Summer Institute for the Gifted

Woods Academy July 7-11

From Our Director...

President John F. Kennedy said, "Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future." As I see the enthusiasm, excitement, and thirst for knowledge your children exhibit each day at SIG, I wholeheartedly agree. The environment our instructors provide in their courses allows the students to unleash their abilities, ideas, and thinking so that they can develop to their full potential. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to work with your wonderful children.


If you would like any of your student's electronic work to be saved, please send a jump drive with them to SIG so files can be saved!

During the last week, students will be completing their individual objectives for each course. You'll be able to see the results of all of their hard work during our closing ceremony.

Thursday, July 17th Super Hero Day: Students can dress as their favorite super hero.

Friday, July 18th: Closing Ceremony: We cordially invite families to attend our closing ceremony which will take place from 4 to 5PM on Friday, July 18th. You will have the opportunity to see your child's final project for each course. Each student will receive a certificate and refreshments will be served. Please have your child wear their SIG t-shirt that day.

Tropical Treasures

This week in Tropical Treasures, students had the ability to deepen their understanding of the importance of preserving the rainforest and how deforestation affects their everyday lives. Classroom discussion was sparked through images of the rainforest culture of indigenous people, and a deep interest was found through questioning and “I notice…” statements. Students were then able to create their own medium to communicate the importance of preserving the rainforest to the public. In addition to studying deforestation, students were able to create their own fictional “rainforest exhibit” in the DC Zoo by choosing an animal found in the rainforest, and doing a species profile on that specific animal. Students then shared why they thought that specific animal should be included in the DC Zoo. We are looking forward to finishing our third week strong!

Cracking Codes

During the second week in Cracking Codes, students had the ability to deepen their study on ciphers, pictographs, and code. In the beginning of the week, students learned a new way to transpose secret messages through the use of the rail fence cipher. They created their own messages, demonstrated how to code the message with the rail fence, and sealed messages into envelopes to be delivered to friends. Students also had the opportunity to create their own code book for words associated with school. This allowed them to brainstorm school words, create a code word, and tie in their knowledge of pictographs with the creation of their books.

Anticipating Algebra

In Anticipating Algebra this week, students have focused on deepening their understanding of functions through the use of function notation and graphing. They also used Skype as a class to interview Logan Nichols, Senior Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, about his work as a project manager with the Department of Defense. Students researched the role of a project manager and were able to engage in a meaningful Q&A session with him about the use of math, specifically algebra, in his day-to-day job. He offered lots of valuable advice and encouragement!

Recreational Geometry

This week in Recreational Geometry, students have continued using geometric techniques to understand more about structures and art. On Monday, students attempted to build structures out of toothpicks and marshmallows that would hold up an algebra book. After proving unsuccessful, they went back to their journals, drew blueprints using ideal materials, and tried to plan more successful structures that implemented triangles, which through their building they discovered are one of the strongest shapes! On Wednesday, with the necessary supplies, students were able to build their new structures and almost all achieved success! They also had fun making Fractal Art this week using computer program Tiera-zon, which can be downloaded free here for more fun at home:


Our last week, students will be researching their own individual topics and completing a project using Google Presentations. They will also continue to explore why inventions are so important to our world. On Tuesday, our students will have an opportunity to speak to a retired submarine commander, who will teach them the ins and outs of working on a submarine.

The Curious Chemist

This week, we have been investigating molecules and chemical reactions. Students had fun watching the reaction of vinegar and baking soda cause a bag to pop and learning about the chemical reaction taking place. They also enjoyed exploring The Molecularium Project website to learn more about the building blocks of the universe. Finally, they rounded out the week by competing in a chemistry scavenger hunt on Friday. Next week, students will be designing and completing their own experiments in line with their personal objectives.

Building Blocks of Engineering

We are looking forward to another exciting week of building and testing different types of structures! We will be completing our final projects and showing off our engineering skills.

Rocks, Minerals, and Crystals: Earth's Treasures

This week students have continued to study sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks. They have had the opportunity to look at different rocks and categorize them based on the characteristics of the rocks. Everyone had the opportunity to begin research on the topic they wanted to learn more about. Some of the topics researched include: the formation of caves, volcanoes and how they influence rocks on earth, different types of minerals and gems, etc. Students started growing crystals to discuss next week.

Spying: Secrets, Surveillance, and Science

This week, students read about different spies and discussed characteristics of spies. They also worked in groups to discuss codes and strategies to make difficult codes. Students saw the importance of observation and using all information given to them to help solve a problem. All students had the opportunity to work on their individualized project. Some students studied gadgets while others students studied codes and real life spies.

Simple Machines, Complex Designs

We have an exciting week of building Rube Goldberg Machines and other complex machines ahead of us. If you have any empty tubes from paper towels rolls or bathroom tissue that you wouldn't mind sharing with the class, please send those in with your students.

Putting the U in Universe

We have an exciting week ahead of us as we wrap up the summer and delve deeper into the universe. Students are looking forward to the final projects.

The Detective: Master of Mysteries

Students learned the importance of using all evidence to solve a crime. They continued to work on their observation skills by observing all the details in an area. Students had the opportunity to research a topic that they wanted to learn more about. Some of the research included: 1. The importance of lip prints and how they are used in crime scenes. 2. Different types of fingerprints and the comparison of fingerprints. 3. Tools detectives of use and how those tools help them in the field.

Sports Stop

In Sports Stop, students continued to work on their skills in football, soccer, and basketball. Students had the opportunity to learn more about the sport, team, or player they chose last week to research.

Art Alley

This past week has been petty exciting in Art Alley! We have started working on our Artist Trading Cards, our paper mâché sculpture, and our drawing. The students have been jumping feet first into each project and have been using their creativity to develop each work of art. I look forward to presenting all their work in the end of program Gallery!