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  Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Joshua Tree National Park – Day 2

By Bénédicte Brouder


Ms. Seidel

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Scrambled Gunsight Canyon – awesome. Ate lunch in a shady little slot part of the way up. Great shade and cool. Then did geocaching / desert scavenger hunt in 3 groups. Groups use GPS to find their way around and learn about the plants at those locations.

Ms. Jacoway


Joshua Tree National Park – Day 2

By Bénédicte Brouder

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Slept well, no problems, night hike and lots of stars.
Gorgeous sunrise for the early risers!
Ms. Jacoway


Pali Mountain – Day 1

By Bénédicte Brouder

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On Monday at their arrival,  the 7th graders met their Pali leaders and organized themselves into their groups for the week. Following some team building activities and a hearty lunch, students broke off with their leaders to study outdoor skills, specifically learning how to build campfires and learning the rules of the San Bernardino National Forest. Following dinner, students participated in a nighttime astronomy session, tracking the stars and other celestial bodies. Overall, a fantastic opening day at Pali and we can’t wait for what’s to come!
Shelby Aseltine

  Monday, October 16, 2017

Joshua Tree National Park/Boojum Institute – Day 1

By Bénédicte Brouder

Monday: settling in, community building, scrambling and… hiking!

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Script Writing Workshop – EUSTORY project

By Bénédicte Brouder


thumb_DSC_0024_1024On Saturday September 16, 2017, we kicked off the project at SDFAS.

As a reminder, EUSTORY is a contest for students in French and German middle and high schools, organized by French and German institutions such as the Institut Français and the Goethe Institute.

The purpose is to keep memories of events alive, promote cross cultural understanding, promote peace between nations, and give a fun and interesting opportunity for French and German students to work together. Contest entries must be submitted by March 25, 2018.

Now, in order to provide students with tools for coming up with the movie they wish to submit as their entry to the contest, we decided to run a script-writing workshop on Saturday October 14.

Our speaker, Diane Alpaio, who is a professional script writer, kindly accepted to teach our German/French group of 16 students and their parents basic elements of script writing. These valuable skills will be put to good use not only for the EUSTORY project but also for other works as life-long learning skills.

We want to express our gratitude to Diane Alpaio, and also to all participants, adults and students, who made this workshop successful and a fantastic example of high quality teamwork!

For more information, please visit

Diane Alpaio, Screenwriter

Diane has written and optioned several feature length movie scripts. Her focus is on writing empowering comedies. She is currently working on two projects; a female buddy movie and a Christmas franchise. Prior to her work as a screenwriter Diane held management positions in the telecom industry and worked at the university level in alumni relations.

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Joshua Tree National Park Departure: they are on the bus!

By Bénédicte Brouder

6th graders and their two chaperones left this morning around 7:30 am. Have a safe trip to Joshua Tree National Park!



Pali Departure : they are on the bus!

By Bénédicte Brouder

7th graders and their two chaperones left this morning around 7:30 am. Have a safe trip to Pali Mountain!


  Friday, October 13, 2017

Team Building Workshop: Outreach Program

By Bénédicte Brouder

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On October 12, 2017, all middle school students assembled in the auditorium for an exciting workshop: They were assigned a complex task in groups of 8/9 students.

The goal was to create an oral presentation advocating for a local charity/non-profit organization from the San Diego greater area, which SDFAS could support.

They had to articulate why the group had picked that organization and how the choice was related with the mission of SDFAS. At the end of the workshop, students were able to vote according to several criteria what they thought the best charity would be for SDFAS to support.


Congratulations to all students from 6th to 8th grades for their excellent work: working in large groups on a complex assignment such as this one is challenging. They enjoyed the activity very much and were actively engaged, as they perceived the purpose of it.


The winners were:

Most organized/best oral presentation: team 5 – Make a Wish

Sophie D., Emi, Adrien R., Jade, Gregoire, Paul, Alba, Leonie


Best articulation between mission statements of SDFAS and the chosen charity: team 6 – Glisten

Armand, Ava, Lilou, Diego, Sophie C., Cameron, Nolwenn, Zachary, Ellie

Best Voters’ Choice: team 2 – San Diego Ocean Foundation

Angelina, Chloe, Jaxon, Lily, Oliver, Seiji, Liam Emma

Now team 2 will be invited to present their project/charity to the Humanitarian Committee.



  Thursday, October 12, 2017

Science in French – 8th grade

By Bénédicte Brouder

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In science class, hands-on experiments are a must! The 8th grade students are currently studying the chemical properties of acidic-basics. They discovered that red cabbage is in indicator of PH: it changes color depending if a chemical substance is neutral or basic. They continued their experiments by making lemonade. The goal of this experiment was to identify the role of each ingredient: sugar, lemon juice, and baking soda.

Everything relates to chemical transformation and acidic basic properties!

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Building Bridges between 5th and 7th grades

By Bénédicte Brouder

This morning, 5th and 7th graders joined in the annual “Building Bridges workshop”. Students met in pairs and/or small groups and engaged in three team building activities:
– Ice breakers– play two truths and a lie
– Get to know each other – dialog
– Q & A regarding middle school – questions from the 5th graders have been prepared in class before the workshop – 7th graders answered.

We are now looking forward to welcoming the 5th graders in middle school at the Halloween celebration on October 20 (Costume Contest with awards and potluck.

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