In their final trimester as BASIS Independent Silicon Valley students, after seniors have emerged from a deep dive into university-level, content-heavy capstone courses and completed the demanding college application process, they participate in their Senior Project—a high-level research project centered around a question or topic of their choosing. Some of our students are already a year in to the two year commitment that is the Senior Research Project.
What are Senior Projects and Senior Research Projects?
There are two different ways that seniors may participate in research. The Senior Project is the culmination of the BASIS Curriculum, and the final challenge our seniors face at the end of their academic journeys—the crown jewel of their high school experience and culmination of everything they have learned throughout their time at BASIS Independent Schools. Senior Projects started with the BASIS Curriculum Schools' network very first senior class, in the spring of 2005. This program, at its core, is an entirely student-led (though professionally supervised) independent research project. The Senior Research Project is two years in the making. Students take AP Seminar as juniors, and then tackle AP Research as seniors. They have an additional layer of over site in their projects as they must submit their findings to the College Board for a score.
Dr. Murthy is a Biology Subject Expert Teacher and a Teacher Mentor at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley. She is a founding faculty member, and teaches some of the most beloved Biology courses for our upper school Bobcats. Read on as she shares about one of the electives she teaches on campus.
It is finally Period 8, and students eagerly come into the classroom. They put gloves on their hands, get out the micropipettes from the cabinets, and do a final check of their protocols. They pulverize the chips they selected from the school vending machine (or their favorite snacks from home) with a mortar and pestle. Their next step is to isolate DNA, and set up a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to amplify a 125 base pair nucleotide sequence from a cauliflower mosaic virus promoter (CaMV35S) typically used in most genetically modified plant products (GMOs). It is not enough for our Biotech students to read that most of the corn and soy flour that finds its way into their snacks is genetically modified; they want to use data to determine if that is the case.
Ms. Wendel is a Math and Psychology Subject Expert Teacher, and a Master Teacher. She is a part of the fabric of our school, having been here since we opened. Ms. Wendel is a trusted advisor of our math sequence programmatics and curriculum.
In the beginning of the school year, I always give my Psychology students an assignment that asks them a couple of questions about themselves so that I can get to know them better. One of the questions is ‘Where do you see yourself in five, ten, and fifteen years?’ In my mind, I was thinking I would get back answers of doctor and lawyer, and, since we are in Silicon Valley, numerous software engineering positions. However, what the majority of my students submitted was surprising: Venture Capitalist. Even more intriguing is that it is not just a distant dream as you might expect—but they actually have a concrete plan on how to get there.
Walk down any of our campus hallways and you will experience wonderful views of student artwork, rich in creativity and passion. This fall, students across all grade levels have brought their exploration of the arts to life, with support and guidance from our two Subject Expert Art Teachers, Dr. Charuhas and Ms. Jones.
We invite you take a virtual walk-through of just a sampling of some Bobcat creations.
Grade 5 Studio
Students in grade 5 began the year with inspiration from Aboriginal dot paintings to practice the use of color schemes. They used watercolor, acrylic paint, and q-tips to form their Australian animal of choice.
BASIS Independent Silicon Valley’s girls varsity volleyball team competed in the San Jose Bulldog Volleyball tournament this past weekend. Last year they placed second at the very same tournament. This year the Bobcats emerged victorious as tournament champions!
The Admissions Team offers a number of events throughout the admissions season. We provide a variety of opportunities, different in scope, so that families can experience a broad overview of the BASIS Independent experience and difference.
We are so proud to announce that 24 of our students have earned places as Semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. Roughly 16,000 students across the nation have qualified as Semifinalists, and we are thrilled to have continued representation on our campus. 71% of our senior class was recognized this year including National Merit Semifinalists and Commended Students.
Of these Semifinalists and Commended Students, Head of School, Mr. Toby Walker gushed, "We are immensely proud of the National Merit Semifinalist and Commended Students this year. They have achieved so much as high school students and this recognition is no surprise to anyone. Please join me in congratulating each and every one of them."
A favorite Bobcat annual tradition: The Fall Enrichment Faire
On the court, the stage, and at the podium, our Bobcats participate in a variety of clubs, athletics and competitions.
The Enrichment Faire is the kickoff for the year and our Bobcat community turned out, last Friday, with great excitement to preview the variety of clubs and athletics offered for the 2019-20 school year. The gymnasium was a packed house as students met with club and athletic team leaders, and joined their classmates to learn more about each activity prior to registering for an enrichment activity.
This annual and exciting tradition showcased returning clubs such as Speech and Debate, National Honor Society, and Drama Club, with new clubs as well. The Athletics stations also saw a big turnout as students met with coaches to discuss Middle School and High School Volleyball and Basketball, Cross Country, Fencing and more.
We are excited to launch Fall 2020 admissions for grades 5-9!
Admissions is now open and you may click here to submit your application for either our Early or Regular Admissions cycles.
At BASIS Independent Silicon Valley, students and subject expert teachers engage in a spiraling liberal arts and sciences curriculum benchmarked to the best education systems in the world. We believe in setting a higher standard for students and promoting self reliance and accountability in an environment where learning is encouraged and celebrated.
Outside of the classroom, students explore their interests in nearly 70 club and athletic offerings.
Early and Regular Admissions
This year, we have two admissions cycles: Early and Regular Admissions. Early Admissions is only open for Grade 5-7 while Regular Admissions is for grades 5-9.
The last week of school means Term Project Week at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley! Term Project Week is an opportunity for students in all grades to work with their peers on multidisciplinary projects and to engage in a fun, new activity or trip with various grade levels. Students are grouped with Term Project Teachers for each project.
Inspired by the blissful feeling of uncovering connections, our blog Eureka! Silicon Valley is about sharing moments that capture the essence of what it is to be a BASIS Independent student, teacher, administrator, or family.