To receive future editions of the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update, sign up here.

Davidson Institute January 2013  

             What's New in Gifted Education | Davidson News | Legislative & Policy News | On the Web | In the News | In the Spotlight
   What's New in Gifted Education
  Stimulating, Exciting Gifted Summer Programs
It may be the middle of winter, but it's time to start thinking about summer program options (if you haven't already)! Summer programs for gifted students are available across the country. Program themes range from science and mathematics to music and outdoor activities. See these Davidson Gifted Database articles for some excellent summer options: Gifted Summer Camps To browse the Davidson Gifted Database's entire list of summer programs, click here. Please note that 2013 application deadlines for certain summer programs may be approaching soon. If you know of a great summer program for academically gifted students not in our database, please contact us.

THINK Summer InstituteAmong the most academically rigorous summer programs is the THINK Summer Institute, which runs July 13 - August 3, 2013. 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 is March 1, 2013!

EpsilonAn intellectually rigorous program taught by university professors, The Epsilon Camp is a two-week summer residential camp located in Colorado Springs, Colo. for exceptionally and profoundly gifted (EG/PG) students ages 8 to 11 who love math. A unique feature of Epsilon Camp is apartment-style housing on campus for each family; at least one parent must attend with each child, and additional family members are also welcome. Space is limited. A parent workshop designed to help parents build mathematical and social maturity in the EG/PG child runs concurrently to the student camp.

2013 US Physics TeamSummer Institute for the Gifted (SIG), a program of the National Society for the Gifted and Talented (NSGT), offers three-week academic summer camps for gifted and talented students ages 4 to 18. The program combines academics with engaging social, cultural and recreational opportunities. Students can choose from 22 campuses including Yale, Princeton and the University of Chicago. Residential, commuter and day programs are available, as well as a Residential SAT Prep program for students ages 5 to 18.
2013 US Physics Team
New Book on Gifted Underachievement
For parents and teachers of gifted students, underachievement can be a difficult and frustrating issue. Recently published by Prufrock Press, The Underachieving Gifted Child: Recognizing, Understanding, and Reversing Underachievement takes a look at the causes of underachievement and provides insight on specific strategies to help increase achievement in four important areas.

NAGC Report Examines Achievement Among Low-Income, High Ability Students
2013 US Physics TeamThe recently released National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) report, Unlocking Emergent Talent: Supporting High Achievement of Low-Income, High Ability Students takes a comprehensive look at achievement among low income, high ability students. The report challenges the nation to move beyond its existing focus of reaching minimum standards for all students by placing emphasis on identifying and developing the talent of students capable of high achievement, including gifted low income, culturally and linguistically diverse students who too often languish in schools.

   Davidson News
  The Davidson AcademyThe 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 students 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 2013-2014 school year, visit the How to Apply page to download the application files. Please review the Qualification Criteria page and the Application Review Process page for more information.

Prospective students interested in receiving email updates about the Academy can subscribe to The Davidson Academy eNewsletter by clicking here.

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 Friday, Feb. 15 and March 8. RSVPs are required. For additional details and to RSVP, please visit the Tours page.

Davidson Fellows2013 Davidson Fellows Scholarship
The new Online Application System and category requirements for the 2013 Davidson Fellows scholarships are now available. Young people 18 and younger have the opportunity to earn 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 February 20, 2013.

THINK Summer InstituteDavidson Young Scholars
The 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.

THINK Summer InstituteEducators Guild
The Davidson Institute's Educators 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. You can become a member of this online community with access to free consulting services and Educators Guild publications by subscribing here. There is also an Educators Guild discussion group on Facebook - join today!

2012 Year-End Summary
At the end of 2012, the Davidson Institute was providing direct support to an estimated 2,562 profoundly gifted young people and 1,724 educators, as well as indirect support to 13,759 eNews-Update subscribers, 1,769,241 visitors to the Institute’s websites and 5,965 subscribers to our public discussion forum, Gifted Issues. View the 2012 Annual Report.

   Legislative & Policy News
  ALABAMA – Education officials are requesting $6.2 million for gifted education in the upcoming fiscal year, citing a need for more individualized instruction and an increase in the number of gifted education teachers. Sources:, Dothan Eagle

ARIZONA – To provide a more challenging curriculum and additional options to retain and attract local gifted students, the Gilbert Unified School District will implement two self-contained classes for highly gifted fourth- and fifth-graders for the 2013-14 school year. Plans call for the program, which will offer accelerated content, to be expanded by one grade level per year. Source: AZ Central

GEORGIA – A recent audit of the Savannah-Chatham County public schools showed that the needs of some of the students in the gifted program are not being met. Auditors cited as problems lack of teacher training in differentiation and discrepancies in identification. Source: Savannah Morning News

