GT Academy Newsletter
January / February / March 2019
2019 QUIZ BOWL CHAMPS!
After months of intense studying and a very close competition, Sablatura Middle School came out on top, with the highest overall score at Pearland ISD's fourteenth annual Quiz Bowl. Middle school and junior high teams competed in the General Trivia and Super Quiz contests, held at Berry Miller Junior High on March 1st. This year's competition was based on the 2019 Academic Decathlon them "The Groovy 1960's." The purpose of this event is to build "capacity and interest in the high school Academic Decathlon program." We are very proud of our future PISD Academic Decathlon students.
A big thank you to our Sablatura Quiz Bowl sponsors, Mrs. VanderWoude and Ms. Maldonado, who worked with our teams each week!
1st Place Super Quiz 5th Grade: Ares, Roy, Jason, Geoffrey, Nicholas, Kara, Helina, and Sarang
2nd Place Super Quiz 6th Grade: Abigail, Chris,, J.P., Phillip, Kesler, Vincent, Tadewa, and Hilton
1st Place General Trivia 5th Grade: Derek, Tanishta, Zoe and Emma
1st Place General Trivia 6th Grade: Van, Kyle, Ethan and Daniel
2nd Place General Trivia 5th Grade: Mason, Jeremiah, Amy, and Bryan
Individual High Scores: Tanishta and Kyle
A growing body of research on social emotional learning suggests that teaching mindfulness has shown to have positive effects on the mental health of students. There are many potential benefits of practicing mindfulness such as promoting a relaxed, comfortable state of being, which is ideal for learning. When children are anxious, frustrated or stressed, it is difficult for them to learn. Mindfulness enhances focus, attention and concentration, and provides opportunities for reflection which can reduce behaviors such as bullying or impulsivity. It also encourages community and connectedness within the classroom and school.
This sense of community, connectedness and focus was evident as students in Ms. Maldonado's Psychology mini course were introduced to mindfulness and yoga. Students had the opportunity to learn from Mrs. Valerie Immore, owner/director of Sundance Yoga studios in Pearland and Friendswood, and Dr.Alejandro Chaoul, founding director of the Mind Body Spirit Institute of Houston. Dr. Chaoul is currently a faculty member in the Integrative Medicine Program of MD Anderson Cancer Center, where since 1999, he has been leading people with cancer and their family members through mind/body/spirit techniques aimed at reducing stress and facilitating healing.
Students had this to say about their experience:
"The relaxation really helped me to relax and clear my mind." - Mercedes
"I really felt relaxed and at peace while doing the yoga positions. Also, I learned the saying 'peace begins with me'. These techniques caused me to relax and let go of my stress. It gave me the opportunity to reflect on myself and who I am as a person." - Nuria
"We learned about 'om.' It means everything. You can hear it everywhere, in complete silence. You can hear it in the ground, nature, electricity, and your mind." - Bailey
"It was great timing after all of our testing. I felt very relaxed and calm." - Ruby
"I think meditation and yoga should be brought to schools across America." - Adrian
Lights, Camera, Action!
Students Visit Texas A&M Galveston
Prior to the TAMU Galveston visit, students in the Marine Biology course enjoyed close observations and analysis of a variety of marine animals including a squid and sea anemone. The lab was a little stinky, but very interesting. Thank you, GTAB, for purchasing all the creatures for us to study!
6th Grade Students Begin Spring Break With TPSP Community Outreach
After studying injustices around the world for their Texas Performance Standards Projects (TPSP), several sixth grade students shared this new knowledge with their community. Sixth grade TPSP groups were able to choose to present their research through a "Ted-Ed Talk", scrapbook of their travels, or community outreach event. Kesler, Meena, Maddie and Meena E. stayed up late cooking delicious Indian food to share with the community and friends at the park, where they presented information about the ongoing prejudice following the caste system in India. Shreysi and Jayden planned and hosted a soccer game, and at half time, spoke briefly about the lasting effects of the Rwandan Genocide and the refugees who are still suffering. Students not only brought awareness to these issues, but encouraged people to take a stand and make a difference. One group is continuing to raise money to help refugees. If you would like to join them as they take action to impact the world, please follow this link to their Go Fund Me page. We are so proud of these difference makers!
TPSP Quilting Has Begun!
Mrs. Cybak: Sablatura's Teacher of the Year!
Congratulations to Mrs. Cybak, our Sablatura Middle School Teacher of the Year! This is Mrs. Cybak's fifth year teaching advanced math at the GT Academy. Using the blended learning approach with flipped lessons, her class is challenging and fun. Not only is she an awesome math teacher, but she has inspired future financial advisors in the Stock Market Game mini course. (By the way, the sixth grade "CIA" team is a lead contender in this contest, and was in 4th place during Spring Break!) She also teaches the Forensics course, and sponsors the Coding Club and Book Club. Other interesting things to know about Mrs. Cybak: Her favorite animal (besides her new pup) is a sloth, and she collects funny memes to post in her classroom. We are lucky to have you, Mrs. Cybak!
