Summer Institute for the Gifted

BUA Campus Week 2 Newsletter

In this weeks newsletter, instructors were asked to contribute student work and pictures that helped give insight to the inner workings of their classrooms.


What's Happening in Classes?

Rocks and Minerals

Students demonstrated tension, compression, and shear of Earth's Crust using molding clay.


Simple Machines

The students in Simple Machines are planning and building a complex (Rube-Goldberg like) simple machine that pulls a tissue out of a box using a pulley, inclined planes and wheels in groups. After constructing, they then drew a diagram of their design. Some machines had to be changed in order to work the most efficiently and they did an outstanding job working together and had some great ideas. Each group's machine was different.


Sports Stop

In Sports Stop students are working on drills to improve foot-speed, quickness and agility. They will apply these skills to our sport games.


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Sports Stop

During our second week of SIG, the students have been practicing sports that they enjoy. They have also been practicing related activities that help benefit their progress. Not only do sports help physical development, they also build self-esteem, improve social skills, improve sportsmanship and teamwork, and help develop a hobby that can be enjoyable for a lifetime. Basketball, volleyball, and soccer are their favorite sports and the “rock, paper, scissor, run,” is their favorite warm-up activity.


The Curious Chemist

In Curious Chemist, students explore the principles of chemistry using the tools and methods of science. Each day involves a new experiment, vocabulary, the scientific method and "What happens when..." questions. Students are learning the importance of lab safety, making observations, following a procedure and making conclusions about chemical reactions that occur in their every day lives.


In one of our first experiments, students learn about hypothesis and dissolving. Students make predictions and then take turns mixing different chemicals to test their hypothesis. Students also learn that results can be put in data tables to see patterns.


To learn about probabilities and graphing, students sort and classify a bag of M&M's. Each student is responsible for their own color. They sort, count and record results in a data table. Students then construct a graph of their results. Students were also responsible for cleaning up which meant they had to "dispose" of their M&M's. This seemed to be their favorite part of the experiment.


DNA: Your Unique Code

In "DNA: Your Unique Code", students completed individual research, group work and projects to learn about DNA's structure and function. By creating models, students learned that each cell contains a code which makes them both similar and different from their parents. Through simulations of translation and transcription, students explored the function of DNA and proteins in their bodies. Students then began looking at the passage of traits and heredity. Currently, students are considering the effects of mutations and environment on biodiversity and the implications for a population of organisms. In culminating our learning, students will learn about genetic engineering and how biotechnology can be used to better their lives. They will then consider ethical issues; such as, although we can manipulate genes, should we?


What's The Chance?

In "What's the Chance?" We're using dice, coin flips, cards, and spinners to explore and understand probability. We have discovered why and how each of these things give us equal chances to get different results!


Lesson's From The Wild Things

In "Lessons From The Wild Things", we've been enjoying many books together, including The Stray Dog, Frog and Toad, Owl Moon, and Swimmy. We pay attention to fancy words, and the events of the story. We've noticed many stories have long middles! See some of our Swimmy pictures below.


Expanding Your Universe

In "Expanding Your Universe", we've been learning about each of the planets. We know that Venus is actually the hottest planet and Mars has the largest volcano in the solar system! Take a look at some of our paper planets and fact sheets below.


Building Blocks of Engineering

On Friday, students in Building Blocks of Engineering began exploring electronics using our snap circuit board. Hetal and Judith built a motion-sensor sound machine, and Arianna and Izzy made a lie detector.


Cracking Codes

The students in the "Cracking Codes" class are learning about codes that have helped to shape different historical events. This week we explored the codes that were used in the Underground Railroad. One of the code systems we discussed was the quilt code which was seen as a secret map for runaway slaves. Symbols represented forms of travel such as a boat or wagon, and others showed the way to safe houses along the path to freedom. Students drew their own symbols and as a class created their own quilt.