Area students learn martial arts during the RISD Gifted Super Day program at ENMU-R, Tuesday. Mark Wilson Photo
Gifted students from 16 area schools participated in Super Day at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, Tuesday, exploring community resources that helped the children determine which areas of study they are interested in the most. The event, offered annually to gifted students K-6, provided nearly 400 students with educational activities in art, science, history, sports and technology.
Prior to the event, students chose 10 classes from a list of about 40, and ranked them according to their interest in the subject.
Event coordinator Nola Miller said it was important for organizers to put together schedules that included as many of the students’ top interests as possible.
“Gifted kids, because they are so talented, so intellectual, and have so many skills and abilities, it’s difficult for them to narrow down what they want to do with their lives,” Miller said. “So exposing them to a variety of careers, we feel like we help them begin to narrow down what they think they might like and enjoy, maybe as a possible career or just a passion or a hobby.”
New Mexico State Police officer Gary Smith showed students how his department processes a crime scene, providing those interested in law enforcement with a close look at the intricate nature of police work. Students viewed a Powerpoint demonstration that presented the varied techniques of fingerprinting, and later tried out what they learned in a hands-on process of locating, developing and preserving a latent fingerprint.
Bruce Gaucher taught a two-hour digital photography course, where students explored such elements as shutter speed, lighting and artistic elements. Following the lesson, students went outside and took their own pictures, saving them on a flash drive so they could take them home.
Students interested in pursuing a career in science participated in a Frankenfish class taught by Dexter National Fish Hatchery employee Wade Wilson. Students examined genetic codes to determine what their fish would look like, drawing its inherited external traits, and then learned how certain traits are adapted to habitats, diet and activities.
Event coordinator Luci Evans said it is never too early for students with enhanced intellectual abilities to start thinking about their future careers.
“Some of our students will know where their interests are as early as kindergarten or first grade,” Evans said. “Their career focus may change, but it will often be within that same realm of interest. We have had former students from the time they were in kindergarten express interest in a certain realm, and then by fifth grade, have said this is where they want to be, and now they’re in high school and that’s still where they want to be.
“So this is a time for them to be able to expand their intellectual horizons, but it’s also a time for them to be able to find out more about their creative side. And life needs a balance of both.”