Category Archives: Lima City Schools

Space and Science on Display

**I want to first start out by saying this post isn’t necessarily about gifted education.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go with the Lima Senior High School Moon Rover team to Huntsville, Alabama to participate in the NASA’s Human Exploration Rover Challenge. They were the only high school in Ohio to participate. This is the first year we were able to compete with two rover teams.

IMG_1806Watching high school and college students going up against each other in a challenge was awesome. Every school had different designs, different materials, but all had to meet the same requirements.

Our students came up with a great design, and they built it. They made some alterations to the rover based on the data they collected from the course. It was all science and engineering.

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What was the most interesting aspect to the weekend was having the ability to go up to other teams and ask them about their rover. Teams would openly share their failures and successes. They shared what they loved most about their rover, and how they felt they did against past years from their schools. Teams also gave permission to take pictures of their rovers. The comradery amongst teams was great. They all had the shared experience of designing, building, and racing their rovers.

After two days of racing, we gave the students the chance to check out the Marshall Space Flight facilities.  They got the chance to see rockets up close, and have the opportunities to talk to real astronauts.

What I hoped our students took away from the weekend was just how important STEM, and STEAM programs are. I hope they saw that having skills like welding, carpentry, and machining are important career and technical skills. I hope they saw that engineering isn’t necessarily a single person career, but a team effort.

I hope they took away from the weekend perseverance, tenacity, and team work. I saw our students overcome some issues with their rover, and come through on the other side with a better product. They started out together as 2 teams, and left as one large team. They had goals, some were met, and some we have to try again next year.

Overall, students from all schools had an opportunity of lifetime. They raced each other, they inspired each other, and they helped to propel the idea that this generation could impact the future with their creativity, skills, and their experiences with science and engineering.

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Common Characteristics of Gifted Children

The last few weeks, I have been reminded of the importance of regular education teachers knowing some basics of Gifted Education. So this post is more for those teachers who need to know a bit more about gifted children. I posted this to our district Gifted Education Page. I thought that this is such an important topic that it needed to be seen by a larger audience.

Let’s start with the definition of what Gifted means. According to the National Association for Gifted Children‘s definition is:

“Gifted individuals are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence (documented performance or achievement in top 10% or rarer) in one or more domains. Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance, sports).”

According to the State of Ohio giftedness means:

Gifted” means students who perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience or environment and who are identified under division (A), (B), (C), or (D) of section 3324.03 of the Revised Code. OH Admin. Code 3301-51-15

To see what other states are defining gifted as click here. 

According to Dr. Jim Delisle and his book When Gifted Kids Don’t have the Answers there are 14 general characteristics of Gifted Children (Pages 6-7).

  1. “Shows superior reasoning powers and marked ability to handle ideas; can generalize readily from specific facts and can see subtle relationships; has outstanding problem-solving ability.
  2. Shows persistent intellectual curiosity; asks searching questions; shows exceptional interest in the nature of mankind and in the universe.
  3. Has a wide range of interests, often of an intellectual kind; develops one or more interests to considerable depth.
  4. Is markedly superior in quality and quantity of written and/or spoken vocabulary; is interested in subtleties of words and their uses.
  5. Reads avidly and absorbs books well beyond his or her years.
  6. Learns quickly and easily and retains what is learned; recalls important details, concepts, and principles; comprehends readily.
  7. Shows insight into arithmetical problems that require careful reasoning and grasps mathematical concepts readily.
  8. Shows creative ability or imaginative expression in such things as music, art, dance, drama, shows sensitivity and finesse in rhythm, movement, and bodily control.
  9. Sustains concentration for lengthy periods and shows outstanding responsibility and independence in classroom work.
  10. Sets realistically high standards for self; is self-critical in evaluating and correcting his or her own efforts.
  11. Shows initiative and originality in intellectual work; shows flexibility in thinking and considers problems from a number of viewpoints.
  12. Observes keenly and is responsive to new ideas.
  13. Shows social poise and an ability to communicate with adults in a mature way.
  14. Gets excitement and pleasure from intellectual challenge; shows an alert and subtle sense of humor.”

