Saturday, September 23 , 2017, 2:52 pm | Fair 70º


Students’ Talents, Creativity on Display at Santa Barbara Middle School Academic Fair

Santa Barbara Middle School’s interactive Academic Fair took place Feb. 11-12 on its campus, located at 1321 Alameda Padre Serra in Santa Barbara.

Tuesday evening showcased work from their Upper School students in eighth and ninth grades.

In the ninth-grade Conceptual Physics class, student engineering teams demonstrated their mathematically programmed and engineered robots, one of which was a piano-playing robot that uses an Arduino micro controller and electrical transistors on a breadboard to play music on a keyboard.

The eighth grade performed Murder a la Carte, a mock trial to determine the cause of death of notorious food critic “Simon Fogg,” who is found dead on his yacht after enjoying a sumptuous meal, possibly laced with poisonous mushrooms. The chief suspect, “Chef Kat Koo Kola,” was charged with first-degree murder, but found not guilty by the jury audience!

Visitors also witnessed a drum-playing robot that simultaneously uses several synchronized robots to play drums and a xylophone and a self-balancing robot, which uses a gyro sensor to balance itself on just two wheels, engineered like renowned Dennis Kamen’s Segway scooter.

A team of students from the eighth-grade Human Biology class demonstrated a CPR and first aid scenario. Visitors who wandered through the Algebra classes saw student-designed business plans, which require graphing and solving linear equations and inequalities to maximize profits and revenues, resulting in optimal business efficiency.

Theatrical performances of student-modified, humorous Spanish-speaking fairy tales and William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream were also on stage for guests to enjoy.

SBMS Academic Fair
Santa Barbara Middle School student Ami Hammond becomes the character Kira from Gathering Blue to tell the story of Lois Lowry's life. (Santa Barbara Middle School photo)

On Wednesday evening, the Lower School hosted their Academic Fair, which highlighted student academic work for sixth and seventh grades. Visitors toured the “Wax Museum” where well-known authors (student performers) such as Dr. Seuss, Rick Riordan and Robert Frost came to life and shared their personal histories.

The Santa Barbara Middle School’s Teen Press, a team of journalists, offered red carpet highlights of interviews they captured at the recent Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Martin Scorsese and Robert Redford were just a few that were shown.

Math portfolios were also on display, and Academic Fair visitors were able to interact with seventh-grade STEM science projects that deal with circuits and lasers. Visitors also took a student-guided tour through the sixth-grade “Wonder Museum” to see handmade woven baskets modeled after ancient civilizations, peruse prehistory scientific journals and literary works, and enjoy several art pieces and PowerPoint presentations.

In social studies, cultural multimedia stories were told through student blogs and a media tribute to Nelson Mandela. Visitors enjoyed a pop culture fashion show presented in an innovative style — all the narration along the SBMS catwalk was done in Spanish by the seventh-grade class.

Both evenings were filled with relevant and interactive academic projects designed to entertain, teach and celebrate the creative and clever mind of the middle school student.

— Sue Carmody is a community outreach coordinator for Santa Barbara Middle School.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >