Interested in an Enrichment Activity?   
    Pick up the permission slip / registration form in the GOAL office!
    This is a sampling of learning enrichment activities that have been planned by NAI GOAL during the past three school years.  Activities similar to these may be offered during the 2016-2017 school year to meet the students annual goals as stated on their GIEP. 


    Academic Triathlon

    This is an exciting annual academic event which includes students from the Northern Area Gifted Consortium.  Teams of five students will compete in two major segments - the “College Bowl” and the “Identification Segment.”  This is a fast-paced, fun-filled event.  Practice hitting the buzzer!


    American Math Exam (Pre-Calculus or Calculus students only) 

    This math test is given each spring and we encourage GOAL students to “rise to the occasion! Your math teacher will register you for the test.


    Architectural Experience

    Pittsburgh has a fascinating architectural history – from its exalted beginnings as a town meant to model European splendor by William Pitt – to its current ranking as a leader in environmentally sound design.  In this enrichment opportunity GOAL students will have the chance to learn about the architecture that makes Pittsburgh so unique. 


    Aviary-Thinking Outside of the Cage

    Join us as we visit the National Aviary, a zoological facility that is home to over 600 exotic and endangered birds. During your visit you will have an opportunity to learn how scientists conduct research in a zoo setting, become a zoologist for the day, and interact with the birds. Students will be assigned to a small group and will be given the task of creating an enrichment toy specially designed for your bird.


    Brain Program

    This program is presented by the Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Have you every wondered how 2% of our body coordinates all of our movements and manages our emotions?  The brain does it all!  One of the final frontiers of research is the human brain!  The Brain Program entails a series of learning stations about the brain.  The interactive learning stations focus on the organization and functions of the brain, and what goes wrong in the brain in certain diseases.  Meet with neuroscientists, discuss information, and ask questions.  Don’t miss this awesome program!



    Students will engage in problem solving and team work at this fast paced competition. There are two rounds of individual competition with each round having four questions. Students solve the questions with the help of clues that are given at specific intervals. Points are earned based upon the number of clues required to solve the problem. The final question is solved by the team. Individual and team scores will be calculated to determine the top participants.


    Careers in Engineering 

    The engineering field is rife with careers which allow for creativity and in depth explorations of fascinating topics.  Join us as we explore engineering careers in the following fields: biomedical, multimedia, human engineering, computer engineering and more.  Topics covered may include anything from amusement parks, to instant messaging to eco-friendly designs. 


    C.A.U.S.E.  Challenge High School Film Festival

    Bayer Corporation, Carnegie Science Center’s Regional SciTech Initiative and Pittsburgh Filmmakers invites students (either individually or in teams of up to four,) to write, produce and edit a video or film with a five-minute maximum length on the theme Mutual Impact:  The Environment and You.  C.A.U.S.E. stands for “Creating Awareness and Understanding of our Surrounding Environment.  Films are usually due at the beginning of March.  See you GOAL teacher for more information on this activity.


    Computer Programming Competition

    Compete as a team (3 members) in a Windows-based PC environment at Robert Morris University. The programming problems will have a range of easy, medium, or hard.  Easy questions are considered algebra and geometry questions. For example quadratic equations, simple FOIL method, etc. Medium questions are critical thinking where you would apply some sort of algorithm, or solve a more complicated application problem.  Participants will write simple programs in Visual Basic, Visual C++, and JAVA.



    Students can participate in academic and writing contests throughout the school year. This is an individual activity so watch for the posting in the GOAL Office.



    The mission is conducted through a videoconference hookup from the classroom to the Challenger Learning Center.  In the scenario, the chief medical officer receives an alert from a research station in the Amazon basin in Brazil.  A researcher there is in medical distress, possibly from a reaction to plants the individual has been collecting as possible treatments for cancer and AIDS.  You play the role of trauma experts.  In real time, you will diagnose and recommend treatment for the illness and then follow up to make certain the treatment worked.  Will you be able to work under stressful conditions to save your patient?


    Engineering Day for Women

    Join other young women on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University for an interesting look at career options in engineering.  This is a program created by the current students at CMU who will answer your questions and offer you insight through hands-on workshops.  A great day and a great way to experience a college engineering program!


    Entertainment Technology Center (ETC)

    Join us as we learn about the unique Masters of Entertainment Degree and “test” the new projects. The Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University offers a two-year Masters of Entertainment Technology degree, jointly conferred by Carnegie Mellon University's College of Fine Arts and School of Computer Science. The unique thing about the ETC curriculum is that it is project-based rather than course-based. The ETC combines technology and fine arts to create new processes, tools, and vision for storytelling and entertainment" The “high concept” behind both the Entertainment Technology Center and the Masters in Entertainment Technology degree is based on the principle of having technologists and non-technologists work together on projects that produce artifacts that are intended to entertain, inform, inspire, or otherwise affect an audience/guest/player/participant. Students in the ETC take courses ranging from computer programming to designing virtual worlds to improvisational acting, but the emphasis is on project courses.



