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Student News


Book Fair and Hour of Code

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” in GSA’s Instructional/Media Center! The Computer Lab/Library hosted two important events last week that combined both fun and learning – The Scholastic Book Fair and “The 'Hour of Code™'! See photos of our students using props at the Enchanted Forest Book Fair to get into the spirit of the theme.

The 'Hour of Code™' is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week [csedweek.org] and Code.org [code.org] to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming. Students from grades K – 8 enjoyed coding during their computer classes. It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic, and creativity.  Visit Photo Gallery for pictures.


Christmas Tree STEM Challenge

Mr. Jadran's 6th grade class had a blast acting as "engineers" while participating in the Christmas Tree STEM challenge! Students worked in teams to build a model of a Christmas tree using only gum drops and toothpicks. Prior to building their model, students had to draw a diagram of how they planned on constructing their tree, as well as estimate how many gum drops they thought they would use. To make the challenge interesting, the teams were given only 20 minutes to build their trees. After the building phase, each tree was tested on how it held up against wind (a blow dryer) and if it still stood tall with a star on top. Once the tests were complete, students reflected on the challenge, thinking about what worked, what went wrong, what they would do differently next time, and how their actual model differed from their plan. Aside from being a lot of fun, this challenge taught the students team work, as well as familiarizing them with the engineering design process! 

Click here for more pictures.



Learning Geometry

The 7th Grade Pre-Algebra Class is studying Geometry.  They are working on different modes of Tetrahedrons and Icosahedras. These are very symmetric and are called Platonic Solids. The Ancient Greeks knew there were only fine possibilities for regular solids and they thought this was a surprising and delightful property of solid geometry.  There is no substitute for hands-on learning and holding the model in your hands.  The students have done well in understanding something at High School level. They will now be studying finding area using symmetry. 



2nd Grade Happenings

The second graders in Ms.Corneliess's and Mrs. Alfano's class learned many things about Pilgrim boys and girls and about the First Thanksgiving.  They read books and viewed videos about Pilgrim life.  Then they wrote and illustrated what Pilgrim children wore, ate, what their chores were and what they did for fun.


Sumdog's Essex County Math Contest Results Are In!

In total, 228 students participated throughout the county and answered 44,711 questions correctly.  Some of our students from grades 2 – 5 competed on their own time and placed in the top spots in this contest!

The top students are the ones which answered the most questions correctly throughout the contest. (1000 questions maximum) The top ten students (who were awarded a certificate and a NUT card) include:

1st place with 998 correct answers was Sharon Pinto, Grade

2nd place with 986 correct answers was Vivian Li, Grade 4

3rd place with 965 correct answers was Luis Santos, Grade 4

4th place with 956 correct answers was Noah Lopez, Grade 4

5th place with 945 correct answers was Gabriel Amparo, Grade 3

7th place with 931 correct answers was Jonah Pollail, Grade 2

8th place with 930 correct answers was Elizabeth Rasul, Grade 3

9th place with 919 correct answers was Alexa Falsetta, Grade 3

10th place with 918 correct answers was Nicole Vieira, Grade 2

Congratulations to everyone on all your hard work!


Fire Prevention

The Nutley fire department came to give us a demonstration of how they rescue people trapped from high places during a fire.

Middle School Science:

8th Graders

The 8th grade started off the school year by diving back into scientific thinking with Mr. Jadran. The students worked together in small groups, following the steps of the scientific method as they conducted a "paper towel absorbency" experiment. Each group was given 3 brands of paper towel (bounty, Costco, and a dollar store brand). Without knowing which brand was which, the students had to OBSERVE each brand of paper towel and HYPOTHESIZE which brand would hold the most water. Using a dropper, they conducted three trials for accurate results. After carrying out the experiment, the students analyzed their data and made bar graphs displaying the results. The experiment was a simple yet fun way for the students to ease back into thinking scientifically after the summer vacation.

7th Graders

On Friday, Sept. 21st,  the 7th grade students were engineers for the day as they participated in their first in-class STEM challenge alongside Mr. Jadran. The students were split up into groups, where they had 20 minutes to build a bridge with only plastic straws, a piece of construction paper, and scotch tape. Each bridge was tested with a cup full of magnets - first 10, then 20, then 30, and finally 40 magnets. Whichever bridge was still standing was then given the ultimate test - the weight of a textbook! The students had a blast working together during this challenge. Not only did they learn about bridge engineering and teamwork, but they had a fun time while doing so (and what more could we ask for as teachers and parents?!)

