Azusa Unified Students in GATE Summer Program Invent,
Take on College Classes

Azusa, CA – Azusa Unified School District students kicked off their summer break working on new inventions and getting ahead in college course work through the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program offered in June.

More than 100 students in grades three through nine spent 16 days from June 8-29 at Camp Invention, where they completed interactive science and robotics projects developed by the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Offering learning opportunities for students identified as high-achieving, the Camp Invention curriculum encourages students to work collaboratively on problem solving, while also getting them excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Camp Invention is an amazing asset to help our students be productive while having fun during the summer months,” Azusa Unified Superintendent Dr. Linda Kaminski said. “The summer break provides a valuable window where students can explore new concepts and express their creativity without the accountability requirements of the school year.”

Each summer, Azusa Unified School District collaborates with staff, parents and community members to offer robust summer programing that provides current, research-based curriculum to maximize the academic and personal growth of its gifted students.

Elementary school students who participated in Camp Invention crafted miniature tree houses, made their own silly putty and immersed themselves in robotics by playing with motion sensor-controlled drones and battling miniature solar-powered robots. Middle school students learned ways to improve the performance of athletes and how to heal their ailments using cybernetic technology. Teams illustrated their creations by wrapping tinfoil and gauze around a student’s arm.

In addition, 45 high school students completed college-level English composition, biology and political science classes for transferable college credit through a partnership with Azusa Pacific University.

“The University cares deeply about the community and wants to be a part of it,” said Dr. Jessica Cannaday, program director of single subject credential programs for APU. “This project is just one of the ways we demonstrate our commitment to supporting local children.”

When the Azusa Unified Board of Education adopted the Camp Invention curriculum last year, it opted to have certificated teachers teach at the camp to ensure students receive the highest quality education. The Camp Invention curriculum, materials, meals and teachers’ time is funded by the District’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).
Azusa Pacific provides the facilities at no cost to Azusa Unified while also paying for the tuition and textbooks of high school students taking one of the three college courses offered.

Board President Yolanda Rodriguez-Peña said she was grateful for this partnership with Azusa Pacific University.

“Providing programs like Camp Invention keeps students’ minds active during the summer months and enhances the classroom experience when school starts up again in the fall,” Rodriguez-Peña said.


AUSDGATE1: Azusa Unified School District elementary school students mix ingredients to make slime during Camp Invention at Azusa Pacific University June 8 – 29 as part of the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) summer program.