    Explorations into the World of Forensic Science

    Experience the laboratory program offered by Robert Morris University where you will be introduced to the world of forensic science and crime scene investigation. You will have the opportunity to obtain insight and to gain valuable career pathways.  This experience may only be offered if program times are available.


    The Fairchild Challenge

    This eco-challenge at the Phipps Conservatory encourages high school students to investigate, devise imaginative and effective responses, and to take action at many levels on environmental issues through a menu of challenges.  Each challenge option is designed to appeal to a broad range of students with varying interests and abilities by incorporating theater art, photography, research, and even foreign language.  Each school is competing for The Fairchild challenge which awards $3,200 worth of prizes for their schools’ science and environmental programs or to make their school a green place.


    Faraday Lecture (Sophomore Chemistry Students Only)

    This is an old English tradition that was started in order to reward students who worked diligently and effectively during the first term.  This is brought to you each year by your GOAL teachers and your Chemistry teachers!


    Foreign Policy Simulation

    A crisis occurs in the US and you must help our government through this as a government official.  Use your critical thinking and problem solving skills during this day of challenge.


    Frick History Activity-The Frick Art and Historical Center

    This is more than just a look at Henry Clay Frick’s home—this day puts Frick into a broader context of local and national history at the turn of the century.  Industrialization, social class differences and labor relations are a few of the topics address during this interactive tour.


    Future Problem Solving

    This competition coordinated by the AIU engages students in creative problem solving.  Bring YOUR critical and creative thinking skills to develop a vision for the future.


    Genetics Conference

    This is an annual presentation by nationally renowned Geneticist, Dr. Samuel Rhine.  This is an all-day college level lecture on current trends and practices in this scientific research field.

    Glass Center

    Would you like to develop your creativity and ability to work with a new medium?  Enthusiastic docents guide you through a contemporary glass art exhibition, discuss Pittsburgh’s rich history in glass and provide a glass blowing demonstration.  Students will also work in the hot or cold shop to create their own piece of glass art.  Lunch and a discussion of Dale Chiculy are also part of this experience!    


    Holocaust Seminar

    Don’t miss this enlightening day where you can learn more about the Holocaust and hear the testimony of camp survivors.  This is a personally moving experience and a day you will not forget that is sponsored by the Jewish Community Center.


    Knowledge Master Open (Fall and Spring)

    This is a general knowledge competition that takes place in December and April.  This is a computerized test consisting of 200 multiple choice questions.  The questions test the ability to recall, analyze and apply knowledge of a broad range of topics.  Students work together as a team and are scored for speed and accuracy.


    Law Career Seminar

    Law school students and professors will present an overview of the legal profession and conduct small group information sessions.  Visit the Law School at the University of Pittsburgh to learn all the ins-and-outs of attending law school and becoming an attorney.


    Music Industry Seminar

    Students will explore a variety of careers related to the music industry during this popular seminar. Careers include Music Technology, Business Management, Marketing and performance.


    National Science Bowl

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Science Bowl is a nationwide academic competition that tests student’s knowledge in all areas of science.  High school students are quizzed in a fast paced question-and-answer format similar to Jeopardy.  Competing teams from diverse backgrounds are comprised of four students, one alternate, and a teacher who serves as an advisor and coach.


    Open Heart Surgery  (Sophomores Only)

    You won’t want to miss an opportunity to observe open heart surgery at AGH if you are considering a career in medicine!  You will watch the procedure from the operating room observation area.  Following the surgery, you will have a chance to meet with a member of the surgical team and ask questions about the surgery and careers in medicine.  The trip is limited to 15 students.


    Students will partner with Dr. Graham Hatfull, Pitt professor of biotechnology.  This is a 2-day activity where students process dirt samples in the hopes of identifying a new Mycobacteriophage.  Students will have the opportunity to be paired with a mentor and continue their research independently at the University of Pittsburgh.


    Poetry Experience

    Students interested in the specific discipline of writing poetry will be given the opportunity to hone their skills in a workshop type setting.  An on-line tool will be used to share critique and publish work. 



    Spend 4 ½ hours aboard the new “green” vessel Explorer exploring the river’s ecosystem and view Pittsburgh's spectacular architecture and splendid landscape from the three rivers. You will be performing chemistry tests for water quality, microscopic examination for algae & plankton, benthic macro invertebrates, and identification of various birds and waterfowl. This is a hands-on environmental science experience- be prepared to get wet!


