Middle School News

Middle School Robotics Team Win Award for Spirit and Sportsmanship
Louise Schultze

Putting into practice Nueva’s motto to “Learn by Doing, Learn by Caring,” the SharkBytes, the middle school robotics team, earned the Motivate Award at the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for demonstrating cooperation during competition this past November.

The FIRST Tech Challenge allows students in grades 7–12 to build, program, and operate robots, competing in a head-to-head challenge to retrieve a relic. Guided by coaches and mentors, the students participating in FTC develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and sharing ideas. Nueva students were praised for their kindness and willingness to help other teams that had issues with their robots, as well as their cohesion and ability to work together, demonstrating the FTC core values.


“I am so proud of this team for coming together,” said Chris Braun, shop manager, I-Lab engineer, and robotics coach. “They’re so supportive of one another, and they really came together to fix the robot when it had a problem, and maintain enthusiasm through the competition. It’s really great to see their teamwork, especially as a rookie team.”

This is the first year for the middle school robotics program at Nueva, where 15 seventh- and eighth-grade students have been eagerly hosting bake sales to raise money for the team and to show fellow students how much fun it is to “play with robots.”

“The robotics program is great for kids who love programming and team spirit,” said Chris. “It’s a platform to learn and be able to talk about their successes and failures.”

The SharkBytes will compete in their next tournament on Saturday, January 13, at Wilcox High School in Santa Clara.


 By Louise Schultze, Editor/Writer

January 10, 2018

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Eighth graders dressed in suits meet with their friends on graduation day

On Friday, 86 eighth graders and their families gathered at Nueva's Hillsborough campus for one final celebration before advancing to high school (and beyond!).

The eighth-grade class of 2018 worked tirelessly to present, rhyme, and sing their appreciations of Nueva in 100 words or less. Together they reminisced over their completed STARPAP projects, painted exquisite literary memories of the Yosemite trip, and delivered clever, pithy speeches in true Nueva fashion.

Middle School Head Liza Raynal concluded her own 100-word address with, "Each student's speech will centuplicate the reasons why we are so proud to be the adults in their lives."

Middle School Students Host Nueva's First-Ever Hackathon

On Saturday, April 28, two Nueva middle school students hosted the first-ever Nueva Hackathon, a design event where people interested in computer programming and software development collaborate intensively to create usable software over a short period of time. This all-inclusive event was the brainchild of middle-schoolers Yash N. and Taher V., who organized the Hackathon with Twitter co-creator Dom Sagolla, who was one of the presenters amongst the 60 participants and attendees.

GoBabyGo! Students Engineer Vehicles to Mobilize Toddlers

Nueva middle school students learn by caring in Christine Braun's robotics class. In December 2017, Chris, the shop manager & I-Lab engineer, met with the Los Angeles chapter of GoBabyGo! — a University of Delaware-based program dedicated to mobilizing young children with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a congenital disorder of movement, muscle tone, and posture affecting more than 200,000 children each year, and there is no known cure. Chris brought her inspiration to Nueva and recently led a team of middle school students in the design, construction, and delivery of the school’s first car to a GoBabyGo! family.

Middle School student sharing his culmination projects with family

Fifth- and sixth-grade students and faculty gathered in the Hillsborough GCC on Friday, January 19, to celebrate a culmination of work they completed in the fall. One hallmark of the evening was how the arts were integrated across disciplines. From fifth-grade math projects to sixth-grade writing, students shared work that drew on skills, habits of mind, and content addressed in all of their classes.  

Commodities and Conflict: Biennial World's Fair Inspires Conversation

What do salt, chocolate, gold, and tobacco have in common? Each commodity is both treasured by the western world, and is often found at the center of conflict within its place of origin. Every two years, Nueva’s seventh- and eighth-grade students present the World’s Fair, the pinnacle of a semester–long dive into an issues of globalization. This year, students researched the international conflicts that arise as a result of sourcing high-demand commodities.

Culminations Showcase Students' Creativity

Students shared various creative projects during the recent arts and electives culminations on both campuses. Nueva students led family members and friends on tours of their coursework and shared musical performances, designs, robotics projects, chemistry experiments, and more.