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Satellite Designed by Indiana Academy Students Set to Launch Aboard a NASA Rocket

Friday, October 19, 2018

Indiana Academy Instructor Susie Cunningham describing the workings of the ThinSat module.

Susie Cunningham, an Academy computer science instructor, along with a class of her students have been collaborating with a company called Near Space Launch (www.nearspacelaunch.com) on a “ThinSat” satellite project. Near Space Launch donated several of the ThinSat kits to the Academy. The satellite designed by the Academy students is only one of a few selected to have their ThinSat launch into orbit. The NG-10 mission that includes their ThinSat is scheduled to launch on November 15, 2018 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia aboard a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket on a resupply mission to the International Space Station. Update: The launch date for the ThinSat has been moved to NG-11 in the spring of 2019.

Susie and her students have been designing, building, testing, and operating the ThinSat kits since last year. Phase 1 of the ThinSat kit included components that could be used to learn about electronics and sensors, and perform small balloon flight experiments. The Phase 2 kit included an Engineering Unit of the ThinSat as a practice unit for the students to design and test their payloads. Their units, or exact replicas of them, flew on several high altitude balloon launches this past summer to perform an end-to-end test of the system. The Phase 3 Flight Units were built and integrated by Near Space Launch, using the design specifications or custom payloads delivered to them by the Academy.

Once the Academy’s ThinSat is launched and deployed into orbit from the Antares rocket, Near Space Launch will begin live streaming data over their servers, which can then be accessed by students at the Academy. They will be able to see the data from their satellite, along with data from every other school, streaming over the internet in real time. This will then allow them to perform data analysis and understanding of what is happening in orbit.

The Indiana Academy’s logo and signatures of the students involved with the project are included on the ThinSat that is set to launch aboard the NASA rocket. The launch date is subject to change, and this story will be updated if it does.


Ball State’s Teachers College Centennial Celebration

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Indiana Academy is honored to have three different filmmakers presenting their films as part of Ball State’s Teachers College Centennial Celebration.

Break My Bones – November 6 at 7 p.m. in Pruis Hall

Indiana Academy faculty member and Ball State alum, David Haynes, will present and screen one of his short films, Break My Bones, and discuss his upcoming short film, Base Camp, as part of Ball State’s Teachers Col­lege Centennial Events. Haynes will be joined by Anthony Collamati, a professor of New Media Studies at Alma College. Collamati directed both films and co-wrote Break My Bones. A trailer for Base Camp and stills from the production will be shown.

Haynes produced and co-wrote Break My Bones, which has played in 12 film festivals on the international festival circuit and won “best thriller” at the Hollyshorts Film Festival in Hollywood, CA, and “first prize in cinematography” at the Rhode Island International Film Festi­val. Break My Bones was also nomi­nated for the Jury Prize at the Badalo­na Film Festival in Barcelona, Spain. Base Camp, Haynes’ newest project, will begin its festival run this year.

Goodbye World – November 29 at 7 p.m. in Pruis Hall

Indiana Academy alumnus Denis Hennelly will present his film, Goodbye World, as part of Ball State’s Teachers College Centennial Events. Originally from Wasbash, Indiana, Hennelly has written and produced a number of movies, and co-wrote Goodbye World. This movie is a relationship comedy that tells the story of a couple who raise their daughter while living off the grid until a disaster brings radical changes in the life they have been living and the way they view their friends.

Paradise Recovered – December 6 at 7 p.m. in Pruis Hall

Indiana Academy alumna Andie Redwine will present her film Paradise Recovered as part of Ball State’s Teachers College Centennial Events. A professional writer for nearly two decades, Redwine is a winner of the Hoosier Award for Film and the ISBDC EDGE award, presented screenwriting and filmmaking workshops with the prestigious Heartland Film Festival, and won a number of festival awards with her first film, Paradise Recovered, a feature that she wrote and co-produced. A proud Hoosier, Redwine created By The Glass Productions in 2009 to better tell stories that champion the strength of the human spirit.

All of these films are free events. No tickets are needed.


Academy Student to Perform with Muncie Symphony Orchestra

Friday, October 5, 2018

Sage Hamm, a senior at the Indiana Academy will be performing with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra (MSO) on Saturday, October 27 at 7:30 p.m. Hamm recently won the MSO Young Artist Competition in the Senior Division. Hamm is a classical pianist-in-training currently studying with Dr. Robert Palmer, Chair of the Piano department at Ball State.

