Gingerbread Architecture: An Innovation Studio Competition

This isn't your ordinary gingerbread house!

Francisco’s IS 11 class was tasked with creating an original gingerbread house made out of real gingerbread (almost all of which was baked and provided by the IS teachers at NEIA). To complete this project, students would have to use all of the skills they’ve learned this year. “Our students have put immense effort and creativity into this project, showcasing various design approaches,” Francisco said. “Some have meticulously drawn their house designs, others have digitally crafted each part in 2D, and a few have even gone above and beyond by 3D modeling their creations. To ensure the success of their final gingerbread houses, students prototyped using cardboard to learn from the initial iterations of their designs.”

The project culminated in an event during the school day on Monday. In the Cafe, middle-schoolers attended with their class to see the creations, and so did 11th-grade guardians who had come to witness their innovator’s creation.

Each gingerbread house showed off that group’s collective creativity and craftsmanship. From one group’s Tree House design (complete with a pond with goldfish crackers) to a gingerbread house with candy stained-glass, our Innovators reinvented what a gingerbread house can be!

The houses were judged by NEIA Staff (River, Greg, Karen, and Mira). The four award categories and winners included:

Best Decoration went to Lila, Garen Milena, and Jacob.
Best Construction went to Grady, Olive, Gabe, and Sam.
Best Architecture went to Kevin, Ileana, Maya, and Kathryn.
Best Edible Gingerbread House went to Grady, Olive, Gabe, and Sam (the only group whose entire gingerbread house was edible).


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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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