GT Academy Newsletter
- Students continue to excel in the classroom and in their extracurricular endeavors. Our PJHW Quiz Bowl team brought home the championship trophy this year, with the Sablatura team not far behind. More students than ever have qualified to compete at the state level for TMSCA and FPS. We will be cheering on Justin at the Scripps Spelling Bee as he represents Pearland ISD. Sablatura inventors will share their ideas in Houston in May and Mars Rover teams will travel to the University of Houston to present to judges at the end of this month.
- We continue to explore interests and connect with engaging experiences outside the school walls. Students enjoy the depth of learning that comes from field experiences and unique mini courses. Fifth and sixth grade students in the Lights, Camera, Action mini course planned, prepared and presented Alice in Wonderland for us on February 28th. The talented cast and crew are pictured above.
- The GT Academy Student Showcase is not far away. Students will present Texas Performance Standards Projects to parents and the community on May 11th & 12th.
You will definitely want to pay attention to the important dates at the end of the newsletter. I also recommend clicking the links for further reading about an upcoming parent webinar, GT Awareness Week, and an article about kids and social media.
So grab a coffee or your favorite soft drink, maybe a snack, and enjoy!
GT Academy Specialist
Students studied NASA's Artemis mission and worked in teams to construct models.
Students were treated to "flash talks" by professors and graduate students in the University of Houston's psychology department.
After creating their own art cars, students visited Houston's Art Car Museum then returned to school for their own art car parade down the GTA hallway.
Students visited Buchanan's nursery to learn about local pollinators and purchase plants as they prepare to revive the PJHW campus garden.
Our resident Hogwarts enthusiasts had fun making wands, stirring up potions and playing Quiddiitch. A big thank you to Mrs. Duncan for sharing her love of all things Harry Potter!
A trip to the Houston Zoo never disappoints, especially with Ms. Singleton. Students studied the layout of the zoo before creating their own zoo models.
After exploring how biodiversity and invasive species affect their lives, students traveled to Armand Bayou Nature Center to hike, sweep net for insects, and dip net at the pond.
These fun homemade aprons will remind students of shared favorite recipes and learning to make sushi with Mrs. Trinh.
Arts & Crafts
Students visited the Shard Yard to create one of a kind three dimensional art with reclaimed glass.
Students spread kindness throughout Pearland as they placed inspirational painted rocks around the parks.
Students toured Minute Maid Park with a behind the scenes look at the operations and the exciting career path of sports marketing.
After a tour of the Dawson High School campus, our Dungeons and Dragons group connected with the D&D Eagle Hour group for some game time and pizza.
Quiz Bowl Champs
Each DI team is led by an adult volunteer who serves as the team manager. Thank you to our fearless 2022-2023 team managers Mrs. Katyal, Mr. Wang, Mrs. Floyd, Mrs. Russo, Mrs. Lanier, Mrs. Anderson, Mr. Shen, Mr. Lemuz, Mrs. Jayasuriyan, Ms. Hill, and Mrs. Briggs.
Take a look below at next year's challenge previews! Gather your creative friends, recruit a team manager, and we will start again in the fall.
Houston Young Inventors' Showcase
- Beach Buddy by Ashlyn Wiesepape
- Porta Gamer by Justin Hirsh
- Freggie Slicer by Stephen Robin
- GERT by Yichen Liu
- Solaris by Ashley Jiang
These students, along with our Honorable Mention inventors, will represent Pearland ISD at the upcoming Houston Young Inventors' Showcase finals which will be held at the The Ion Houston on May 6th. To support the Houston Young Inventors' Showcase, click here.
Math is our Vibe
The math vibe is alive! Sab students flock to Mrs. Needler's room before school starts to sharpen their general math skills and stay late working with Ms. Hart to learn the latest calculator tricks. Mrs. Venkat's room is always buzzing with students striving for excellence as she coaches and prepares for the next competition. Recently, several of her top students traveled to Austin for the Math Counts state competition. They finished in the top 40% which is quite an achievement.
Another successful TMSCA qualifier competition was held this year at PJHW. Led by the talented team of Mrs. Needler, Mrs. Venkataramanan, Mrs. Hart, Mrs. Kovach and Mr. Chang, over 350 students from Pearland, Fort Bend, and other surrounding districts came together to compete in General Math, Number Sense, Calculator, and Science for a spot at the state competition. Suya placed first in Number Sense! Thank you to all the parents and teachers who volunteered as graders, proctors and concession stand helpers.
This year, our Sab/West TMSCA team did incredibly well and a record 138 students have qualified for the state competition in San Antonio. We are very proud of these dedicated students and wish them the best of luck at state.
Texas Performance Standards Projects
Research papers have been written and now students are in the product development phase of their Texas Performance Standards Projects. Fifth graders began cutting squares of fabric for their quilts this week, sixth graders are finishing maps and working on scrapbooks, vlogs and interviews, and junior high students began meeting with their groups to plan and develop display boards, action plans and presentations.
Parents are encouraged to ask students about progress each week. Although 5th and 6th grade students have specific products to develop, junior high students were given much more "voice and choice" regarding their topics and products.
Junior High parents are invited to view group presentations on April 4th (8th grade) and April 5th (7th grade) in the PJHW library during their child's Language Arts period. The top PJHW group projects will be invited to present at the GT Academy Student Showcase at the Pearland ISD Education Support Center May 11th & 12th.
5th grade will present their quilts at the showcase on May 11th and 6th grade will present on May 12th.
