaxed environment. This year’s club was especially friendly and successful, with a broad range of students across the grades coached by Steven Chanan and Kim Harris.


Upper School Students Earn Funding for Invention at Project Invent Demo Day

On May 17, students from the Nueva School and East Palo Alto Academy presented the impactful technologies that they have invented throughout this past year during Project Invent Demo Day at the Stanford d. School to top tech investors for a chance at funding. Students tackled everything from blindness to homelessness with their human-centered approaches to designing a better world.

Nueva twelfth grader Emma D. and tenth graders Katya P. and Morgan T. were awarded $1,000 for their invention, Unwind, a snug handheld object designed to reduce stress with a comforting pulse and calm light.

“We wanted to find a way to support our classmates before big presentations or

difficult tests when we couldn’t physically be there,” Emma said. “As three girls experiencing the pressures of high school, we know our peers need something to destress, and we have the skills to make it.”

Unwind was developed at Nueva’s Invention Studio, an outgrowth of I-Lab teacher Connie Liu’s Design Engineering for Social Good course. Students use design thinking, engineering skills, and teamwork to create empathetic solutions to societal issues.

Attendees were impressed by what high school students have invented, and inspired by how young people are changing the world. To see all the presentations from Project Invent Demo Day, please see the full video below, or watch this student-produced highlights videoby tenth grader Tyler G. Congratulations to all!


Demo Day 2018 from The Nueva School on Vimeo.



By Louise Schultze, Interim Director of Communications

June 6, 2018

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