GT Academy Newsletter

January 2023

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Happy New Year!

As we return to school for the spring semester, we are excited to explore new concepts, create new products and presentations, and connect with peers. This semester will bring many exciting events, including TMSCA, FPS, DI and Quiz Bowl competitions, a Robotics Exhibition, the GTAB Winter Hoopla, and GTA Student Showcase.

The end of the fall semester was full of activities and outings. Fifth graders examined the beautiful details of award winning quilts at the International Quilt Festival, sixth graders extended their knowledge of Edgar Allen Poe stories as they attended a performance at the University of Houston, and seventh graders dressed up to enjoy A Christmas Carol at The Alley Theatre. All students completed the second round of mini courses and many traveled off campus to explore the content more in depth.

  • Marine Biology students traveled to Sea Center Texas to tour the fish hatchery.
  • Stock Market students traveled downtown to the Chase Tower to tour the offices of Sanders, Morris, and Harris LLC.
  • Mars Rover students traveled to Space Center Houston to gather more information as they prepare their rovers and presentations for the University of Houston Mars Rover Celebration.
  • Instant Challenge and Storybook STEM students tried out indoor skydiving.
  • Storytelling students shared stories and puppets with first and second graders at Cockrell and Rustic Oak Elementary.
  • Students studying Vietnamese took a trip to the Hong Kong Mall to practice newly acquired language skills as they were immersed in the culture.
  • Neuroscience students visited the Houston Health Museum and then returned to the science lab to dissect sheep brains.
  • Looming students made over 50 hats and planned a celebration to share them with our Life Skills friends.
  • Students visited the African American Culture Museum and Asia Society Texas to extend their knowledge of different cultures.
  • Art Smart students visited Museum of Fine Arts Houston and toured Pearland looking at the painted pears at City Hall and the parks.

** Click the "Brainstem" "Flying" and "Rube Goldberg" buttons below for a fun look at some of the experiences.

GTA Application

  • The GT Academy application for the 2023-2024 school year will open in Skyward under “Custom Forms" on January 3, 2023. Please use your parent Skyward account to indicate if your child will continue in the GT Academy or return to his/her zoned campus next year. The deadline to submit is February 1, 2023.

  • Parents and students interested in applying to the GT Academy for the first time are invited to attend an informational meeting Thursday, January 19th 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Sablatura cafeteria.

GTAB Winter Hoopla

Mark your calendars for The GT Academy Booster Club’s biggest annual fundraiser! The GTAB Winter Hoopla will be held Friday, February 3, 2023 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Sablatura cafeteria. We will have an online silent auction, a talent show, a bake sale and food trucks so that our families can enjoy dinner together.

Students are encouraged to bring in items for class baskets which will also be auctioned. Get ready to bid on a Harry Potter basket, Buc-ee's basket, Valentine basket and others! More information about basket themes will be sent out from GTA teachers. Thank you for your support!


TMSCA is an organization formed by Texas math and science teachers to promote excellence in math and science through competition. Each year, our students join others from around the state to compete and build their skills in Number Sense, General Math, Calculator and Science. Students practice weekly after school and attend practice meets throughout the fall semester. In the spring, students work hard to get a qualifying score so that they can represent the Sab/ West TMSCA team at the annual state competition. Last year, we had our largest group ever qualify for the state competition. Over one hundred Sab / West students traveled to San Antonio and ultimately placed third overall!

On Saturday, February 25 we will host a qualifying competition on the PJHW campus. Several surrounding districts will join Pearland ISD as students work to qualify for a place at state. We need parents and others to serve as test proctors, graders, registration, score tabulation, hospitality and concessions. If you are interested in helping please sign up using the link below.

Working together for student success is always worth your time. Thank you in advance for your help.

GTA Student Receives Patent

When Anahi Barroche was a GT Academy student she chose to take the Inventions mini course. She learned how to brainstorm, survey, create a prototype, and market an idea. As part of the course, she participated in the Sablatura Inventors' Showcase and was one of the top inventors. This allowed her to advance to the Houston Young Inventors Showcase at the University of Houston. There, she earned the top prize, which included an opportunity to work with a patent attorney.

Fast forward a few years, and we are excited to announce that Anahi's patent was approved couple of months ago and she recently received the good news about the official publication.

The patent for TIME TRACKING SYSTEM AND METHOD OF USE will be registered officially as of January 3, 2023!

The invention is a method of tracking swimming time, which comprises a stopwatch with a waterproof housing, as well as 2 sensors: the first sensor is placed at the first end of the swimming lane and the second sensor is secured to the second end of the swimming lane. Both sensors communicate with the stopwatch.

