Deep Days: How NEIA’s Innovative Schedule Changes the Game

Deep Days are a NEIA staple. Here, at the end of the semester, this schedule gives each class a two-hour block for deep work; this could be an assessment, a project, an activity, or an intentional cross-subject-areas integration. Hear from our teachers about how they utilized this unique opportunity. 

Melissa B., Laboratory Skills and Experimentation: “12th graders performed a redox titration, an analytical technique used to accurately determine the concentration of a solution (in this case, hydrogen peroxide, a common household cleaner). Having a longer class period allowed students to get a more complete lab experience, including lab set-up and proper waste disposal. The longer block also allowed time to perform multiple trials of the same experiment. Students will use their own numerical results from these trials in class next week to talk about data analysis, statistics, and reporting numerical data in scientific research.”

Sara, MS Spanish 2: “Deep Days allowed MS Spanish 2 to work collaboratively to create a giant city map with newly learned vocabulary and language skills. The extended timeframe allowed the students to complete the entire design and implementation process from start to finish, and find the rhythm of working together to create their masterpiece. In subsequent classes, students will use their map to demonstrate understanding of this topical language.”

Tamara, Theater 1: “It was just awesome to have the time that didn’t disrupt anything else to be able to then take them to Jaworeck Elementary and have my class perform for 60 fourth graders. I think they were super nervous about it to start with and they didn’t know what to expect, but what was beautiful about it was that these fourth graders reacted in the way kids do: they laughed and they interacted and they called out. There was all this joy, it was really cool.”

Francisco, Innovation Studio 9-11: “In 9th grade, teams of students started designing and coding a videogame that raises awareness about an environmental issue. They’ll be working on it in the following day’s sessions, and, hopefully, we’ll provide a way for the whole NEIA community and the world to play these games soon. In 10th grade, we learned how to extract a topographic map with elevation using Blender and Google Earth. 11th-grade students worked on their gingerbread houses. They prototyped with cardboard, and then laser-cut the gingerbread. Now, they get to build it.”

Deep Days will return in May, from Monday, May 20, through Thursday, May 23.


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After our first full week into summer, we want to look back on a year-long project that yielded impressive results for three of our amazing rising 12th graders.

This past fall, NEIA 11th graders pitched products that could add value to people’s lives by curing diseases or ailments. This is part of the BioTrek Program: a joint initiative by ARMI (Advanced Regenerative Medical Institute) and BioFabUSA. Students pitched their amazing ideas to Tim McCauley, their peers, and a panel of judges made up of NEIA staff members. 

Throughout these presentations, our students walked through all phases of the Biotrek journey. First, identifying a problem. Second, engineering a solution using bio-manufacturing techniques. In the third phase, they developed a business and financial model for their product. The final phase was this event: pitching to their peers and judges. They are trying to solve real medical issues, such as endometriosis, chronic lung disease, color blindness, and osteogenesis (just to name a few). 

The winners moved on to the Final Presentations judged by representatives from ARMI and Biofab, which decided
who would represent NEIA against other schools in the Biotrek Championship. The winning group chosen to go to the championship was Endopexy, created by Milena, Lila, and Max H.

Milena, Lila, and Max’s hard worked paid off as they were the winning team of the championships. We are so proud of these three innovators for working hard the whole year and being recognized in such a highly competitive program.

This project-based learning program continues to be a very valuable experience for our innovators. You can clearly see the intersection of subjects like science, math, entrepreneurship, and communications. It is the perfect example of how integrated academics lead to exciting projects and connections.

#NEIA #BioTrek #Innovation #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #integration

This weekend, three of our 11th grade students: Vicki, Owen, and Langston, won first place at the Entrepreneurship for All - EforAll All Ideas Pitch Competition for their idea around the NEXTGEN Summit, a conference that Langston initiated this spring at NEIA.

Owen explains the idea to execution as follows, "My mother is an alum of the Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Business Accelerator Program. One night while scrolling Instagram, she found a post by EforAll about an All Ideas Pitch Competition happening. She sent me the post at 11:20 p.m. and we were signed up for the event by 12:15 a.m. A few weeks later we were selected to table at the event with the potential of being able to participate in the final pitch competition. We landed a spot in the pitch competition, and it was a huge success as we not only won the first place prize of $1000, but also won the Fan Favorite prize for an additional $500. We were by far the youngest attendees at the event and were pitching with people who were already well removed from college."

We are so proud of our innovators and commend them for their efforts to not only seek new opportunities each and every day but to thrive within them.

#NEIA #PitchCompetition #EForAll #NEXTGENSummit #NEXTGEN #FutureOfEducation #Innovation #Entrepreneurship

That’s a wrap! We will see you soon, innovators. We miss you already.

#LastDayOfSchool #Summer #NEIA #innovators #summerbreak


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