Students in Apache Junction gifted/talented program show projects

Sixth grade student Lola Wyatt researched “What Does 2000 Calories Look Like?” (Submitted photo)

Students in Apache Junction Unified School District’s gifted/talented program recently showed an array of student projects before taking off for summer break.

Linda Gering and Robyn Gonzales from the Educational Services Department visited the students at Desert Vista Elementary School, 3701 E. Broadway Ave. in Apache Junction, to view and evaluate the projects. Both women said the student work was amazing.

The students and their projects included:

  • Sixth-grade student Lola Wyatt researched “What Does 2,000 Calories Look Like?” Lola tracked what she typically eats each day. What she realized is that she typically consumes more than 2,000 calories a day. Lola shared ideas as to what modifications can be made to stay within 2,000 calories daily. She came with a detailed presentation board, slideshow and a depth of knowledge as she presented to the education service team and her peers.
  • Fourth-grade student Aiden Watterud worked as an editor during the spring semester. Aiden researched, wrote and published his classroom newsletter. He chose articles that grabbed the attention of his readers. Some of Aiden’s work included “Great Inventions: Slinky,” “What Are Footballs Made Out Of?” and “Desert Vista’s “secret” Garden.” He presented with confidence and demonstrated a depth of knowledge regarding his articles.
  • Fourth-grade student Aurora Nelson also worked as an editor this semester, researching, writing and publishing for her classroom newsletter. Aurora’s articles were engaging, informative and interesting.  Some of Aurora’s work included “WWII Energy Bars: The Tootsie Roll,” “Gymnastics Olympics” and “Respiratory System Facts.” Aurora also presented with confidence and a depth of knowledge.
  • Third-grade student Paul Henry worked on “How to Win Every Prize at Chuck E. Cheese’s.” Paul researched every possible prize and the amount of tickets needed to win each prize. He then developed a variety of mathematical equations and strategies to figure out how to win.  Using trial and error he was able to figure it out.
  • Fifth-grade students Nicholas McCracken and Julian Bloom worked together to research “The First 10 Presidents.”  They teamed up to share the duties of researching the presidents, creating a PowerPoint and presenting to the educational services team and their peers. They walked away with new knowledge and passed it along to others.  The boys did an outstanding job on not only their projects but also collaborating with each other throughout the entire process.

Each year students who are not yet in the gifted program are tested based on selection criteria that include scoring highly proficient on AzMERIT and/or based on demonstrating qualities of a gifted student in the classroom and then referred to the gifted coordinator by the classroom teacher.

For more information on AJUSD’s gifted/talented program, call 480-982-1110.

Editor’s note: Sally Marks is the public information officer for Apache Junction Unified School District.

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