Photo album: 2017 GT Expo
Smith Elementary fifth-grader Abde Osama uses a diagram on his laptop to describe the theoretical workings of a rocket engine that could someday power future spaceships.
HOUSTON – Dec. 7, 2017 – A crowd of people gather around Smith Elementary fifth-grader Abde Osama as he delivers a presentation on his science research project that he has been working on all semester. It begins with a discussion of anti-matter, and considers propulsion systems that may take humans to the stars.
The scene of the presentation is Spring ISD’s GT Expo on Dec. 6 at Carl Wunsche Sr. High School. Nearly 150 students from the district’s gifted and talented program brought presentation boards, dioramas and laptops to illustrate their research projects. This night is a chance for them to showcase their work. The cafeteria can’t accommodate everyone in the program at one time, so the event occurs twice a year, to give all the GT students a chance to participate.
As Abde illustrates space-age technologies to the gathered crowd, his mother Habab Ali stands nearby. She says he likes to discover things and is always eager to find out what technological breakthroughs are on the horizon. She thinks the GT program is helping him to discover his future.
“This program is meant to be for my son. He likes to research, and this is exactly what he is doing right now,” said Ali.
Another GT student, Kamila Pereira of Reynolds Elementary, showcased her love of math at the end of one of the crowded aisles in the cafeteria. For her project on statistics, she drops marbles through a series of pegs and studies the data based on which slots they fall into at the bottom of the run. She said that the GT program gives her more of a challenge, and she considers the program as an opportunity to do something that is more on her level.
Keeping students like Pereira and Osama engaged is what Gifted and Talented Specialist Julie Hill says is a major goal of the program.
“Differentiation is our big push this year. We want to meet the students where they are and allow them to move forward,” said Hill
The projects highlight a range of subjects from science and technology, to studies of other cultures and historical biographies.
Back at Osama’s project presentation, his principal, Kimberly Culley, enjoys watching the adults who are trying to keep up with Abde’s presentation.
“He has done the research and it’s a passion for him, which I think is so critical for our GT program, that kids have a passion and we are allowing them to explore that passion and develop it and go as deep as they want to go with it,” said Culley.