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Davidson Institute July 2011

             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
  Changing the World Through Innovation in Science
GoogleThree finalists from across America were named the top winners at the 2011 Google Global Science Fair! Grand prize winner Shree Bose won for the 17-18 age group for research on improving treatment for patients suffering from ovarian cancer that have become resistant to cancer drugs. Naomi Shah was the winner of the 15-16 age group for her project on improving indoor air quality to help decrease asthmatics' dependency on medications. Lauren Hodge, a Davidson Young Scholar, won for the 13-14 age group for testing marinades to see how they would affect a harmful carcinogen that has been found in grilled chicken. There were thousands of applicants from more than 100 countries for the event, which took place at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
Photograph by Andrew Federman/Google. Sources:, ABC News

IDEAL Solutions for Math Acceleration Seeks to Help Advance Students in Math
Intel ISEFIDEAL Solutions® for Math Acceleration is a web-based system that provides student-centered feedback to inform decisions about acceleration in math. The program draws upon the wide-ranging information available through the Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration (IRPA). If your math-talented student is bored or disengaged due to lack of challenge, IDEAL Solutions® may be a useful tool.

   Davidson News
  The Davidson Academy of Nevada
The Davidson AcademyA free public school, The Davidson Academy of Nevada encourages and supports the abilities, strengths, and interests of profoundly gifted middle and high school students. The Academy is specifically designed to meet the needs 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 of Nevada for the 2012-2013 school year, the application will be posted this summer. Please review the Application Review Process page for more information.

Upcoming Tours for Prospective Students
Hear from current students and Academy parents, familiarize yourself with faculty and staff, network with others and ask specific questions at one of the upcoming tour dates. RSVPs are required.
  • Friday, Sept. 23, 2011
  • Friday, Oct. 21, 2011
  • Friday, Nov. 18, 2011
  • Friday, Dec. 16, 2011
Prospective students interested in receiving email updates about the Academy can subscribe to The Davidson Academy eNewsletter by clicking here.

EXPLORE Test to be offered at The Davidson Academy in October
In conjunction with the University of Iowa’s Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search (BESTS), The Davidson Academy will serve as a test site for the two-hour EXPLORE® test on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011. The EXPLORE® test, developed by ACT for eighth-graders, is an effective above-level test for younger students, grades 4-6, and provides the opportunity to demonstrate their advanced abilities. An EXPLORE® test score can be used in the context of eligibility criteria for the Davidson Young Scholars program as well as The Davidson Academy. Parents or teachers of students who are very talented in mathematics can use the EXPLORE® scores as part of IDEAL Solutions for Math Acceleration, which is a web-based system for making decisions about math acceleration.
Davidson Academy
To register, visit this page and click on “Register” under the EXPLORE menu on the left side of the screen. The cost is $58 per student and the deadline to register for The Davidson Academy location is Monday, Oct. 3. The goal of BESTS is to discover students who need further educational challenge to fully realize their academic talent.

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

Davidson Fellows2012 Davidson Fellows Scholarship Applications
Application requirements for the 2012 Davidson Fellows scholarships have recently been posted! New for 2012, age eligibility criteria is changing - students must be 18 or younger as of October 4, 2012. The Davidson Institute offers $10,000, $25,000 and $50,000 scholarships to students whose projects have the potential to benefit society, and are equivalent to college graduate level with a depth of knowledge in their particular area of study.

Davidson Young ScholarsDavidson 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.

Educators GuildEducators 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 also become a member of their online community with access to free consulting services and Educators Guild publications by subscribing here. If you would like more information, please email

   Legislative & Policy News
Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act – Long-time supporters of gifted education in Congress are leading the charge to restore Javits funding for fiscal year 2012. Representatives Elton Gallegly (CA) and Joe Courtney (CT) in addition to Senators Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Bob Casey (PA) recently distributed letters to members of the House and Senate urging continued funding for the Javits program, the only federal source of funding for gifted and talented education. Javits was de-funded in fiscal year 2011 due to budget cuts. Source: NAGC's Legislative Update page

ARIZONA – A new school designed for academically advanced students will open at Arizona State University (ASU) this fall. Students at the Gary K. Herberger Young Scholars Academy will complete classes on the ASU West campus the entire school day. Source: Arizona Republic

The Davidson Academy
CALIFORNIA – The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District has approved a $19,000 program that will provide GATE testing annually for all third-graders, as well as gifted training for teachers at the elementary level. Source: Sierra Sun

MASSACHUSETTS – The Talented and Gifted program in the Triton Regional School District will undergo a number of changes, with a new focus on providing differentiated instruction. Source: The Daily News of Newburyport

MICHIGAN – The Great Lakes Bay Region in Midland County was recently awarded a $400,000 grant that will allow students to participate in an early college program. The program will allow high school juniors and seniors to attend classes at Saginaw Valley State University and earn up to 60 college credits. Source: Midland Daily News

A new program for academically advanced students will open in the Redford Union School District this fall. Source:

NEW YORK – While the number of preschoolers eligible for New York City gifted programs is higher than in the past, the majority live in the city’s middle-class and wealthier districts. Source: New York Times

The New York City Department of Education is considering creating a citywide gifted and talented program at Bayside’s P.S. 188, angering a number of local parents who feel that the program would leave the district with fewer seats for gifted classes. Source: Douglaston Patch

