What's New in Gifted Education | Davidson News | Legislative & Policy News | On the Web | In the News | In the
What's New in Gifted Education
|| Challenging Summer
It may be the middle of winter, but it's time to start thinking about summer program options (if you
haven't already)! A great variety of summer programs for the gifted abound in states all over the country. Program themes range from science
and mathematics to music and outdoor activities. See these Davidson Gifted Database articles for some excellent summer
To browse the Davidson Gifted Database's entire list of summer programs,
Please note that 2012 application deadlines for certain summer programs may
be approaching soon. If you know of a great summer program for academically gifted students not on these lists, please contact us.
Among the most academically rigorous
summer programs is the
THINK Summer Institute,
which runs July 14 - August 4, 2012. Students can earn up to six college credits at this three-week residential summer program on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. To qualify, students must be 13 to 16 years old during the program and meet the minimum qualifying test scores.
Apply today - space is limited and the final application deadline of
March 1, 2012!
Epsilon Camp, located in Colorado Springs, Colo., is a
two-week summer residential camp for exceptionally and profoundly gifted students
who love math and are 8-10 years old. Attendees must be
under the age of 11 during the camp and enrollment is limited to
40, so those interested
should apply as soon as possible. A parent workshop designed to help parents to build mathematical and social maturity in the EG/PG child will run parallel to the student
Google launches 2012 Global Science Fair
Google is again calling on
gifted students ages 13 to 18 to participate in the
2012 Global Science Fair,
which follows last year's inaugural event. The competition
challenges students to submit projects that will be judged
by a panel of scientists and researchers. This year,
submissions will be accepted in 13 languages. Judges will
select 90 regional finalists in keeping with the company's
goal of guaranteeing more global coverage. Last year, a Davidson Young Scholar
won in the 13-14 age group for testing marinades to see how they would affect a harmful carcinogen that has been found in grilled chicken.
Center for Gifted Education – National Curriculum Network Conference
The Center for Gifted Education’s
National Curriculum Network Conference gives professionals from across the country the opportunity to share in discussions about curriculum, instruction, and assessment for high-ability and gifted learners. This year's conference will be held March 8-9 at the College of William & Mary. The conference features nationally recognized speakers such as Dr. Paula Olszewski-Kubilius and Dr. Rena Subotnik, who will share their in-depth perspectives and research.
The Davidson Academy of Nevada
A free public school, The Davidson Academy of Nevada
encourages and supports the abilities, strengths, and
interests of profoundly gifted middle and high school
who score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ or college entrance
tests, such as the SAT or ACT. If you are interested in applying to The Davidson Academy
for the 2012-2013 school year, visit
How to Apply page to download the application files. Please review the
Qualification Criteria page and the
Application Review Process page for more information.
Upcoming Tours for Prospective Students
Each month during the school year, The Davidson Academy hosts a tour for prospective students and their parents. At these tours, visitors meet current Academy students, parents, faculty and staff, and ask specific questions about the school. Our upcoming school tours will be held on the following
Fridays: Feb. 24,
March 30 and
April 27. RSVPs are required. For additional details and to RSVP, please visit our
Davidson Young Scholars program provides FREE services designed to nurture and support profoundly gifted young people and their families, including talent development and educational advocacy, an online community, annual get-togethers, and the Ambassador Program. Applications are due the first of each month. For more information, see the
How to Apply and
Qualification Criteria pages.
Davidson Discussions delve deeper into information and topics specific to parents of profoundly gifted students who seemingly experience the same issues time and time again. These videos,
posted on the Davidson Institute's
YouTube channel, are a current and fresh way for the Davidson
Institute Family Consultant team to share our experiences of
working with this unique population of students over the
past 12 years. The latest episode provides tips to help
parents and students when searching for summer camps.
The Davidson Institute's
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. You can become a member of the online community with access to free consulting services and Educators Guild publications
here. We are also happy to announce a new Educators Guild
discussion group on Facebook
- join today!
Gifted Issues Discussion Forum
Gifted Issues Discussion Forum is a meeting place for all things gifted. Register and become a part of one of the most active gifted education forums on the web! With more than
5,000 registered members, it's a great place to share and interact with others about a wealth of gifted topics.
At the end of 2011, the Davidson Institute was providing direct support to an estimated 2,175 profoundly gifted young people and 1,543 educators, as well as indirect support to 13,340 eNews-Update subscribers, 1,288,526 visitors to the Institute’s websites and 4,950 subscribers to our public discussion forum,
View the 2011 Annual Report.
