Differences from Normal High School Programs
The CVGS program differs from normal high school programs in three ways:
1) Intensive research and laboratory program
At the inception of the program, the faculty felt that one of the best ways students could prepare for future academic endeavors was to learn basic research skills. Hence, a year-long research course was developed. In the course, each CVGS student designs and implements a research project on a topic of the student's choice. Results are reported via a major paper, the Internet, a local research symposium, science fairs and state and national research symposiums.
All science classes emphasize learning content through laboratory work and the development of laboratory skills.
2) Technology infused throughout the curriculum
The development of technical skill is important for all students, and this process takes time. Hence, CVGS students use technologies in every class to collect and analyze data, to explore properties of equations, to develop web pages and presentations, to explore robotics and high speed photography and in numerous other ways. The CVGS faculty uses technology in three categories: to increase productivity, to expose students to emerging technologies, and to enhance the learning environment.
3) Active learning environment
The curriculum is designed to challenge gifted students and actively engage them in the learning process. Emphasis is placed on teachers acting as mentors with students learning through projects, laboratory work and group experiences. Problem solving and the development of critical thinking skills are stressed.