AGATE Projects Show Self-Directed Learning


Mary Orders, Staff Writer

Students from the Acalanes Gifted and Talented Education (AGATE) program showed off their projects in the Acalanes library on Tuesday April 10.

AGATE coordinator and Acalanes biology teacher Daniel Reyes said, “the purpose of the program is to give students a way to A, get out of the classroom and B, direct their own learning.”

This selective program allows a limited number of students to go on a three-day field trip to Monterey and then use their research to formulate a presentation. The students direct their own learning throughout the program with the help of advisers who make recommendations. Reyes said that because the students facilitate their own learning, whatever the students put into the project is what they get out of it.

The projects must combine two disciplines. Some chose to include disciplines like art, design, history, and literature.

Junior Ann Fritsky combined the elements of design and history. She made a steam engined conveyer belt that portrayed the process used at Canery Row.

Junior Matin Amanat made a game that  showed how invasive species can take over and  kill native California species.

Seven Campolindo students participated in this year’s spring AGATE program. Fritsky said, “I would definitely recommend this program because it was super fun opportunity that not many people get and it is so much better to do a project than an essay because you can express yourself in so many different ways.”

There were also about twenty other students from the district that participated. Las Lamos student Teresa Rizzo said,”I would recommend it because it was a lot of fun, but it was alos a lot of work, so you have to be willing to do work.”  She added,”It was really interesting how quickly we all bonded at the beginning of the trip.”