For an overview of each grade level's TPSP expectations that was introduced at the TPSP parent information meetings, visit the links below:
Click this button to join in the quilting fun. Quilting begins March 22nd. 8:35 - 9:20 a.m. / 3:00-3:45 p.m.
Parents are invited to help students record vlogs and interviews using green screen. Morning and afternoon times available.
Future Problem Solvers
Good Luck Justin
Justin will represent Pearland ISD at the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee hosted by Houston Community College on March 25th. The top three spellers at the regional level will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. While he is not studying all the words to prepare for March 25th Justin is keeping his math and science skills sharp as he prepares for the TMSCA state competition. This amazing GTA student has received first place in science the past two years. We are so proud of your hard work, Justin. Thank you to Mrs. Fitts-Batts for supporting all our spellers as the Spelling Bee coordinator for PJHW.
More information about the Scripps Spelling Bee can be found here.
Rovers are Ready
Thank you GTAB
The GT Academy Booster Club has gone above and beyond to support students and teachers this year. From theatre tickets and a tour of Minute Maid Park to sheep brain and shark dissections; Mars Rover and Artemis models, GimKits, Quizziz, GTAB has supplied and supported many of our mini courses.
GTAB hospitality is always appreciated by teachers as they surprise us with breakfast tacos for a team meeting, soups on a winter day, or our favorite snacks. Fundraising and family events such as the Fall Family Picnic, Winter Hoopla, and Color Run are fun because of their dedication to the vision of the GT Academy. This year, the Winter Hoopla raised $6,500 through the basket auction, bake sale and teacher experiences. Thank you to all who attended.
Parents are encouraged to become members of GTAB so that this incredible support can continue. If you have not already, please consider joining. If you are interested in becoming more involved, please consider becoming a board member position (VP or Secretary) or serving on a committee (Spirit Wear, Color Run, Winter Hoopla). Our new incoming 5th grade parents are encouraged to jump in too! If interested, you can reach out on the GTAB website or email Melissa Bennett, GTAB president, at email@example.com
Interested in GTAB membership? click here.
To order your GTA Yard Sign click here.
Texas Association for Gifted & Talented
G/T Awareness Week was created to increase awareness and encourage support of gifted education in Texas. Click here to share your story of #whyGT is important to you or your family and TAGT might feature your story of #whyGT matters in Texas.
If you plan on attending GTA Boot Camp, Pear Camp, or any other camp this summer, apply for a scholarship up to $400 through the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented.
7th and 8th grade Texas Performance Standards Projects this year were centered around the Six P's, which come from Andi McNair's work. Join Andi for a parent webinar about extending this to a passion project for the family.
Let's Go Outside
The PJHW Color Run is this Friday, March 24th! This fundraiser is hosted by PJHW PTA & GTAB. Funds will be used to help support student activities such as end-of-year class field trips. Don't want to walk/run? You can still join the patio social! Students should bring a towel, shoes they can get dirty, sunglasses & athletic shorts for this fun, but messy event.
Parent: Mrs. Bennett
As the GTAB president, Mrs. Bennett leads an incredible group of parents as they support the GT Academy. When she is not coordinating events, delivering checks, chaperoning students and spoiling GTA teachers, she is shuttling her three awesome boys to sporting and school events and running a thriving photography business. We appreciate all you do!
Student: Mark Zhang
Mark continues to dazzle us. Not only is he an excellent student, he is a talented artist and pianist. His Rodeo Art entry was magnificent and we could have listened to him play the piano all evening at the Winter Hoopla. Apparently, he is the guy to beat for TMSCA Calculator. Mark's teachers describe him as "so talented, yet so humble", "gracious and respectful," and "deliberate in showing gratitude." We are proud of you, Mark. Keep up the great work.
Teacher: Mrs. Venkataramanan
Mrs. Venkat has done such an incredible job encouraging and leading our PJHW students to excellence in math his year. She approaches every day with a positive attitude, eager to challenge our top math students and support any student who is struggling. We appreciate the countless hours and weekends she spends preparing students to be at the top of TMSCA and Math Counts competitions.
Parent: Mrs. Bennett
Student: Mark Zhang
Teacher: Mrs. Venkataramanan
Mark Your Calendar:
March 22 - Sablatura FPS parent meeting @ 5:00
March 24 - PJHW Color Run
March 25 - Mars Rover Celebration @ UH
March 25 - Scripps Spelling Bee
March 30 - Sablatura STEM Night 6:30-8:00
March 30 - PISD FPS Parent Meeting 6:00-7:00 (PJHW cafeteria)
March 31-April 2 - TMSCA State @ UTSA
April 4 - 8th Grade TPSP Presentations (Library)
April 5 - 7th Grade TPSP Presentations (Library)
April 7-10 Easter Break
April 12 - PSAT for all PJHW 8th Grade GT students
April 14-16 FPS State @ Waco
April 20 - STAAR RLA 7th / 8th
April 20 - Sab Robotics to First Robotics World @ George R. Brown
April 21 - PJHW Robotics to First Robotics World @ George R. Brown
April 25 - STAAR RLA 5th /6th
April 27 - STAAR Science 8th
May 2 - STAAR Science 5th / Math 7th / SS 8th
May 3 - PJHW Birthday Celebration
May 4 - STAAR Math 5th / 6th / 8th
May 6 - Houston Young Inventors' Showcase @ Houston Ion
May 9 - Algebra EOC
May 11 - GTA Student Showcase (5th & 7th) @ ESC 6:00-7:30 p.m.
May 12 - GTA Student Showcase (6th & 8th) @ ESC 6:00-7:30 p.m.