Third Annual Robotics Exhibition
Friendswood Junior High robotics teams joined us for a few rounds of friendly TCEA arena competition, with our Pearadox friends as judges. Pearadox and the PJHW First Tech Challenge teams brought their robots and demonstrated some of the cool moves they've been programmed to do for their competitions. Our own First Lego League teams showed their robots' moves on the board and gave their presentation in the library. In addition, Mars Rover teams shared their rovers, the Coding Club taught visitors to code, and the Drone Club flew their drones in the foyer.
We were excited to have representatives from Code Ninja, Smart Core Tech, and Drone Parks Worldwide share opportunities for our students, and Houston Food Trucks to feed us. Dr. Kelly, Mrs. Gigee, and school board members Mrs. Decker and Mrs. Carbone stopped by too, and we truly appreciate their support of our growing robotics program.
Sablatura Robotics: We Plan. We Build. We Leave a Mark.
FLL, Seaperch, TMSCA, FPS, and Mars Rover Teams are Ready!
Future Problem Solvers are headed to state! This year's topic is "Coping With Stress." Congratulations to the following students who qualified to represent Sablatura:
- Sixth Grade Team: J.P. , Amy , Meena , Maya
- Fifth Grade Team: Kara, Emma , Aila , Sarina
- Individual: Kesler
- Alternates: Sophie and Richa
The Seaperch team is polishing their presentation & interview skills and have been getting some of their fastest times in the pool lately. Good luck at the Manvel High School competition!
- Sparky Sparkfish: Aerik, Meena, J.P., Isabel, Ronie
Our First Lego League team will compete in Sugarland at the FLL Championship Competition. This group has put in many hours developing their presentation and perfecting their program. We are so proud of you!
- Pearanauts: Abigail, Avery, Noah, Cameron, James, Elena, Daniela, Jerry, Andy
Nineteen students qualified in Number Sense, Calculator, General Math or General Science, for the TMSCA state competition to be held in San Antonio. This is a challenging competition, and the hours of dedicated practice have paid off for these awesome students. Keep up the good work!
- Braydon, Kesler, Lydia, Isaac, Christopher, Marc, Madi, Mahesh, Mia, Aedan, Maya, Vaughn, Shreyasi, Daniel, Bowen, Iris, Jerry
Mars Rover teams will compete at the University of Houston among many other Houston area schools. These students have built rover prototypes, researched and written scripts to demonstrate their knowledge of NASA's Mars Rover missions.
- Team Tatooine: Emma, Bowen, Phiilip, Isaac
- Team Mars Rovers: Vaughn, Kennan, Brayden
- Team CRAH: Aven, Ronie, Collin
- Team RPM: Hongkai, Ethan, Caden, Ayush
- Team Orbiters: Katherine, Daniela, Bryan, Jerry
- Team Planet Pirates: Alex, Ethan, Zachary, Rasheed, Eduardo
The Planet Pirates are ready.
19 Sab students have qualified for the TMSCA state competition.
Thank you to parents who volunteered at the TMSCA competition.
GTA Partners With Smart Core Labs
Thirty students participated in the Sablatura STEM Day Camp on February 18th.Students learned how to build and control an EV3 robot, read data from its sensors, and navigate an obstacle course.They learned about hardware programming and electronics using the Arduino R3, assembled a simple circut and programed it to blink.At the end of the day, they learned basic aeronautic terminology and flight phsyics as they practiced flying drones.
Eight robotics team members chose to further their advanced coding skills through a six week course with Smart Core Labs instructors. These kids are building valuable math and problem solving skills, and are on their way to possible careers in computer science, graphic design, software development, computer engineering, and more. Keep up the good work!
Mark Your Calendar:
- March 19: FPS State Parent Meeting @ Sablatura Cafeteria 6:30-7:30 p.m.
- March 21: Mars Rover Parent Presentations @ Sablatura Library 5:00-6:00 p.m.
- March 21: TMSCA Parent Meeting (for students going to state) 6:00 p.m.
- March 23: Mars Rover Celebration @ University of Houston
- March 23: FLL Championship Competition
- March 23: Seaperch Regional Competition @ Manvel Hight School
- March 26: Sablatura STEM Night 6:30 p.m.
- April 4: Inventors' Showcase Parent Presentations 5:00-6:00 @ Sab Library
- April 5: Sablatura Inventors' Showcase
- April 8: TCU Mini Course #4 Begins
- April 9: 5th STAAR Math
- April 10: 5th STAAR Reading
- April 12-14: FPS State Competition @ San Marcos
- April 19: Good Friday Holiday
- April 22-26: Mrs. Mueller visits elementary campuses
- April 23: GTAB Meeting @ Sabaltura Library 6:30 p.m.
- April 25: PJHW GTA Showcase @ PJHW
- April 26-28: TMSCA State Competition @ San Antonio
- May 1: Sablatura GTA Student Showcase @ ESC 6:00-7:30 p.m.
- May 13: 6th STAAR Math
- May 14: 6th STAAR Reading
- May 15: 5th STAAR Science
- May 16: Credit By Exam (CBE) registration deadline *Contact counselor for forms.
- May 20: GTA Awards
- May 24: Last Day of School
Mrs. Meredith A Austin, Ed.D., and former Sablatura GT Academy teacher, shares her thoughts about HB3.