To add to this list there are few other points that need to be shared. Gifted children sometimes are more sensitive than most kids. They begin to develop a sense of empathy a lot sooner than average learner children do. They also have a social-conscience-which means that have an intense awareness of the world’s problems. They worry about the world, the environment, wars and conflicts, hunger and homelessness.

As you teach your  gifted children begin to identify some some of these qualities in your students. How do these general characteristics manifest themselves in your classroom?

Some more resources to look at:

Science Series highlights Nobel prize winning efforts of Lima native William Fowler

Ohio State Lima, Lima City Schools and City of Lima work together to promote power of education
Lima is the hometown of one of the world’s most famous astrophysicists. William A. Fowler won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983 for his efforts to show how all the natural elements in the Periodic Table are forged under extreme conditions across the course of a star’s lifetime.
Stardust: The William Fowler Science Series, is planned to honor Fowler’s achievements. Stardust is a collaboration between the City of Lima, the Lima City Schools and The Ohio State University at Lima.
“It is a wonderful fact that Dr. Fowler grew up in Lima, was educated in the Lima City Schools and at the Ohio State University,” said Lima Mayor David Berger. ”And working together — OSU, the Lima City Schools and the City — we have decided to showcase that fact in order to emphasize the incredible, literally mind-blowing, opportunities created by education.”
Fowler grew up in Lima and attended Horace Mann Grade School and Lima Central High School. He went on to graduate from The Ohio State University before moving to the California Institute of Technology to continue his groundbreaking work in the new field of astrophysics. His theory of the formation of the chemical elements in the universe forms the basis of our knowledge in this field, according to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in the original announcement of Fowler’s Nobel Prize.
Students in the Lima City Schools have been working on concepts and projects based on Fowler’s work throughout the fall term. Their projects will be on display for the culminating public event at 7 p.m., Thur., Nov. 19, 2015, in the Martha W. Farmer Theatre for Performing Arts at The Ohio State University at Lima. Physicist and podcaster Paul Sutter will discuss how we know what we know about Fowler’s work.
“Fowler’s work is important because it puts us in the proper context of the universe. It shows how life on Earth is a part of a larger story, a grand story encompassing the entire cosmos,” Sutter said. “And it shows how we’re connected: we don’t usually think of the distant stars as having anything to do with us, but his work showed that us and those stars were born from the same things.”
Sutter is the man behind the podcast “Ask a Spaceman” and an honest-to-goodness astrophysicist who is currently a National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) Postdoctoral Fellow in Theoretical Physics at the INAF Astronomical Observatory of Trieste and a visiting scholar at the Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics at The Ohio State University. The INFN is the Italian organization devoted to the study of the fundamental constituents of matter, and carries out experimental and theoretical research in the fields of subnuclear, nuclear, and astroparticle physics.
During his podcasts, Sutter likes to answer questions that bring us all closer to having complete knowledge of time and space, like What would happen if you fell into a black hole? How big is the universe? Just what the heck is a quasar, anyway?
Sutter will be working with the students prior to his visit to campus. Students at Lima Senior will interview Sutter to incorporate his experiences into career exploration projects they are developing looking at astrophysics and other sciences. Students from the South Science and Technology Magnet will interpret the scientific principles they are studying through artwork. 12-15 pieces will be on display in Reed Hall on Nov. 19. Sutter will record two podcasts while in Lima, one at the public event and a second for a presentation to the Lima City school students at noon, Thur., Nov. 19, 2015. Students from the physics, physical science and biology classes at Lima Senior and eighth graders from the Science and Technology Magnet, West and Liberty will spend the day on campus learning how they, too, can begin to pursue careers in science, technology and the arts in Lima.


Editors’ Note: The tentative schedule for the day follows. A follow-up release with more information about the day will come out closer to the event.
10:00-11:15 a.m. Lima City middle school students tour Ohio State
11:30 a.m.-noon Lunch
11:45 a.m. Media time with Paul Sutter
noon-1 p.m. Paul Sutter presentation and podcast #1
1:15-2:30 p.m. Lima City high school students tour Ohio State
6:30 p.m. Doors open in the Martha W. Farmer Theatre for the Performing Arts
7 p.m. Paul Sutter presentation and podcast #2. Free and open to the public.