SEI News

Week 1 (May 31st-June 3rd)

2016 Summer Enrichment Institute

A free 3-week summer program sponsored by the University of Iowa, Center for Diversity & Enrichment (CDE); designed to empower and enhance the academic experience of local ICCSD secondary-level students of underrepresented populations.


To strive... We embarked on this journey to support students interested in growing and striving towards post-secondary goals. The journey, when embarked on in community, through teamwork and collaboration, renders the best outcome. The SEI team includes our students' parents, our teachers, and our generous sponsor (The University of Iowa, Center for Diversity & Enrichment), but most importantly, the students.

Orientation on May 31st gave us a wonderful opportunity to meet each other and commit to this three-week journey that can impact not only the next three weeks of our students' lives, but their lives throughout the remainder of their high school experience and beyond.

Thank you!

Maria Martin

SEI Coordinator

The Building Challenge...a team effort

Classes...First Week

Why a Science Fair?

The purpose of the SEI Science Fair is for students to develop and practice skills of scientific inquiry. Students were instructed to select a subject that is of interest to them. They will work with a partner to plan and implement a project, and create a final presentation board that will be presented to judges at the SEI Science Fair on Friday, June 17th at 12:30pm.

The science fair project is a collaborative effort between our Math and Science classes. Research and testing hypotheses are critical to scientific inquiry; interpreting and representing data are just as important in determining next steps and in sharing your findings with others.

Through the development of a science fair project, students gain a first-hand appreciation of the work of scientists and the value of their discoveries. Science fair projects consist of three essential components: the display unit, the exhibit materials, and the written report. Together, these elements present a complete and thorough examination of an area of interest, a collection of new knowledge, or the results of a self-initiated experiment. We hope this science fair experience inspires and encourages our students, throughout their academic lives, to participate in other local and regional science fairs.

~Ms. Ellickson & Mr. Echols

The value of our own stories...

In Language Arts class, the objectives are to:

· Identify personal challenges and goals

· Reflect on challenges and how they shape us and help or hinder our decisions

· Learn about how other people have overcome their challenges to reach their goals

· Develop your own path to success

· Recognize your lector audience, and

· Create a final reflection and address your audience appropriately

During the first week, the upperclassmen read “Mean Streets” (chapter 2) from Bird of Paradise and reflected on the narrator’s experience and analyzed the character Rocio, the narrator’s mother. We then, took the questions assigned during orientation and tried to develop answers using the character Rocio. The idea was to look at the experience, define the challenge, and develop a path for success.

The underclassmen read chapter 11, “Truth, Reconciliation, and Time Machines”, of the same book with the purpose of analyzing the narrator’s drive and sense of accomplishment. Again, we looked at the questions through the eyes of the narrator and her father. We also reflected on the question of whether it is purposeful to know about your cultural and ethnic history, and if it is necessary for finding your place in society and fulfillment or accomplishment in life.

***Homework: from Bird of Paradise

...for the 11th & 12th graders, read chapter 5, “An Awakening,”

...for the 9th and 10th grade class, read chapter 12, “Things Come Together”.

Thank you to all who contributed to the class & participated in the discussions. ~Ms. Silva

In History class, we discussed an immigrant's journey to America (i.e. the U.S.A.) and watched a 2 minute video reinforcing the discussion held. Students compared and discussed the following:

· What were the hardships that immigrants' families faced?--then and now

· What do they bring on their journey?--then and now

· Why come to America? --Then and now

To conclude our session, we read and discussed six pages of the book Between the World and Me.

***Homework from Between the World and Me for Tuesday--read to page 12 in book.

~Ms. McTaggart

Friday, June 3rd

Group Work, Office Hours, Group Photo, & Film: it was a busy day

Student Reflections...

Throughout this week, I have learned to be vocal. I have also been learning about immigrants that have come into the U.S.A. in the past, and how they had to complete a long survey with a lot of questions and could only travel with minimal belongings. I am currently working on my poster and timeline. I am also working on my science project. I am looking forward to all of the math classes and presenting my science fair poster. ~Javian Cavuoto, 9th grade

For our science fair project, my group will be researching "how sleeping eight hours effects you, when you wake up early or late." This research topic is inspired by our school district's decision to change our school day start times for next school year. I'm pretty enthusiastic about this project, I believe it will be able to help me for my senior year of high school. Also, I'm looking forward to see how this years groups turn out; as a senior this is my last year participating in the Summer Institute and I hope to go out with a bang! ~Danielle Martinez, 12th grade

I've learned that this program is a great way to build my knowledge on life in general, but more specifically in my case now, growing up to be a young adult trying to get ready for college. I'm looking forward to working on my college essay. I want to know how to include all the various things I've done over the years to help greater my chance of getting into a college that's a good fit for me. I'm very grateful that I was given the chance to be in the summer institutes of 2013 because it was nice having adults like yourself and others help us through the program and also this year for making it alittle more challenging than before so it can better prepare me for the future. ~Janesha Rush, 12th grade
First Generation