A Different Way to Learn

By Alina McGill


    The gifted and talented program (GATE) is run by Mrs.Teresa Freeman. Mrs. Freeman was not in a gifted and talented program as a student and doesn’t recall it being a program when she was in school, but she did have straight A’s. In order to teach GATE, Mrs.Freeman has a Master’s Degree with a certification in gifted and talented education. GATE provides advanced learning opportunities and provides enrichment to students.  

    These students have been identified as having academic gifts and talents. Mrs. Freeman says,

    “I believe this class provides opportunities for some of our brightest students.  They think differently and they go about doing things in an unconventional way.”    

    The gifted and talented class provides skills such as creativity, leadership, career exploration, and higher order thinking skills. In addition, students may participate in academic competitions such as Quiz Bowl and Science Bowl.There are requirements for joining GATE. Students are asked to take several tests.Some students stay in GATE every year and some do not. There is no gifted and talented class at the high school level.

    Mrs. Freeman says that this semester,

    “the GATE students are participating in a unit of study about inventors and inventions…researching a past or present inventor and his/her inventing process and learning about the patent process.”

    Students will have the opportunity to use STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to create their own inventions. Freeman adds,

    “students will take a simple task and make it extraordinarily complicated…students will use power tools and create their own…machine that has 10 steps and the ending step could be something such as popping a balloon, putting toothpaste on a toothbrush, ringing a bell, or dropping a ball in a cup.”

    Later in the year, students will build paper roller coasters and LEGO robots. These units of study will help GATE students develop skills they will be able to use their future, both in education and beyond.