6th Graders

The 6th graders participated in a "DNA Monster Mash-up" just in time for Halloween. The students have been learning about DNA, genetics, Punnett squares, and dominant and recessive traits in science class for the past few weeks. For this activity, Mr. Jadran's class combined what they have been learning with some creativity and fun. Students were given a chart with both dominant and recessive traits for their offspring monster, and they flipped coins to determine which traits both the mom and dad monster would have (example: round shaped monsters were dominant while triangular shaped were recessive). After figuring out the different traits, students put their science skills to the test and created Punnett squares to determine which traits would show in their offspring. Finally, they created their DNA monsters based off of the traits that would be shown. This was a great way for students to practice what they have been learning while also having a blast! 

On Friday, October 26, Mr. Jadran's 6th grade class participated in a fun science activity just in time for Halloween. Students inflated balloons using water bottles and specific amounts of baking soda and vinegar. The students were re-familiarized with the reason behind why baking soda and vinegar react (because of an acid-base reaction, baking soda being a bicarbonate and vinegar being an acetic acid). To add a Halloween aspect to the experiment, spooky faces were drawn onto the white balloons. 

Click here to view Middle School Science pictures.


Communion Prayer of Thanks

Our students in Grade 2A wrote Holy Communion prayers and made a related drawing using Microsoft Paint.  This was a cross-curricular computer class and religion project. 


Sea Turtle Recovery Presentation

First through third graders were treated to a wonderful presentation by Ms. Brandi Biehl and Erica from Sea Turtle Recovery on Monday, June 4th.  This non-profit organization is dedicated to the rehabilitation, preservation and conservation of sea turtles and is located within Essex County's Turtle Back Zoo. The students had already been introduced to sea turtles via library books/classes and the after-school Science Explorers Club. The representatives from Sea Turtle Recovery showed a slide & video presentation and talked about the many ways in which they treat, release and protect sea turtles. They brought equipment to demonstrate how to measure turtles and how they tag them as well. The students and teachers also participated in a question and answer session. You can check out their website or make donations to their organization at seaturtlerecovery.org.

Click here to view presentation pictures.


Our annual STEM Fair was held on Wednesday, May 30 in the GSA gym.  It was another huge success.  Thank you to Mr. Pignataro for his hard work on this educational event.  Congratulations to all the participants and winners!

Elementary School Division  
     3rd Place - 5J:  Noah Esposito (Homemade Water Filter)
     2nd Place - 6G:  Kayla Davila, Courtney Peloso; Christina Zamora (Light-Tracking Bristlebot)
     1st Place - 6M:  Daniel Diaz, Jake Santos; Joseph Springsteen (Pulley System Go-Kart)
Middle School Division  
     3rd Place - 7A:  Brianna Santos; Emily Santos (What type of soil is strongest to support a building?)
     2nd Place - 7P:  Nicolette Stefanelli (Ultraviolet Light)
     1st Place - 8E:  Dominic Chu; Jeremy Mata (Bridge Tension)

Visit our photo gallery for event pictures.

Outstanding Catholic School Graduate

Christian Hui has been chosen as GSA's Outstanding Catholic School Graduate of 2018.  This award is given annually on one 8th grader from each Catholic elementary school in the Archdiocese of Newark. Christian works hard academically and exemplifies Catholic values in word and deed.

Frog Dissection

Our middle school students performed frog dissection today! The procedure gave a good overview of the organ systems of a complex living thing. There’s a magic that happens when you have the perfect combination of learning and doing – who wouldn’t remember the amazement of holding intestines while learning about what they do?  Click here for more pictures.


Third Graders Environment Project

"Producers, consumers, decomposers, oh my!!"  3A put together an example of an environment containing "dirt", "worms", "grass", and "animals" -- all edible, of course! 

Click here for more pictures


First Graders as Mother Hens

You might say it’s an eggs-citing time to be in first grade as students welcome 2 dozen friends to the classrooms.  First graders get a chance to be mother hens for two weeks, first by turning the eggs in the incubator and monitoring temperature and humidity.  Names are selected and predictions made as to which egg will hatch first.  Finally, the eggs-uberant children watch as chicks make peepholes then tumble out of their shells.  Our hard working mother hens can now enjoy the little peeps and share the joy with the GSA community until Farmer Angela takes them home to Quiverfarms.

Click here for more pictures.


Valentine for Veterans

Students from grades K - 5 participated in the Valentines for Veterans program sponsored by Congressman Rodney P. Frelinghuysen. The valentine cards made by the children will be given to veterans located at either the Lyons VA Hospital Center or East Orange VA Medical Center.

4th Grade Sharon Pinto won Chess Competition and Spelling Bee

Congratulations to 4th Grader Sharon Pinto for winning first place in the Lions Club of Nutley Annual Spelling Bee held last Saturday, Nov. 18.  She also participated in the NJ State Championship grade level competition held at Brookdale College and won 3rd place.  Participants in this competition are other 4th grade students in the state of NJ. 



Good Shepherd Academy
A Middle States Accredited School
24 Brookline Avenue   ♦   Nutley, NJ 07110   ♦   Phone: 973-667-2049   ♦   Fax: 973-661-9259

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