Legislative & Policy News
Gifted Education State Policy Map Recently Updated
The Davidson Institute's
Gifted Education State Policy Map was recently updated to
reflect much of the new information in the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)'s latest State of the
States in Gifted Education report. The color status of 13 states changed:
Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota,
New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah
and Wyoming. Click on the map to visit the state database to view
your state's definition
of giftedness, key personnel, statistics and legislative information. More updates to the individual state pages will
be made during the next few weeks, so please check back
Former Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Deborah Delisle was recently
nominated for the position of Assistant Secretary of Education for Elementary and Secondary Education.
Dr. Jim Delisle, is a nationally recognized gifted expert.
ARIZONA – Due to high demand, Knox Elementary School is expected to become Knox Gifted Academy as part of a plan being considered by the Chandler Unified School District. Source:
East Valley Tribune
CALIFORNIA – The Los Angeles Board of Education has adopted a proposal that calls for increased testing to identify gifted students. The plan may also include an expansion of successful magnet programs. Source:
Los Angeles Times
CONNECTICUT – School administrators in the Westport School District recently outlined a series of recommendations that seek to further integrate the curricula in gifted and regular education classes, create more personalized education plans for gifted students, and improve teachers' instruction and management of them. Source:
HAWAII – Gifted and talented education will be allocated two percent as a line item in the budget for the next fiscal year. Source: Dr. Anna Viggiano, Educational Specialist,
Hawaii Gifted and Talented Program
– Woodridge School District 68 officials are establishing a new committee to revise the district's definition of what "gifted" means after an audit found roughly 20 percent of its students enrolled in enrichment programs. The auditor found that the high number of students in these programs suggests the district should increase the rigor of its regular curriculum. Source:
MAINE – The University of Southern Maine will add $1 million to its $7 million scholarship fund so it can serve additional academically gifted students. Source:
Maine Public Broadcasting Network
MARYLAND – The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has pledged to give $725,000 over three years to provide scholarships for 100 gifted students to attend a number of summer programs at no cost. The summer centers are open to all gifted and talented students in the state. Source:
MISSOURI – Rep. Scott Dieckhaus has sponsored House Bill 1062, which would require school districts to include in their annual accountability reports whether or not they have state-approved gifted education programs or services, and the number and percentage of students currently being served in them. Source:
OREGON – The Beaverton School District has widened student qualification criteria for the gifted program. Formerly, students had to score in the 99th percentile on a test of overall cognitive ability or in the 99th percentile on both state reading and math tests. Now, students can score in the 97th percentile on either the state reading or math test, as long as they also reach the 99th percentile on the other. The overall cognitive ability requirement remains unchanged. Source:
TEXAS – With about one of every six students in the Houston Independent School District identified as “gifted and talented”, this amount is more than double that of both the state and national rates for gifted students. A plan to make it more difficult for students to qualify for the
was recently shut down, but a number of parents are expressing concerns about lack of direction. Source:
How gifted-friendly is your state? Find out
Davidson Gifted Database State Policy Map.
If you know of new legislation, please contact the
On the Web
Gifted Exchange Blog
Read Laura Vanderkam's take on all things gifted.
One of her recent posts is, "Supporting homeschoolers." Join the discussion
Articles and Resources
The Davidson Gifted Database at www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB is a gateway to resources for
and about gifted students.
See what's new!
Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG), a program of the
National Society for the Gifted and Talented (NSGT),
has expanded their services to include students from 4 to 17 years of age. In addition to their long-standing residential summer programs, SIG will now also offer day and commuter summer programs as well as SIG Beyond: Saturday, Afterschool and Weekend programs that run during the academic year. Additionally, SIG has expanded to a number of new locations, including Adelphi Academy, Sierra Canyon School and Union School District. Visit
www.giftedstudy.org for the latest developments.
Forging Paths: Beyond Traditional Schooling, you’ll read the stories of nine young people who took varying, nontraditional educational paths and succeeded in their chosen endeavors and vocations.
Click here to read a review of this book.
In the article
Testing Your Gifted Child: A Springboard for Effective Advocacy,
Barbara Gilman describes how testing can be an ally when
advocating for a gifted student.
NaNoWriMo's Young Writers Program is a writing event happens every November; the challenge is to complete an entire novel in just 30 days.
Suggest a Resource
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In the News
January 23, 2012 -
Getting College Credit in High School: Worth It?
