Science Fair

Hillcrest’s annual science fair for grades 7 through 9 was held in the high school gym this morning.  A wide variety of projects were presented in the following categories: botany, chemistry, earth/space, & environmental sciences, engineering, medicine & health, microbiology, physics, and zoology.

Many parents who have helped (or consoled) their children through the numerous steps of completing a science fair project have wondered, “What is the purpose of this?!”  Science fair projects allow students to be responsible for their own learning, not relying on a teacher to tell them what they need to know, through basic research and practice of the scientific method. These projects also involve skills learned in other subjects, including writing and speaking skills when they write their reports and discuss their projects with the judges, art when they creatively display their findings on their boards, and math often factors into projects when students have to calculate and create charts and percentages.  Furthermore, according to the Science Buddies website, “Our society relies more on science every day, and science fairs are a great way for students to become more knowledgeable about how the world around them works. Every citizen needs sufficient science literacy to make educated decisions about what he or she reads in the media, about health care, and about other every-day problems.”  Congratulations, students and parents, on surviving this educational rite of passage!

We Are the Champions

Congratulations to our Varsity Boys’ Basketball team for their victory in the district tournament Saturday night, beating East Rankin Academy 70 to 58 and sealing their place as D2 State Champs!

Today the team advances to the Class AAAA tournament at Jackson Academy to take on Jackson Prep beginning at 5:15 PM.  We need all Cougar fans to go to the game and support our team!  Let’s cheer them on to a Win!

Second-Grade Reading Fair

Hillcrest’s second grade classes recently held a reading fair.  The boys and girls worked very hard on creating storyboards for their favorite books, pointing out the important elements and artistically displaying them in any way they wished. Mrs. Engels and Mrs. Tynes are so proud of their students, as they transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.”

Student Spotlight – Jake Lape

Whenever a group of HCS students is “fired up” and having fun at a school event, Jake Lape can be found right in the middle of, if not at the front of and leading, them.  Jake has been a student at Hillcrest for 8 years, and not only is he a long-standing member of the “Hype Squad,” he has played football, basketball, baseball, and has run track throughout his years as a Cougar.  His experiences in athletics here have led to some of his favorite memories as well as some valuable lessons.  Jake recalls that his JV basketball season, in particular, was particularly memorable because the team “went 21 and 2, and [we] formed great friendships.”  That season also taught him that “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.  The lesson learned was never give up.  We came back and beat Prep AT Prep after being down by 20 points.”

Jake has learned other lessons during his years at Hillcrest as well; for example, he advises his fellow classmates and younger students to “listen to your teachers and stay out of trouble… even though the chairs in the [adminstration] office are actually pretty comfortable.”  This sense of humor and his friendly, outgoing nature are some of the qualities for which Lape is known; however, he believes that earning good grades is one thing not to joke about.  Jake is intelligent and is proud to find his name posted on the honor roll at the end of nearly every term.  Philippians 4:8 is a verse which helps keep his mind focused on “the right things” too.  It states, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

After his graduation in May, Jake plans to attend Hinds Community College and then go to Ole Miss to pursue a career in physical therapy.