A leader in early childhood education, Georgia is the first state to offer pre-k to all children. Results from a recent study show that students enrolled in Georgia's Pre-K program fared better than their peers nationally. Officials say they hope the findings will encourage lawmakers to continue the program. Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ILLINOIS – Wolcott School, a new private, nonprofit high school for gifted and twice-exceptional students, will open in Chicago for the 2013-2014 school year. Source: Chicago Sun-Times
THINK Summer Institute
Administrators in Elgin-based School District U-46 are searching for ways to test more students for gifted programs and create more opportunities for them, particularly for those in second grade and below. Source: Chicago Tribune

MARYLAND – Gifted students who are moving faster than their peers in math in Montgomery County will have the chance to take “compacted” classes starting in fourth grade. The compacted courses will teach material in a shorter amount of time, but the district will have very strict guidelines as to which students will be eligible for the classes. Parents had complained for several months that under adoption of new state standards, there no longer would be an appropriate accelerated learning path, leaving students bored and disconnected in classes. Sources: Washington Post – 1/8, 12/2

NEW HAMPSHIRE – Amid concerns that Advanced Placement (AP) courses are not as rigorous as college courses, Dartmouth College will no longer grant college credit based on high school AP test scores, beginning with the class of 2018. Source: Inside Higher Ed

NEW YORK – New York City school officials recently reversed a decision that would have ended a policy of offering preference to siblings of students already enrolled in gifted education programs if there are more eligible applicants than seats in such programs. The sibling-preference policy for gifted and talented programs will be continued as the idea to end it will be further analyzed. Source: New York Times, DNA Info

OHIO – New district data shows that there are fewer gifted students in the Columbus school district than there were six years ago. Some cite an increase in poverty and a change in the way students are identified as possible reasons for the decrease. Source: Columbus Dispatch (article no longer available online)

SOUTH DAKOTA – Funding for gifted programs has dropped 21 percent since 2001, and the number of teachers for gifted programs has declined by 38 percent, according to the state's education department. Some educators argue that school districts are focusing too much on improving low-performing schools, while others say differentiated instruction in classrooms is meeting the needs of gifted students. Source: Argus Leader (article no longer available online)

TEXAS – ACE Academy in Austin recently announced a new program, Saturday Wonders, inspired by their existing Summer Wonders program. The program is exclusively designed to reach and inspire socio-economically challenged gifted children ages 8 through 10. Source:

The Spring Branch Independent School District in Houston is considering creating a highly gifted academy in grades K-4 for students with IQ scores of 145 and above. Sources: Houston Chronicle, Memorial Examiner

VIRGINIA – Fairfax County school officials recently proposed a plan to expand the district's programming options for gifted students. With the gifted student population tripling in the past decade, officials say opening additional centers for gifted education across the district would help reduce overcrowding. However, some parents say their input wasn't sought until late in the process and are calling for a delay in action. Source: Washington Post

WYOMING – A task force in Natrona County schools will examine how the district educates its students in the gifted and talented program. Less than 1/3 of the district's students who are gifted take Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses in high school, and some take remedial classes in college, according to a recent report. Some are suggesting that the group consider how the program is being funded and how the district's resources are being used to support it. Sources: Casper Journal, Star-Tribune

Davidson Institute Gifted State Policy Map

How gifted-friendly is your state? Find out on the Davidson Gifted Database State Policy Map.  
If you know of new legislation, please contact the Communications Team.

   On the Web
  Gifted Issues Discussion Forum
The 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 6,400 registered members, it's a great place to share and interact with others about a wealth of gifted topics.

Featured Articles and Resources
The Davidson Gifted Database at is a gateway to resources for and about gifted students. See what's new!

Published by the California Association for the Gifted, The Gifted Education Communicator is a great resource for parents and educators of K-12 gifted children. The latest issue features the article "Gaining Wisdom by Giving Back: Helping Gifted Young People Help Others," co-authored by noted gifted expert Jim Delisle and the Davidson Institute's own Erik Schwinger.

The Twice-Exceptional Newsletter is "the only publication aimed squarely at the intersection of giftedness and learning challenges." The current issue includes the article, "Twice-Exceptional in Transition: Preparing for the College Landscape" and more!Davidson Gifted Database

The article, Tips for Parents: Preparing your Gifted Child to Leave Your Nest and Build Their Own, is from a seminar hosted by Steve and Tonya Witherspoon about sharing information, cultivating introspection and developing academic plans.

MIT Launch (Cambridge, MA) is a 4-week summer program designed to help high school students start companies. The program is taught by professors from prestigious institutions like MIT and Harvard Business School, consultants from top-tier consulting firms, and successful entrepreneurs.

Written by Deborah Ruf, the article Gifted Child Personality Types and Effective School Lesson Plans explains how certain personality types affect different educational options and expectations.

In The Ultimate Guide to Internet Resources for Teachers of Gifted Students, educators gain a detailed overview of how they can use the Internet to teach new information, extend students’ learning, and offer exciting opportunities for differentiation.

The article, Tips for Parents: Bullying - How to Support Your Child, is from a seminar hosted by Kara McGoey, who provides advice on the prevention of bullying, as well as tips on how to handle the subject.

