Scholars Middle School Program
Scholars MS Program Vision
The 6 – 8 Scholars program operates as a feeder for students interested in future STEM-related endeavors and potentially provides pathways for students considering admission to the STEM Academy. The overall vision supports providing students with increased exposure in trending topics such as coding (computational literacy) and 3D design using CAD programs, but also provides enrichment and acceleration in the areas of Mathematics and Humanities.
- Grade 6: Biomedical Engineering
- Grade 7: Aeronautics Engineering
- Grade 8: Computer Science/APP Development with Swift
In the area of Mathematics, the curriculum design should support an Accelerated Pre-Algebra pathway designed to transition students in grades 6 – 7 towards the more rigorous expectations of an Honors Algebra I program; topics include:
- Real Numbers
- Irrational Numbers
- Properties of Arithmetic
- Creating Equations
- Linear Equations
- Systems of Linear Equations
- Geometric Similarity
In grade 8, the students are exposed to an in-depth, enrichment style environment, focused around an Honors Level Algebra I program with a greater emphasis on Applications and Modeling.
In the area of Humanities, the curriculum design should support curriculum differentiation in the five following areas:
Literature: Literature should provide many experiences for students to read quality texts. College-bound book lists that include poetry, plays, essays, biography, and autobiography are available at most libraries, as are the books noted by Thompson (1998) and Baskin and Harris (1988). Students should read broadly across subject matters and develop a familiarity with favorite authors and their lives. Emphasis on critical reading and the development of analysis and interpretation skills should be a focal point.
Writing: A writing program for high ability learners should emphasize the development of skills in expository and persuasive writing, focusing the writing process on draft development, revision, and editing, and developing ideas and arguments on current issues. Gifted students also need experience in writing in other forms such as narrative and informative, using appropriate models for development.
Language Study: The formal study of English grammar and vocabulary should be a major component of language study. Thus, major language emphasis should involve understanding the syntactic structure of English and its concomitant uses, promoting vocabulary development, fostering an understanding of word relationships (analogies) and origins (etymology), and developing an appreciation for semantics, linguistics, and the history of language. An integrated language study approach across these areas is highly desirable.
Oral Communication: Gifted students can profit from a balanced exposure to oral communication both through listening and speaking. Major emphases should include developing the following skills: (1) evaluative listening; (2) debate, especially for use in formal argument; and (3) discussion, particularly question-asking, probing, and building on ideas stated. An emphasis on oral interpretation and drama productions provides one of many venues for creative talented learners to develop higher-level skills.
Social Studies: The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS, 2010) states that “The aim of social studies is the promotion of civic competence—the knowledge, intellectual processes, and democratic dispositions required of students to be active and engaged participants in public life” (p. 9). The gifted learner must be able to gather and evaluate sources, collaborate, make sound evidence-based decisions, and employ problem-solving strategies to grapple with the complexities inherent in social studies (NCSS, 2010).