by Justin H '17

Personal Projects: Fundraising Edition

Two personal projects this year were more visible to the school than most. These are the fundraising projects, one by Isabelle Mah ’17 and the other by Najwa Jamal ’17. You might have seen ads for different kinds of sales around the school, such as a burrito sale or a Christmas-themed bake sale.

Photo Credit: Isabelle Mah
Photo Credit: Isabelle Mah

Isabelle raised money for the Wild Bird Fund, the only wildlife rehabilitation center in New York City, with a goal of $500. She did three different fundraisers in school for it, one joint sale with Najwa and two burrito sales. Though a burrito sale is an odd choice, Isabelle explained that “it was a fun and creative way to raise awareness about my project and fundraiser without following the usual norm.” This certainly worked, as the three fundraisers made $276 for Isabelle total, more than half of the way to her goal. The rest and more was made up by an online campaign, which, although the project itself has ended, remains open until the end of March for people to donate to, and can be found here:

Photo Credit: Isabelle Mah
Photo Credit: Isabelle Mah

Najwa’s personal project is for Services for the Underserved, an organization that helps mentally challenged homeless people in NYC. She chose this organization because she sees many homeless people,

by Annie C '18

Themes Behind BSGE Seniors’ IB Artworks

Name: Nicholas Tan

Year of Graduation: 2015

Date of Completion: Sept 2, 2014

Title of the Artwork: Disintegration


1) What is this piece depicting? What was your inspiration?

My artwork is a sculpture comprised of two parts. The first section depicts a human skeleton on bare

soil, having its bones chomped apart by a series of three centipedes. The longest of the trio has a man-

like head. Behind the skeleton’s skull lies the second portion, which consists of a looming vulture

standing in a nest of overflowing flora. I came to this bizarre idea by linking human concepts to

animalistic, disgusting imagery. Being that my IB Art theme is “The

by Mr. Lakhaney

Class of 2014 Receives Record 40 IB Diplomas

BSGE’s class of 2014 received a school record 40 IB diplomas. Of the 63 students who graduated in 2014, 56 completed all of the IB requirements and 40 received enough points to earn the IB diploma. 2014’s class also had the highest percentage of graduating seniors receive the diploma in BSGE’s history (see table below).

Ms. Jennifer Dikes, IB coordinator and 12th grade history teacher, commented that it was “sheer awesome that they did so well. I’m really proud of them.”

Ms. Dikes added that what differentiated this group of students from past groups was their attitudes toward attaining the IB Diploma. “Almost all of the students understood that

by Justin H '17

The Fault in Our Science Department

As many BSGE students know, our school is small. One result of this is that our science department, while still very good, doesn’t have everything it could have if this were a larger school. Specifically, we have no physics class and no HL science classes. In the IB program, HL stands for “higher level,” as opposed to SL, which stands for “standard level.” While both are IB courses, and therefore quite advanced by necessity, HL classes are more advanced than SL.

Many BSGE students are very annoyed at these features that our science department does not have. Having no physics class can put us at a disadvantage when students try to decide if they should stay here or go to a different school for 9th grade, and then again when students compete for college spots with people from other schools. Emily Costa ’17 said that she thinks that “physics is a very important subject for a school to have, and it would be great for BSGE. When 8th graders decide on a high school, the lack of a physics department may cause students to favor other schools.” Leeana Johnston ’17 explained that many people who choose to stay despite these problems regret their choice, because “there are many students that apply to MIT but no one ever gets in because none of them have taken these standard, basic courses and that puts them at a disadvantage. This school is supposed to open up your options and allow you to get into better schools, but the fact that we are not offered those classes takes this away.” For a school like ours, which attracts people who are quite capable of getting into universities such as MIT, this is a huge problem.