    Sci Tech Festival

    Join us for the SciTech Festival High School Career Days, one component of the Pittsburgh International Science and Technology Festival, which celebrates science and technology. The SciTech Festival is a regional venue connecting high school students with Pittsburgh's growth industries: robotics, information technology, biotechnology, environmental technology, and advanced materials processes.


    Shakespeare Monolog Contest

    Here is your chance to perform on the stage of the Pittsburgh Public Theatre.  Work individually or with a group of friends to master a scene after being coached by “real” actors from the Pittsburgh area.  This is a marvelous forum for self-expression!


    Silver Eye for Photography

    Join us for a guerilla photography scavenger hunt capturing images on the south Side of Pittsburgh.  Given a specific challenge, you will use the lens, your perception and your creativity to capture the images.  Bring your camera and your creative processing for this interactive day!  This experience includes an exhibit by the leading photographer at the Silver Eye Center.


    Socratic Seminar

    If you love to argue and dig debate, Socratic Seminar is for you! Using a forum which encourages contextual based debate, students will explore many sides to a single issue. This is always an enthusiastic and sometimes passionate activity.


    Theatrical Performances and Cultural Experiences!

    Every year the GOAL office attends performances at a variety of locations such as Heinz Hall, the Benedum, the O’Reilly Theater or the University of Pittsburgh.  The performance selections will be based upon curriculum, school calendar and availability. Additional cultural offerings may become available throughout the year. There is a cost involved depending on the performance.


    Theater Arts Workshop

    Take a backstage tour of the Byham and learn about careers related to theater including sound, lighting, set design and construction, costuming, make-up, acting, theater marketing, management, etc.


    Video Mash-Up

    Would you like to make your own music video?  Bring your ideas, our music and your pictures.  We will help you develop your own creation!  The Software you will learn can also be used for cutting-edge school projects and presentations.  This is a popular, hands-on, in-house enrichment experience.


    West Point Bridge Design Contest

    This is an internet based competition that begins in January.  It is a realistic introduction to engineering in which you will design a bridge using the West Point Bridge Designer Software (free download).


    World Affairs Council Presentations

    Join us to gain a global perspective, develop a critical understanding about important issues in our interdependent world as they affect the nation and this region, become informed of international events and various perspectives, and hear speakers from the government, universities, DC think tanks and fields of international relations.  Multiple programs will be offered throughout the school year by the WAC addressing various global issues.  "America's success abroad is founded on the rock of an informed and involved public. …World Affairs Councils play an extraordinarily important role in connecting the American people to American foreign policy." - Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell 


    Writers Workshop

    Do you enjoy writing creatively? Work with your peers to brainstorm ideas, create original work, improve pieces and peer edit short stories, poetry, fanzines, song lyrics, longer works and more. If you have a writing flare—this one day workshop is for you!







    The Apprenticeship Program is sponsored by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and coordinated by your GOAL teacher. Students submit applications to the program in the spring of each school year and are selected to participate in the apprenticeship the following school year. The selected students, who are from the Pittsburgh area, join together to discover the wonders of subjects not in the “usual” school curriculum or to learn more about a personal or career interest. Students learn under the direction of professionals who work in the target area. Lectures are minimal, with the emphasis on field experiences and hands-on learning. Each apprenticeship features an average of six half or full-day meetings during school hours. Currently, there are 35 apprenticeship programs. Sample areas include: Animal Behavior, Engineering, Architecture, Digital Photography, Biotechnology, International Affairs and Nursing.



    Make a video—write and perform a play---research archives for original source documents---write a research paper---the opportunities are endless if you are a history buff.  Join in on History Day sponsored by the Heinz History Center.  This is a national competition with specific guidelines.  Ask your GOAL teacher about this year’s topic.



    Have something in mind that we haven’t touched upon yet?  Work with your GOAL teacher to create an individual or small group activity that involves YOUR strengths and interests. Some

    independent projects in the past years have included building a website for a local theatre and a research project on mythology.  The possibilities are endless for YOU!



    Hear ye—hear ye—Come to order and participate as an attorney or witness in a simulated case to be held at Duquesne Law School in early January.  Participation on the team requires before and after school meetings through December and January.



    This contest is a little different!  Do you remember playing the board game “Mouse Trap?”  Working with a team, your challenge will be to develop a machine.  The twist is that rather than developing an efficient machine, you are to design a machine with AS MANY STEPS AS POSSIBLE! Teams consist of a maximum of four students and only one team can compete at the Carnegie Science Center. If there is more than one team, there will be an in-house competition. Ask your GOAL teacher about this year’s task!


    GOAL 1GOAL 2