Earth Hour 2021

Please join the H.I.S. community as we recognise Earth Hour this weekend. This global celebration will give some of our students an opportunity in science classes, along with students in other local schools, to discuss sources of energy and the cost of our energy use on the environment. Around the world, families, organisations, and businesses are invited to show solidarity with those working to reduce our energy footprint on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 8:30 pm. There are many digital ways you can learn more, connect and take part. Visit:

Grade 7 Science Project

Special Guest: Richard Thornley

The most recent Grade 7 online Science lessons were spent researching the chemical elements of the periodic table and their compounds.

Grade 7 scientists had to prepare a CV (Curriculum Vitae) and letter of motivation for their favourite element, explaining why the chosen element deserves to be in the periodic table.

When the students were celebrating the end of the project, zoom “intruder” Richard Thornley joined the class, as a fun surprise. Well known among IB Chemistry students, Mr. Thornley, currently residing in Prague, shared his knowledge of the chemical elements with the students.

Mr. Thornley and the students enjoyed this fun finish of a Science Teaching Unit.


H.I.S. Can You…Challenge

Congratulations to the champions and all participants

Over the February break, many students and their families participated in our first ever school wide challenge over Seesaw. The PYP staff collaborated, and asked the students, “Can you…” complete 12 tasks?

The tasks required the students to get outside, find various things in their surroundings, and take a picture, just like a scavenger hunt. For example, Fr. Staeves asked, “Can you point to a house number that shows how old you are?” and Ms. Fudge asked, “Can you find a shelter?” Thank you to all those who took place in the challenge.

A total of 22 students were able to complete all 12 tasks, and can now call themselves champions of the “H.I.S. Can You… Challenge.”

Congratulations to the following students:

  • From EP: Greta, Hector and Masahiro
  • From Grade 1: Lea and Sophie
  • From Grade 2: Dani, Sissi, and Yui
  • From Grade 3: Aariv, Aras, Giuseppe, Lionel, and Emilie
  • From Grade 4: Daniel, Lilou, and Nashwa
  • From Grade 5: Aiden, Asmi, Chaitrail, Ella, Marta and Sanpi

A Scientific Journey Back in Time

Grade 7 Science Project

During the long lockdown, Grade 7 students worked on a creative task. They had to go back in time to the 19th century and take on the role of Dimitri Mendeleev. He had to convince The National Science Foundation (NSF) in a letter that his periodic table was correct and made sense.

All letters were very creative and had a lot of evidence in support of his genius predictions. Enjoy the example below by Luna:

Dear NSF,

I have been informed that you think my work is not accurate and it does not make much sense, I am writing you this letter to try and convince you that my theory is correct and you should take another look at my periodic table.

For many years, scientists have been trying to find a way to sort the elements, and maybe that has not been possible because they have been looking at it from the wrong perspective. I believe more elements will be discovered and that is why I have blank spaces in the periodic table. 200 years ago, people believed that all the elements that had been discovered but  now we know that was not true. That is the reason they were not able to design a good periodic table. I have ordered the elements in a certain way, so there are gaps in between the elements, thinking that’s where the ones that have not been discovered will go. Our theories always change, because we discover more and more every day.

I have organized the elements by atomic mass. Atomic mass is the weight of an atom in an element. With the way, I organized these elements I can predict the atomic mass of an element, what it looks like, its melting point, and how much a cubic centimeter of it will weigh. And that is all just from where it is located in the periodic table. I have grouped elements, by their physical properties. I found a way to group both atomic masses and physical traits. If you look horizontally at this table, you can see elements that increase by atomic mass. If you look vertically, you can see how elements with similar physical properties are grouped. If you look horizontally, the elements are organized periodically, that is why I am naming this the periodic table.

I started grouping the elements with similar physical traits. With this, I have made 8 groups. After I separated them into groups, I looked at their atomic masses. In the groups, I found elements with similar atomic masses. I then organized the elements by atomic mass horizontally and I saw that the distance of atomic masses between two elements was too big, so I left a space for an element to be added. When I organized them by atomic mass, I kept in mind I wanted them to be grouped with similar physical traits. This where I saw how I was able to organize them so that both of those things were possible. I simply organized them by atomic mass horizontally and I grouped them by physical similarities vertically. These were my results.

In my periodic table, I have left a gap for an element that I have named Eka -aluminium. I have named it that because it is located under Aluminium. Just from where it is located in the periodic table I can tell you all about it. Its atomic mass will be 68. One cubic centimeter of it will weigh about 6 grams. It will be a shiny metal at room temperature and it will be able to conduct heat quite well. The melting point is very low, it is at approximately 30 degrees Celsius. It can be flattened and stretched.

