HPS Austin Highlights Summer 2019 Edition

STEM 4 All


When Nathan, an aspiring aerospace engineer and an upcoming high school senior at Harmony School of Excellence - Austin, turned in his application for the NASA High School Aerospace Scholars program, he had no idea what kind of summer adventures lay in store for him. After completing a 16-week online class during the 18'-'19 year where he was tasked with writing research papers, designing his own 3D tool and creating an experiment that portrayed a space shuttle dropping an object to a specified maker, Nathan was among 200 students selected across the state of Texas to take part in a week-long residential summer camp in Houston.

Nathan met Jerry Woodfill, Apollo 13 engineer, who motivated and inspired him to never give up on his dream with his famous words, “Failure is not an option.”

As NASA “interns”, Nathan and his teammates were able to visit NASA facilities such as the Neutral Buoyancy Lab where they saw an astronaut getting ready for training, Mission Control Center, and the Johnson Space Center. Apart from visiting these legendary places, Nathan also received a real hands-on experience as a NASA engineer by helping to create a rover, a lander space shuttle, a rocket, and a 3D tool. One of Nathan’s favorite moments was presenting to NASA employees his research and plans for a Mars mission.

"Not only did I learn a lot about space exploration which intrigues me very much, but I also learned about teamwork, public speaking, and perseverance.” - Nathan


Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville class of 2019 alumnus, Diego T., attended Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) 42nd Annual International Leadership Conference this June in Orlando, Florida and received a 2nd place medal in Veterinary Science.

Diego T. (pictured left), Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville class of 2019 alumnus, wins 2nd place medal.

Diego was a member of the campus HOSA chapter and a student in HSAPf’s Health Science CTE pathway. This fall, Diego will be attending The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and aspires to be a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. HOSA–Future Health Professionals is the largest international organization operating in schools for students enrolled in health science and biomedical sciences programs and serving those interested in pursuit of careers in health and biomedical professions.


Semra, upcoming 10th grader at Harmony School of Endeavor - Austin, attended an 8-week long coding certification program at Code Chica, Latinitias’ session for girls ages 14-18 to gain knowledge of coding languages. Semra completed her certification on June 29th this summer in Code Chica’s first cohort.

“I liked the idea of trying out something new and learning about coding in the process,” - Semra, 15-year-old student at Harmony School of Endeavor.

Students worked with on-site coding instructors and guest speakers to learn about computer science, engineering and technology development. All of their progress was made possible through partnerships with Austin Coding Academy, KLE Foundation and Google Fiber. To be a part of Code Chicas - Cohort 3 starting in fall 2019, sign up here!


The WeTeach_CS Summit 2019 kicked off mid-June where some Harmony Science Academy - Cedar Park elementary students were invited as guest presenters at the student playground event. Technology clubs elementary students and their teacher, Angela Tackett, showcased all they have worked on during the 2018-2019 school year. Students presented their coding projects from Code Monkey and Hello World, as well as demonstrated their coding knowledge in making the Ozobots and AutoAuto miniature self-driving cars move in action.

The WeTeach_CS Summit is a 3-day event which educates, empowers, and inspires K-12 CS teachers, advocates, administrators, professional development providers, university instructors, and policy-makers to advance the goal of CS for All in Texas and beyond.

In the Community


Every summer since he was two years old, Andrik, a model student from Harmony School of Endeavor - Austin, has spent his summers in the town of Izalco, El Salvador, his mother’s hometown. His summers are usually spent with his mother’s family or off playing traditional El Salvadorean games, but last summer an idea popped into his head when he saw many local indigenous children visiting the local library to play. Always ready to share what he can with others, he thought it would be a good idea to give a little bit of his knowledge to the children of El Salvador.

“I told myself, why not teach them English by playing and learning? I believe by giving to others, we receive more. We get to know the satisfaction of sharing.” - Andrik

When this summer rolled in, Andrik told his parents of this idea he had been carrying with him for almost a year. A firm believer in the duty she has as a parent to teach her son to love his neighbor and to help those in need, Andrik and his mother returned to El Salvador ready to make his idea a reality. With the help of his grandparents, two retired school teachers, and in collaboration with the local library, Biblioteca Indigena, Andrik was able to put his belief of sharing into action.

Over the course of 6 weeks, Andrik created his own lesson plans and created a coloring book where he hand drew the letters of the alphabet and numbers to make learning English more engaging for his students. Every Wednesday, his class would meet at the local Biblioteca Indigena where they practiced counting numbers, learned the English alphabet, and recited the months of the year. Andrik plans to return next summer to continue teaching and giving back to the community.


