Brilliant Students Shine at AJUSD

Students in the Gifted/Talented Program Showcase Enrichment Projects

By Sally Marks

Students in Apache Junction Unified District’s Gifted/Talented program recently showcased an array of amazing student projects before taking off for summer break. Linda Gering and Robyn Gonzales from the Educational Services Department visited the gifted/talented students at Desert Vista Elementary School, 3701 E. Broadway Ave. in Apache Junction to view and evaluate the projects. Both women said the student work was amazing.

The projects included:

  • Sixth grade student Lola Wyatt researched “What Does 2000 Calories Look Like?” Lola tracked what she typically eats each day. What she realized is that she typically consumes more than 2000 calories a day. Lola shared ideas as to what modifications can be made to stay within 2000 calories daily. Lola came with a detailed presentation board, slideshow and a depth of knowledge as she presented to the Education Service Team and her peers.
  • Fourth grade student Aiden Watterud worked as an editor during spring semester. Aiden researched, wrote and published his classroom newsletter. He chose interesting articles that grabbed the attention of his readers. Some of Aiden’s work included Great Inventions: Slinky, What Are Footballs Made Out Of!? and Desert Vista’s “secret” Garden. Aiden presented with confidence and demonstrated a depth of knowledge regarding his articles.
  • Fourth grade student Aurora Nelson also worked as an editor this semester, researching, writing and publishing for her classroom newsletter. Aurora’s articles were engaging, informative and interesting. Some of Aurora’s work included WWII Energy Bars: The Tootsie Roll, Gymnastics Olympics and Respiratory System Facts. Aurora also presented with confidence and a depth of knowledge.
  • Third grade student Paul Henry worked on “How to Win Every Prize at Chuck E. Cheese’s.” Paul researched every possible prize and the amount of tickets needed to win each prize. He then developed a variety of mathematical equations and strategies to figure out how to win. Using trial and error, he was able to figure it out!
  • Fifth grade students Nicholas McCracken and Julian Bloom worked together to research the first 10 presidents. They teamed up to share the duties of researching the presidents, creating a PowerPoint and presenting to the Educational Services Team and their peers. They walked away with new knowledge and passed it along to others. The boys did an outstanding job on, not only their projects, but also collaborating with each other throughout the entire process.

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.

Photo above: Sixth grade student Lola Wyatt researched “What Does 2000 Calories Look Like?” for her Gifted/Talented program project.

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