March Newsletter

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Dear Science Magnet Community,

Where does the time go?! Seems we’ve barely begun and we’re already planning for next year. 

In addition to the largest student groups to attend the Catalina and Yosemite and family camping trips, students have enjoyed exciting new seminars such as 3-D printing, urban farming, and SMC Chemistry Lab. And kudos to our RoboVikings robotics team for their hard work making it to Regionals and placed second out of 25!


SEE’S CANDY FUNDRAISER $UCCE$$ Over $4,000 was raised in candy sales (that’s a LOT of calories). Thanks to our See’s Candy Fundraising Chair, Melissa Tarsky and everyone who helped lead another successful campaign, and to all those who sold and bought!

WHERE DID RAISED FUNDS GO THIS YEAR? With the funds raised up until now (without a concerted 2017 direct drive), we have been able to fully fund all the necessary scholarships for our science magnet trips, classroom supplies for our teachers including a computerized telescope, and one of three new high-tech water stations which will be installed shortly after spring break, as well as other budgeted program items. In light of a healthy reserve and the slow process of upgrading the Science Magnet laptops, we are foregoing a direct fundraising drive this school year. 

2017-18 SCIENCE MAGNET BOARD If you are interested in hearing more about serving on the Science Magnet Board for 2017-18, e-mail board@jamssciencemagnet.org

LET’S PARTY AT THE SCIENCE MAGNET SOCIAL! Mark your calendars for the annual Science Magnet Social on May 15 at JAMS at 6 pm. There will be demos, dinner, dessert and elections for next year’s Board. Planning starts now and the chair of this event needs helping hands serving at the event. E-mail manja.lenkin@verizon.net.

MORRO BAY Families that are interested in attending the Morro Bay trip in the Fall should reserve a campsite or hotel asap!!  The main campground at MB State Park is FULL. You can reserve a nearby site at Morro Strand.  Information is on the Science Magnet webpage.  A sign-up genius for announcements and for the group site will be online on April 25th at 9 am.

SUMMER INSTITUTE Sixth Grade Summer Institute- All incoming 6th-grade students - Tuesday and Wednesday, August 15-16 from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm at JAMS.  Sign up and pay online before the camp fills! 7th & 8th Grade Summer Institute will be August 7th-August 11th, 8:30am-2:30 pm, Signups for incoming 7th & 8th-grade students coming soon. 

JAM SCIENCE MAGNET CAN SPEAK WITH AN ASTRONAUT AT THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION Our Board is looking for someone to take over an easy and exciting project--the application process for our Science Magnet to host a NASA Downlink! These are opportunities for students and educators to interact with astronauts aboard the International Space Station during a live, 20-minute question-and-answer. E-mail ylewis123@gmail.com for more information.

NORO - NO MORE! Huge thanks to the 7th-grade reps, Mitra Herron, Traci Wallace and Angelica Benavides who led the Yosemite gear Norovirus decontamination process of sending piles of Yosemite gear out for professional cleaning and topped it off with a bleach cleaning of the storage bins. On behalf of our future Yosemite travelers, thank you!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

3/27/2017 - SMSM Board meeting and Spring Social planning meeting
4/24/2017 - SMSM Board meeting
5/5-8 2017 - 8th Grade Astrocamp trip, (all students - one trip)
5/15/2017 - 6:30 pm SMSM SPRING SOCIAL
5/22/2017 - SMSM Board Transition Meeting
8/7-8/11 - Summer Institute 7th & 8th Grade, 8:30am-2:30pm
8/15-8/16 - Summer Institute 6th, 8:30am-2:30pm

FUN, LEARNING LINKS FOR YOUNG SCIENTISTS
NASA for students 
California Science Center events and camps

SMC Chemistry Club

At SMC chemistry lab, JAMS students are conducting urinalysis, measuring the concentration of tartrazine-better known as Yellow Dye #5- in Mountain Dew!

2017 Summer Institute

The summer science dates for ALL incoming 6th grade students are Tuesday, August 15th and Wednesday, August 16th from 8:30am to 2:30pm at JAMS.

The camp will be limited to 6 full classes of students (or 204 students total), so space will be limited.

