The goal of friends of siss is to support the international school community at the Schuldorf Bergstrasse. One of the most visible is the climbing web for the Primary Branch playground, for which 12,000 Euro in funding was provided to supplement funds from the Landkreis, parent fundraisers and a donation organized by one of our members from BB Bank of 1500 Euro.
Through memberships, direct donations and your support of the online fundraisers, here are some of the more behind the scenes events and resources the friends of siss has supported along the way.
(updated February 2023)
Since 2020, the friends of siss has supported each class in their order of either indoor activity equipment during the pandemic, or outdoor equipment once the lockdown was over.
Antolin Reading Program
For the 2022-23 academic year, friends of siss was sponsored the license needed to grant students access to this fun and interactive online reading program that helps them improve not only their comprehension skills but also their German!
The Talent Show 2022
The Talent Show is back live on stage and friends of siss has given its financial support to the technical and sound crew at this great event.
friends of siss webpage
The friends of siss online presence is being updated and improved all the time. This is a parent initiative and is supported by friends of siss.
For the second year friends of siss have supported the SISS Secondary planner which is an IB CAS project for students in year 11 and 12.
friends of siss is supporting The Alumni Association which is a CAS project for IB students in years 11 and 12. Along with allowing SISS graduates to stay in touch, one goal is to create a space where current and past students can share information.
Timetables were provided to the students at the beginning of the year to help them keep an overview of their lessons. An editable version is also available on our webpage (downloads).
On the Trail of Thistle Butterflies
This year, the Green Classroom of the international primary branch at the Schuldorf Bergstraße hosted a project that focused on the life cycle and metamorphosis of butterflies.
The Green Classroom is about integrating nature and the environment into the classroom. For this butterfly project, the friends of siss financed a thistle breeding set which included about 25 caterpillars, food and two aviaries for the butterflies. The set also contained posters and small models which helped the students understand the life cycle from egg to caterpillar and pupation to butterfly.
In class, the children learned how to handle the caterpillars carefully and were able to get a close-up look at these insects. Other tasks and content in class deepened their knowledge regarding the thistle butterflies: For example, central characteristics were recorded in a fact sheet, after which the children were able to draw the animals and their life cycle. In addition, the students were able to go outside in search of butterflies as part of the lesson and thus view the insects in their natural environment. In a video, the teachers also showed the children the path from egg to butterfly again in fast motion.
After the caterpillars finally pupated in the classroom, the students were able to watch and help hang the pupae in the aviaries so that the butterflies could later hatch from them. While viewing the caterpillars and cocoons, the classes worked together to collect descriptions of the insects' appearance and impressions, which the children then integrated into poems they wrote themselves and later presented.
At the end of the project, the classes were able to watch the butterflies hatch from the cocoons and release the animals together in the Playgarden.
Story contributed by Mr Fabian Barth, Supervision Team
Chess Tournament – Hessen
In April 2022, four students from the Secondary Branch participated in the Hessischer Schulschach Mannschaftswettbewerb in Karben. The students joining the Group III .competition (14 years old or younger) were: Alexander Merz, Divyam Chaajed, Rares Munteanu and Martin de Boer.
The students were very motivated because in the previous years they ranked 4th in this competition. Unfortunately, this year the team scored 2 ½ points out of a maximum 5, ending with a ranking of 8th position out of 16. The Oberhörsel School remained undefeated through the competition and won the trophy.
Thanks to the friends of siss for covering the students' transportation expenses to the tournament.
We carry on supporting our Team and wish them success in the future!
Story contributed by Mr Cristian Munteanu, Physics Teacher, Secondary Branch
Frames for artwork
ArtsLab students contributed artwork centred on the theme “Home” for the Bensheim Hospiz. The frames were supplied by friends of siss.
For the second year in a row students in Primary have received a student planner which was subsidised by friends of siss. The planner is not just to note homework but offers a link between the school, primary students and parents.
Three Secondary Branch students from the MINT Centre received a special award in 2022: Prize for Research work in the field of chemical Nanotechnology, given by the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie im Verband der Chemischen Industrie e.V., at the National Finals of the Jugend Forscht competition.
Myla Hardman, Marta Lean and Anna Schwarz spent almost two years researching at the MINT
Centre on their project: Graphene-like super materials - can it be more environmentally friendly?
Dietmar Scherr, who supervised the project together with Laín Mencía Martínez, describes what the project was all about:
"In this work it was shown that the so-called wet chemical route via the oxidation of graphite and
subsequent reduction does not lead to graphene, but to more or less multilayered amorphous
carbon with many defects. This is shown by RAMAN and electron micrographs (SEM), which were
made for the students by the company Merck, Darmstadt and the TU Darmstadt. Many publications,
even in high-ranking journals, claim that this is a way to produce graphene. But single-layer
graphene, for example, can only be produced using the CVD process (CVD= Chemical Vapour
Deposition). However, such partially oxidised graphene oxides can be used as composite materials
with conductive polymers in photovoltaics as whole conductors. Such application possibilities were
pointed out by the students."
