Teague Elementary fourth grade students learn that kindness goes a long way in social situations and when it comes to brain function. Their project studied the impact of kindness on the brain. Pictured: Students Gabriela, Laela, Mackenzie, Jem, Sheba and their teacher Jamie Homburg.
| Bailey Elementary student Ariela shares the information she learned after conducting research on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Nearly 300 students in the Pasadena ISD Gifted and Talented program displayed their talents last week at the eighth annual districtwide GT Showcase at Beverly Hills Intermediate.
The event attracted 350 district leaders, faculty, community members and proud parents who explored the displays as students talked about the significance and inspiration for their projects – the culmination of a year’s worth of independent research conducted at school.
“These students take great pride in their projects and it shows as they share details about each one with the community,” said Leslie Axel, district coordinator of advanced academics. “We are so proud of these students for dedicating countless hours to develop the innovative projects. This shows their willingness to go above and beyond even with the highest expectations.”
Each year, GT students in grades K-8 explore various topics of interest based on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) career pathways and the humanities, and develop projects that demonstrate their critical thinking, creativity and analytical skills.
With support from gifted and talented certified teachers, students research a topic, collect and analyze data using STEM and develop their projects during GT enrichment periods in classrooms.
Students present the projects at their home campuses and the top projects are selected to display at the district level showcase.
A group of De Zavala students teamed up to create a plan to preserve and restore the Pasadena Heritage Museum and Park on South Main.
“We interviewed the curator, Edna Pierce, and there was a website that gave us a lot of information on the history of Pasadena,” said Jorge Cardenas, De Zavala student.
The students used the information they gathered over the course of about seven months to establish a million dollar business plan that would allow them to purchase a new telephone system, updated computer, a strawberry farm and playground for children in the Pomeroy community.
“Our students used an integrated curriculum approach to dive into the research and learn about the history of Pasadena,” said Alfonso Vazquez, sixth grade pre-AP and GT teacher. Their extensive research gave them personal insight and appreciation for the value and importance of the museum site, and how it reflects the history of Pasadena. It took them a long time, but judging from the final product, it was well worth it.”
The Pasadena ISD Gifted and Talented program offers an environment of support for accelerated students. The district identifies and serves students in the GT program who exhibit exceptional potential in general intellectual ability. The program focuses on enhancing the development and the abilities of each student. By taking AP and Pre-AP classes and exams, students can gain AP or college credit.
“It takes determination, excellent problem solving, organization and research skills to succeed in this program,” Axel said. “With the support of parents and teachers, these students are not only able to meet the challenges of this rigorous curriculum head on, but they excel. This showcase is evidence of that.”
Eight De Zavala students showcase a replica of the Pasadena Heritage Museum and Park on South Main for the preservation project. Pictured from left to right: Lesly, Fernanda, Hailey, Jorge, Angel, Lizeth, Melany, and board member Kenny Fernandez.
Stuchbery student Blessing was inspired to share the history of Betsy Ross after reading her biography.
Gissel Perez, Kendrick Middle student experiences a “Culture Shock” after learning about her birthplace, Mexico, for her project.
Angel and Hailey explored the field of journalism by creating a school newsletter for De Zavala.