USM's Gifted Studies Program

|This is a press release from the University of Southern Miss

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies will host the EAGLE Saturday Gifted Studies Program Jan. 21 – Feb. 18, 2017 at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. This year’s programs embrace the initiatives of the STEAM movement: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. Each course has been carefully designed to engage the young minds that will help to shape the future of Mississippi, our nation, and possibly the world.

The courses are scheduled for 9 a.m.-noon on each of the five consecutive Saturdays. The application deadline is Dec. 10. Once students have been notified of their acceptance into the program, tuition will be due no later than Dec. 20.

The following courses provide pathways to creativity for participants:

Pre-k 3 and 4 year olds: “Doorways to Discovery” Each week brings a new adventure as students discover the basics of engineering. Students will examine the habits and habitats of birds and people and explore geometric patterns that encourage exploration and travel. In the final two weeks students will apply their knowledge through problem –based learning as they help design helping machines and food delivery systems.

Kindergarten and first grade: “Folktale Techies and Touching Tales” Aesop’s Fables will be the springboard for creating structures and machines that help story heroes change their outcomes. Students will enhance their storytelling abilities as they examine innovative ways to include sensory details into their own creative works.

Second and third grades: “Virtual Vet and Surfin’ Safari” The animal kingdom is the playground for this group of learners as they learn about biomes throughout the world and the animals that live there. Students will blend the beginning skill sets necessary for success in journalism, technology, and animal science. Students will create virtual field trips based on their research.

Fourth and fifth grades: “Biomimicry Basics and Legos Engineering” How does nature inspire innovation? Students will find out how engineers around the world are studying nature and finding inspiration for problem solving. What they learn about nature will support their Lego creations.

Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth grades: “Utopia/Dystopia” Using themes from popular dystopian fiction, students will create model communities that embody creative solutions to the problems posed in the genre. Guest speakers from several of USM’s science departments will be on hand to help students create cutting-edge solutions.

Applications may be obtained online at For more information, contact The Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies at 601.266.5236, or contact Karnes Center Project Coordinator Dr. Heather L. Houston at

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