Paperwork goes out to 5th grade classes starting next week.

Payment options will be available here on the website.

February Newsletter

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Dear Science Magnet Community,

Administration and parents continue to be on high alert regarding the diminishing norovirus outbreak, and the good news is, the numbers are very low thanks to the extra cleaning and limiting of extracurricular activities in order to minimize contact. 

Thanks for your diligence, commitment, and understanding as we get back to "normal."

Seminar sheets have gone out and are due on Friday, 2/17.  Seminars do not fall into the activity that is banned by LA County. We have a lot of new seminars this round... it is exciting! 

  • Urban farming 
  • 3-D printing at the Fairview Library
  • Ballona Wetlands 
  • SMC chemistry lab for 8th graders on a Saturday

Calendar Items:

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-As of now, the Science Magnet family camping trip to Joshua Tree is still on for 2/24-2/26. Thanks to past fundraising efforts and your support, our latest addition to Science Magnet equipment - a Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLS computerized telescope will be unveiled on this trip!-The next Science Magnet Board meeting which is open to all science magnet parents will be 2/27 at 6:30 in room 70. Agenda for the meeting.

-Ms. Levin will be conducting Science Magnet Outreach Presentations to 5th grade JAMS pathway classes on the following dates:

2/28 - 9am Rogers

3/8 - 8:45am Muir

3/9 - 9am Grant

3/13 - 1:30pm Edison

-Japan Trip Parent Meeting will be March 1st at 6:30 in room 23

-The 8th-grade Astrocamp trip has luckily been rescheduled to 5/5-5/8. Make sure to thank teacher Kristin Jurewicz and Principal Steve Richardson for their efforts. We also need to pay it forward because other schools moved their Astrocamp dates around in order to accommodate us.

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WELCOME OUR NEW SCIENCE TEACHER MICHELLE MATHIS - While Ms. Kapasi is out on leave, Ms. Mathias joins our science teaching staff. Before JAMS, Ms. Mathis was a science teacher at Bancroft Middle School in Long Beach. She majored in Neuroscience and Psychology at Smith College. Born and raised in Southern California she loves the outdoors. Ms. Mathis loves that science connects our lives to every living and non-living thing around us. Science is in everything we do and the process of science is objective and allows for logical and reasonable ways to answer questions and address uncertainties. In a growing and changing world, thoughts and ideas will always be subject to revision and science inquiry allows a way to address new findings and predictions without bias. Stop by Room 52 and say hello.

November Newsletter

Dear Science Magnet Community,

The 6th grade trip to Catalina Island Marine Institute was full of excitement and learning for our students, thank you for your support! Next up is the 7th grade Yosemite trip and 8th grade AstroCamp trip.

Yosemite Gear Donations:  In preparation for the upcoming 7th Grade Yosemite Trip, we are seeking donations of needed items for our Loan-Out.  Please drop off used warm jackets, gloves, boots, and pants to Ms. Guirguis’s classroom, Room 72, between Nov. 7 and Nov. 29. Yosemite meeting & gear exchange is Tuesday, November 29, 6:30pm.
 

Seminar Highlight - JAMS HAM RADIO

Did you know that JAMS Science Magnet has its own radio station and Ham Radio seminar? Have you ever noticed the 110 foot antenna tower near the science quad? Here's the story.

Randy Powell became an amateur radio operator, or 'ham' in 1966. In 1997, his son was in the JAMS Science Magnet headed by Linda Cady. The 110 foot antenna tower next to Mrs. Cady's classroom got his attention (height is everything for an effective shortwave antenna). The tower had been installed in 1970 by KCRW (89.9 FM) whose studio and transmitter were in what is now room 70, Ms Jurewicz's classroom. KCRW moved their studio to Santa Monica College and their transmitter and antenna to the Hollywood Hills in 1979, so they abandoned the tower. It was up for grabs!

