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NEIA’s 2023 Summer Snapshot

From globe-trotting innovators, to summer programs on campus, to new staff, it's been a summer to remember at NEIA.

As we eagerly await the first day of school, it’s time to look back on our productive and fun summer. At our school, the learning is not confined to the classroom.

SUMMER PROGRAMS

For two weeks this summer, NEIA’s sister school, Wahaha International School, breathed life into our quiet campus. Wahaha incorporates a project-based learning approach into its curriculum. At MIT, Wahaha students learned about biotechnology and the science of sound through immersive, hands-on projects. Wahaha’s students spent their free time traveling to Harvard’s campus, a Blue Man Group performance, Fenway Park, and the Kennedy Library. This global partnership with Wahaha is so important to our school and we look forward to seeing where it goes.

The NEIA Next: Entrepreneurial Mindset Summer Program, a premiere summer program for high-school-aged students, has come to a close. This is a collaboration between NEIA and Babson College, an institution renowned for its leadership in Entrepreneurship and Business. Babson and NEIA share a foundational goal of nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit within each student. Over the course of this immersive three-week program, participants were exposed to transformative growth and learning experiences that will undoubtedly shape their entrepreneurial futures, such as visiting M.I.T. and touring its cutting-edge laboratories. Unlike other summer programs where students may spend most of their time learning from college students and teaching assistants, NEIA Next features distinguished, award-winning professors from Babson. This list includes Luke Stein (Assistant Professor of Finance), Dr. Vincent ‘Vini’ Onyemah (Professor of Sales and Marketing at Babson College), and Dr. Kristen Getchell (Associate Professor of Business Communication). Students learned how to pitch ideas and leave an impact, how to more effectively negotiate, how to budget, and how to launch a business. Students left our campus with the skills, knowledge, and mindset required to thrive in the dynamic world of entrepreneurship. 

Participants of MIT Workshop’s dynamic mini-program, “The Questions Are the Answer,” discovered the art of innovation through hands-on learning at NEIA and M.I.T. They emerged from their time at NEIA equipped with a brand new toolbox of helpful techniques for creative problem discovery and resolution. Erdin Beshimov’s lessons empowered them to approach challenges from unique angles. This immersive exploration is a one-of-a-kind summer experience for high-school-aged students looking for a complete program over the span of just a few days.

TRAVELING INNOVATORS

This summer, innovators were making an impact all over the globe. (We could hardly keep track!) Here’s some quick updates about our awe-inspiring students:

Alex R., a rising 11th-grader, biked across Europe (through seven countries) for cancer research, raising money for the Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Global Health.

Cade, a 9th-grader, enjoyed an adventurous vacation in his grandfather’s birthplace, Slovenia. While there, he went white-water rafting on the Soča River and zipped across Europe’s longest and highest ziplines in the Učje Valley.

Three talented rising 11th graders–Eddie, Kathryn, and Kevin–completed the Westlake University Pre-College Program. The students were presented with a diverse range of tracks to choose from, including Chemistry, Biology, and Engineering. In the Chemistry track, Kathryn took on experimental and theoretical chemistry at the Laboratory of Nano Synthesis, housed within the Westlake School of Science. Eddie pursued the Biology track and got hands-on experience with experimental techniques at the School of Life Sciences academy biology facilities. Meanwhile, in the Engineering track, Kevin explored bionic robot fish and soft manipulator design and fabrication at the renowned Deep Sea Technology Research Center (DSTRC), part of the Westlake School of Engineering.

Throughout the summer, the MIT Media Lab, in partnership with Taipei Tech in Taiwan, provided an incredible opportunity for four talented students from NEIA: Aaron Z., a rising 12th grader, along with Koko S., Ethan J., and John K., rising 11th graders. With the guidance of Michael Lin, a knowledgeable research assistant and distinguished MIT alumni holding a Ph.D. in Philosophy, our students embarked on a journey of immersive learning and exciting project exploration. Their time at the lab allowed them to expand their knowledge and expertise, making the most of this valuable internship experience.

As a member of the Student Diplomacy Corps, rising 12th-grade innovator Victor jetted off for a month-long exploration of Italy. He’s delved deep into the Venetian Empire by learning about its history from historians themselves while also immersing himself in Italian culture. From the canals of Venice to the humbling remnants of Rome, Victor embraced this incredible opportunity to experience history firsthand.

Rising 12th-grader Catherine M., while in Kigali, Rwanda, built a comprehensive survey tool, conducted in-depth interviews, and undertook data analysis as part of an independent study on “Women in Leadership.”

NEW TEACHING STAFF

This summer, NEIA expanded its teaching staff in a really exciting way. NEIA welcomes Baldev Rawat as our inaugural Entrepreneurship Teacher. Many will recognize Baldev, who was on campus regularly this year, working with our Entrepreneurship Club, helping launch our school this year, and taking students to the April ASU+GSV Summit in San Diego. Given that Entrepreneurship is one of our pillars, hiring a dedicated, visionary teacher and practitioner to fully develop the curriculum and program is essential for us — and Baldev, who just earned his MBA from Babson College, is the right person for this job.

We are also thrilled to announce that we have hired our language team for the next school year. Please welcome River Hanson and Li Xie as our new Chinese teachers and Sara Guerra and Maria Camacho as our new Spanish teachers. This experienced team of language educators brings deep experience designing curricula, differentiating instruction, and inspiring students to learn and love language. This is the perfect team to develop a NEIA language program fully aligned with our Mission and Pillars and in line with best practices in language instruction.

Melissa Burrows joins us as our new science teacher. Melissa is a highly accomplished chemist specializing in computational electronic structure methods and theoretical electrochemistry. Melissa just completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Boston University, and her research focused on developing and refining computational methods for theoretical electrochemistry and solvation.

Chuck Claus joins NEIA as our new math teacher. With a strong background in progressive education and a wealth of experience teaching middle and high school, Chuck has a passion for engaging students and a dedication to differentiated instruction. On top of his expertise in math, he brings a wealth of musical experience. 

With all these new faces and new perspectives, NEIA is confident that Year Three is going to be the best year yet.

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

#LastDayOfSchool #Summer #NEIA #innovators #summerbreak
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