Ardmore City Schools wrapped up its first Javits Gifted Camp on Thursday, helping students explore different ways to learn.
The Javits Gifted Camp, held at Lincoln Elementary School, was put together through a grant the state of Oklahoma applied for, with the purpose to better serve the students who are identified as gifted.
Jeri Kennedy, camp director and Charles Evans fifth grade teacher, was excited to be able to be a part of the camp’s inaugural summer.
“Overall, we have gotten really positive feedback,” Kennedy said. “Part of the Javits grant is that they did parent and student surveys, we didn’t get them back from everyone, but what we did get back was super positive and they would like to see it increase in time and length during the summer.”
There are two ways a student can be recognized as gifted -  through academic testing, by finishing in the 99th percentile,or by having a skill or talent with a teacher referral.
In total, around 50 kids were invited to participate in the camp, with 25-30 fifth grade kids participating in the first two weeks of the camp and 20-25 second through fourth grade students attending the last two weeks.
During the week kids participated in the camp from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., rotating through classroom settings and doing various activities. Students played collaborative and educational games, as well as curriculum lessons.
The fifth graders worked on aquatic projects, creating water filters and designing submersibles to retrieve magnets under water.
“We learned technology is anything created to solve a problem,” Kennedy said. “They were learning some content and along the way they were creating and building.”
During the second through fourth grade portion of the camp, students participated in creating model suspension bridges and model wind turbines.
“We had kids building out of plastic bags and coffee filters,” Kennedy said, “all sorts of different materials.”
This was the first year of a five-year contract signed with the Javits grant.
 Kennedy hopes to continue the camp down the road and hopes camps like the Javits gifted camp spread to middle and high school students.
“It is really going to benefit their problem solving and creative thinking skills,” Kennedy said. “Innovation is achieved through thinking outside the box and if we only do what we’ve ever done we never get any changes.”