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
Global Science Fair at the Forefront of Scientific Innovation
Americans comprise 90 of the Regional Finalists for the
Google Global Science Fair. The finalists’ projects address
a number of crucial, timely issues, including: A
novel solution to improve cancer detection and diagnosis
through cell segmentation and artificial intelligence
innovative model to assist hand movements, grip and tremor;
inventive system for removing multiple classes of toxins
from water. Google will announce the 15 Global
Finalists Aug. 4.
2015 Class of Thiel Fellows –
Crafting the Future of Higher Education
The 2015 class of
Thiel Fellows comprised of 20 young entrepreneurs was recently announced. Thiel Fellowships consist of separate grants of $100,000
during two years to 20 young people per year so that
recipients can leave the classroom and pursue innovation. In addition to the financial support, Thiel Fellows are mentored by hundreds of highly accomplished entrepreneurs, scientists, investors, thinkers and innovators. In exchange, Thiel Fellows agree to take a two-year hiatus from the classroom and so they can focus their energy and attention on creating innovative startups, technologies and nonprofits.
Click here to read about the 2015 class. Sources:
Business Insider, The Next Web
"The Benefits and Pressures of Being a Young Genius"
New York Times
recently published a series of op-eds detailing "The Benefits and Pressures of Being a Young Genius,"
with topics that include how to challenge highly talented children,
balancing normal life and special talent, the difficult
transition to adult genius and more.
Davidson Academy of Nevada
A free public school,
Davidson Academy of Nevada
encourages and supports the abilities, strengths and interests of profoundly gifted middle and high school students. If you are interested in applying to
the Davidson Academy for the 2016-2017 school year, the application will be posted
Meanwhile, please visit the
How to Apply and the
Application Review Process
pages for more information. Prospective
students interested in receiving email updates about the
Academy can subscribe to the
Davidson Academy eNewsletter by
Upcoming Tours for Prospective Students
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: Sept. 18,
Oct. 23, Nov. 20 and
Dec. 11. RSVPs are required. For additional details and to RSVP, please visit
Davidson Young Scholars - Updated Qualification Criteria
Recent updates have been made to the
Young Scholars program application
Qualification Criteria. Applicants are now only required to submit one test
from this list of accepted tests, instead of two. Standard scores on specific sections of individually administered tests must continue to meet or exceed 145 or above; please carefully review the minimum score guidelines on the Qualification Criteria page for details on these and other tests. Additional supplemental information, including academic portfolio items, is now considered optional. The Young Scholars application process continues to have a rolling application deadline of the first of each month and students can apply until the age of 16.
Please see the
FAQs page for additional information and, to begin the application process, visit the
How to Apply
page after reviewing the
Please know that we are unable to determine whether
or not an applicant will qualify for the Young Scholars program outside the context of a complete application. The national
Davidson Young Scholars program offers free support services for profoundly gifted students ranging in age from 5 to 18 in early college, educational advocacy, talent and interest development, and peer connections. Consulting services for parents and a great sense of community are some of the major benefits for families accepted into the program.
Davidson Fellows Scholarship
Davidson Institute offers $10,000, $25,000 and
Fellows scholarships to students 18 and under whose projects have the potential
to benefit society, and are at the college graduate level.
Application categories are in the STEM fields, humanities
and outside the box. The 2015 class of Davidson Fellows will
be announced in August.
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 this free online community
There is also an Educators Guild
discussion group on Facebook
- join today!
