The Many Faces of Gifted: Phillip

June 12, 2012

By Carole Rosner

Every gifted child has a unique story. The following story is part of a series of posts highlighting gifted children and adults we have found through IEA programs, depicting the many faces of gifted. Academy – mentioned in this story – provides young students with challenging enrichment classes that focus on exploration and application of knowledge.


Academy Student

Although ten-year-old Phillip is only a fourth grader, he knows what he wants to be when he grows up, and he’s studying now for his future. Phillip wants to be a chemist and is taking high level enrichment classes through IEA’s Academy.

IEA has partnered with h-bar tutoring in Pasadena to offer exciting, instructive, hands-on classes year-round for motivated students like Phillip in grades 2-8.

Phillip has taken most of the classes Academy has offered. His first class was Neuro- Energy. “I took this class because it appealed to my doctor side,” he said. “I liked all of the classes, but my favorite is Scientists Like Me because it taught me a lot about many important scientists, like Eratosthenes.”

Classes are developed and taught by content area specialists – many of whom are Caltech PhD students – and typically focus on math, science or history. Recent courses include Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Mysteries of History, Rocket to Calculus and Sustainable Earth. New classes are introduced all the time; Playwriting, Astronomy and Theatre have been added for this year’s summer session.

Parents often find out about Academy classes through word of mouth from other parents. “Phillip’s classmate’s mom told me about it, and I am very happy to know that IEA exists,” Phillip’s mom, Ming, said. Ming has since spread the word; at least two of Phillip’s classmates have also taken Academy classes, and another friend will be starting this summer.

In addition to Academy classes, Phillip keeps busy with choir, basketball, piano, art, golf and Boy Scouts. He likes watching the Olympics and the NBA and will travel to China this summer.

When I asked Ming if she’s seen a difference in Phillip since he’s been taking Academy classes, she said, “Yes, he seems more confident and comfortable exploring new subjects and has become a more independent learner.”

It is true that Phillip and the other Academy students are engaged and motivated learners, but they are still kids. So, Phillip answered three important questions for me:

  1. What is your favorite food?
    Pasta Carbonara with white wine sauce
  2. What is your favorite TV show or book?
    The Hunger Games series
  3. If you could create your own Academy class, what would it be?
    An aerodynamic/paper airplane class

Academy classes run year-round at our office in South Pasadena, California. This summer, Academy will have two sessions: June 18 to July 6 and July 16 to August 2. Kids can take one to four classes in one or both of the sessions. For more information, an application and class schedules, visit the Academy page of our website. Sign up today!

Have your kids participated in enrichment classes? What was their experience? Please share with us in the comments below.

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