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What's New in Gifted Education
Intel Science Talent Search – Honoring
Those Who Promote Scientific Advancement
The winners of the
2010 Intel Science Talent Search
(STS) were announced last month, with past Davidson Fellows
being recognized as leading young scientists!
2009 Davidson Fellow Erika DeBenedictis received the
Intel STS top award of $100,000 for her project developing a software navigation system to
help improve spacecraft travel through the solar system.
2008 Davidson Fellow Laureate and third-place Intel STS finisher Akhil Mathew was awarded $50,000 for his math project on algebraic structures with ties to theoretical physics.
- 2007 Davidson Fellow Laureate and ninth-place
Intel STS finisher Yale Fan received $20,000 for his
research on quantum computing.
2010 Intel STS
press release. Sources:
- Second-place Intel STS recipient David Liu was honored
with $75,000 for his work to develop a system to recognize and understand digital images.
The Wallace Symposium
– A Focus on Gifted Research and Innovation
The nation’s leading researchers in gifted education will present their work at the
Wallace Research Symposium on Talent Development, a
major conference for gifted education research for the past two decades. The Symposium will be held at the University of Iowa May 16 through May 18. Presenters include Susan Assouline, Nicholas Colangelo, David Lubinski, Nancy Robinson and more!
Director of The Davidson Academy of Nevada Colleen Harsin will also present, “The Davidson Academy: A Case Study in Matching the Curriculum to the Student.”
Prufrock Press Selected as Small Publisher Standout
Prufrock Press, one of the nation’s
top providers of gifted education products, textbooks, testing instruments and more, has been featured as one of the nation's 11 fast-growing independent publishers
Publishers Weekly. The magazine’s annual list highlights independent presses in the United States
based on growth in sales and the number of new titles released. The main focus of Prufrock’s K-12 products is to truly challenge students and encourage outside the box learning while adhering to national standards. Prufrock also publishes three quarterly professional journals,
Gifted Child Today,
Journal for the Education of the Gifted, and
Journal of Advanced Academics, and one quarterly children's magazine,
Click here for more information about Prufrock Press.
The Davidson Academy of Nevada
Application Deadline Approaching
on the University of Nevada, Reno campus,
Academy of Nevada is a free public day school for profoundly gifted pupils.
The 2010-2011 Academy application is available online at
www.DavidsonAcademy.UNR.edu/Admissions and the deadline has been extended to
How to Apply page,
Test Score Criteria and
Application Review Process for more information.
Visit the Academy
for a public tour on Friday, August 6.
are required and can be submitted online at
Prospective students interested in receiving email updates about the Academy can subscribe for the free
Explore The Davidson Academy eNewsletter by
2011 Davidson Fellows Scholarship Applications
Applications for the 2011
Davidson Fellows scholarships are available
online. Young people under the age of 18 have the opportunity to win a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship in recognition of a significant piece of work in the categories of Science, Technology, Mathematics, Music, Literature and Philosophy, or a project that represents Outside the Box thinking. The application deadline is March
The FREE, national Davidson Young Scholars
program helps profoundly gifted students discover others with similar interests and abilities, utilizing their skills and talents to maximize their educational potential and make a
positive difference. Parents collaborate with a skilled team of Family Consultants who provide individualized services based on each family’s unique needs, in the areas of educational advocacy, social and emotional development, talent development
and more! Read Young Scholar
Success Stories about how the program has made a difference in these students’ lives.
Applications are due the 14th of each month.
Guild is a FREE national service for active elementary,
secondary and post-secondary educators, as well as other
professionals who are committed to meeting the unique
academic needs of gifted students. Become a member today to
be a part of an online community of more than 1,000
professional educators with access to free consulting services
and Educators Guild publications.