When Randy's son was attending JAMS, a ham radio transceiver was donated to the school and Mrs. Cady showed Randy the "new" radio. Randy suggested that they set up an amateur radio station noting that it could expand the Science Magnet's curriculum in the areas of physics, chemistry, geography, and electronics. A generous Marina del Rey ham donated the funds to pay for a "yagi" antenna and its installation on top of that 110' tower. So in 1998 the antenna was installed and the Magnet had a 1st class shortwave radio station to use as a teaching tool -- JAMS was 'on-the-air.' 

Since then, approximately 75 students per year have been introduced to ham radio. They have talked to other stations as far away as Antarctica, missionaries in remote jungles in the Philippines and picturesque villages in Portugal.  They've had QSO's (conversations) with nearly every US state and Canadian province, and over 60 countries. Bi-lingual students have even had conversations in languages other than English (with a retired Japanese ham in Tokyo and a Russian ham in Vladivostok). 

In 2012 a fellow ham Dennis Payne joined Randy. Dennis's wife and two children are JAMS alumnae (Dennis went to Lincoln). Having two instructors allows more students to participate in the 2 part, 3-hour seminar. Last year the school got its own callsign: KK6QXI.

Please stop by Rm. 70 any Wednesday after school and see what's happening 'on-the-air'!

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Order forms have been distributed to the students! Last year, the Magnet's See's Candy sales brought in $5,000 which helped pay for science magnet classroom supplies such as our awesome telescope, lego robotic kits and more. The deadline is the end of November. Wondering what to get for your office mates or someone who has everything? These perfect gifts will be distributed to students right before the holiday break!

E-mail Chair, melissaht@verizon.net with questions. 

UPCOMING
11/28/2016 - Science Magnet Board Meeting (open to all)

11/29/2016 - 7th Grade

Yosemite Trip Meeting, 6:30pm in the Cafeteria. Students attendance mandatory as well.

12/1/2016 - 8th Grade
AstroCamp Trip Parent Meeting, 6:30-7:30pm in the Cafeteria 

See's Candy Fundraiser

Science Magnet families have the opportunity participate in one of the sweetest fundraisers, last year our See's Candy sales brought in $5,000 which helps pay for scholarships and science magnet classroom supplies!  The sales forms will be distributed to students on November 11, 2016, and the deadline will be November 30, 2016. Candy will be distributed to students right before the holiday break around December 19, 2016.

JAMS Science Magnet November Updates

Dear Science Magnet Community,

The 6th grade trip to Catalina Island Marine Institute was full of excitement and learning for our students, thank you for your support! Next up is the 7th grade Yosemite trip and 8th grade AstroCamp trip.

Yosemite Gear Donations:  In preparation for the upcoming 7th Grade Yosemite Trip, we are seeking donations of needed items for our Loan-Out.  Please drop off used warm jackets, gloves, boots, and pants to Ms. Guirguis’s classroom, Room 72, between Nov. 7 and Nov. 29. Yosemite meeting & gear exchange is Tuesday, November 29, 6:30pm.


Seminar Highlight - JAMS HAM RADIO

Did you know that JAMS Science Magnet has its own radio station and Ham Radio seminar? Have you ever noticed the 110 foot antenna tower near the science quad? Here's the story.

Randy Powell became an amateur radio operator, or 'ham' in 1966. In 1997, his son was in the JAMS Science Magnet headed by Linda Cady. The 110 foot antenna tower next to Mrs. Cady's classroom got his attention (height is everything for an effective shortwave antenna). The tower had been installed in 1970 by KCRW (89.9 FM) whose studio and transmitter were in what is now room 70, Ms Jurewicz's classroom. KCRW moved their studio to Santa Monica College and their transmitter and antenna to the Hollywood Hills in 1979, so they abandoned the tower. It was up for grabs!

When Randy's son was attending JAMS, a ham radio transceiver was donated to the school and Mrs. Cady showed Randy the "new" radio. Randy suggested that they set up an amateur radio station noting that it could expand the Science Magnet's curriculum in the areas of physics, chemistry, geography, and electronics. A generous Marina del Rey ham donated the funds to pay for a "yagi" antenna and its installation on top of that 110' tower. So in 1998 the antenna was installed and the Magnet had a 1st class shortwave radio station to use as a teaching tool -- JAMS was 'on-the-air.' 

