April Synergy Newsletter

Middle School Happenings

April Showers bring May flowers

Hard to believe we only have 6 weeks left of our 2015-2016 school year. The weather is changing, energy is flowing and excitement is in the air!

Celebrating Success

A rewarding moment as a educator is when you get to acknowledge students for their success and growth. This month I visited Mr. Block, Mrs. Hilzendeger, Mrs. Marcellus, Ms. Toeller, and Mrs. Oistad's classrooms to recognize 6th and 7th grade Advanced Math students on their Perennial Math participation. We acknowledged students who had top scores on monthly perennial math tests and growth from the pre-test taken in November to the post-test taken in March. The math problems are extremely challenging so celebrating the hard work is a rewarding experience.

Below are pictures from visiting rooms. Congratualtions to all students on a job well done.

National League Contest

Students in 6th-8th grade advanced classes from Hidden Oaks & Twin Oaks participated in "The National League Competitions" the past 3 weeks. The student who receives the highest score in each class gets a medal along with certificates to top 10 scoring students. The top 10 scoring students will create a cumulative score which will become each classes "team score" they compete with. The content area test student’s factual knowledge in a particular subject. Students’ got to test their passion about language arts, science, geography and/or social studies, while building their critical thinking skills and nurture their pride and sense of accomplishment with this fun challenge! This enrichment opportunity was just that-a fun challenge!

Top winners will be announced beginning of May-they are sure eager to find out!

STEM Field Trip to University of Minnesota

Mrs. Fasking's 7th grade Advanced Science students had a wonderful opportunity to attend the University of Minnesota College of Science & Engineering Expo this year. This was the third annual (CSE) Expo. The expo is an open-house style event appropriate for students in grades 6-7 and featured more than 25 hands-on projects and demonstrations representing areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. While spending the day at the expo, students got to:
  • make liquid nitrogen ice cream
  • design a wind turbine
  • act like a neuron
  • watch a robot paint
  • use flight simulators
  • play with circuit boards
  • observe levitation using sound waves and more!

In addition, 30+ exhibits were open to students to explore and enjoy throughout the morning.

Energy and U Public Shows! It's FREE

Wednesday, May 18th, 7pm

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (West Bank) 330 21st Ave. S., Minneapolis

Flames, explosions, music, and screaming gummy bears—they’re all part of a fun and high-energy University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering outreach program that aims to interest young people in science. For two nights only, the College of Science and Engineering invites you and your family to join us for a special all-ages, public show.

Link to further details:


Don't forget to sign up for these Summer Opportunities!

Back in January I included the below links to summer opportunities that gifted students may be interested in attending. I'm including these again and MORE in case you wanted to check-out/register as deadlines are approaching.

Universe in the Park

Asummer outreach program hosted by the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics and area state and local parks. Check out dates this summer!


Technology Day Camp

THE CENTER FOR DISTRIBUTED ROBOTICS AND THE DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY CENTER'S TECHNOLOGY DAY CAMP offers participants an introduction to the fields of engineering and computer science through presentations and hands-on activities in a university environment.


Science Discovery Summer Camps

Unearth a world of possibilities! Summer camps deliver science to kids in a fun and enriching environment. Week-long camps provide opportunities to explore their scientific passions or learn about new subjects. Led by education team, camps include hands-on activities, ExploraDome planetarium visits, outdoor exploration, creative activities, and more. Plus, campers have the opportunity to meet University scientists and take field trips!


Tyler Institute

These groups have a uniquely dynamic games-based format designed to engage intense and sensitive gifted students to develop executive functioning skills.



A full-day, two-week summer experience for rising 5th, 6th and 7th graders who are looking for a summer challenge. This is your chance to dive into your favorite topics – from acting to chemistry, mock trial to robotics, environmental studies to studio art. Students choose two classes (one morning, one afternoon.) Our small class size means your child receives individual attention by exceptional teachers who are engaging, inspiring and excited to be at MITY.


University of Minnesota Children's Math Programs

The U of M offers several math programs for children: UMTYMP as well as Saturday and summer enrichment opportunities, including the GEM Program (Girls Excel in Math).


Minnesota Summer Programs and Camps for High School Students and Middle School Students

This web site provides information about summer programs for middle school and high school students.


University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering

Summer camps and other enrichment events for kids ages 8-18 through the U of M College of Science and Engineering. Some offerings are free.


Macalester College Technology Camps
https://www.idtech.com/locations/minnesota-summer-camps/st-paul/id-tech-macalester-college/(link is external)
iD Tech Camps held at Macalester College offer week-long technology classes such as game design for iPads, 3D game modding, web design, programming, and robotics. Expensive, but financial aid is available.

Science Museum of Minnesota
http://www.smm.org/(link is external)
The Science Museum of Minnesota offers Saturday and summer classes in science and technology.

St. Thomas University's Science, Technology & Engineering Camps
http://www.stthomas.edu/stepscamp/(link is external)
For free, The University of St. Thomas offers week-long summer camps (STEPS – Science Technology & Engineering Preview) for students who completed sixth grade.

Northeast Metro 916
http://www.nemetro.k12.mn.us/Page/473(link is external)
916 lists enrichment opportunities for students in arts and academics.

Minneapolis Star Tribune Summer Camps Guide
http://www.startribune.com/2015-minnesota-summer-camp-guide/196033301/(link is external)
Each spring the Star Tribune publishes a Summer Camp guide that lists a huge range of opportunities for kids.

Contact Information

Your Partner in Education,

Ms. Missy Short

Synergy Program Coordinator

Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools

Hidden Oaks & Twin Oaks Middle Schools

HOMS (952) 226-0291 TOMS (952) 226-0535

“Every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists they become the best they can possible be.”

- Rita Pierson-