Athens, Ga. – Some 113 academically talented 5th and 6th grade students from across Georgia and the Southeast region will participate in a day of enriching and challenging courses on Saturday, March 27, in the Duke-UGA Academic Adventures program hosted by the University of Georgia.
Academic Adventures, part of the Duke Talent Identification Program, introduces topics that are generally not available in students’ local schools. The experience sharpens skills, offers enrichment and provides an opportunity for students to interact with similarly motivated peers. Directed by the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development in partnership with Duke University, the program is open to all 5th and 6th grade students who have participated in Duke TIP’s 4th/5th Grade Talent Search.
These talent searches help gifted students and their families find out how advanced the students’ abilities truly are, according to Elizabeth Connell, program coordinator for the Torrance Center.
“Traditional testing often fails to measure the variation among many gifted students who reach the upper limits of scoring on grade-level exams,” Connell said. “By taking advanced above-level—at least two years above a student’s current grade placement—testing through Duke TIP’s talent searches, gifted students and their families gain a far better understanding of where the student stands in relation to his/her gifted peers and what level of educational challenge is appropriate.”
The 4th/5th Grade Talent Search gives students the opportunity to take the EXPLORE test for 8th graders, an assessment tool created by of the American College Testing program.
Students will participate in such courses as:
- “Bugbot Programming,” which provides students with an introduction to computer programming allowing behavior modifications of a robot based on its infrared and sound sensors inputs. Students will learn about basic programming of microcontrollers, interfacing of sensors for sound and near-infrared light, and actuation of electric motors and remote controller serial communications concepts.
- “Let’s Get Down to Business” in which students work in teams to start and run their own businesses in a simulated industry. Taking leadership roles, students learn the basics of business and entrepreneurship as they apply for jobs, design, manufacture, market and sell their products in the Torrance Center marketplace. Students play the roles of analysts, controllers and traders to learn the basics of saving and investing. Working in teams, students set financial goals, analyze forecasts, create a diversified portfolio, track their investments and allocate assets and trade.
- “A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words: Creative Writing and Photography” in which students will use photography as a springboard for writing thereby allowing them to discover their ability to communicate, affect and inspire through prose. Writing crafts such as character, setting and context study will combine with photography skills such as posing, lighting and background positioning to prompt creative writing pieces.
- “The Chemistry of Chocolate” in which students learn the aspects of food science including the complex steps required to manufacture food, the tests necessary to make sure chocolate is safe to eat, nutritional problems associated with over-consumption of chocolate and how new and unusual chocolate products are developed. Students will investigate the long-standing rivalry between the Mars and Hershey companies, and will gain an appreciation of the many steps between harvesting and packaging, as well as the many ingredients that go into chocolate.
- “The Sensing Human: An Exploration into Human Sensation and Perception” in which students are exposed to several different perspectives on the human senses beyond what is covered in traditional science courses. Using an interactive and observation-driven approach, students learn about important theoretical principles from sensory psychology to perception. Demonstrations (small groups of students collecting data from experimental examples) and hands-on exercises (including dissection of sheep eyes) are used to illustrate research methods and key concepts in sensation and perception. This course also covers common impairments in sensory processing, including blindness and hearing loss, and what can be learned from these problems.
For more information on these and other programs, see the Torrance Center’s Web site at www.coe.uga.edu/torrance/ or call 706/542-5104.