While the summer doldrums can hit many students over summer break, two students from Harmony School of Excellence - Austin decided to combat the boredom of summer by embarking on a new and free summer workshop aimed at encouraging girls to pave their own way in the construction industry. Designed to give middle school girls a hands-on experience of the many roles within the construction industry, Anahi, an incoming freshman at HSE-Austin, and Rubi, an upcoming eighth grader at HSE-Austin, attended the Construction Camp for Girls sponsored by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) at Crockett High School this past June.

During the week-long workshop, Anahi and Rubi listened to advice from a variety of female leaders in the Austin construction industry and were given an inside look at the real-life improvements construction can create for local communities. Split up into groups, each girl was tasked with building a little library as a community project. They also learned how to safely use power tools and were able to create their own cement flower pots.

“I learned a lot of things about all the different companies who support and are involved with women in construction. I walked away with the feeling of support for my idea of starting a career in construction. Before it really wasn’t a career, but now I’m going to start leaning more into construction.” - Anahi

Student Connections


Students, parents and staff at Harmony Science Academy - Austin, came together during the summer to beautify their campus in a collaborative art mural project. Designed by the campus art teacher, Lynn Hamilton, students were given a choice of triangle on the wall which they could paint in any color they would like. After completing their triangle, students then left their hand-print on the paw print in the middle of the mural.

“The students were able to add their hand-print to the big panther paw-print as we are all coming together as Panthers! Everyone came together to leave their mark and brighten up the hallway!” - Lynn Hamilton, Art Teacher
Each helping hand was put on the wall for them to see in the future. Now as students walk by during the school day, they will be able to see the mark they have made on their school.

Summer Fun!

Summer water ball fun at Harmony School of Innovation - Austin!

Camp Invention was given a thumbs up by Harmony Science Academy - Cedar Park students!

Harmony School of Science - Austin and Harmony School of Innovation - Austin were visited by Thinkery Camp! Students were able to make their very own screen-printed t-shirts!

Neuron Garage camp at Harmony Science Academy - Cedar Park was filled with fun new creations each day!

Students enjoyed a relaxed summer carnival day at Harmony School of Endeavor - Austin!

Harmony School of Science - Austin students and their families enjoyed a fun day of splashing and sliding!

Back to School!

We hope everyone enjoyed their summer vacation! We are excited for the first day of school! Enjoy the last evening of your summer break and we will see everyone bright and early on Wednesday, August 14th, 2019!

Don't forget to send us your first day of school photos to enter into a drawing for an awesome Harmony swag bag! Send us a message on Facebook or email us at clarissa.davila@harmonytx.org / vmancha@harmonytx.org Have a wonderful first day back!

Harmony Public Schools Austin

HPS Austin Leadership Team

Left to Right: Dr. Ebubekir Orsun - Director of Engagement and Talent | Clarissa Davila - Director of Public Relations | Gultekin Kaya, M.S., M.Ed. - Austin Area Superintendent | Katelyn Meck, M.Ed - Director of Academics | Toraman Yayla, M.Ed MBA RTSBA - Director of Operations | Robert Navarro - Director of Finance
HPS Austin District Office - 13415 FM 620 N Austin, Texas 78717

HPS Austin Schools

Agil Sharifov M.Ed. M.A Principal | Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville

1421 WELLS BRANCH #200 Pflugerville, TX 78660 GRADES: 6TH-12TH

Tiffany Molina, M.Ed. Principal | Harmony Science Academy - Austin

930 E Rundberg Lane Austin, TX 78753 Grades: PK-8th

Allanur Agaberdiyev, M.Ed. Principal | Harmony School of Endeavor - Austin

13415 FM 620 N Austin, TX 78717 Grades: PK-12th

Ilker Yilmaz, M.Ed. Principal | Harmony Science Academy - Cedar Park

12200 Anderson Mill Rd Austin, Texas 78726 Grades: PK-5th

Waylon Stengler, M, Ed Principal | Harmony School of Science - Austin

11800 Stonehollow Dr. #100 Austin, TX Grades: K-5th

Ashley Gorman, Principal | Harmony School of Excellence - Austin

2100 East St. Elmo Rd. Austin, Texas 78744 Grades: 6th-12th

Amy Chankin, M. Ed. Principal | Harmony School of Innovation - Austin


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Created By
Clarissa Davila

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