Since then, approximately 75 students per year have been introduced to ham radio. They have talked to other stations as far away as Antarctica, missionaries in remote jungles in the Philippines and picturesque villages in Portugal.  They've had QSO's (conversations) with nearly every US state and Canadian province, and over 60 countries. Bi-lingual students have even had conversations in languages other than English (with a retired Japanese ham in Tokyo and a Russian ham in Vladivostok). 

In 2012 a fellow ham Dennis Payne joined Randy. Dennis's wife and two children are JAMS alumnae (Dennis went to Lincoln). Having two instructors allows more students to participate in the 2 part, 3-hour seminar. Last year the school got its own callsign: KK6QXI.

Please stop by Rm. 70 any Wednesday after school and see what's happening 'on-the-air'!


Order forms have been distributed to the students! Last year, the Magnet's See's Candy sales brought in $5,000 which helped pay for science magnet classroom supplies such as our awesome telescope, lego robotic kits and more. The deadline is the end of November. Wondering what to get for your office mates or someone who has everything? These perfect gifts will be distributed to students right before the holiday break! E-mail Chair, melissaht@verizon.net with questions. 

UPCOMING
11/28/2016 - Science Magnet Board Meeting (open to all)
11/29/2016 - 7th Grade

Yosemite Trip Meeting, 6:30pm in the Cafeteria. Students attendance mandatory as well.

12/1/2016 - 8th Grade
AstroCamp Trip Parent Meeting, 6:30-7:30pm in the Cafeteria 

STILL SEEKING those skilled in MakerSpace/Labs and Coding to lead a seminar. Please e-mail Board@JAMSScienceMagnet.org if you know of someone.

October Newsletter & Updates

Dear Science Magnet Community,

You can now make your student's magnet trip payments online at JAMSScienceMagnet.org! The revamped website is your one-stop shopping for teachers' websites, forms, photos and updates. Check back for photos and news about the 6th grade Catalina trip leaving October 28, or check out the 7th grade Yosemite trip and 8th grade AstroCamp trip pages for itinerary or packing list. 


Seminars

JAMS Science Magnet is offering a new seminar in Zoology conducted by the Santa Monica College Zoology Department Head, Professor John Moss! SMC's extensive collection of specimen rivals that of a large university and we are excited to deepen our connection to higher education opportunities right across the street! 

The Gardening seminar this year has been a great success!  Filled to the max every week, students have learned about and started compost, tilled the soil, identified good and bad bugs, planned the garden and planted seeds.  We look forward to doing the chemical soil analysis, planting the garden, keeping it healthy and having a harvest! JAMS students are on their way to being stewards of our earth and environment.

Seminars are Science Magnet requirements and it's a problem when students forget or don't show up. Please help your student with putting these on their calendar with reminders.


Our sweetest fundraiser is coming up! Last year, the Magnet's See's Candy sales brought in $5,000 which helped pay for science magnet classroom supplies such as our awesome telescope, lego robotic kits and more. The sales forms will be distributed to students mid-November and the deadline is the end of November. Wondering what to get for Aunt Alice or your mailman? The goods will conveniently be distributed to students right before the holiday break! E-mail Chair, melissaht@verizon.net with questions. 


As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, we are proud to highlight our own JAMS parent, Dr. Leticia M. Toledo-Sherman, a Cuban native who is incredibly accomplished in scientific research and an inspiration to our science magnet students. She is Director of Computer-Aided Drug Design and Medicinal Chemistry for the CHDI Foundation, an organization dedicated to finding a therapeutics for Huntington’s disease, a hereditary brain disease. Dr. Toledo-Sherman holds many patents and as a Chemist, has devoted much of her career to the discovery of kinase inhibitors to treat many types of cancers and now Huntington’s disease. She has participated in a program through Cal State Fullerton assisting college-bound young women to enhance their mathematics skills in an effort to choose careers in STEM fields. Like our JAMS Science Magnet students, she was lucky to have a lot of exposure to Science education as a child, and the spark that ignited her initial interest in chemistry was inspired by a 7th-grade middle school teacher! Read more about Leticia’s fascinating background here!


UPCOMING

10/14/2016 Japan Exchange application available on website!