Hamm started his piano studies at the age of five, and now stays active in state and national music competitions throughout the year. As a result of this past season’s competitions, he was generously awarded performance opportunities as a featured soloist with four orchestras across the state. At the beginning of the year he performed with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and with the Indianapolis Symphony at Hilbert Circle Theatre this past June.

The MSO “Symphonic Halloween” concert on October 27 at 7:30 p.m. will be at Emens Auditorium. All Indiana Academy and Ball State students are eligible for complimentary tickets. More information about the concert is available on the MSO website at www.munciesymphony.org/event/symphonic-halloween.


National Merit Commended Students 2019

Monday, September 24, 2018

The following seniors are being recognized as Commended Students in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program:

Grace Allman
Joseph Batis
Grace Charpentier
Reeya Chenanda
Dawson Crisman
Ian Efsits
Kellie Geisel
Eric Harman
Noah Migoski
Jacob Nichols
Sterling Saint Rain
Samuel Shephard


2019 National Merit Semifinalists

Friday, September 14, 2018

Congratulations to our 2019 National Merit Semifinalists:

Dryden Frecker
Daniel Karagory
Chloe Thomas
Jason Wroblewski
Benjamin Riggs
Sage Hamm
Rahul Agarwal
Lillian Weber


John Marsh Named Recipient of Inaugural Robert P. Bell Creative Teaching Award

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Dr. Barton, Mr. Marsh, Dr. Smith
L to R: Dr. Vickie Barton, Executive Director of the Indiana Academy; John Marsh, recipient of the Robert P. Bell Creative Teaching Award; Dr. Jeff Smith, Director of Academic Affairs

The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Inc. has announced that John Marsh has been awarded the inaugural Robert P. Bell Creative Teaching Award to recognize his innovation in the classroom.

Marsh, a history teacher at the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities, was nominated by Indiana Academy’s Director of Academic Affairs, Dr. Jeff Smith, for his execution of three recent Robert P. Bell Education Grants.

This past May, for example, Marsh led his students to recreate three important historical caves along with art to establish an exhibit called “the Cave of Time.” The Bell Grant was used to build the set and create the artifacts within the caves. As part of the project, students wrote scripts to be used to lead tours for several hundred students and Muncie community members.

Cave construction
Mr. Marsh oversees a group of students painting part of the Cave of Time

“These projects are major building events and require the close coordination of numerous students and adults,” wrote Smith in his nomination. “The projects also serve as significant education events for other children (and adults). I think you would be very hard pressed to come up with a teacher who has had more impact on not only his students, but also on the much larger community for Muncie and Delaware County.”

Smith also explained that beyond the projects associated with his Bell Grants, Marsh’s World Regions class is very popular and always has maximum enrollment. In this class, students identify, research, and build a model of a religious artifact. The artifacts are put on display along with background information on the artifact and associated religion. Indiana Academy students and staff take time to view these projects extending the lessons from the classroom to the entire school community.

Marsh was selected for the Robert P. Bell Creative Teaching Award because he has demonstrated a commitment to education through creative and innovative projects in his classroom. This was illustrated by his well-developed projects funded through the Robert P. Bell Education Grants and his desire to extend the subject matter learned by students to the community at-large.

Tour group
A group of students tour the Cave of Time

Marsh was surprised with the award in front of students, administrators, and family at the Indiana Academy on September 11.

The Robert P. Bell Creative Teaching award was established to compliment the Robert P. Bell Education Grants program and honor teachers who have gone above and beyond to use creativity and innovation to enhance learning by their students. The annual program rewards, recognizes, and encourages extraordinary educators who have applied for, received, and executed a Robert P. Bell Grant from The Community Foundation in their classroom.

To commemorate the award, The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County awarded a $1,000 grant to Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities to be used by John Marsh in his classroom. For more information about the Robert P. Bell Creative Teaching Award, please visit The Community Foundation’s website at cfmdin.org.

By Kallie Sulanke, Community Engagement Officer, The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County

Tour group
A view of the innermost chamber of the Cave of Time

Academy Senior Honored as Student Volunteer of the Year

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Caitlin Daub named Student Volunteer of the Year
Pictured left to right: Amy Kendall, United Way’s Grade Level Reading Coordinator; Dr. Vickie Barton; Caitlin Daub; John Marsh.

For the first time ever, the United Way of Delaware County encountered a student volunteer who was so truly exemplary they decided to create a Student Volunteer of the Year Award. Graduating senior, Caitlin Daub, was named the recipient of the inaugural award.

