List of 20 news stories.

  • Student Places First at Future Problem Solving International Competition

    Congratulations to 8th grade student, Omar Elbadawy for placing first at the 2022 Future Problem Solving Program International Conference in the Scenario Writing competition (Middle Division). His winning entry, entitled "The Big Bird" on the topic of Building Green, depicted the hard decisions the main characters of a floating green community faced during an emergency that involved the "other" side. 
    Additionally, he received 5th place at the international competition at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst for his participation in the optional IC 2022 Scenario Writing Competition.  Qualifiers write a scenario of 1000 words that used the provided Future Scene as inspiration which explored the topic of Antibiotic Resistance. 
    "Omar is a relentless researcher as shown in his "Big Bird" piece which he worked on for months.   For the International Conference piece, though he only had a few days to complete it, he banked on his extensive research of Antibiotic Resistance and deservedly pulled another win," explained Lorraine Tzeng, his writing coach from Birchwood School.
    This year students from Australia, China, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States gathered at the FPSPI. Developed in 1974 by creativity pioneer Dr. E. Paul Torrance, Future Problem Solving (FPS) provides competitive and non-competitive components for today’s curriculum via a six-step model which teaches critical and creative thinking, problem solving, and decision making.

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  • State Science Day Winners

    For over 90 years and with more than 60,000 alumni, State Science Day is the pinnacle of student originated, inquiry-based science education for Ohio’s students. The academic equivalent of a state athletic championship, this year’s event was one of the largest of its kind in the nation. Drawing upon a base of over 25,000 students, 622 students in fifth through twelfth
    grades from 176 schools were evaluated on their scientific research and communication skills during a virtual State Science Day. They competed for nearly 100 different scholarships and awards valued at nearly $400,000.

    Congratulations to the following 16 Birchwood School of Hawken students who received Superior Awards, Excellent Awards, and Sponsored Awards at the 2022 State Science Day competition. 
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  • 2022 National History Day Paper Showcase

    Congratulations to Omar Elbadawy whose Jr. Paper for the 2022 National History Day competition entitled “Hamilton vs. Jefferson: Early Republic Diplomacy and the Debate That Shaped the Nation” was selected for the Virtual Paper Showcase with The White House Historical Association. The 2022 National History Day theme was Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, and Consequences. This showcase features 15 memorable White House-related submissions to this year's essay contest, hosted by National History Day, a partner of the White House Historical Association.

    Click here to see the winning submissions. 
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  • Prose and Poetry Winners of Geauga Park District Nature Writing Contest

    Geauga Park District announced the winners of their 27th annual Nature Writing Contest. Several fifth through eighth grade students at Birchwood School of Hawken opted to send either poetry or prose to compete with other schools under the broad prompt.

    Five fifth graders and one eighth grader received awards for their writing:

    Child Prose
    1st – Layla Haufe (Cleveland) for “Jellyfish”
    2nd – Presley Burkholder (Chagrin Falls) for “Traitor Not Traitor”  
    3rd – Jake Zhang (Strongsville) for “The Pollution” 
    Honorable Mention – Mira Patel (Cleveland) for “The Nature Stone” 
    Honorable Mention – Chrysanthi Constantinou (Westlake) for “The Little Wooden Bench by the Stream” 

    Adolescent Poetry
    1st – Jaiden Burkholder (Chagrin Falls) for “The Chickadee” 
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  • Promising Young Writer

    The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) has recognized Birchwood School of Hawken eighth grader, Omar, as a Promising Young Writer.

    The Promising Young Writers Program represents NCTE’s commitment to early and continuing work in the development of writing. The school-based writing program was established in 1985 to stimulate and recognize writing talents and to emphasize the importance of writing skills among eighth-grade students. Schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, American schools abroad, and the Virgin Islands are eligible to nominate students.

    This year, schools nominated 116 students. Of that number, Omar and 65 others received the highest award. Each student submitted two pieces of writing. Two independent judges evaluated each submission holistically on content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, organization, development, and style.
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  • Success at State Power of the Pen Tournament

    This year a team of seventh and eighth graders from Birchwood School of Hawken competed against more than 180 schools at the Power of the Pen state competition, hosted by Otterbein University. State qualifying students were: Isabella Bixler, Areesha Nouman, Joshua Gordon, Ayat Jaffar, Stephen Parrino, Manya Raina, Haadeya Salman, and Sabrina Syed were coached by Lorraine Tzeng, Jennifer Seward, and Maysan Haydar.

    State competitors wrote in three back-to-back 35-minute rounds. These stories were then immediately judged to determine who would advance to the fourth and final round of writing. This year saw impressive results, with two students advancing to the final round, the Birchwood team placing fifth overall, and one student taking first place!
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  • Birchwood Students Advance to the National Contest of National History Day

    The National History Day competition for the 2021-22 school year once again was held virtually at the regional level and the state level. In spite of the challenges that a virtual competition posed for the students, they produced some extraordinary projects and were recognized for the caliber of their historical research and the quality of their projects. 