10/28-30/2016 6th Grade

Catalina Trip at Catalina Island Marine Institute - SIGN UP TO RECEIVE TEXT UPDATES HERE

11/29/2016 - 7th Grade

Yosemite Trip Meeting, 6:30pm in the Cafeteria. Students attendance mandatory as well.

12/1/2016 - 8th Grade

AstroCamp Trip Parent Meeting, 6:30-7:30pm in the Cafeteria 

Updates from JAMS Science Magnet

Dear Friends of JAMS Science Magnet,

We hope everyone's school year is off to a good start and want to welcome our new JAMS Science Magnet families!

Several Magnet families with 7th and 8th grade students are off this weekend to Morro Bay, and the next round of seminars for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students is around the corner! There is a lot happening with JAMS Science Magnet this year and we are excited to share the news and keep you up to speed.

7th-8th GRADE PARENT MEETING
There will be a meeting for all 7th-8th Grade parents this Thursday, 9/22 at 6:30pm in the Library. Light snacks will be served. For future meetings and dates, please see our SCIENCE MAGNET CALENDAR.

SECOND ROUND OF SEMINARS
Seminar sheets for Round 2 will go out Wednesday and Thursday of this week and will be due Friday (9/23). This round of seminars starts on 10/4 and ends 11/10. We are piloting an exciting seminar facilitated by SMC Professor of Zoology in their lab. Due to the equipment limitations at SMC, space is very limited.

WE WANT YOUR SPARK! 
We are always looking to expand our choice of science magnet seminars. If you know of an expert or hobbyist in any scientific field who would be interested in facilitating a seminar for an afternoon or two with our bright and inquisitive students, please contact board@jamssciencemagnet.org or speak with Ms. Jurewicz.

JOIN THE TEAM! 
We have a few Chair positions still open on the Science Magnet Board and we welcome you to join or volunteer. We hold monthly meetings that are open for our Magnet families to sit in on.

DO YOU KNOW THIS JAMS ALUMNUS? 
NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik is a Grant/JAMS/Samohi graduate and was crew on the Space Shuttle Atlantis Mission in 2009. When asked about who influenced him in his scientific journey, Randy said “I remember a 6th-grade teacher and a guidance counselor in middle school, and a music teacher in college, all of whom went above and beyond.”

JAMS is helping to create opportunity pathways for our great thinkers of tomorrow!

If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns, please e-mail us at board@jamssciencemagnet.org

RoboVikings: Our Rookie Year was a Winner!

It was an exciting year for JAMS’ newly-formed RoboVikings team, SMMUSD’s first team to enter the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC®) worldwide robotics competition.  “This is big step for our school,” said JAMS Principal Steve Richardson. “Beyond the alignment to 21st century skills, this pilot program will expose our students to the iterative engineering design cycle.” FTC is a robotics competition for grades seven through 12 that promotes project-based learning using real-world math and science concepts. Over 50,000 students on 5,000+ teams around the world participated in FTC’s 2015/2016 season.

As the team got started, the RoboVikings broke into several sub-teams under the leadership of Coach Mohamed Abid, who brought to the team a wealth of expertise from his years leading engineering projects at JPL and NASA. Those teams worked on a variety of tasks important to the robotics competition, from robot design and building to programming, and from computer-aided design (CAD) and 3D printing to community outreach and fundraising. The world of FTC is not just about building the best robot, but learning to work with others – including students from other teams, parent mentors, and local businesses – with “gracious professionalism,” a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.

All that hard work paid off for the RoboVikings, who qualified to advance to the regional finals based on their participation in their very first competition last December.  Not only did the team’s robot score well in matches that day, but the team won the “Motivate Award” which goes to the team that exemplifies the essence of FTC through team building, team spirit and exhibited enthusiasm.  At the regional finals this spring, the team fought fiercely down to their very last match, which was their absolute best performance in the whole season! Although the RoboVikings didn’t end up qualifying to advance further, it was an amazing performance against students and teams with much older and experienced members. At the end of our first season, we are very proud to say that our rookie team ended up amongst the Top 10 teams in Southern California! Go RoboVikings!