Even though all of her required hours for community service through the Academy were complete, Caitlin continued to serve Muncie Community schoolchildren through Reading Clubs run by United Way. “She was consistent, patient, and very kind to the struggling readers with whom she worked,” said Jenny Marsh, President and CEO of the United Way of Delaware county. “She provided outstanding leadership to the program helping to encourage and lead her peers as well.”

Caitlin was recognized following graduation on Saturday, May 26 for her exemplary service to United Way’s Reading Club which helps struggling 3rd grade readers. According to the United Way, the ability to read at grade level by the end of third grade is the single greatest predictor of a child’s success in school and life. Children failing to do so are four-times more likely to drop out of high school and thirteen times more likely to drop out of school if they live in low income households. The schools where Caitlin volunteered had 93% of their students on free and reduced lunch.


Academy Receives Recognition and Awards at the Statehouse

Thursday, June 14, 2018

IDOE Statehouse Ceremony

The Indiana Academy was recently recognized at the second annual Indiana FAFSA and Scholar Success Program (SSP) Completion Awards at the Indiana Statehouse on May 30. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education presented the awards to schools that have achieved over 70% FAFSA and/or SSP completion for the Class of 2018. The Indiana Academy was a recipient of both awards for our 2018 cohort’s FAFSA and SSP successful completion status.

In a separate ceremony held at the Indiana Statehouse on June 12, the Indiana Academy was recognized by the Indiana Department of Education for our outstanding AP success with 67% of our Class of 2017 students receiving a 3 or higher. To be selected, schools needed at least 25% of their 2017 graduating class to receive a 3, 4, or 5 on an AP exam.

Read more here.


Explore the “Cave of Time” at the Indiana Academy

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Academy students transform a classroom into a prehistoric cave for May Term
Academy students transform a classroom into a prehistoric cave for May Term.

Students at the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities are currently involved in May Term, a unique two-week program that happens at the conclusion of every spring semester.

May Term is a graduation requirement for Academy students and provides them with opportunities to take in-depth courses on special subjects, travel, and participate in internships. Each year brings new courses and experiences. This year there are over 20 different courses including Forensic Science and Japanese Manga as well as travel opportunities ranging from Australia to Yellowstone National Park, to name just two trips.

One of this year’s May Term projects, the “Cave of Time” is led by John Marsh, Instructor of History, and explores the wonders of four of the world’s most famous caves. Visitors to the exhibit will encounter the prehistoric artwork found in Chauvet and Lascaux caves in France, Cueva de las Manos (Cave of Hands) in Argentina, and the exquisite Buddhist artwork of China’s Dunhuang Caves along the Silk Road.

The “Cave of Time” was constructed by 16 students, who will serve as tour guides. During the tours, the student guides will share the meaning and the stories behind the amazing works of art as visitors take a museum-quality, flashlight journey through winding passages with rough walls, dripping water, and a partially excavated burial site.

The exhibit is free and open to the public from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23 with no reservations in Room 209 of Burris Laboratory School. Tours run every 15 minutes.

Financial support is provided by a Robert P. Bell Education Grant through the Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Inc. In-kind support is provided by Gill Bros. Furniture and the Back to School Teachers Store.

Located on the picturesque campus of Ball State University, the Indiana Academy is a nationally ranked two-year public high school for high ability juniors and seniors coming from anywhere in the state.


Indiana Academy Takes First Place in Academic Super Bowl State Finals

Monday, May 7, 2018

2018 Academic Super Bowl state champions
The Indiana Academy 2018 Academic Super Bowl state champion teams.

Two teams from the Indiana Academy participated in the statewide Indiana Academic Super Bowl Championship. The Academy’s science and math teams both finished in first place. The math team won with 5 points separating them from the teams finishing in second place while the science results came down to the wire with the final score being 23-22. The last time the Academy took two state championships in the same year was 2008 when the Academy also brought home the math and science trophies.

Hosted by the Indiana Association of School Principals (IASP) the Super Bowl finals took place Saturday, May 5 on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette. The theme of the Academic Super Bowl this year was World War I. Various academic subjects were tested based on this specific period of time, and each subject area looked at the developments in that field around the time of WWI. The Academy’s math and science teams qualified to compete in the state finals after winning at the regional competition on Tuesday, April 17 that included approximately 5,100 students representing 282 high schools from across the state.

Congratulations goes to the Academy’s Academic Super Bowl coach, Mr. Joshua Ruark, Instructor of Mathematics, and the following members of the winning teams:

Tony Qing
Conner Partaker
Charlotte Chen
Qifan Yang
Ryan Martinez
Eric Ma
Sterling St. Rain