    From Birchwood School of Hawken, 31 students advanced from the regional level of the competition to the state level competition held at the end of April. The results from the state contest were exceptional. Five projects placed first in their respective categories, qualifying them to compete at the national level in June. 
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  • Students Recognized by National Spanish Examinations

    Every year Birchwood students studying Spanish under Noemi Rodriguez who wish to push themselves take the National Spanish Examination (NSE). The test is an online standardized assessment tool for 6th-12th graders and is given by about 4,000 teachers throughout the United States. It measures performance (interpretive communication) and achievement of students who are studying Spanish as a second language.

    This year, 15 Birchwood eighth graders testing at the first and second level (Spanish I and Spanish II) received recognition. These results are the best in our school’s history!
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  • First Grader’s Poem Published in Spider Magazine

    Eliesha Parrino’s poem will be published in the May/June issue of Spider magazine. Students were asked to submit a poem about "bragging." Her poem can be found below or on their website. 
    I am fast, you are slow. You don’t know how to go.
    I am faster than a cheetah. You are slower than a snail.
    I can run 20 seconds. You can run in 50 seconds.
    You can barely see my legs when I run. 
    I can finish a race before you can blink your eyes. 
    Ha, ha, I am better. 
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  • Students Soar on the National Latin Exam

    The National Latin Exam, given in March every year by the American Classical League, tests students on their knowledge of Latin grammar and vocabulary as well as aspects of Roman culture such as history, architecture, and clothing. Birchwood’s 7th and 8th graders - coached by Catherine Haskins - participate in the test every year. This year fourteen of them received recognition for their studies, including 7th grader Joshua Gordon who earned a perfect score on his test.
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  • Ten Students Qualify for FPSPI International Conference

    This year 35 Birchwood 6th-8th grade students qualified for the Future Problem Solving (FPS) State Bowl. Each year Birchwood 6th-8th grade students apply a six-step model which teaches critical and creative thinking, and problem solving in order to qualify as individuals or teams composed of four students. The following students, coached by Helene Debelak, Diane Owen, Rebecca Graham, Jennifer Seward, and Lorraine Tzeng, placed at the state level:
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  • Students Win Big at BEST Medical Engineering Fair

    The Bridging Engineering, Science and Technology (BEST) Medicine Engineering Fair was held in person this year at Cleveland State University. Devoted to 6-12th grade students interested in exploring biomedical or environmental engineering, this fair allows students to interact with each other as well as leaders in medical device research and development. Eight 7th and 8th grade students from Birchwood received recognition from judges who ranked them from Gold to Bronze in certain categories and distributed special awards.
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  • Birchwood Students Win National Publication

    Eighth grader Isabella Bixler of Fairview Park and fourth grader Magdalene Whitaker of Cleveland will be published in the April edition of Cricket magazine. The two girls were among many who submitted their work under the “Wintry Tale” prompt, with Bixler winning first place with her piece “Sledding,” and Whitaker receiving an honorable mention for her story “Glacier’s Journey” in their respective age groups.

    Cricket magazine publishes imaginative stories and poetry for children ages 9-14 written by the world’s best writers and illustrators. In addition, children of all ages submit stories, poetry, essays, and art to their regularly offered contests. The other winners can be found on Cricket magazine’s website.
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  • Record Number of Birchwood Students Headed to State Science Day

    This March the results of District 5 Science Day were announced, culminating in a record number of Birchwood students qualifying for the State Science Day in May for the second year in a row.
    Superior Rating and State Science Day Qualifiers
    Andrew Khawam (5th grade) for “How much will apples oxidize in different
    Presley Burkholder (5th grade) for “Which variety of Amish popcorn yields the
    largest percentage of kernels that pop per batch?”
    Leen Salem (6th grade) for “Which combination of juices has the lowest glucose
    Melanie Statsevych (6th grade) for “How does temperature affect the height of a
    bouncing tennis ball?”
    Caroline Lu (7th grade) for “Determination of Vitamin C concentration in
    Different Types of Orange Juice using Titration”
    Ishika Chand (7th grade) for “Compost vs. Fertilizer”
    Adharsh Narendrakumar (8th grade) for “Semi-autonomous device that measures
    and observes the capillary refill time of a patient”
    Tarunika Saravanan (8th grade) for “When popped, do different colors of popcorn
    leave different amounts of unpopped kernels?”
    Michael Zhu (8th grade) for “Biodegradable plastic: an experiment conducted on
    diverse types of biodegradable plastic to test which type can degrade the quickest and withstand the most tension.”
    Aanya Lakireddy (8th grade) for “How do increasing carbon dioxide levels
    affect plant germination?”
    Omar Elbadawy (8th grade) for “Eco-friendly concrete admixtures on its mechanical
    Brooke Gemechu (8th grade) for “Iron Man: Creating a bionic “repulsor” Gauntlet
    using Myographic Technology”
    Jaiden Burkholder (8th grade) “Do dryer balls really reduce drying time?”
    Emerson Krauss (8th grade) for “The dissolution of different formulations of
    Isabella Bixler (8th grade) for “Making Eco-Friendly Oil Paints”
    Jasmine Chen (8th grade) for “Making Bioplastic Bags”
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  • Birchwood Student Earns Silver at National Scholastic Writing Awards

    Aanya Lakireddy of Strongsville won the National Silver Medal in the Scholastic Writing Awards on March 23rd for her short story entitled, “Who are you?” The eighth grader’s personal essay about her grandfather and a poignant moment in the progression of his dementia had previously won a gold medal at the regional level.

