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2016-2017 GATE/Enrichment Projects

For our opening group project, students in grades 1-6 drew inspiration from William Carlos Williams' poem, "This is Just to Say."  They wrote poems of apology to express an exceedingly small amount of regret for having caused trouble.  Here are just a few of the "Minor Annoyance" poems.
Kindergarten GATE students learned about Ancient Egypt by working in teams to build Nile riverboats.

This year, first graders learned about holidays from all over the world. They used the essential elements of a holiday (date, reason, rituals, artifacts) to create their own holidays.

This group also studied great American presidents.  After learning about their accomplishments, the students designed statues that symbolize the presidents' personal qualities.

In enrichment, grade 1 studied ancient Egypt. Students mummified apples, made Nile riverboats, learned about hieroglyphics and papyrus, and created "mythical" animals.

Second graders studied ways that musical instruments create sound, and how they work together to create larger works. Students created their own instruments, and wrote fantasy descriptions about a magical concert featuring living instruments.

The enrichment group studied the naturalistic works of architect Antoni Gaudi, to understand how buildings interact with their natural surroundings. They designed structures that co-exist in harmony with their chosen environments.

Students in grades K-2 also visited the Frick Pittsburgh, where they learned ways to interact with visual art.  They also saw Nate the Great at the Pittsburgh Playhouse.
In grade 3, students explored the minds of canines—how they understand the world, their personality types, and their special relationships with humans. After studying the AKC site, they designed their own breeds. As an additional experience, students learned about therapy animals by spending the day with Danielle Ryan and her therapy dog, Penny!
Nationality room
These students also explored the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's.  After analyzing part of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous I Have a Dream speech, they wrote "Call to Action" speeches to advocate for their own personal causes.
The enrichment group read the novel, In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, which includes Robinson's breakthrough accomplishment of transcending baseball's color line.
Third grade also enhanced their understanding of world cultures by visiting the Pitt Nationality Rooms.
Fourth graders used CADD software to design their own kitchens. These students also examined the relationship between architecture and the natural world. They used this knowledge to design organic structures both inside and out.

The fourth grade enrichment group explored connections between visual art, world history, and mathematics.

 Fourth graders also participated in the second annual Science Olympiad, a two-day event in which teams compete in ten events that represent Science, Teachnology, Engineering, Art, and Math.  To learn more about the Science Olympiad, click here.

Students in grade 5 learned about the logistical challenges involved in travel overseas, whether it meant currency conversion, time zones, or booking flights and hotels. They also learned about planning sightseeing trips. To share their knowledge, they created travel brochures.

At Soldiers and Sailors Hall, fifth graders learned all about World War II and the men and women who sacrificed to help save democracy.

Enrichment students read about a Chinese immigrant’s search for what it means to be an American at the same time that Jackie Robinson was re-defining it. Bette Bao Lord’s In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson shows us the immigrant’s point of view in the new “Land of the Golden Mountain."

Math enrichment students learned about ratios and consumer science by forming focus groups to test-market a recipe for fruit punch.
Puzzle-lympics tournament. Grade 5 students also participated in the 10th annual North Hills Puzzle-lympics tournament.  To learn more about Puzzle-lympics, please click here.

This year, grade 6 studied the fascinating world of radios in science and in art—how they function, and how they gave rise to thrilling sound-pictures that activate our imaginations.  The unit started with a trip to Bricolage Production Company, so that our students could experience acting and producing.  Toward the end of the year, students built working AM-FM radios.

 Grade 6 also visited some of the great architectural landmarks of downtown Pittsburgh.  The tour, led by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, featured the Dollar Bank, the City-County Building, the Union Trust Building, and the Grand Concourse.
For the 10th year, grade six participated in the North Hills Puzzle-lympics tournament.  To learn more about Puzzle-lympics, please click here.
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For 2017-2018 projects, click here! 
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North Hills School District
135 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15229
Phone: 412-318-1000 Fax: 412-318-1084
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