Legislative & Policy News
Equity in Excellence Act – Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) recently introduced the
Equity in Excellence Act, a bill designed to help ensure that all students will be challenged to reach their full potential in school, regardless of economic status. The legislation would ensure that resources will be provided to help top-performing low-income students achieve at the same levels as their more advantaged peers. Source:
Norwalk Plus Online
Race to the Top –
Delaware and Tennessee have won grants in the first phase of the
Race to the Top competition. Delaware will receive approximately $100 million and Tennessee $500 million to implement school reform plans over the next four years. The Race to the Top state competition is designed to reward states that are leading the way in wide-ranging statewide education reform across a number of areas, including those that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace, better measure student growth and success, and more. Approximately $3.4 billion will be available for the second phase of the competition, and applications are due June 1. Sources:
U.S. Department of Education,
Christian Science Monitor
ARIZONA – The Paradise Valley Unified School District is creating a new program for highly gifted elementary school students whose needs are not being met in existing gifted education classes. The new program will serve students who are two or more years ahead of grade level and score higher than 140 on IQ tests, or score 97 or above on two out of three portions of state-approved gifted tests. Source:
– A plan by the Santa Barbara School Districts would eliminate the Gifted and Talented Education label for high-achieving students and incorporate them into the honors category. This plan is causing concern for gifted parents and advocates. School officials say the plan would open up challenging classes to more students, but opponents argue that it compromises the rigor currently found in the GATE program. Source:
Santa Barbara Independent
– Advocates are concerned that a new plan to integrate gifted students into regular education classes, with the intention of eliminating gifted programs, will be harmful to gifted students across the state. The plan would also alter the definition of “gifted student,” and broaden guidelines on how different districts can serve gifted students. The
Florida Gifted Network is encouraging parents and advocates to contact state legislators with this
Call to Action (PDF). Source:
IDAHO – A new proposal will allow gifted middle school students to receive credit for taking high school courses. Source:
Lawmakers are proposing a plan that would provide scholarships for high school students who enroll in college early. The proposal would allow students to graduate from high school up to three years early and then receive a scholarship to enroll at a state university or community college. Source:
– Proposed changes to gifted programs in the Leonia Public School District are causing concern for parents because they were not asked to be part of the process. Some of the proposed changes include integrating advanced lessons into the mainstream classroom rather than pulling students out of class for specialized instruction, and using additional measurements to identify students who may be gifted. Source:
NEW YORK – The State University of New York (SUNY) system has created new "Smart Scholars" Early College High School partnerships offering opportunities for students historically underrepresented in higher education. The schools will allow students to work toward a high school diploma while simultaneously receiving up to two years of college credit without paying tuition. Source:
Advanced middle school students will soon be able to attend gifted and talented programs at four schools in Staten Island. About 250 students are eligible for the Middle School Scholars Program's 120 seats. Source:
Staten Island Advance
TEXAS – The Houston Independent School District is considering making Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests mandatory in an attempt to assess the quality of its courses. Under the plan, the district would pay for the students to take the exams at a cost of about $842,000 a year for more than 21,000 tests. Source:
WISCONSIN – A new program for teachers, offered jointly by University of Wisconsin - Whitewater and University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, is intended to provide them with the skills needed to educate gifted and talented students. Officials are also hoping to offer a gifted and talented program coordinator license. Source:
How gifted-friendly is your state? Find out at:
Gifted Education Policies.
If you know of new legislation, please contact the
On the Web
Gifted Exchange Blog
Read Laura Vanderkam's take on all things gifted, with recent posts including:
- In Defense of AP
– Numerous school districts have decided to roll out Advanced
Placement courses very broadly, many citing a study finding that kids who attempted hard classes in high school were more likely to go to college. So why not offer AP, have kids challenge themselves, and watch the college enrollment rates go up?
That's a reasonable idea, but the reality is that many kids aren't prepared for the rigor of AP classes, and their teachers are equally unprepared to teach them well.
Join the discussion
- Tennessee and Delaware win Race to the Top – While
a number of people had fretted that a dozen or more states
would win awards, thus watering down the impact, the
selection of only two is promising.
Page on the Davidson Gifted Database
The Davidson Gifted Database at
www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB is a gateway to resources for and about gifted students.
online article library and an extensive
of resources, plus view upcoming
events of interest to the
gifted community. Also, a
"What's New" page has recently
been launched, designed to provide a monthly update of some of
the most-recently added articles and resources. The Database also houses
State Policy Map, where you can see how gifted-friendly your state is.