January 19, 2012 -
Son is resentful of daughter's inclusion in gifted program
January 17, 2012 -
5-by-5 Approach to Differentiation Success
(K. Hull-Sypnieski & L. Ferlazzo)
January 5, 2012 -
Jake: Math prodigy proud of his autism
January 5, 2012 -
Who Is Currently Identified as Gifted in the United States?
December 27, 2011 -
Top myths about gifted children
December 21, 2011 -
Education Week Teacher,
A Window to My Classrooms
December 19, 2011 -
Group kids by ability and subject not age
December 15, 2011 -
Closing achievement gap at gifted students’ expense
(M. Petrilli & F. Hess)
December 12, 2011 -
Dual Enrollment Best When on College Campus
December 8, 2011 -
Top 11 Kids Who Made A Difference In 2011 (SLIDESHOW)
December 7, 2011 -
ABC Technology and Games,
Young Einstein is a modern myth
(Michael J. Biercuk)
December 2, 2011 -
Cheating the Gifted?
December 2, 2011 -
Why gifted students can be so challenging
November 30, 2011 - Rolling
Autumn 2011 -
The Excellence Gap
Discuss these stories and
more on the
Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.
Origami Salami and Folding for Good
A Davidson Young Scholar Making a Difference
interest in folding science is something that just snuck up
on me. It started with a gift of a beginner origami kit when
I was 6 years old. I had fun with it from the start. Origami
is a portable hobby and it catches peoples’ attention, so it
is a great way to make friends. I started entertaining at
birthday parties, folding flapping cranes out of party
napkins. Then I began making models to donate, like a
project I did for a local rehabilitation facility where
patients not only could choose a model, but also their
family members could pick one from a basket -those were
unbreakable, brainteaser, conversation pieces. And it
cheered everyone up, including me! Origami is a satisfying
I learned that ancient origami designs
inspiring scientists and researchers to innovate and invent
things that could make a real difference in peoples’ lives.
Citizen scientist teams were competing at online gaming
sites to try to unravel the mysteries of protein
folding - just one mis-fold and cancers or Alzheimer’s
might surface. NASA used folding techniques in the design of
the James Webb Space Telescope (the JWST), Curiosity (now on
its way to Mars where it will unfold itself in August 2012),
and in space tethers. A new heart stent was inspired by the
action of the origami balloon. And retail products, even
high fashion, are all taking inspiration from origami.
Then, I observed that many students experience a freak out
in the math progression somewhere around geometry, and yet,
those same students thought nothing of fooling around with
origami, which is all math, certainly geometry. I figured I
was witnessing the crisis in STEM education in the United
States right there before my eyes, and thought that if
learners connected the fun of origami with STEM
applications, I might contribute to closing the STEM gap.
The Young Scholar Ambassador Program gave me the support to
launch Origami Salami, whose primary
purpose is to inspire learners to make the easy connection
between the ancient art of origami and Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) studies; and its’
community outreach component, Folding for Good, which
teaches the fun of STEM through folding. Origami Salami and
Folding for Good officially launched in 2009.
The Young Scholar Ambassador Program
Origami Salami developed in the Young Scholar Ambassador incubator. The Ambassador Program sponsored awesome online
seminars addressing how to grow a project, the right way. We were coached on how to build a valuable community project and in so doing, become a force for positive change in the world. And at every step of the way, I got great advice from the professional Ambassador team.
Folding for Good is the community outreach spin-off of Origami Salami which explores the fun of STEM through origami and real world applications of origami. I staged several events through local organizations, and was soon receiving invitations to present interactive lessons for all ages.
Now, there are chapters of Origami Salami and Folding for Good in three states. By the end of the year, I hope to add three more.
I also maintain a website,
Facebook page, and
My Plans for the Future
My future professional contributions to the world will likely surface in some STEM field, and it seems like I can identify some folding component in most. As our world and our technology become smaller, we will be pressed to find ways to “shrink” information storage and technological devices. Maybe somehow I will be a part of that.
It is completely possible that we artful, STEM-types around the world will make a positive contribution to the betterment of humankind in our time, and it is completely possible, even likely, that lives will be changed because we studied folding together.
To read more about Calista, her project, her
learning environment and more,
this article in the Davidson Gifted Database.
"At this very moment, millions of high-achievers are waiting to be challenged. Meeting their needs is another objective worthy of a great nation. They deserve our encouragement, not our indifference."
~ Michael J. Petrilli and and Frederick M. Hess,
in the Washington Post article,
Closing the achievement gap, but at gifted students’ expense
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