Project: Gifted and Talented: Continue the Vision

Teacher: Rachael Ibanez
School: Preston Middle School
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado USA
Start Date: 09/06/2011
End Date: 12/31/2011
Project Plan
Unique Requests of
Participating Mentors:

I will have about 12 gifted and talented students in need of separate mentors, as they will all have their own "passion project" specific to a personal area of interest to cultivate over the semester. My students have the following interests: 1. Art (two students interested in mixed media/interest also in exhibiting her art) 2. Art/Writing Portfolio 3. Writing a fiction novel (interested in publishing it) 4. Writing (interested in writing a historical fiction, publishing, google-sketchup to design military parts as part of his book) 5. Science (this student is interested in earthquake mitigation; experimenting with magnets...the student will also be exploring an additional passion of music using garagband or other music-mixing software). 6. Mountain biking/biking technology (this student is interested in innovating a clip petal, which may include patenting, as well as using solidworks and a 3d printer to create a prototype) 7. Math Professor (this student is interested in travel, writing, teaching and math) 8. Sports(two students interested in math statistics and creating football mock-drafts, and he is also curious about other aspects of sports, such as scouting and announcing). 9. Photography (interested in exhibiting, and has a strong desire to help others) 10. Baseball (interested in scouting/coaching/broadcasting, but mostly playing professionally) I have an amazing, motivated group of students, but they are all varied in terms of what they desire to investigate over the semester with a mentor. I would humbly ask that the mentors matched with each student have an understanding or personal experience in the students' area of interest in order to provide appropriate support. In terms of scheduling, I have interwoven lessons, guest speakers and field trips throughout the class as well. It is not until March that I have planned that the class will spend the whole class time really delving deep to work on projects, however, this time line is flexible. I would, ideally, love to have the students begin to share conversations with their mentors as early as possible to assist the idea generation phase.


The student and mentor will work together under the teacher's supervision to create an independent personal interest project. The mentor will provide help with the background information that is needed to address the problem or area of interest chosen by the student. The mentor will also provide feedback, suggestions and resources that will better inform the process or research. 2) The student and mentor will work together under the teacher's supervision to collect and analyze the information or data from their individual projects. 3) The student and mentor will work together under the teacher's supervision to present the findings in an interesting fashion. The mentor will critique the presentation style of the student. 4) The mentor will provide suggestions for all aspects of the "Passion Project": idea formation, information gathering, analysis (including research and statistics if needed), and findings presentation.


The student will 1) formulate an area of interest (passion) to delve into and develop; 2)acquire resources and information that that will further inform their process; 3) design the procedure and timeline for his/her project; 4) reformulate the approach to the project as needed; and 5) organize a Passion Project and cohesive presentation that demonstrates professional quality and will be shared with an authentic audience.



Grade Level:


Content Area:

Gifted and Talented Curriculum, Technology, Science, Math, and Language Arts

Student Outcomes:

The student will: 1) post bi-weekly or more messages to the mentor to discuss the Passion Project throughout all of the stages of development; 2) take digital photographs of the experimentation in progress when necessary and share them with the mentor; 3) create a culminating presentation for the Passion Project and its result; and, 4) retain all artifacts related to the chosen project, including notes, copies of all e-mail messages and presentation elements in a journal portfolio and turn the portfolio in to the teacher as part of the course requirements.

Evaluation of
Student Outcomes:

The student will complete a self-evaluation at the end which will be shared with the mentor and get the mentor’s input on the project's completion. At the end of the semester class, the student will create a final presentation of findings and product to an authentic audience.

Teacher Role:

Gifted and Talented teacher: communicate with mentors regarding content specific questions or concerns, instruct students in the process, aid in identifying research areas and sources of information, assist in shaping the project and evaluate the project overall. Paraprofessional: assist students in composing e- mails and check the progress of each student to ensure that things are done in a timely manner.

Mentor Role:

The mentor should aid the student in developing and researching his/her question related to personal topics, answer questions sent by the student, support the project plans submitted by the teacher, encourage the student to complete the project, communicate with the teachers or paraprofessional and inform them when there is a problem or concern, help with project analysis when necessary, and offer suggestions for and critique the presentation.