Gifted & Talented

The Challenge Lab

1st Graders
  1. An exciting problem-based, hands-on, creative and technology enriched learning environment.
  2. A classroom where students can come for challenging problem-based learning, higher order thinking, fun math games, creative thinking, projects, and mystery solutions.
  3. A place where teachers can send students who have mastered objectives, achieved an academic goal, completed classwork correctly, and need an academic challenge.
  • § TECHNOLOGY: Laptops, Projector, and Document Camera.§ PROBLEM BASED LEARNING: Scenarios and problem solutions, mystery solutions with cooperative groups, math problem solving with cooperative group clue cards.

    § ENGINEERING: Building with ZOME tools, SNAFOOZ puzzles, Build-it-Together, building bridges, and building weight bearing structures.

    § MATH CHALLENGES: Math Exemplars, Muggins- Old Fashioned Board Games, Clip Clue Math Puzzles, Math Problem Solver, Get-it-Together Math, and interactive websites.

    § CREATIVE THINKING: Creative Writing and Transformations of Squiggle Lines

  • MATH
  • Raises the bar academically for the whole school.
  • Helps students strive toward exemplary performance and academic success.
  • Supports teachers to work with smaller groups of students in the classroom.
  • Adds educational value for students that need additional challenge.
  • Enrichment available for high achievers.
  • Possibilities for problem-solvoing learning.
  • Meets state Gifted/Talented requirements for independent research and products.
  • Customized to meet needs of Gifted/Talented individuals or groups.
  • Gifted/Talented pullout exists within weekly lab schedule.
  • Any student who masters an objective.
  • High achievers who need extra challenge.
  • Identified gifted and talented students (Scheduled Groups)
  • Scheduled groups
  • Pre-arranged times with classroom teachers for small groups.
  • To add value to students’ education.
  • To support classroom curricula in depth and complexity.
  • To offer more options for students needing additional challenge.




Gifted and Talented Education
Crime Scene Investigation, Fall 2017

Everyone loves a mystery.  Although some students might tell you that they don’t like science, you’d be hard pressed to find one who doesn’t like to investigate, explore, and do experiments.  Advances in science have allowed scientists to gather and analyze even the most minute piece of evidence, and this study of evidence is called forensic science.  Student-detectives conduct many hands-on forensic science tests on evidence found at the “crime scene.”  The ZOOM Gifted and Talented study in crime scene investigation combines mystery and investigation in a highly exciting, engaging, and motivating experience that students will remember for years.

Arlington Police Department Guest Speaker

ZOOM GT students engage in challenging visual thinking and convergent thinking experiences to improve their investigative skills.  Arlington Police Department, Officer Leonor Thompson, brought real-life applications of science to the ZOOM GT classroom as she shared her expertise in crime scene investigation with fourth and fifth grade ZOOM students October 26, 2017.  Officer Thompson intrigued students by conducting a forensic science experiment to demonstrate how fingerprints can be lifted from a glass container discovered at the crime scene.  Additionally, Officer Thompson answered specific student questions inquiring about her experiences as a crime scene investigator.

GT Guest Speaker
GT Guest Speaker
GT Guest Speaker

“The Case of the Missing Millionaire” – Fourth and Fifth Grade CSI

ZOOM Gifted and Talented students engage in mysteries that are layered in complexity.  Some students arrive at fairly simple solutions, and other students see through the misleading evidence and come up with more complicated solutions, even involving conspiracies and deceptions.  A mystery for fourth and fifth grade students is not simple, and there is no obvious culprit.  There is evidence pointing to each of the four suspects.  The lack of a simple answer allows students to be creative and exercise critical thinking skills in formulating their own theories.

Case of the Missing Millionaire

“Who Borrowed Mr. Bear?” – Second and Third Grade CSI

mystery for first, second, and third grades has a simpler story and activity stations, and a solution that will be fairly obvious when students look at the results of their tests.  The “gears” turn in student-sleuth heads as they sort through the evidence, use a multitude of critical thinking skills, and directly experience both real-life applications of science and the joys of scientific exploration.

Who Borrowed Mr. Bear

The Perfect Escape Room Field Trip

Zoom Gifted and Talented fourth and fifth grade students experienced an original, memorable, and exciting team-building field trip to the Perfect Escape Room in Arlington on November 30, 2017.  Students, teachers, and parents were divided into four groups and each group participated in an adventure of their choice in either O’Bannion’s Safe or Pharaoh’s Tomb.  Each group of 8-10 students were placed in a room(s) with one hour to follow the clues, solve puzzles, and complete the objective and get out of locked rooms.

Perfect Escape Room Field Trip
Perfect Escape Room Field Trip

Gifted and Talented Education
Solar Energy for the Future, Spring 2018
The Design of Solar Cars for Speed and Durability