Not every student sees this as a major problem, however. Talika Basantani ’18 said that in her opinion the lacking science department does not matter so much, because “In BSGE, we take more semesters of high school classes than any other classes. For example, taking ten semesters of high school math instead of six or eight.”   She added

by Moshan G '17

The IB Science Dilemma

During each year at BSGE, high school students are overwhelmed with school work and exams, leaving them almost no time to socialize with friends and family. On top of this, eleventh and twelfth graders enter the IB Diploma program, a rigorous educational program that trains students to succeed in college and beyond. Near the end of the year, tenth grade students are asked to choose their science course for the IB program out of two choices: IB Biology or IB Chemistry. Students who are confident about which subject they like have a really easy time figuring out which one to pick, but for the ones who are undecided, the decision may turn out to be very hard. The subject they pick may impact them not only at school, but also at the college they attend. Below are explanations of what students study once they enter IB Chemistry or IB Biology, which may help you to decide which course to pick when entering the IB program.

Ms. Mihalache explains: IB Chemistry and IB Biology are both part of the IB science component (Group 4) needed to receive the IB Diploma. BSGE offers a choice of Biology Standard Level (SL) and Chemistry SL. Students get to express their choice late in June and the ultimate decision is made by the science teacher in consultation with other subject teachers. Both courses require the same number of

by Hana M '18

Why Is It So Hard To Get a 7 in IB Art?

Going into the IB Middle Years Program is very stressful for BSGE students, especially knowing how hard it is to get a 7 in many classes. Classes only get harder as the years go on and it frightens many students that no one has ever gotten a 7 in Higher Level (HL) IB Art. Only the hardest-working students receive 6s in the class. IB Art is a college course that BSGE offers in high school and not many people are naturally capable of completing a college-level art class. Even those who are talented in the field of art can find it challenging, since a lot of writing and research is involved in the class. “It’s all about figuring out what you want to make art about, which is a very difficult question to ask yourself,” Ms. Schwarz explained. One of the many reasons why attaining a 7 is so difficult is because the change in the class structure can be overwhelming. The art classes that taken before IB Art are preparations for the class. In IB Art, you have limitations and guidelines but no

by Ausra P '18 Uncategorized

BSGE Demystifies IB

Have you ever wondered what our school name BSGE means? It stands for Baccalaureate School for Global Education and it refers to the IB (International Baccalaureate) program established in BSGE in 2005. The IB program has been applied to over 4,000 schools (public and private) in 147 countries, over one quarter of them in the United States and 24 in New York. Students of these schools are aged 3-19. Our school focuses on two of the four programs, the pre-diploma program and the diploma program. In this program students aged 16-19 follow a rigorous two-year curriculum leading to the final examinations. This program helps students to develop physically, emotionally,

by Ana M '14

BSGE Seniors Display Work at IB Art Exhibition

Photo Credits: Ms. Jennifer Dikes

On Tuesday, March 18, BSGE seniors exhibited selected artworks they had created as part of the IB Visual Arts program at the Aurora Gallery less than three blocks from the school. The show marked the second year of BSGE displaying their work at the gallery, a shift from the library exhibits of past years. The exhibition was a year and a half in the making for the senior class, who had first chosen their exhibition theme at the start of Junior year. Each senior chose five artworks that they felt best communicated their themes to display at the show. Friends and family were invited to enjoy the show and bid on any works that they wanted to buy. This was also the first year in which students were able to keep 100% of the profit made from selling their art.

Although creating the artwork took a year and a half, the exhibition process was very hectic, fast-paced and occurred in the span of two days. The seniors missed first period on both Monday and Wednesday to hang up their work and take it down, respectively. Lina Rahmani, ’14, says, “It was pretty crazy getting there, but overall I was proud to be a part of it and the way it turned out.  I was very impressed with the end product.”