    Over 100,000 students submitted more than 260,000 works of art and writing to the 2022 Scholastic Awards competition this year. Works are selected for originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. Less than 2,000 works received a Scholastic National Medal, placing Aaanya within the top 1 percent of all submissions. Her story will be published in Scholastic's online gallery at in June.
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  • Birchwood Students Win Big at Prestigious Science Fair

    This year’s 68th annual Northeastern Ohio Science and Engineering Fair was virtual but lacked nothing in terms of ingenuity from the students who participated. Nearly 700 projects from over 80 schools were submitted in competition for over $20,000 in prizes. Birchwood School’s 7th and 8th graders’ projects garnered much attention from the over 260 judges and scored well in their respective age groups.
    Twelve Birchwood students received recognition for their hard work and intellectual curiosity. Additionally, the three who were nominated by judges representing the Broadcom MASTERS Program are invited to participate in their prestigious international competition - one of the highest honors for aspiring young scientists.

    Broadcom MASTERS Program Nominations
                Omar Elbadawy
                Michael Zhu
                Ayat Jaffar
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  • Power of the Pen Regional Champions

    Congratulations to Birchwood’s 7th and 8th grade teams who won a team award and several individual and special awards at the Power of the Pen Regional competition. These students are coached by Lorraine Tzeng, Jennifer Seward, and Maysan Hadar. 

    Team Awards
                Seventh Grade - 1st Place
                Regional Sweepstakes Award (second year)
    Individual and Special awards:
    Seventh Grade   
                      Joshua Gordon - 8th Place
                      Manya Raina - 1st Place
                      Round 2 - Best of Rounds - Haadeya Salman, “The Mission”
                      Round 3 - Best of Rounds - Ayat Jaffar, “Grandfather’s Farm”
                 Eighth Grade
                       Areesha Nouman - 5th Place
                       Round 1 - Best of Rounds - Areesha Nouman, “More Light”         
                       Platinum Pen Award - Isabella Bixler, “Box Memories”
                       Platinum Pen Award - Isabella Bixler, “Baby Sitter”
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  • Thirty-Five Students Advance to Future Problem Solving State Bowl

    This year 35 Birchwood 6th-8th grade students qualified for the Future Problem Solving (FPS) State Bowl. Each year Birchwood’s 6th-8th grade students apply a six-step model which teaches critical and creative thinking, and problem solving in order to qualify as individuals or teams composed of four students. The following students, coached by Helene Debelak, Diane Owen, Jennifer Seward, and Lorraine Tzeng, will compete at the state level on March 31st:

    Junior Division Qualifiers
    Maliha Nadkarni, Shivam Mahajan, Olivia Kude, Kyle Vaziri
    Reeve Vincent, Saanvi Chari, Nikhil Yalavarthy, Julia McClenin
    Leen Salem, Joshua Thomas, Rhea Kumar, Sammy Nemr
    Intermediate Division Team Qualifiers
    Ben Miyares, Brooke Gemenchu, Areesha Nouman, Omar Elbadawy
    Arsheya Ahuja, Jaiden Burkholder, Jordan Gordon, Aanya Lakireddy
    Isabella Bixler, Adharsh Narendrakumar, Su-Kyi Ng, Tarunika Saravanan, Alex Sideris
    Jasmine Chen, Siya Lakireddy, Nicolas Shang, Michael Zhu
    Joshua Gordon, Ted Alten, Manya Raina, Jonathan Samulak
    Intermediate Division Individual Qualifiers
    Ayat Jaffar
    Joshua Chen
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  • Thirty-One Students Heading to National History Day State Competition

    On March 5, 2022, sixty-nine 6th, 7th, and 8th graders competed in the regional level of the National History Day competition with outstanding results. Students began work on their research projects in the fall and submitted them virtually at the end of February. The projects were evaluated by a team of judges primarily on their historical quality and secondly on the quality of the presentation. Students chose topics according to the theme “Debate and Diplomacy: Successes, Failures, Consequences.” 
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  • Students Raise Record-Breaking Harvest for Hunger Funds

    Birchwood School of Hawken students have been raising food and money donations for Harvest for Hunger since 2006. This year’s goal was $10,000 and they exceeded that goal and raised $10,545.35. 

    Each year the third and fourth grade students are led through the creative problem solving process by their teachers Jessica Moore and Todd Boyer to see what they can do to help Cleveland families. After learning that one in six Ohioans struggle to put food on their table, the students put together a strategy to help. 
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