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2015-2106 GATE/Enrichment Projects

GATE logo--Japanese Shinto Gate
To begin the year, each of our GATE students in Grades 1-6 imagined themselves as a type of weather, and told about their experiences as a force of nature.  We used an image-altering program that allowed the students to appear inside the weather.
Our kindergarten enrichment group studied a trio of ancient buildings--The Great Pyramid of Giza, the Roman Colosseum, and the Parthenon.  After learning about the buildings' design and purpose, the students made models.  Note the velarium on the Colosseum!
Kindergarten also studied music.  We learned about how sound is produced, whether it's on a vibrating string, or a moving column of air.
Explorer book
Students in grade 1 examined explorers.  They looked at the explorer's process and famous discoveries worldwide, in space, and under the ocean.  The students wrote books about their own adventures as explorers.
Plant book
After this, the students learned about the parts of plants, and how those parts help them to survive in various environments.
Grade 1 Enrichment explored the fascinating world of insects.  First, they constructed a marshmallow bug, then a pasta model to represent a butterfly's life cycle.  Pairs of students studied individual insects and created their own "designer insects."  Finally, teams constructed frighteningly large grasshoppers to teach their peers about parts of an insect.
Students invent constellation and creation myth.
  Students in grade 2 learned about the life cycles and mythology of stars.  They invented constellations and wrote stories to explain their origins.
The GATE group also studied digestion. They tested a few foods for starch, sugar, and fat content.  They made models of a set of teeth, and also played a game that simulates the digestive process using a life-sized game board.
Grade 2 Enrichment students studied nature's great architects--animals who build spectacular structures.  First, students learned how effective shelters fill several needs including ventilation, protection, and insulation.  Then, they designed structures for animals using the raw materials found in the animals' environment.  Finally, they imagined how animal architects might design shelters for humans.
For a study of geometric solids, third grade GATE students created models and sculptures using a variety of pyramids and prisms.
In Grade 3 enrichment, students learned about various poetic techniques, and then applied them to create poems about animals they invented.
GATE students also studied foreign countries.  They picked three aspects of each country and presented them using three different methods.  These projects involved a good amount of independent research.  Students also learned Powerpoint to create slideshows about their countries.
To accompany the Nations of the World theme, third grade visited the Nationality Classrooms at the University of Pittsburgh.

Students in grades K, 1,2, and 3 participated in a two-day partnership with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.  On the first day, Joel Goodloe came to our school for a workshop to explain what to expect from an opera.  The second day was a visit to Arsenal Middle School for the live performance of Little Red Riding Hood.  After the performance, students were invited to ask questions for the performers.
Fourth grade learned all about the art and science of radio.  A field trip to Bricolage provided some experience in writing for radio and telling stories with sound.  GATE students also built working AM/FM radios.

 This year, Math Enrichment returned!  The students explored the relationship between mathematics, history, and art.  Here are a few of their tesselations.
A disaster story.
Fifth graders wrote "3-layer" disaster stories using photos, pictures, and text.

Grade 5 GATE students also studied sculpture through modelling, carving, and casting.
Group photo--platoon
This group visited Soldiers & Sailors Hall to learn about World War 2.
Indian design Grade 5 Enrichment students also explored the world of ancient India in Valmiki's Ramayana.

In grade 6 GATE, students began the year by exploring events in which weather affected history.  Among the topics were the Challenger Disaster, the Bombing of Nagasaki, and the Donora Disaster.
Grade 6 also explored various aspects of ancient cultures.  They created a variety of independent projects to share their knowledge.
Group photo in Dollar Bank Grade 6 students also visited some famous architectural landmarks in the Downtown Dragons walking tour presented by the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation.

After reading the great Indian epic, Ramayana, sixth graders illustrated scenes from the story using the cut-out style of Henri Matisse.
Enjoying dinner at the Taj Mahal As a celebration of this unit, enrichment students and their families enjoyed a special dinner at the outstanding Taj Mahal restaurant on McKnight Road.
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For 2013-2014 projects, click here!
For 2014-2015 projects, click here!
For 2016-2017 projects, click here! 
For 2017-2018 projects, click here! 
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North Hills School District
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Pittsburgh, PA 15229
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