Summer Institute for the Gifted

Week 1 Newsletter for The Hudson School

Biology of Me

This week in Biology of Me, students explored their bodies' major organs and systems. They worked together to create models of the heart, skeleton, body, and brain. They used the computers to begin researching their projects. Videos, computers, books, and experiments are being used to gain understanding of how the human body works.

Expanding Your Universe

Students are learning about the birth of a star, how planets are created, and the forces that keep it all together. They completed various hands-on activities to understand the concepts introduced, including the creation of our own human solar system! Our students are prepared to start space exploration projects, investigating places real and imagined!

Sports Stop - B!

Our athletes have discussed the relative advantages and disadvantages of both team and individual sports. As a class, students are starting to explore how we classify the many different sports and will apply this knowledge in their major project. The students have played basketball, dodgeball, kickball, and soccer, and they have been given the opportunity to implement strategy and to practice skills specific to each of these sports.

Speaking, Writing, Empowering!!

This week in Speaking, Writing, Empowering! we shared some of our most memorable dreams and nightmares. Students interpreted each others' dreams by illustrating what they envisioned such dreams to look like. As each student saw how their dream was interpreted, they became more aware of how they were conveying or neglecting valuable information in their speech.

Building Blocks of Engineering

Students are learning what an engineer does through an aerodynamics challenge!! Our little engineers are creating gliders to learn the principles of flight and how to manipulate these principles to accomplish a set of challenges.

Cracking Codes: Patterns & Probability

This week, we have explored patterns using objects, colors, music, and numbers. We have learned how letter frequency can be connected to patterns in writing. The class has learned some simple substitution codes and is enjoying creating coded messages. Each student has made a decision about a major project they will complete for this course.

Art Alley

What makes a shoe mine? This is how Art Alley began. The students drew their own shoe, and we discovered we have a class of very creative art students! The class learned color mixing. Using complement colors and the color wheel, they made a collage of shapes in a primary and its complementary color. We explored art tools of the trade and used a printer's lupe. Using Tempura water colors, the students experimented with some new painting techniques, sprinkling salt and painting with string in a burst of creative energy.

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Simple Machines, Complex Designs

This week, our inquisitive students learned the answer to the questions:

  • What is a simple machine?
  • What are the six types of simple machines?
We also used the simple machines in our bodies to create a human complex machine. At the end of the week, we took a closer look at levers and screws.

Under The Sea: Diving into Marine Science

The first week of Under the Sea has been very interesting and productive. The students learned about how Pangea broke into the modern continents with hands-on experiements, and they continued to study how the landforms were created. They did so by experimenting with activities such as puting hot water in a cup to watch it rise, and using textbooks to create air pressure, which simulates landmasses rising. They also studied the moon and its affect on tides, taking part in a "Tide Game" to show which way the tidal bulge stretches in relation to the rotating moon. Additionally, the students began to research an oceanographer with a specialty of their choosing, and they studied the Hudson River and its significance to the New York-New Jersey region.

Sports Stop - Section A

This week in Sports Stop, our students learned about the value of structure within sports by implementing creative changes to rules and norms and actively testing them out. Specifically, students played dodgeball and basketball using different types of balls and discussing the benefits and disadvantages in play that resulted. Students also began working on a sport/game of their own creation.

The Detective: Master of Mysteries

This week in The Detective, we started using logic and deduction skills to solve mini mysteries. We also used our senses to solve mysteries. At the end of the week, we started observing crime scenes and practicing some interviewing techniques that detectives use.

The Curious Chemist: Chemistry in Our Daily Lives

During the first week of The Curious Chemist, students dove headfirst into some of the major aspects of the field of chemistry. They started the week making predictions and coming up with a question that they would ultimately like to solve using the Scientific Method. The students then moved on to the Periodic Table of Elements and atoms, making hands-on models of common elements and compounds using yummy tools such as marshmallows and jellybeans. They continued to experiment with chemical reactions, making a "Cloud in a Bottle," invisible ink, and watching the effects of vinegar as it cleans dirty pennies. They wrapped up the week making their own ice cream, studying how the materials react to create the icy consistency of ice cream.

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Spying: Secrets, Surveillance, and Science

In this week's lessons, our covert students have considered many different examples of spy technology including concealed weapons and surveillance devices. We learned some terminology specifc to intelligence gathering disciplines. Each student has made a decision about a major project they will complete for this course, and we are excited to move forward!

Lessons from the Wild Things: How to Write and Illustrate Your Own Book

What an imaginative and fun group of students! We read and looked at picture books and talked about how the books were made and what is a plot, a conflict and bleeding colors. The students sat in a circle as they went around to each student adding to a story they made up as they played "And then What?" Our budding authors and illustrators then made storyboards as they started to plan to make their own books, "The Big Idea." The class also visited the Children's Room at the Hoboken Public Library to research the various Caldecott books. We enjoyed a dramatic reading of our course's inspiration, Where the Wild Things Are, from Senior Children's Librarian, Ms. Lois Gross, and then explored and discussed different pictures to draw for our own books.

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Rocks, Minerals, and Crystals: Earth's Treasures

This week, our students took a firsthand look at what it takes to be a geologist and classify rocks, minerals, and crystals. They rock hunted in a nearby park, using their own rocks to learn different classification techniques. Next, the students studied the differences between rocks and minerals, using gumdrops to make models of the variations of the two. Students continued to learn about crystals by beginning to grow their own rock candy, which should be finished midweek next week. They also had the opportunity to observe, analyze, and compare rocks, minerals, fossils, and gems, using rock collections, magnifying glasses, and microscropes.


Monday, July 15th 2013 at 10am

601 Park Avenue

Hoboken, NJ

The annual SIG picture day will be held during the day this coming Monday. Please have your child wear his or her red SIG shirt for our camp photo. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Director, Mal Goss, at or our Office Manager, Gabrielle Figueroa, at