- Middlesex County Magnet Schools
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March School Highlights
Academy of Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences
The Woodbridge Academy transitioned to Distance Learning on March 16th with much success. Our staff created lessons, quickly learned how to deliver instruction and assess learning remotely. Our students quickly recognized the new normal and checked in for attendance and uploaded work while attending alternating live sessions, hangouts, and posted work.
There was a Google Meet Faculty meeting on March 20th attended by staff members. The “Happy to See You Hour” allowed for teachers to test out the platform, share best practices, and debrief the week. A second meeting was held on Zoom on March 27th.
Heera Bandi received a $2,500 scholarship from the AXA Equitable Foundation. In addition to her scholarship, the Academy will also be receiving a $1,000 grant to be used for professional development activities.
Two teams of students received news that they had placed in the finals and would compete in the Rutgers Oncology Olympiad. Soham S. Yash D., Sujoy M., Rithvik G., and Rohan V. were the first place team and Emily Z., Adam T., Darshan P., Nina C., Malia A., and Ayra A. were the second place team after the qualifying rounds.
The Woodbridge Academy has been offering extracurricular activities to ensure that students continue to have some routine, connection, and normalcy during the Distance Learning Coronavirus (COVID-19) school closure. The Newspaper Club, Model UN, JSA, and Yearbook have continued to hold meetings using Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Google Meet. Mr. Mosaad met virtually with two seniors from Woodbridge and two seniors from Edison to make decisions about participating in the self-paced Intro to Computer Science courses sponsored by Amazon’s Future Engineers program. The students will serve as the T.A.s in the classes, having passed AP Computer Sciences classes in past years. Over 50 students from Woodbridge are signing up for either the Intro to Computer Science (python) or AP Computer Science (java) self-paced classes as a way to have some enrichment and structure during this “Stay at Home” period.
On March 4th, the culinary students in Ms. Rozner’s AM class hosted breakfast for the Woodbridge firefighters. Sgt. Paul was surprised by a visit from his 9th grade daughter, Jessica Paul and her classmate Alexis Ferrer, who joined the firefighters to discuss the school. The menus and placemats were designed by Mr. McGowan’s Media students and tours of the program were led by Mr. Langan’s construction students. Afterward, the firefighters gave tours of two different fire trucks, rescue equipment, EMT vehicle, and the captain’s vehicle.
Student Council, in conjunction with Ms. Wechsler’s Spanish I classes, put up “Compliment Trees” the first week of March. Each homeroom was given color-coded hearts for students to write a compliment to everyone, a specific person, or to their homeroom and place the hearts on the trees like leaves blooming in spring. The colors represented class colors, pink, maroon, gray, and purple. The idea was to leave a “complimentary” note and spread some goodwill and kindness.
Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Technologies
The Class of 2023 took a trip to the National Museum of Math in NYC. They enjoyed the many interactive exhibits as well as staff led workshops on graph theory.
Shivam Syal submitted independent research to the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium at Rutgers University and was selected to present his research on March 2nd. The title of his paper was "Allowing the Deaf to Hear: Natural language processing utilizing tree-structured neural networks." Shivam explained the use of different neural networks which could improve efficiency and runtime of current applications intended for the disabled.
During the 2020 Engineering Week Poster Competition, 1st Place went to Mitigation Innovation by Purva Bommireddy, Shweta Iyer and Sruthi Suresh; 2nd Place went to DNA Storage by Sanjana Bandi and 3rd Place went to Augmented Reality by Rauhin Sahu.
Academy eSports Team moves to 4 - 0 for their season.
MCA Math League's Varsity team earned a first place win at the March CJML (Central New Jersey Math League) competition with a score of 27 of 30 possible points. Several of our students earned seats in the ARML (American Regions Math League) National Competition at Penn State at the end of May.
Sophomore Academy students attended the Middlesex County Young Women's Conference on Friday, March 6, 2020 held at Middlesex County College.
Ms. Deborah Zitomer volunteered her time to present on The Art of Photography on March 13, 2020 for students as part of our Art in March celebration. Ms. Zitomer showed a variety of photos and equipment, discussed that anyone can enjoy amateur photography and that photography can change your perspective of the world around you.
TSA TEAMS Competition was held on March 7th. Student teams completed an assessment and participated in a multifaceted design challenge.
On March 7th and 8th, Lavanya Jasra and her Columbia High School Law Institute classmates competed at the NYU Law School Mock Trial Competition. Students simulated a real trial by playing different roles as they argue the case. The teams from Columbia Law maintained their 7-year winning streak. Lavanya won best orationalist out of her Columbia peers for delivering a compelling closing argument. This event marked the end of the term for their Columbia law course.