After the three young researchers were honoured as Hessian state winners in the Chemistry
category, they presented their work to the expert jury in the National Finals of the Jugend Forscht competition held from 26-29 May in Lübeck. Myla Hardmann, one of the three national finalists, describes her impressions as follows:
"On Thursday, May 29th, we travelled by train from Frankfurt to Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, where the
57th Jugend Forscht National Competition was taking place. When we arrived after several hours, we
were immediately allowed into the Music and Congress Hall to set up our stand among the more
than 100 others. From above, we could look down on all the rows of stands, which were sorted by
subject, and at that moment it really became clear to us how lucky we were to have made it this far.
The following day were the important jury discussions. We presented our project "Graphene-like
super materials - can it be more environmentally friendly?" to the chemistry jury, who then asked us
lots of tricky questions about our experiments. In our free time, we had the chance to look at the
many other projects, learn a lot of new things and exchange ideas with young people from all over
The award ceremonies took place over the weekend. There was great live music, very tasty food and
many funny moments."
Thanks to the friends of siss, Mr Lencia was able to join and support the students along the final trek of their two year experiment.
Story contributed by Mr Laín Mencía Martínez
Art supplies were paid for to make repairs to the Secondary Atrium steps.
The purchase of new bookcases for classroom reading books.
Conrad Challenge Finals
One of our 2021-22 Year 8 students, Aarav Garg, qualified to the finals of the Conrad Challenge, a purpose-driven innovation competition for students across the world aged 13-18. Participants consisted of groups of 2-5 students who had to come up with an original business idea covering 1 out of 5 categories. There were approximately 1000 teams from across the world presenting the case. The run up to the top was through 3 rounds, namely the investor pitch, the business plan and the innovation summit.
The journey started in October 2021, with 5 members in Aarav’s team that prepared a proposal under the “Aerospace and Aviation” category. They proposed a space telecommunication system, which they called ‘SSLAIT’ for Solar System Locations and Interplanetary Telecommunication.
The first round was responding to the request for a business plan by answering a detailed questionnaire sent by the Conrad organization. After the idea was accepted, they wrote an in-depth technical concept report, a business prospectus and recorded a presentation of their idea. For the second round, their technical concept and business plan was rated among the top 10 and the team was invited to the virtual finals. The registration fee was supported by the friends of siss and Aarav is grateful towards the faculty for their support.
Story contributed by Mr Ankur Garg
IB Graduate Plaques
The plaques in the secondary building show all the names of past students who have graduated with the
IB Diploma at SISS.
New Roofing for the Playgarden
Funds raised from the Green Classroom online fundraiser which friends of siss opened via Bildungsspender.de/siss, was used towards some much needed repair in the outdoor kitchen area of the Playgarden.
This outdoor play station allows for children to engage in pretend and messy play by cooking with mud, sand, and water has been purchased for the preschool playground.
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY
Hygiene and First Aid Supplies
For over a year, during the Corona pandemic,
friends of siss provided the paper towels and plastic bags that were necessary for the hygienic disposal of the used test kits at both branches.
Separately, ice packs and disinfectant wipes were provided to the Primary branch as basic first aid supplies.
The hidden extras
As a German state school, some of the IB resources are not 100% covered and this is where friends of siss lends its support. Digital recorders for the IB oral examinations, shipping costs for the textbooks that come from abroad, subscriptions to Maths, Science and Geography teacher resource databases, GDC calculators for the Math Department and Smartboard software, are some of the yearly costs that are only possible with your membership or donation support.
IB certificate folders
At the IB graduation ceremony the Graduates were presented with their certificates in a folder which was provided by friends of siss.
Recent emails sent to Secondary branch families are summarised in the pinboard alongside reminders of upcoming events both at Secondary and throughout the Schuldorf. This is a parent run, volunteer initiative, now sponsored by friends of siss.
Art and craft supplies were given to Primary for a variety of projects.
friends of siss have provided the Preschool with 3 CD/USB players.
Secondary students created artwork to decorate the classroom doors. The art supplies were paid for by friends of siss.
“Read to Breathe” Read-a-Thon – student initiative to raise funds for oxygen equipment for Covid patients – supported by printing flyers and coordinating donations to GiveIndia.
friends of siss provided welcome “reading wallets” for new pupils starting at Primary in 2019.
Teaching resources from Letterland were supplied to the Preschool. Letterland publishes award-winning Early Years and Key Stage 1 resources for teaching foundational literacy skills, phonics, spelling and grammar.
Laptops for Literacy Programs
friends of siss provided the Preschool with 3 laptops so that each group will have the chance to practice their phonics and reading skills in child-friendly platforms that go along with the Letterland program.