Summer Incitement (Houston, TX) is a summer program for gifted learners located on the campus of the Rainard School for Gifted Students. From Arabic to the Science of Cooking, these summer classes are designed to ignite learning.
Suggest a Resource             Suggest an Article 

   In the News
January 23, 2013 - Yahoo News, Teen builds nuclear reactor (Video)
January 22, 2013 -, 14-Year-Old Prodigy Programmer Dreams in Code (Video)
January 17, 2013 - Education Week, Study: Mentors, Not Bonuses, Boost College Enrollment (Sarah D. Sparks)
January 17, 2013 - Education Excellence, Playing the gifted-student race card (Chester E. Finn)
January 14, 2013 - Education Week, 15 Tips for Gifted Education Specialists (Tamara Fisher)
January 12, 2013 - New York Times, Gifted, Talented and Separated (Al Baker)
January 6, 2013 - Washington Post, Exceptional DC student educates me (Jay Mathews)
January 2013 - District Administration, What Do Students Really Need to “Know?" (Will Richardson)
December 26, 2012 - Time, Motivation, Not IQ, Matters Most for Learning New Math Skills (Laura Blue)
December 22, 2012 - The Atlantic, Gifted Students Have 'Special Needs,' Too (Chester E. Finn)
December 19, 2012 -, Some gifted children talk too much (Sylvia B. Rimm)
December 9, 2012 - Denver Post, Are gifted and special-needs students being left behind? (Lisa Wirthman)
November 27, 2012 - CNN, Overheard on Myths about 'gifted' kids (Staff)

Discuss these stories and more on the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

   In the Spotlight

 Emma Freedman
A Davidson Young Scholar Making a Difference

In the SpotlightTell us about your project.
Did you know that orangutans, one of the most intelligent primates, and one of our closest relatives, share 96.4% DNA with you and me? Their intelligence drives them to learn, seek novelty, and mimic humans. Orangutans have been driven into proximity with us because their habitat is disappearing.

In the last 40 years, driven by a constantly increasing demand for palm oil, we have destroyed 400,000 km2 of Bornean rainforest. Now only 50% of the island remains forested. Human interests are destroying orangutans’ lives. We have failed them.

My first trip to Borneo, at 10 years old, was an awakening because I understood for the first time the role I play in our planet’s destruction. I vowed to help. I started to raise awareness and it’s been a major focus of my free time and school projects. Starting small, selling one cookie at a time, I have raised more than $3,000 for an orangutan rehabilitation center.

When I was 12, I returned to Borneo a second time. On that trip, I learned that while the money is helpful, raising awareness is equally as important. Now, I speak internationally at schools and conferences about Jungleheroes.

What are some of your short-term and long-term plans?
This fall I returned from another trip to Borneo, where I visited Camp Leakey, the world’s oldest orangutan rescue center, in Tanjung Puting National Park. Now I am working on a scientific modeling project, to project the effects of reduced poaching or logging for the orangutan population there.

My long-term goals are to raise awareness for the orangutans, and help secure a UNESCO World Heritage status for their habitat in Borneo. I want to have a full understanding of the issues surrounding the conflict between development and conservation. I want to work with conservationists and corporations to find solutions for the rainforest. I hope to continue speaking internationally at schools and conferences about the orangutans. Eventually I hope to be an environmental engineer helping cities and governments make decisions that benefit both the people and the environment.

How has the Young Scholars Ambassador program helped you to reach your goals and achieve your accomplishments?
Without the Young Scholars Ambassador (YSA) program, I definitely would not be where I am now with Jungleheroes. Before becoming an ambassador I was not very involved in my project. Having a YSA advisor keeps me inspired. My advisor, Erik, asks me questions, makes suggestions and finds resources to help me with next steps. My favorite YSA seminar was one of the first ones about creating a business plan because it helped me learn how to set and reach goals. Overall, meeting with my YSA advisor and attending the online seminars has raised my commitment level to my project.

How can people get involved in your project?
The orangutans need us. It’s time to take action. Here are the three top things you can do to help:
  • Sign the pledge to protect the rainforest at,
  • Write letters to companies who use palm oil in their products, and
  • Raise awareness by telling everyone about the problem.
Please visit to find resources, sign the pledge and learn more.

   Closing Thought

"How many millions of high-potential young people lack . . . supports and are therefore falling by the wayside? Today's education system is missing the motivation to find and counsel and push them . . ."

~ Chester E. Finn, Jr., in The Atlantic op-ed, Gifted Students Have 'Special Needs,' Too


If you have information to include in future eNews-Updates, please email our Communications Team.
If you have been forwarded this eNews-Update, and wish to receive future editions, sign-up here.

Davidson Institute for Talent Development

Supporting our nation's brightest young minds.

9665 Gateway Drive, Suite B, Reno, Nevada 89521
Phone: 775-852-3483 Fax: 775-852-2184
Email:     Web:
Request a Brochure online.

       To subscribe, visit the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update archive page on the Davidson Gifted Database.

  DITD Facebook   DITD Twitter   DITD YouTube
     "Like" the Davidson Institute on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
The Davidson Institute also has a number of YouTube videos!