Suggest a Resource
Suggest an Article
In the News
April 13, 2010 -
Defining Differentiated Instruction
April 11, 2010 -
Savannah Morning News,
Bright preschooler needs challenge and fun
April 7, 2010 -
Dispelling Myths about Gifted Students and Gifted Education
April 5, 2010 -
Savannah Morning News,
There are truly many gifted children
April 1, 2010 -
S. Pfeiffer: Florida State Academy for the Gifted
March 30, 2010 -
Advanced Placement: Good for top students, oversold to others?
March 30, 2010 -
Gifted Ed: While Others Slide Ahead, Gifted Students Feel Stuck
March 20, 2010 -
Two-year-old with IQ of 136 joins Mensa elite
March 10, 2010 -
The art of making music look easy
March 9, 2010 -
What Does it Take to Be a Genius?
Discuss these stories and more on the
Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.
Max Wallack - A Davidson Young Scholar Making a Difference
I have been a Davidson Young Scholar since the age of
4. Nine years later, I still remember visiting Lake Tahoe, meeting other Davidson Young Scholars, and spending time with Jan and Bob Davidson. Most of all, I remember Jan Davidson’s words that set the course for my life: “I believe that if you have the ability to help another person, then you have the responsibility to help them.” I try to use that phrase as my mantra.
Since 2002, I have invented solutions to improve people’s lives. My first invention, the Great Granny Booster Step (a special step to help elderly and handicapped persons get into minivans and high SUVs), won a national invention competition, including a trip to Chicago. While in Chicago, my family got lost on Lower Wacker Drive. There, I witnessed people living in garbage bags and boxes, and I promised myself that someday I would do something to improve the lives of homeless people. Other inventions included the Walk and Wait Cane (a cane with an attached seat for persons to rest), and the Carpal Cushion (a special cushion (patent-pending) to be worn by people suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome). In 2008, I heard about a contest that involved using recycled materials to better the lives of others. I decided to try to use Styrofoam, which occupies too much space in landfills, to improve the lives of homeless people. After much thought, I invented the Home Dome, a shelter for homeless people and disaster victims. The Home Dome won a national invention competition. I even had the opportunity to present it in
Washington, D.C. to some Senators and Hurricane Katrina victims.
Max with his
Max, 13, with some of the puzzles he collected for his
Puzzles To Remember.
Since 2008, most of my time has been spent on
Puzzles To Remember, a 501(c)(3) corporation I founded, which collects puzzles and distributes them to facilities that care for Alzheimer’s patients. I have collected 3475 puzzles and shipped them to 162 facilities across North America. During school break, I shadowed a neurologist at a local VA hospital. This summer, I plan to work at an Alzheimer’s Research Center. My goal is to become a Geriatric Psychiatrist, working with Alzheimer’s patients.
Currently, I’m a sophomore at Boston University Academy, a high school on the Boston University campus. This July, I will begin taking Boston University courses, and, in the fall, I’ll be taking three at the University. I really enjoy the feeling of independence and the additional perks of being on a college campus. I am very happy I made the choice to study here.
For many years, the
Davidson Young Scholars program has been my lifeline. I have constant contact with my family consultant, Crissa Markow. She has always been there for me, applauding my successes, and guiding me through some very unfulfilling past school environments. Crissa is my sounding board. When I share my situations with Crissa, the answers become clearer to me, and my choices become more obvious.
I have also encountered other wonderful mentors along the way. Ms. Hinds, my former school
principal, has always been willing to go the extra mile for me. She is very supportive of my projects. We also share some common values and a similar sense of humor. Even if we don’t see each other for a while, as soon as we are together, we are a team. My most recent mentor is Bob DeMarco of
AlzheimersReadingRoom.com. Bob and I met online only a few months ago, but we have already formed a very strong friendship. Bob is a brilliant man, a former Wall Street CEO, a former
college professor with his doctorate, and now a full-time caregiver to his 93-year-old mom with Alzheimer’s disease. I have great respect for Bob. He says we are both “difference makers.” I like that. I want to make a difference for the better in this world.
been interested in science research since
middle school, and being named a Davidson
Fellow is a genuine affirmation of my
scientific abilities and a tremendous
encouragement for me in pursuing my research
~ Erika DeBenedictis, 2010 Intel STS
Winner and 2009 Davidson Fellow
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