The Academically Gifted Program (AGP) provides eligible students in grades 6, 7, & 8 with an opportunity to explore areas of strength and/or interest within the curriculum in greater depth and complexity. Annually, students will participate in two, semester-long enrichment seminars. Each seminar meets for two days out of the cycle during the Core Extension (CE) period. While student choice and interest will influence the specific experience within each seminar, the following descriptions are designed to provide students and parents with a general overview of what to expect. Seminars in 6th grade will be exclusive to 6th grade students. In the upper grades, seminars will be cross-graded.
In this course, students will apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills to hands on learning activities. This inquiry-based course will connect all four of the STEM subjects. Students will collaborate with their peers to brainstorm, critique ideas and develop solutions to real-world problems. Students enrolled in this seminar will also participate in the Delaware County STEM Design Challenge. Students will work in teams to engineer and design a device that will accomplish a task that can fulfill real-world needs using K’Nex building materials.
Forensic Science is a course designed for students to gain experience in the investigative techniques used by forensic scientists and crime scene investigators. Students will use their skills to investigate crime scenes and attempt to solve cases based on suspect interviews and forensic science techniques such as: observation skills; evidence collection; hair analysis; fiber analysis; handwriting analysis; fingerprint analysis; blood evidence; and impression evidence. Students will collaborate to apply these techniques in solving various cases throughout the course.
As part of the Spartan TV crew, students will learn an awareness of different types of media and be responsible for brainstorming and pitching ideas, researching, writing scripts, organizing, editing, and producing multiple segments to be shown to a school-wide audience. Possible projects include interviews, school news, sports, music, world and local news, human interest stories (with potentially a social studies focus), weather, geography, biographical stories of historical figures, literary book and poetry reviews and projects, point-counterpoint debates, and short documentaries. iMovie, video cameras, the use of a large green screen, and other technology, including animation apps, can be used to create segments in the school's television studio. Provided that space is available, students may choose to take this course both semesters, with the expectation that they will take on a leadership role in the studio their second semester.
Grades 7 & 8:
Students in this seminar will develop and apply various science and engineering practices to analyze the history and mythology of constellations and the observable changes in the night sky. Additionally, students will compare and contrast gravitational and light properties of our own Milky Way to those of distant galaxies and their components. Finally, the students will explore current satellites and the implications and possibilities of future space travel. Various technological applications and models will play an integral role in the investigation of these topics. The course views astronomy through the historical, linguistic, and mathematical lens with topic flexibility that appeals to a variety of student interests.
The focus of this seminar is to discover how chemistry impacts our everyday lives. Students will investigate the world of atoms and molecules through hands-on and inquiry-based activities involving common phenomena. Participants will be able to ask scientific questions and investigate them during a given experiment, design and conduct experiments to explain a given topic, understand their observations on the molecular level, and record and communicate results. Students will also have an opportunity to compete in the You be the Chemist challenge academic competition. This is a local, regional, and national academic competition for students in grades 5-8. Students will receive the materials for the competition and time will be incorporated within the seminar to review and study the information.
Controversies, Conspiracies, and Cover-Ups
Students enrolled in this seminar will take a closer look at some of the more “unconventional” aspects of history. Students will examine historical events through a lens of potential conspiracy and controversy. The course will go beyond the “textbook” version of history and analyze what really happened. Potential topics include the JFK assassination, the Watergate Scandal, Area 51, and other cover-ups throughout human history. Students will examine primary sources, looking for evidence and clues in order to come up with their own conclusion. Does history unfold as told, or are their more sinister components at work?
Students in this seminar will participate in the National Math Club program that provides game instructions, math explorations, and problem sets that are enjoyed by students of all skill levels. Students are engaged in friendly competition through games that require problem solving and math skills to win. Students can explore various math topics where they will collaborate on hands-on, nontraditional math activities. Students can also target on specific math skills through solving a set of related problems. As an active group, students can help earn additional recognition by going for a Silver or Gold level status by completing additional program activities.
Rights, Camera, Action!
Throughout this seminar, students will read and analyze primary source documents from American History in order to gain historical understanding. Our rights as citizens will be closely examined by discussing current events and Supreme Court cases throughout history. The course will also feature a History vs. Hollywood component, allowing for students to investigate the historical accuracy of major motion pictures. We Didn't Start the Fire, but we will continue to fuel it as students get an opportunity to create new stanzas for Billy Joel's famous song. Students will close the semester by working on self-directed research projects in the area of history and politics, exercising their voice by choosing a project topic of personal interest. Students will submit a proposal, conduct research, and then design a creative and engaging means to present their work.
This seminar will provide students with the opportunity to be involved in the First Lego League robotics program. Students will engage in research, problem-solving, coding, and engineering. In addition to investigating a real-world problem, students will learn the basics to program a LEGO robot that navigates the missions of a robot game. The theme of the challenge and robot game changes each year. Students in this seminar will have an opportunity to compete in a regional competition.
This seminar is an extension of the 6th grade seminar; however, prior participation is not required. As part of the Spartan TV crew, students will learn an awareness of different types of media and be responsible for brainstorming and pitching ideas, researching, writing scripts, organizing, editing, and producing multiple segments to be shown to a school-wide audience. Students will create commercials and promotions for upcoming events at The Lake. Students may choose to be in front of the camera, behind the scenes, or both! Provided that space is available, students may choose to take this course both semesters, with the expectation that they will take on a leadership role in the studio their second semester.
This student-driven seminar will encompass the curricula of all STEM subjects, with a focus on engineering and design. Class sessions will include discussion of recent science related headlines, often through TED talks and scholarly websites. Students will complete design challenges including but not limited to Obstacle Design Competitions for well-known television programs. Students will also participate in the annual DCIU Stem Design Challenge. Each student will choose a STEM mini-lab to research and complete. Students will also identify an area of interest to them to research and present to the class in a form of their choosing. Activities will sometimes be done individually, but often completed in small collaborative groups. Students will have the opportunity to explore all topics of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in a classroom setting that is both flexible and accommodating.