Advanced Academic Services is part of the Austin Independent School District. This blog provides information, activities, and events regarding advanced academics and high ability children and teens. Smart without compromise. Potential without limits.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

National Foreign Service High School Essay Contest

Description: If you’re looking to help students take a deep dive into international relations, history, and writing, look no further than this essay contest. This year’s winner stood out from 1,000 submissions with her essay, “Strategic Collaboration and Constructive Communication: Lessons from US Intervention in Bosnia and Iraq.”
Age Group: 9th–12th grades
How to Enter: Each year a new prompt is published in September. Stay tuned to the contest web page so you can find it when school begins. Winners receive full tuition to the Semester at Sea program as well as a trip to Washington, DC, to meet with a leader at the Department of State.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Did You Know: The Texas Memorial Museum


While preparing for the 1936 Texas Centennial Celebrations, politicians and other citizens realized that Texas did not have a state museum. It was not the first time this had been noticed, however.

Faculty at The University of Texas at Austin sounded the alarm in the 1910s as East Coast institutions took research collections out of Texas due to the lack of facilities in Texas. “If a Texas student or professor of Geology has need to examine a specimen of Dimetrodon, found ONLY in Texas Permian beds, he would have to visit a museum in Chicago, Michigan, or the East,” wrote Professor F.L. Whitney of The University of Texas at Austin in the 1920s. 

In the early 1930s, James E. Pearce, The University of Texas at Austin Chair of Anthropology, later named the museum's first director, and A. Garland Adair, department historian for the Texas American Legion, joined forces to establish a state museum.

They wanted the museum to contribute to the conservation of the historic treasures of Texas and also to the educational system of the state. With this joint effort, the Texas Memorial Museum (TMM) was born.

It was, at first, a state museum, but was transferred to The University of Texas at Austin museum of natural and cultural sciences. Both because it is a museum of The University of Texas at Austin and because it receives some direct state support, it remains committed to being a museum for all of Texas.

For more information, visit:

Minecraft Hour of Code 09/20/19

Free, 60-minute workshop to take part in the global Hour of Code movement. Using the power of code, students aged 8 and up will explore aquatic worlds and uncover hidden treasure with the new Minecraft Voyage Aquatic tutorialNo experience with Minecraft or coding is required. Microsoft Store at the Domain, 09/20/19, 3-4 p.m.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Smithsonian Museum Day - 09/21/2019

Museum Day is a one-day event in which participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. Participants are allowed to download one ticket per email address. The ticket provides free general admission on Saturday, September 21, 2019, for two people.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Anti-Defamation League's Table Talks for Parents

About Table Talk

Parents and family members often want to discuss current events and the news of the day. It's a great opportunity to engage children in rich conversation, impart important values and encourage lifelong interest in the news and the world around them. These talks can happen on the way to school, during a walk or over a meal together. Family dinner is a key time to have these discussions. Research shows that dinnertime conversation benefits the health, emotional and academic outcomes for children of all ages.
Table Talk: Family Conversations About Current Events provides parents and family members with the tools they need to engage their families in conversations about important news stories and other timely discussions about societal events. Each guide includes a topic summary, questions to start the conversation and dig deeper, ideas for taking action and additional resources.
For more information and resources, go to ADL Table Talks.