Newsflash: April 19, 2024

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

We have started the last quarter of our 2023-24 school year, and it is great to visibly observe evidence of our students learning after building up their knowledge and skills over the first three quarters of the year, plus drawing on their prior knowledge. 

Over the past few weeks, there have been several events to celebrate this learning with parents and other students. CIS does this, as in addition to the celebratory aspect of completing a unit or project, sharing their work provides further opportunities for students to consolidate and extend their learning, such as by developing their communication skills and ensuring they have understood and remember their learning objectives by presenting them to others.

A few recent examples have been the PYP Explorers’ Museum Exhibit (G2 and G3), and Sharing the Planet energy presentations (G4) in the ES. In the MHS, we have had culminating projects that students have worked on all year, such as the MYP Personal Projects (G10 – highlighted in last week’s Newsflash) the DP Extended Essay Cafe (G12), and just today, the G11 Theory of Knowledge exhibition.

It has been gratifying to see our students’ creativity and presentation skills with their displays and presentations, and their confidence, knowledge, and literacy skills showing in their written and oral work and explanations.

Finally, congratulations to our Seniors (G12 students) who finished their classes on Wednesday, and are now in their final week of studying before DP Exams start next Wednesday. We wish them all the best as they sit their exams over the next month, and trust all their hard work will stand them in good stead. We look forward to congratulating them on May 24 at their Graduation!

Upcoming events of note

  • Apr 23 : PTA Coffee Morning
  • Apr 24 – May 16: IBDP Exams
  • Apr 30: PTA Coffee Morning
  • May 1: Public Holiday (Labor Day)
  • May 3: PYPx
  • May 6-10: Arts Week
  • May 11: Touch Rugby
  • May 18-19 & May 25-26: MFC x CIS Friendship Cup
  • May 24: G12 Graduation (no classes in PM)

Please refer to the CIS Event Calendar for the complete calendar of school events.

Grade 4: Sharing the Planet

by Mr. Sten Coppin, Grade Homeroom Teacher

For our unit Sharing the Planet, Grade 4 students learned all about energy, where it comes from and how the way we use it affects our lives. It culminated in a summative project that showed off their learning, creativity, writing skills, and communication skills. Our class reporters Robeen and Maxine wrote an article about their experiences.

Windmill Project

by Maxine and Robeen

In G4 UOI, we are learning about energy. We’re almost done with our unit and we are working on our final project. We are making windmills that make real electricity and models of other power plants too. Our common materials are fans, Legos, generators, cables, blades and rotors, and finally, light bulbs. The reason we are making this project is to share what we learned with other students and parents in a fun and interesting way.

You could be wondering, “What is Energy?” Well, energy has different types of meanings, like energy in the human body that you get from eating and drinking. We didn’t focus on that though, we are learning about how we create electricity. We all designed power plant models to help us explain how electricity works. Even cooler, our windmills are working models that actually create electricity!

The project was really interesting and fun. We all built windmills and each group also added a model of a different type of energy. One group did a hydropower presentation with a big dam. Other groups built geothermal, nuclear or coal power plants. Our models were really beautiful and the groups created short interactive activities to help the audience test if objects were a conductor or insulator. Even though it was sometimes challenging, especially writing the essays and doing research, we really enjoyed making the project, and we also loved that we could have our parents and other grades come to see all of our projects. It made us feel happy and proud! 

Grade 7: Science Class

by Ms. Rebecca Devadoss, Science Teacher

In their physics unit, the grade 7 students are currently studying forces and the laws of Newton. An engaging activity they recently undertook is the “Toy Car Ramp Race.” The class was organized into six groups. Each group was equipped with a ramp, a toy car, a protractor, and a measuring tape, and they ventured out into the corridors of the third floor. They eagerly set up their ramps at various angles, embarking on a dynamic exploration of how the incline (angle) of the ramp influences the distance traversed by the toy car. The air was abuzz with excitement as students meticulously observed and recorded their findings, immersing themselves in the hands-on application of physics principles.

After the activity, students successfully made connections to Newton’s Laws of Motion, solidifying their understanding of the fundamental principles governing motion and forces.

Out of Newton’s Laws, this experiment would likely fit into inertia. The first law states that an object will stay motionless until it gets moved by an unbalanced force. With the toy car ramp race, the friction between the toy car and the floor was an unbalanced force. The toy vehicle’s speed and range rose in tandem with the ramp’s angle; the quicker the car traveled, the more friction it created between itself and the ground, which prevented it from moving at a steady pace.

The first law states that an object at rest remains at rest, while an object in motion remains in motion unless acted upon by an external force. In the case of a toy car on an inclined plane, the force of gravity pulls the car downhill, resulting in greater acceleration and distance traveled.

The results of the toy car race are because Newton’s 1st law states that an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. The toy cars would keep going, but they stopped because of the friction of the ground.

We saw a great demonstration of Newton’s first law of motion in the toy car ramp race activity. An object will stay at rest unless acted upon by another force. The toy car would stay at rest until it was pointed at an angled ramp. Then gravity would act upon it and make it go downward.

The car didn’t go downward on a flat surface like the table because the table and car are balanced forces. As in Newton’s third law of motion, when two objects interact, they apply forces to each other of equal magnitude and in opposite directions. The car is applying downward force to the table due to gravity, and the opposite reaction to that is the table applying upward force.

By the 2nd Law, when people apply force to the toy car, it will move and accelerate, moving downward from the ramp, and the earth’s gravity will pull it downward again to accelerate its speed, getting faster.

During the toy car ramp race, the higher the degree angle, the toy car always went farther, but it always stopped at some point. This can be explained by Newton’s 1st law of motion (inertia), as the first law states an object will stay in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. The unbalanced force was the friction between the toy car and the floor. As the ramp angle increased, it also increased how fast and how far the toy car went. The faster the toy car went, the more friction it caused between itself and the floor, therefore making it unable to move at a constant speed.

College & Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College Counselor

Ask the Counselor

Question:  Does a student need to take the TOEFL or the IELTS to apply to universities abroad?

Answer: Most universities abroad do not require the TOEFL or IELTS if the student is an IB Diploma candidate, or, if the student’s high school can certify that the last 4 years of school was taught in English.  CIS issues a certification for students.  In addition, as a WASC/CIS accredited school, most universities recognize this accreditation and therefore, do not require the TOEFL or IELTS.  However, if the program applied for requires clinical practice (i.e. Heatlh Sciences), the IELTS or TOEFL is a requirement to obtain a student visa.  Some universities are recognize the Duolingo test to satisfy the English proficiency requirement.

SAT Update

2023–24 School Year Test Dates

Test Date Deadline for Registration, Changes and Regular Cancellation
May 4, 2024 April 19, 2024
June 1, 2024 May 16, 2024

To register for the SAT, you may click on this link.  If you need assistance or have any questions, please feel free to email Ms. Jenny Basa at

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Les Gooo Nice Job Everyone!!