NORTH CAROLINA – Due to cuts in funding, the Governor’s School of North Carolina is in danger of being discontinued at the end of the current summer session. Founded in 1963, the distinguished program was the first of its kind in the nation and has served as a model for other states. The Governor’s School Foundation is currently attempting to raise funds to maintain its existence; charging tuition is another option being explored. Sources:, The News & Observer

OHIO – A new magnet school for gifted children will be housed in Hyde Park School starting with the 2012-2013 school year. Source: Cincinnati Enquirer

WASHINGTON – The state’s Highly Capable Program (HCP) is expected to be legally mandated starting this September. Both the House and Senate versions of the 2011-2013 biennial budget contain funding for the program. HCP will likely become a mandated part of basic education, with adequate funding provided. The Washington Coalition for Gifted Education and local advocates were instrumental in advocating for these changes.

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 Exchange Blog
Read Laura Vanderkam's take on all things gifted. One of her recent posts is, "The Fear of Gaps." Join the discussion today!

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

The Gifted Education Collaborative is an organization dedicated to gifted advocacy and the promotion of continuous improvement in gifted education.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Early Studies Program is designed to provide highly-motivated high school students an opportunity to get a head start on their college education by enrolling in UNLV courses before high school graduation.

Social Networking - Impacting the World of Gifted Education
With social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter exploding onto the scene over the past few years, parents, students and gifted education advocates have been able to use them to communicate and access information like never before. Check out this Davidson Gifted Database article for an ever-growing list of gifted organizations and advocates on social networking sites, as well as links to gifted advocacy blogs and other online publications.

Suggest a Resource             Suggest an Article 

   In the News
July 11, 2011 - Education Week, Creative Thinking (Tamara Fisher)
July 11, 2011 - Yahoo! News, For Autistic Kids, IQ May Not Predict School Achievement (Jenifer Goodwin)
June 29, 2011 - Denver Post, Educating a gifted child (Katherine Braun)
June 29, 2011 - Allentown Morning Call, How the U.S. can fix education's 'crawl to mediocrity' (Ann Robinson)
June 28, 2011 - Citifmonline, 10 signs your child may be gifted (Staff)
June 26, 2011 - Brain Blogger, Being a Mensan – a Gift or a Curse? (Veronica Pamoukaghlian)
June 23, 2011 - Deccan Herald, The many definitions of giftedness (Staff)
June 20, 2011 - Sacramento Bee, Gifted boy seeks to learn, but where? (Diana Lambert)
June 17, 2011 - South Coast Today, Difficult decision for parents of gifted son (Sylvia Rimm)
June 17, 2011 - PBS NewsHour, Teen Scientist Develops Device to Fight Terrorism (Staff)
June 16, 2011 - U.S. News & World Report, To Keep America Great, Students Must Be Taught to Innovate (R. Adkins)
June 15, 2011 - Lakewood Observer, Gifted Programs? (Bill Call)
June 6, 2011 - Detroit News, College at 13 'not a big deal,' teen says (Shawn D. Lewis)
June 2, 2011 - Wall Street Journal, Do ‘Gifted’ Programs Work? (Christopher Shea)
May 28, 2011 - PhysicsToday, The challenge of gifted education (Alex Antunes)

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

   In the Spotlight

Koa Halpern - A Davidson Young Scholar Making a Difference

Intel ISEFWhat are some past and present projects you’ve worked on to help make a positive difference in the lives of others?
I started trying to make a difference young. At three years old, I started my first project by collecting pet food for the Humane Society instead of receiving gifts for my birthday. Over the years, I have done many more projects.

My most recent is Fast Food Free, a nonprofit that tries to reduce fast food consumption. The mission of Fast Food Free is to reduce the consumption of fast food through education and community awareness resulting in healthier people and a better world. It is important to me because of the health risk fast food poses to people, animal rights violations, and the effects the fast food industry has on the environment. Personally, my number one concern is how the fast food industry impacts the world we live in. Now, I am thinking of expanding Fast Food Free into Try A Bite, a nonprofit that helps people make better food choices.

This fall I would like to invite teachers and students to ask their classes to take the Fast Food Free Pledge as a group. Last year, we had success with this campaign and I'd like to keep the momentum going. For information contact me at
Intel ISEF
How has the Young Scholars program helped you to reach your goals and accomplishments?
The Young Scholars program has helped me in many ways. I was in the Young Scholars Ambassador program, which provided 18 months of mentoring, helpful advice, support and intensive education on developing a nonprofit. In addition, the Young Scholars program has helped me get a great education on some of my favorite subjects through seminars that are offered. Additionally, I've made some great friends who are Young Scholars!

Please describe your academic setting and some positive experiences with mentors.
I attend Greenwood Options School, a hybrid home school program. I attend a regular high school one day a week and homeschool four days a week. This fall, I will also start taking courses at Arapahoe Community College. Homeschooling works best for me - I have more time to do Fast Food Free, violin, and my many other interests.

Read the latest Fast Food Free Newsletter.

   Closing Thought

"Our judges said the unifying elements of all three young women were their intellectual curiosity, their tenaciousness and their ambition to use science to find solutions to big problems."

               ~ Cristin Frodella, Google Education Team, on the top
winners of the 2011 Google Global Science Fair


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