Approximately 250 students recently participated in PSJA ISD’s Gifted and Talented Summer Camps from June 4-16 at Liberty Middle School in Pharr.
The camps, which were geared toward 1st-8th grade students, celebrated its 21st year of operation this summer. PSJA ISD is proud to offer these free camps to students participating in the GT program to get them engaged in various hands-on and analytical skills early on, according to Noemi Serna, PSJA ISD’s Gifted and Talented Program Coordinator.
Students who participate in GT services demonstrate skills in self-directed learning, thinking, research, and communication, as stated by the Texas Education Agency. The Agency’s goal is for GT students to develop innovative products and sophisticated performances that reflect individuality and creativity outside the classroom.
“We sponsor Destination Imagination, Chess, and Robotics [throughout the year],” said Serna. “We want them to get insight into the programs, so they can later participate in teams.”
One of the many engaging activities during the camp included building and taking care of robotic pets. According to Marci Hernandez, kindergarten teacher at McKeever Elementary in Alamo, the students were able to rescue a robotic pet that was lost and needed aid by nursing them back to health.
“They went through the process of surgery on the pet, learning how the gears worked, how to diagnose certain illnesses in the dogs, such as dehydration or problems that they had with running different tests in the labs,” Hernandez said. “Then they were able to adopt their own pet, name it, personalize it and take care of them!”
For more information about PSJA ISD’s Gifted and Talented Program, please contact the district’s office at 956-354-2044 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.