GT Academy Newsletter

April / May 2016

This edition of the GT Academy Newsletter has been designed and written by students.

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GTA Student Showcase

By: Mihir

On May 26th, students, teachers, parents and members of our community gathered at the Pearland ISD Education Support Center for the GT Academy Showcase. It was a huge presentation of 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade projects. These Texas Performance Standards Project (TPSP) displays were worked on throughout the year. The hardworking students of the GTA even worked after school and on weekends, putting their heart and soul into this project.

Fifth graders wrote a research paper on a specific topic of interest and created a quilt to represent what they learned. Sixth graders learned about about many countries around the world. After writing a research paper, they designed a website that included a three week travel blog, map and budget spreadsheet. Seventh and eighth grade students at PJH West presented their STEM projects, including videos to explain their ideas and the process.

Culture Fest

By: Preston

In April, the entire school learned about foreign countries and decorated the school to represent diverse countries from around the world. Team TCU had Asia and decorated the hallway with a giant dragon and a koi pond, and that's just scratching the surface. Team Purdue went with Oceania and decorated the hallway with an underwater theme including but not limited to blue paper over the lights, boomerangs, shark and alligator silhouettes made to look like you were under water, and a giant coral reef. Attendees also enjoyed performances including Indian and African drums, dancing and singing. There were many activities to do such as having your hand decorated with henna and learning about Australia's folklore. You could also make Aboriginal art. So, as you can see, both GTA teams worked really hard to put on a great International Festival displaying the culture that is represented at the Academy.

GTA Teachers

By: Olivia

Well Grizzlies, this year has been a great one! We’ve been working hard, finishing up our various projects and classes. But hey, who’s to say that our teachers aren’t working hard too? We all know they are. I’d like to take some time to recognize their hard work as well. Come on guys, they deserve it.

The fabulous Mrs. Maricle led our storytelling and horticulture mini-courses, earning a grant for a better irrigation system on the patio. She has helped us with our TPSP research papers, newscasts, and everyday class work.

Mr. Smith contributed greatly to the success of our International Festival, allowing it to be the truly memorable experience it was. He also earned a grant. His was for photography equipment which is essential for his photography mini-course.

Marvelous Mrs. Medley has not disappointed this year, giving us so many fun and educational labs to do. She earned the title of Sablatura Teacher of the Year this year. Teachers celebrated by dressing up like mad scientists when Dr. Kelly came to tell her congratulations. We are all extremely proud of her and her achievements! Next year’s fifth graders really do have something to be excited about.

Mrs. Needler has impressed us yet again, teaching two years of math in one. It is hard to learn that much math, but it’s also hard to teach. She also sponsors Sablatura’s Math Club, which just recently went to the state competition in San Antonio.

Our sixth grade math teacher, Mrs. Cybak, took a risk and decided to try out flipped math homework and lessons. It actually works pretty well, and gives her more time to work with us during class, rather than explaining formulas. She also went to the state competition with Math Club.

Mrs. Stenvall, our sixth grade science teacher, spent a ton of time planning out lessons. Each day we took notes, and had discussions about the day’s topic. She had us go especially crazy during the space unit, where we designed PowerPoints and poster boards on our favorite space topic. She loves outer space! She also won a grant for her science class, so her incoming students will have many more fun labs.

The fantastic Ms. Sisk has really laid it on thick this year. With coaching the Future Problem Solving teams and helping us with our TPSP “travel reports”, we know her year has been a crazy one. She is currently in Michigan with our FPS team, competing in the Future Problem Solver’s International Competition. Good luck to Elaine, Amber, Ella, and Emily!

Mrs. Boyd is the queen of fun projects. She helped organize our spectacular International Festival, helping us bring supplies and research our countries. She taught us about DBQ (Document Based Questioning) and helped us learn the steps needed to complete it. She whisked us around the world- from Ontario to Adelaide.

Mrs. Manning, our wonderful Technology Specialist, even got in on the action! She was awarded a grant as well, for a green screen. I want to say thank you to all of these fantastic teachers for their hard work and dedication. This year wouldn’t have been as great without you and your determination!

GTA Students Compete Across the USA

By: Rishabh

As summer awaits, our extracurricular teams end the year with an explosion of city-wide, regional, state, national, and even international competitions, ranging from robotics to Future Problem Solving.

One activity the GTA and the whole of Leon Sablatura Middle School participated in recently was the National Seaperch Challenge at Louisiana State University. Two Sablatura teams, the Aqua Tronz and Hydro Tech, were invited to compete in the Seaperch Robotics Challenge, where teams must complete a poster and a judged interview, as well as guide a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, underwater through a series of obstacle courses, including a ring course and an orbs challenge. They have proudly represented our school and earned us national fame.

Another trial was met by the TCEA robotics groups The Asian Bots and Team Scorpion, who fought their way through a series of challenges related to this year’s theme, PowerUp, involving conservation of energy and space. They programmed Lego NXT Mindstorm robots to guide themselves with no outside contact through each challenge. At the State Competition they took home third place and went home triumphantly.

While all the excitement was happening in robotics, a 1st GTA team and individual will find themselves advancing to the Future Problem Solving Program International. These five girls, Amber, Elaine, Ella , Emily, and Cordelia, having already won at FPS State, and will progress on and compete in East Lansing, Michigan, for a shot at winning the world championship. We wish them the best of luck are proud of their hard work.

Finally, Christopher, in Mr. Smith’s homeroom has won the Young Inventor’s Showcase

at the University of Houston for his therapeutic invention the Bouncy Boot! He earned the prize of a $5,000 patent including a legal team which is helping him get his patent accepted and begin production.

So don’t forget our clubs and extracurricular activities! Be sure to recognize these people for their amazing achievements and, if you haven’t joined one yet, think about joining a club.

Sab's Got Talent

By: Bidisha

The talent show is a time for students to show everyone their natural and learned skills. So many people tried out that is was hard for the judges to decide who would be in the show. This year, there were many interesting performances - different dances, songs, skits, guitar and piano players, gymnastics, and more! Even our teachers were in this spectacular show, tap dancing, singing and "synchronized" swimming. It was enjoyed by everyone, and all in all it was an unforgettable experience.

Field Day Fun

Keep your brain in shape this summer!

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The 2016-2017 Quiz Bowl topic is World War II!

Students can get a head start this summer by reading the following:


Number the Stars by Lois Lowry


· World War II for Kids by Richard Panchyk

· Remember World War II: Kids Who Tell Their Stories by Dorinda Nicholson

· DK Eyewitness: World War II by Simon Adams

· Navajo Code-Talkers by Nathan Aaseng

Videos From -

· World War II: Crash Course World History #38

· Rosie the Riveter: Real Women Workers in World War II

· Churchill – Their Finest Hour (audio slideshow)

· War Time Nutrition (propaganda piece)

· Yes, That Is My Father

Bluebonnet Books:

Lone Star Books:


All GTA students have a 12 month ALEKS account, and are encouraged to keep up with their practice an hour each week.


Get your daily dose of the SET game. A fun way to keep your brain in shape this summer.

Tell Us What You Think!

By: Anthony

If you didn't already know, at the end of the year we take a survey on how the year went. The survey is important because it gets feedback from the students and parents and helps the GTA grow in the ways kids want. There are questions like what you want expanded and even new clubs. These questions could help not only you but the future students of the GTA. We encourage current students and parents to take this survey if you haven't already. Just click the link below. And while you're at it, click the Animoto link below to view the slideshow from the Awards Ceremony!