In a couple of years, we will discover a new element and I will have a space left for the element in my periodic table. For many years we have been trying to find a good system and we have not been able to do that, because we thought we had discovered all of them, but I assure you there are more. Mathematically, there must be more. No scientist has ever given you this much detail and is so sure about what he knows, what he is doing, and what he is predicting.

Please give me a chance and in a few years, when more elements will be discovered, you will be glad that you trusted me.


Dmitri Mendeleev



Rule Makers And Rule Breakers

Grade 4 Artwork

In grade 4, our current unit is “Rule makers and rule breakers”. It is mainly about how social and political movements may inspire changes.

Artists sometimes try to inspire people to think about society. Thierry Noir was the first artist to paint on the Berlin Wall in an effort to turn this symbol of war, division and oppression into a symbol of hope. In grade 4, we have been creating our own cartoon heads in the style of Thierry Noir.”​


Advent Calendar # 18

Tell me a story

Quiberon Peninsula, Golf de Morbihan, Brittany, France


In their recent unit, “Tell Me a Story,” Grade 2 has been exploring different authors and their books. They looked at Mo Willems’s Pigeon and Gerald and Piggie; ​how he uses speech bubbles, and the type of illustration techniques he uses for each series. These are some of the Grade 2’s artwork, using Mo Willem’s style of writing and drawing to make a short story page.

text: CT; artwork: Grade 2

Heute in der Zeitung…..

Student article published in Rhein-Neckar Zeitung

Congratulations to Anton and Gregor from Grade 10.

After conducting interviews with students, staff and a representative from the Waldpiraten Camp, the students wrote an article for the local Rhein-Neckar Zeitung supported by their German teacher, Birgit Kress.

The article describes the fundraiser project and the delivery of  a supersized cheque, displaying the total amount of money collected for the Waldpiraten Camp by the H.I.S. Community.

War, Weimar and Bauhaus

Interdisciplinary Work in Grade 10

Grade 10 students have been working on the interdisciplinary unit War, Weimar and Bauhaus for most of the autumn.  This interdisciplinary unit was a collaboration between Design and Individuals & Societies.

As it is currently not possible to organise an interdisciplinary evening like last year, the students produced posters and essays on cultural figures of the Weimar Republic.

The unit covered the First World War and political and cultural changes in Germany during the 1920s’ and early 1930’s.  There was particular emphasis on Bauhaus architecture and design. The posters the students produced this year are visually very striking (see excerpts below).

We hope to have an opportunity to share more student work with you at a later date. H.I.S. values interdisciplinary work and the teachers involved are particularly pleased with the hard work  the Grade 10 class put into  the project this year. As it was not possible to do any field trips this year because of the Covid-19 situation in Heidelberg, the students watched documentary material on the development of Bauhaus before starting work on the project. Imagination helped the students to create visually very interesting work. The interest and commitment of the students was greatly appreciated by their teachers.


Governance Unit Grade 9

Grade 9 students have been working on a I & S (Individuals & Societies) unit called Governance in collaboration with the library. As part of this unit, the students have explored different forms of government, discussed the pros and cons of various electoral systems, practiced formal essay-writing and  worked on source analysis.

The essay topic the class explored, focused on the life and achievements of Oliver Cromwell, one of the most controversial of British rulers.  The portrait project gave students a chance to analyse original paintings of both contemporary and historic figures.  The students analysed the origin, purpose,  value and limitations of various portraits. The work was also presented in class.  The students noted how portraits often not only revealed a great deal about the ruler in question but also gave the young researches a lot of information on the relevant time period.

We will continue to work on source analysis and  on developing writing and research skills in the months to come.

The I&S department received additional help from our school librarian who as part of the MYP program gave the class information literacy sessions that helped the students to achieve better results in their project work. Some of the topics covered included information on how to cite material  correctly in MLA style, academic honesty and help in using library databases for research.

As you can see from the pictures, the students chose interesting material to research and approached the projects with great dedication.  Their I&S teacher also noted with satisfaction, how the portraits chosen  for analysis often reflected the cultural diversity of the school.  The class also explored the life of ordinary people during the Early Modern era.

As it was not possible to do a big field trip that related to the unit under the current circumstances, the students enjoyed watching a very detailed documentary on the palace of Versailles as part of this unit.