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Sioux City Talented and Gifted students slither through maze, conduct electricity at annual retreat
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Sioux City Talented and Gifted students slither through maze, conduct electricity at annual retreat

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TAG retreat laser maze

Divine Adams, a fifth-grader at Spalding Park Elementary School, tries to negotiate through a "laser" maze that was set up as part of a Sioux City Community School District Talented and Gifted program retreat held at Morningside College in Sioux City. The students had to weave their way though a luminous string maze without ringing bells attached to the lines.

SIOUX CITY -- Alternately slithering on the floor like a snake or gingerly hopping over multiple strings of lights, Spalding Park Elementary School fifth-grader Divine Adams had to maneuver his way through a maze.

Oh, did we forget to tell you that he had to perform this exercise in the dark? Plus every time he tripped over a string, a bell would ring. That meant he had to answer a trivia question before proceeding.

"That was really hard," Divine said after successfully navigating the "laser" maze. "You had to really think about every step without ringing the bell."

Divine was one of the fifth-grade Talented and Gifted students participating in the Sioux City Community School District's second annual TAG Retreat, held Thursday at Morningside College's Lincoln Center.

According to elementary TAG specialist Nicole Umland, TAG students are not only encouraged to become self-directed learners in the classroom, they are also the instigators of activities for the one-day retreat.

"All of the students created activities that they thought other kids would enjoy," she said. "That gives the TAG kids the opportunity to hone problem solving and leadership skills in a fun setting."

In addition to the laser maze, kids could learn how to animate a cartoon, make duct tape wallets and even conduct electricity by using a potato.

However, Divine was especially excited about an archery unit that he and his Spalding Park classmates helped to conceive.

"I love archery," he said, smiling. "It's so much fun."

Archery would also be more fun for Turner Joy, a Perry Creek Elementary student who had enough of the laser maze.

TAG retreat laser maze

Dontrell Robinson, a fifth-grader at Leeds Elementary School, tries to negotiate his way out of a "laser" maze after fixing it. The maze was set up as part of a Sioux City Community School District Talented and Gifted program retreat held at Morningside College in Sioux City. The students had to weave their way though a luminous string maze without ringing bells attached to the lines.

"The maze had too much going over and under things for me," he said. "You know what would make the laser maze more fun? If somebody could develop the ability to fly over it and avoid all the strings, bells and everything."

Well, that's a good idea. Maybe someone can conjure up a way for humans to fly for next year's TAG retreat.

Which isn't that much of stretch if you ask Umland.

"The kids work so hard on this retreat," she said. "From scheduling speakers to purchasing materials to deciding what to serve for lunch, student apply everything they learn from TAG on one special day."

Indeed, Corben Aspleaf, a Morningside Elementary School fifth-grader, said he wanted to try a bit of everything.

"I'm excited about the animation class but there are also survival classes, art projects as well as opportunities to play chess," he said. "There really are so many things to do." 

Copyright 2019 The Sioux City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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