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GATE Students Invent Civilizations

Monica Harrison and Angie Martinez

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Mrs. Walker’s Gifted and Talented (GATE) students used their imaginations when creating a realistic civilization that has remained undiscovered for decades. Their civilizations ranged from happy paradises to places where people fight to the death if challenged. For two months, students researched civilizations that have existed throughout history and then developed their own. This included creating a name for the civilization, government and economic systems, flag, religion, and describing the challenges of the civilization’s daily life. Part of the curriculum for GATE is working on long projects in order to learn about time management, organization, collaboration, research, details, and creativity.

Seventh graders Iliana Rodriguez, Paris Novak, and Liliana Pacheco created Kepa Island, “a three-person ruled, multi-religioned, beautiful place.” Their team’s inspiration came from a shared love of K-Pop music.

“The K-Pop stars out there really inspired us because they accept people for who they are,” Paris said.

Iliana enjoyed brainstorming creative ideas.

“Kepa Island is based off a version of Earth where K-Pop is banned, and we fight for justice,” Iliana said.

Liliana said that coming up with Kepa Island’s government was a challenge.

“Many people don’t like K-Pop, so we had to make rules that wouldn’t allow K-Pop haters to enter Kepa,” Liliana said.

Also inspired by K-Pop, Nha Ho, 7th, and her teammates created D1W (Dibidiois 134340 Wolfeschlegalstienhausenbergerdorff). Its inhabitants live in the cold and are not strict about religion since people can be who they want to be. The D1W’s biggest challenge in daily life is the climate because they have to dress for the cold.

“We started researching about K-Pop things that we didn’t know about and modified it to fix our needs,” Nha said.

Nha enjoyed making the nautical anthem the best because she loves making music; however, the project did have challenges, like creating the daily lives, system of government, writing, and language.

Cole Grist, 8th, helped create a civilization called 4546B, ‘a non-religious civilization of democracy in the south Pacific ocean.” They were inspired by a video game.

“We took aspects of the game Subnautica and twisted them to fit in,” Cole said.

Design presented a challenge.

“We had a centerpiece to the civilization that had a unique shape and concentrating was hard,” Cole said.

The project was educational.

“I learned that some civilizations have to be a lot more advanced than others,” Cole said. “For example, 4546B is 1,700 km under the sea, which has to be more advanced due to oxygen becoming poisonous at that depth.”

Ruby Perez, 7th, worked on a civilization called Kindahawt, which has an anarchist government and free choice of religion. Inspired by the movie Black Panther, Ruby’s team wanted Kinahawt to be like Wakanda.

“My group and I created this particular civilization because we thought of how it was in Black Panther. We wanted it to be like Wakanda,” Ruby said.

Ruby believed her biggest challenge was a flaw in their design.

“Our iconic piece of art wouldn’t stay on,” Ruby said.

Eric Pilgrim, 7th, joined freshmen Vance Walker and Courtney Nguyen in creating the civilization Togi, a paradise located on an island in the Bermuda Triangle.

“Everyone has to do their part to keep Togi bright and happy,” Courtney said. “The island is ruled by a king/queen who decides the island’s fate. The religion is that nothing is real — everything could be an illusion.”

Virtual reality inspired this group.

“In Togi, people live off of a game, and if someone challenges you to the game of death and you lose, then you’re dead,” Eric said.

Courtney said her biggest challenge was coming up with plans for the island without upsetting her teammates.

“Sometimes, our ideas conflicted with each other,” Courtney said. “Eric wanted to go to war with one of the other islands, but I wanted to trade with them and that caused him to get banished from the island. He is okay though.”

Vance enjoyed building an entire civilization from the ground up, but identified creating the 3D models as the biggest challenge.

“It was tedious and time consuming,” Vance said. “We put a lot of effort into them.”

Courtney learned that civilizations are more complicated than she thought.

“You don’t just need houses and people; you also need a stable government, good economy, and more,” Courtney said.

Nathan Fuhrman, 9th, and Akil Thompson, 8th, created Nore, which is located in another universe and has an anarchy-type government.

“We were inspired by science fiction novels and movies and Greek mythology,” Akil said.

Nathan enjoyed the project.

“I loved the creativity and freedom I had,” Nathan said.

Donald Dang, 8th, and his team studied the theories of Yellowstone erupting and designed a civilization created by the ruins.

Donald found making some pieces out of wood without using proper tools like saws, hammers, and screwdrivers a challenge, but he enjoyed creating the journal.

“I got to be creative,” Donald said.

Isbella Linthavong, 8th, and her teammate invented Balula, whose people harvest strawberries and poppy seeds, mine, carve wood, and create art. They have a democracy, and people are allowed to believe whatever they choose.

“The thing that inspired us was when we thought about strawberries and how we wanted our civilization to be related to that,” Isbella said. “We wanted to create a small town like back in the days of old movies.”

Isabella enjoyed creating the 3D representation of Balula.

“I liked painting it, making things out of clay, and creating the buildings,” Isbella said. “Inventing a civilization takes a lot of time and creativity to design something unique from others.”

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