APEX: Advanced Program for Exploration
Grades 7-8, Hardin Middle School
APEX is the third GATE in the Gifted and Talented Education Studies (GATES) program. This program is offered to identified gifted and talented students in grades 7 and 8. Currently this program is offered as a one day a week, pull-out program. The APEX program builds upon knowledge and skills presented in the elementary and 5-6 grade programs.
The APEX program is designed to promote research skills, problem solving, critical thinking, and affective awareness in gifted students. The units for the middle school program are interdisciplinary in nature and offer elements from the four core education areas, along with creative and fine arts elements. The units are theme-based and focus on real-world questions and problems.
Technology is used extensively, providing students access to computers, digital still and video cameras, and SMART Board technology. Students work through a virtual classroom (Moodle, Web 2.0) dedicated to each unit of study. Here students have access to all assignments, rubrics, informational documents, and internet resources.Through tools such as wikis, blogs and personal websites, students are able to collaborate with their peers and showcase their work in a public forum. Students have access to computer programs such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, Excel, and Movie Maker, along with a multitude of open-source programs offered on the internet.