“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney
In our Gifted and Talented program, students explore exercises that utilize critical thinking skills, inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning, and problem solving.
Gifted and Talented Program
Grade 3 – 5
Topic: Understanding Water Pollutants and Designing a Water Treatment System
Students in grades 3 – 5 investigate different methods (aeration and filtering) for removing pollutants from water, then design and build their own water filters.
Stage 1: Understand the concept of water pollutants, the need for water treatment, and the lack of clean drinking water in certain parts of the world.
Stage 2: Investigate why water is called the “universal solvent”.
Stage 3: Explore the three ways polluted waters are currently treated and the pros and cons of each method.
Stage 4: Design and create a water filter Use of different types of materials for filtration. Record and analyze pH results before and after filtration procedure.
Topic: Understanding Wind as a Source of Energy
Students in grade 6 – 8 learn how engineers harness the energy of the wind by following the engineering design process to create and test two prototype wind turbines. They also learn about where to place a wind turbine for maximum effectiveness, and weigh the advantages and disadvantages compared with other energy sources.
Stage 1: Understand the concept of wind turbines and how they convert wind to electricity. Compare and contrast two different types of wind turbines. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages for using wind power.
Stage 2: :Use the engineering design process to create prototype wind turbines. Build a Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT) and a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) and test their effectiveness. Calculate and analyze the voltage created by the two different designs.
Designing Spaghetti Structures
Students learned how engineers collaborate to design, test and improve their ideas. Student teams had a period of 18 minutes to build the tallest free-standing spaghetti structure that could support a marshmallow.
After this activity, students understood that even weak materials can be made stronger with good design techniques, and they learned the importance of teamwork in engineering.
This activity was meant to be an experiential introduction to the engineering design process.