In order to activate the stopwatch to start time tracking accurately, the swimmer will need to push off of the first sensor at the moment of departure in order to ensure that the time counter begins and it is as accurate as possible.

The invention allows the swimmer to track their number of laps and time while swimming underwater without stopping. The waterproof stopwatch is connected to sensors which can adhere to the pool’s wall underwater allowing swimmers to track their time in an easier way. The sensors will transmit the information to the stopwatch each time the swimmer’s feet or hands touch the sensors. The stopwatch will automatically save the time per lap made. At the end, the swimmer will be able to compare the time made during his/her various laps.

Currently, Anahí is a freshman at Dawson High School. She participates in Future Problem Solving. She attends dance classes every day and is a member of her dance studio’s competition team. In addition, she is currently learning Italian, as well as Korean.

Anahi's parents shared that they are thankful for the opportunity GTA students have to study topics that allow kids to "imagine, dream, think without limits,."

Quilt Festival

Team Purdue students attended the International Quilt Festival hosted at the George R. Brown Convention Center on November 3rd. The trip provided an enriching opportunity to view the showcase of quilts so that students could appreciate the beauty, patterns, and stories behind the works of art. After completing research papers, students will work in groups to design and sew their own quilts as the culminating product for their Texas Performance Standards Project.

Thank you to all the parents and Advanced Academics staff who joined us as chaperones!


GT Academy teachers and administrators recently attended the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented GiftED22 conference in Houston. This annual conference is the place for educators to gather to share current research and best practices for gifted students.

Mrs. Mueller presented a session on implementing the Texas Standards Projects, and Nathan and Tegan, two former GTA students the top two graduates of PHS Class of 2022, served on a panel of students discussing their experience with gifted education. Both Nathan and Tegan currently attend Rice University. Nathan, inspired by the neuroscience mini course, is studying neuroscience and has written a book titled The Adventures of Brandon and Gigabit:An Introduction to the Human Hunger Hormone.


Sab Robotics teams are making steady progress with the FLL and TCEA challenges, both with a focus on cargo distribution. PJHW Robotics students were treated to an afternoon hanging out with the high school Pearadox robotics team. Pearadox team members supported junior high students as they built robots for this year's challenge. This year, Sab Robotics and PJHW Robotics will join other Pearland ISD teams at the PISD Robotics Exhibition Saturday, March 4th.

We Love the Theatre!

Sixth graders traveled to the University of Houston to see a performance of Edgar Allen Poe's works on November 1st. Seventh graders dressed up to attend The Alley Theatre's performance of A Christmas Carol. In February, eighth graders will see a musical performance of The Lightning Thief at Houston's Main Street Theatre.

Work Hard, Play Hard

Middle school and junior high can be lots of fun when you get involved and connect with friends! It is important to balance hard work and studying with a little fun. Sab students danced the night away and ate way too much candy at the annual Monster Bash in October. PJHW students dressed up in their best 1980's attire for the winter social. Both events were hosted by the schools' PTA.

GTA Spotlight

Mark Your Calendar

January 3 GT Academy application opens in Skyward

January 5 Students return to school

January 9 Seventh grade TPSP research due

January 13 Sixth grade TPSP research papers due

January 16 School Holiday

January 18 Winter Hoopla basket items collection deadline

January 19 GTA Prospective Student / Parent Info Night 6:30-7:30

January 20 DI Teams extended practice 4:00-6:00 @ Sab

January 23 Mini Course #3 Begins

January 27 Winter Hoopla Talent Show rehearsal 4:00-6:00 @ Sab

February 1 GT Academy application deadline

February 1 FPS State Qualifier (Sab) 4:00-6:00

February 3 GTAB Winter Hoopla 6:00-8:00 p.m. @ Sab

February 7 Sablatura Inventors' Showcase 9:00-12:00

February 16 Eighth grade to Main Street Theatre

February 17 Fifth grade TPSP rough draft due

February 17 Pearland ISD Quiz Bowl

February 18 TMSCA Competition @ Village

February 20 Student Holiday

February 24 Sab Mardi Gras Bash

February 25 TMSCA Competition @ PJHW

February 25 Destination Imagination @ Mayde Creek HS

February 28 Fifth grade TPSP research final copy due

March 25 Mars Rover Celebration @ UH

GTA Parent Mid Year Survey

As we begin the second semester, parents are invited to let us know how we are doing. Please take 3 minutes to answer 8 quick questions. Thank you!

Gifted Resources

National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)

Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT)

Hoagies' Gifted Education Page

Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)

2e- Twice Exceptional Newsletter

The Gifted Guru

Byrdseed Gifted