Fall 2017 Academy Student Spotlight

November 7, 2017

by Alexis Hopper, Academy Program Coordinator

The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers & cities; but to know someone who thinks and feels with us, & who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

An inhabited garden–that is what our kids at Academy are making! Read on to learn about the ways our community of learners is sharing their spirit, talent and creative interests with those around them.

Mateo, 10yrs

“My podcast, The Book Meese, is about middle grade books. Every week or so, me and one of my friends pick a book. We both read it and then discuss it. I can’t say for sure what gave me the idea to have a podcast about books (although my mom gave me the idea for a podcast), but it was probably because almost every thing I would want to talk about was already taken MULTIPLE TIMES!!!! But I had never heard a particularly good podcast about books, and so I decided to podcast about that.

We have recorded nine episodes of The Book Meese. Here are there topics in order:

#1 The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

#2 The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

#3 Wings of Fire Book One: The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui T. Sutherland

#4 The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

#5 Pegasus: The Flame of Olympus by Kate O’Heran

#6 Rangers Apprentice book One: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan

#7 Out of my Mind by Sharon M. Draper

#8 Land  of Stories book one: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

#9 Spy School by Stuart Gibbs, due to come out in about two or three days!

On October 29th, I had my first author interview with Stuart Gibbs, writer of Spy School and the Funjungle series! We arranged to meet at his book signing at Once Upon a Time bookstore in Montrose, CA. One of the questions I asked was about Zoe, a character in the book that loves to give people nicknames. I asked him if he were at Spy School and Zoe were to give him a nickname, what would he want it to be. His answer was that he would want it to be something like “Brainiac” or “Wiseguy.”

All episodes of The Book Meese can be downloaded on Soundcloud or in the Apple Podcasts app. If you are a first-time listener, I would recommend checking out episode #5, Pegasus: The Flame of Olympus. And if you would like to co-host an episode of The Book Meese with me, please email me at bookmeese@gmail.com!”

academy students

Mateo interviewing the author Stuart Gibbs at Once Upon a Time bookstore.

Cadence, 8yrs

“I have been playing piano since I was almost 6 years old. Preparing for performance is a challenge that I like. My reading and speed learning abilities are stretched. And it is rewarding to see that my piano teacher is amazed at how fast I can learn things, and to hear the audience comment on my playing, which is usually positive!

Currently, I am preparing for two performances: my piano teacher’s Christmas recital in December and IEA’s Awards Dinner & Celebration on November 17th!

If you enjoy listening to music, I would recommend that you check out these three composers whose works I will be performing:

  1. Paul de Senneville is a French melody composer (melodist) and a music producer. I will be playing his piece Poetic Sonatina with my dad.
  2. Valerie Roth Roubos is as a performer, adjudicator, lecturer, and accompanist who composes works for The FJH Music Company Inc. I will be playing a solo piece by her called Water Lilies.
  3. Aaron Copland was a famous composer and conductor also known as “the Dean of American Composers”. I will be playing his famous tune Simple Gifts arranged for four-hands with my brother.”

academy student

Cadence at the piano.

Gabriel, 11yrs

“My science fair project is to see the relationship between color and reflex speed using an online application I developed with a programming language called scratch. I am measuring reflex time in relationships with the spectrum color set.

The project evolved from my yearning to build a computer program and my current studies of human physiology.

Over 39 people have participated, which is amazing considering that the program is prone to technical difficulties because it requires high speed wifi which makes it difficult to remotely operate. We are now sending out emails to increase the test group. The initial data will be collected the week of November 12, however the experiment will continue as I will be submitting it to more science fairs.

If you would like to participate in my study, just click this link and follow the prompts. This study has since closed.

Academy Student

Garbiel enjoying a break outside.

What projects have you been working on lately?

Like this post? Sign up for our email newsletter to receive more stories, information, and resources about gifted youth straight to your inbox.