Gifted and Talented

MANTIS: Meeting Advanced Needs Through Innovative Study

The mantis is a symbolism of stillness, creativity, balance & intuition. It ties in with our influence on Chinese culture.

The Mission of the MANTIS program is to:

  • To affirm gifted and talented education as a high priority for East Point Academy
  • To affirm that acceleration and enrichment of the entire academic program is appropriate
  • To provide direction to staff and community that places special emphasis on addressing the cognitive and affective needs of high-achieving and potentially high-achieving students
  • To extend each child’s intellectual boundaries and help all students achieve their highest potential
  • To ensure that differentiated educational programs and/or services are systematically provided for gifted and talented students at an appropriate level of rigor and accelerated instruction
The MANTIS – STEM program:

“Improving education in math and science is about producing engineers, researchers, scientists, and innovators who are going to help transform our economy and our lives for the better. But, it’s also about something more. It’s about expanding opportunity for all Americans in a world where an education is the key to success.” -President Barack Obama

The goal of the MANTIS – STEM program will be to utilize engineering-based activities and experiences to develop the skills of collaboration, communication, creativity, and problem-solving that students will need to be successful in the 21st century. As identified by the Engineering is Elementary ®program (, research suggests that when children participate in engineering activities in a school setting, several positive results occur:

Building of Science and Math Skills

“Engineering calls for children to apply what they know about science and math—and their learning is enhanced as a result. At the same time, because engineering activities are based on real-world technologies and problems, they help children see how disciplines like math and science are relevant to their lives.”

Classroom Equity

“Research suggests engineering activities help build classroom equity. The engineering design process removes the stigma from failure; instead, failure is an important part of the problem-solving process and a positive way to learn. Equally important, in engineering there’s no single “right” answer; one problem can have many solutions. When classroom instruction includes engineering, all students can see themselves as successful.”

21st Century Skills

“Hands-on, project-based learning is the essence of engineering. As groups of students work together to answer questions like “How large should I make the canopy of this parachute?” or “What material should I use for the blades of my windmill?” they collaborate, think critically and creatively, and communicate with one another.”

Career Success

“Research also shows that when engineering is part of elementary instruction, students become more aware of the diverse opportunities for engineering, science, and technical careers—and they are more likely to see these careers as options they could choose. This finding is important at a time when the number of American college students pursuing engineering education is decreasing. Early introduction to engineering can encourage many capable students—but especially girls and minorities—to consider engineering as a career and take the necessary science and math courses in high school.”

Engaged Citizens

“Finally, consider some of our nation’s most pressing policy issues—energy, healthcare, the environment. Engineering and technological literacy will be critical for all American citizens to make informed decisions in the 21st century.”