Apache Junction students delve into topics for gifted/enrichment program presentations

What do a catapult, fountain drink dispenser, skyscraper models, the Twin Towers and glass window manufacturing have in common? All are examples of topics completed by Apache Junction Unified School District students in the gifted/enrichment program.

Students from Desert Vista and Four Peaks elementary schools presented projects to Robyn Gonzales, program coordinator; Bethany Ligon, technology integration specialist; Linda Gering, Galileo coordinator; and Jerry Paterson and Patty Smith, student accountability information system technology coordinators.

The presenters and their projects included:

  • Manuel O’Brien, who built a catapult for his semester project. Manuel shared the building process of constructing his catapult and then demonstrated for the educational services team using a variety of items in the classroom. Each demonstration was a success. The team thoroughly enjoyed his presentation.
  • Paul Henry, who completed a project to determine how many combinations of drinks can be made using a Freestyle Fountain Drink Dispenser. Paul wowed the crowd with his in-depth research, detailed presentation, usage of graphics, variety of resources and solid presentation.
  • Aiden Watterud researched and created scaled models for his Skyscraper Challenge. Aiden shared his interest in the Shanghai Tower, constructing an impressive model after researching the actual size and utilizing ratios to determine how to scale the size down in order to create his model. Aiden presented a detailed outline of facts about his project and the process he used to work through to complete his project.
  • Aurora Nelson completed a Skyscraper Challenge for her project. Aurora focused on the Twin Towers, sharing she became very interested in the buildings after learning of the 9-11 tragedy. Aurora included a variety of learning objectives in her project including scaling to determine ratios, elements of construction and mathematical strategies. The team was impressed with the learning she shared.
  • Nicholas McCracken completed a project about windows. He shared the history and development of windows, the various types of windows and how windows are constructed. He shared that he’s always wondered about how windows are actually made. Nicholas was excited about his new knowledge as was the Educational Services Team. The team walked away with new knowledge after Nicholas’s solid and informational presentation.

    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 call 480-982-1110.

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

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