Academy students attended the Middlesex County Youth Wellness Summit. Students listened to guest speakers, attended workshops and participated in a variety of wellness activities designed to develop positive coping techniques and increase their overall knowledge of wellness.
Civil Air Patrol (C.A.P.) cadet and Academy freshman Varija Mehta traveled to Washington D.C., for a three-day trip called Legislative Day. Legislative Day is a national event for the C.A.P. program, where each state sends representatives from the various congressional districts to speak on behalf of their squadrons and wing, and to request for an increase in funding for C.A.P.'s main missions. Cadets explained how approximately 1,600 C.A.P. volunteer members across New Jersey actively participate in activities including Cybersecurity, Disaster Relief, and Emergency Services Missions.
Congratulations to Mr. Wallace Smith and Ms. Isabel DaSilva, our Governor's Educators of the Year.
East Brunswick Campus
AgriScience Technology students competed in the 2020 FFA Horticulture Expo. Three designs placed 1st, six designs placed 2nd, two designs placed 3rd, three designs placed 4th, and two designs placed 5th.
Over 70 students from various School of the Arts programs participated in the 2020 Middlesex County Teen Arts Festival held at the county college on March 11th. Visual artists, dancers, musicians, and thespians either submitted 2D or 3D art or performed at the festival.
On March 6th, a group of young women from our campus attended the annual Young Women’s Conference held at Middlesex County College.
On March 9th, students in US History II classes attended a guest speaker presentation from a Holocaust survivor.
On March 11th, East Brunswick Campus’ Educator of the Year, Mr. Stephen Mercadante, and Educational Services Professional of the Year, Mrs. Joanne McMichael, were honored at the district’s annual ceremony and dinner.
Two students in our Digital Film program had their films officially selected to be screened at the 2020 Count Basie Teen and College Film Festival. Humanoid by Mason Dugasz and Yume by Jennifer Ruiz-Gonzalez.
East Brunswick School of Career Development
East Brunswick Career Development and the East Brunswick Campus are moving in the direction of obtaining Bronze Status for Sustainable New Jersey. Our submissions so far have been met with positive feedback and we are confident of obtaining the status once the final paperwork has been submitted in June.
On March 11th the Governor’s Educator of the Year award ceremony and dinner was held and Ms. Nicole Benfatti and Mr. Brien Wiseman were recognized for their accomplishments.
During the Corona Virus outbreak, teacher and students have stepped up to the challenge of teaching and learning remotely from home. Teachers have been using Google Classroom to post assignments and lessons and to keep students apprised of information they should know. They are also using it to keep track of attendance. Teachers are using the features in Google or Zoom to video conference with students and it has proven to be a great tool during a difficult time. Mr. Feldman has been utilizing video chat, having daily meetings with CST as well as the other administrators in the building. On Friday, March 27th, we hosted a building wide faculty meeting with Zoom so that we could see faces and have just a little sense of normalcy. It went very well.
The EBCD Child Study team has been keeping up the needs of our Special Education students by continuing to hold their IEP meetings remotely. Teachers have been helping out by calling in to meetings when they are needed. The entire staff is rising to the challenge in order to keep up with compliance and the best needs of our students. They have also been holding interviews over the phone for applicants for the 2020-2021 school year.
Perth Amboy Campus
Representatives from Mercedes Benz visited the school and provided pathways to our automotive students for employment in the future with the Mercedes Benz family.
On March 11th the Governor’s Educator of the Year program was held at the Perth Amboy Campus. Teachers and educational support staff from the entire district were honored for their hard work and dedication. Dinner for this event was prepared by the culinary students of the Perth Amboy Campus. Mr. Bryan Hickman and Ms. Katie Elko were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments.
The culinary arts students under the direction of Mr. Steve Moir hosted the winners of the NOM Voyage, a contest hosted by Middlesex County. A seven course dinner was prepared for the winners of the contest.
On March 11th, Piscataway Campus’ Educator of the Year, Ms. Pegeen Dombrowsky, and Educational Services Professional of the Year, Mr. Brent Landers, were honored at the district’s annual ceremony and dinner.
The Piscataway Campus transitioned to Distance Learning on March 16th. Teachers have been using Google Classroom to create lessons and post assignments remotely and keeping attendance each day. Teachers are also utilizing the features in Google or Zoom to video conference with students.