Lauren Ouaknine, ‘14, says that one great thing about the show this

by Lydia S '15 by Neha M '14

Class of 2013 Receives Thirty IB Diplomas

This past year, BSGE’s class of 2013  was the recipient of thirty IB Diplomas. In a class of fifty-two students, forty-four candidates were qualified to receive the diploma, however ten students did not obtain the diploma due to an ongoing conflict relating to their Visual Arts HL grades. A few students did not receive the diploma solely because of their Art HL grades. If a student receives a 2 in any HL class then he or she will not receive the diploma. Out of the graduating class of 2013, six students had enough points to receive the diploma but because of their 2 in Art HL class they were not eligible for the diploma. Before, IB Art artwork finals were graded from outside IB teachers that came into the school, but now the IB uses a system where artwork is posted online and from there graders evaluate the work. The school has fired a complaint against the IB to re-asses and reevaluate these student’s final marks in hopes that they may be revised so that students could indeed receive the Diploma. Thirty out of the forty-four IB candidates completed all the requirements which is the highest percentage diploma recipients in BSGE history.

by Lydia S '15

Sophomore’s Community and Service Hours Due

On Friday, May 17th, students were expected to complete 100 hours of Community and Service (C&S) hours were due for BSGE Sophomores. It was the final deadline for C&S hours the students had been collecting since the 7th grade, and for BSGE transfers, the 9th grade. Peter Wilson’s office was in a fluster with students rushing in and out, standing in line, waiting in fear and anxiety to get their hours approved.

In total, 66 out of the total 72 students submitted their C&S hours on time which makes 91.6% of the grade. A few students’ deadlines were extended to this Friday, May 24th. According to Wilson, “realistically only two more students will complete the hours and are really close”. This makes around four students from the 10th grade who are unable to complete the MYP Program due to lack of C&S hours. Although completing the MYP Program does not effect entering the IB Program, it helps on college resumes and serves as preparation for completing the required 150 CAS (Community, Action, Service) hours for the IB in the 11th and 12th grades.

Note to Underclassmen: Complete your hours, and get them in ASAP!

by Ritika K '14

Lack of Physics Class Proves to be a Problem

1101_physics_crop-500x333For students who want to major in engineering in college, taking a physics course is important, which poses a problem for BSGE students. In order to major in engineering, colleges and universities encourage students to take a course in physics in high school, a class BSGE no longer offers. According to the website of the PhysTEC department at Cornell University, students who pursue majors in science or engineering are often required to take Physics in college and these courses are more challenging for a student who has not taken Physics in high school at all. It is common for the Dean or head of the department of engineering at a University to discourage students from majoring in engineering in these cases because students do not have proper preparation or fundamental knowledge of physics.  In addition, it puts students who have not taken physics in high school at a disadvantage during the

by Ariel T '14

#IBDone – BSGE Juniors and Seniors Complete their IB Exams

IB exams, mandatory tests taken by juniors and seniors at the end of the school year, are usually two weeks long. This year, the exams took place from May 2nd to the 22nd and were taken for the first time at a building just around the corner from BSGE, one that most students pass every morning–a grey building with a yellow “lightning bolt.” Most BSGE juniors were very nervous because this was their first IB exam. In addition, these IB science exam grades are the grades that colleges see on the transcripts (that is because senior year IB exam grades are released usually after college acceptance letters are mailed out). According to Isabella Hernandez ‘14, “the environment was very comfortable…but I am really relieved it’s over.” Lauren Ouaknine ‘14 was also relieved. She said that “it was strange that a whole year of studying and testing gets condensed into a few hours” of sitting in an unfamiliar room and taking one of the most important exams for the junior year. What some students have not realized, however, is that IB Science classwork and lab reports also count towards the final IB grade. For some this is unfortunate, as some students do not try their hardest in these classes. Others, such as Isabella, find this beneficial. She said, “I was ecstatic knowing I had already passed before taking the test because of my lab grade.” Despite the mixed feelings towards the IB exams and the experience taking them, many future IB exam takers should note that the exams themselves are not so terrible–just relax and have a good night’s sleep beforehand!