Legislative & Policy News
CALIFORNIA – The San Diego Unified School District is overhauling its system for testing students for entrance into the Gifted and Talented Education program, transitioning to the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT). Source:
NBC 7 San Diego
Revo Academy, a gifted learner school for students in grades K-8 in the Conejo Valley Unified School District, will open this fall. Revo
was founded by educators with experience in gifted education. Source:
Thousand Oaks Acorn
The Las Virgenes Unified School District Gifted and Talented Education program recently expanded to include seventh graders. Next year, it will expand to eighth grade. Source:
Agoura Hills Acorn
FLORIDA – The self-contained gifted program at Pine View Middle School in the Pasco County school district will discontinue, despite the efforts of parents and advocates. The school has disbanded to become an accredited International Baccalaureate program. Source:
MASSACHUSETTS – The Leominster Public School District reversed course on a decision to eliminate the Leominster Educational Acceleration Program
(LEAP), which is designed to provide specialized teaching for academically gifted students. Source:
MISSOURI – After 15 months of study, Missouri's Advisory Council on the Education of Gifted and Talented Children
recently submitted an
annual report listing 10 recommendations to improve the identification of gifted children and help develop programs in every Missouri school. Sources:
NEW YORK – Despite scoring high enough on this year's exam, nearly 20 percent of New York City's 4-year-olds who applied to gifted and talented programs were left without seats. Source:
OHIO – Akron Public Schools recently voted to expand services for gifted students through identification and teacher training. Source:
– The Grayson School, which plans to open this fall in Broomall and serve gifted students in grades K-6,
will be the first private school for gifted students in the state. Source:
SOUTH CAROLINA – The Cherokee County School District recently received a $10,000 grant to fund a new career exploration program for gifted middle school students. Source:
TEXAS – To allow for an easier transition into second grade, the Midland school district’s Carver Center will begin accepting gifted first graders starting in the 2015-2016 school year. Source:
VIRGINIA – The Petersburg school district will open a new program for gifted students this fall. The goal is to challenge high-achieving students and prepare them for high school or college. Source:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington, D.C. school district is introducing a number of gifted programs in its neighborhood schools, hoping to attract gifted students who may have otherwise fled to suburbs for an appropriate education. Source:
WISCONSIN – The Sun Prairie Area School District’s Talented and Gifted Program will undergo a number of changes next year, including a broader range of measures of giftedness as well as a greater emphasis on in-classroom teaching. Source:
Sun Prairie Star
How gifted-friendly is your state? Find out
Davidson Gifted Database State Policy Map.
If you know of new legislation, please contact the Communications Team.
On the Web
In the News
July 6 -
Gifted Parenting Support,
Finding Age Appropriate Books for Gifted Readers
June 30 -
100 Percent Is Overrated
June 21 -
Why do schools slow down so many bright children?
12 - The North Texan,
Studying gifted young people
June 2015 -
District Administration Magazine,
How schools maximize gifted talent
May 28 -
The road to a 'genius grant' often starts at lesser-known colleges
May 27 -
What will tomorrow bring us?
May 27 -
Yale, Duke courting 13-year-old Oklahoma student
May 22 -
Never Short the Geniuses
May 20 -
Poorest Students Often Miss Out on Gifted Classes
(Sarah D. Sparks)
May 14 - ChicagoNow,
The grade skip dilemma: why your child may fare better than you expect
May 12 - Education Week,
Gifted Education Is About the Whole Child
May 9 - iSchoolGuide,
Why Doesn't Grade Skipping Happen More Often?
Discuss these stories and
more on the
Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.
What kind of impact can your Fellows project, “Dependency of U.S. Hurricane Loss on Maximum Wind Speed and Storm Size” have on society?
A 2014 Davidson Fellow Laureate Making a Difference
For my project, I constructed a hurricane economic loss model using maximum wind speed and size as predictors. Traditional empirical loss models consider only wind speed and neglect storm size, so these models could not accurately predict the losses of super-sized storms, such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012. By including the storm size, my model yields more accurate loss estimates, which would be useful to insurance companies and disaster planning. People can use this model to estimate the impact of global warming on hurricane economic loss. Policy makers can decide whether to implement new building codes and limit coastal population and development to reduce the economic loss related to hurricanes or to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in order to mitigate global warming. My model would provide improved quantitative justifications for policies related to hurricane economic loss.
What are some of your short-term and long-term plans?
My short-term plan is just to learn as much as I can! I am currently taking a Python programming class to improve upon my data analysis skills. I will be attending California Institute of Technology in the fall, and I plan on mastering the course materials and delving into as much research as I can. My long-term plan is to combine my interest in math and science with my passion for helping others. I hope to major in applied mathematics and pursue a career in finance or business. I want to utilize my quantitative analysis skills and solve real-world problems. In the future, I also hope to travel to all the continents (including Antarctica!) and explore the world.
Please describe your academic setting and some positive experiences with mentors.
Both of my parents are research scientists, so my curiosity and love for math and science have developed at an early age. Even in elementary school, I performed small experiments, such as observing how lollipops dissolve in liquids and recording temperatures in my backyard. My high school science teacher, Ms. Patricia Compeau, motivated me to tackle a research project systematically. After joining her science institute program, I realized how much there is to be explored beyond the school curriculum. She encouraged me to make a change in my community and pursue my science interests. Ms. Compeau even bought me the materials for my science project about bacteria transformation efficiency.
For my hurricane loss project, I collaborated with Dr. Jonathan Jiang from Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and we published a research paper that reported my findings. Although working alongside a brilliant scientist seems intimidating, the experience was inspiring. I learned not only how to use MATLAB programming, write a research paper and make effective presentations, but also how to communicate with adults and overcome challenges. Dr. Jiang motivated me to have persistence and patience; most importantly, he made me realize that a high school student has the potential to make a scientific breakthrough. I also learned from Professor Yuk Yung by taking his summer reading class and attending his lunch seminars. Without the guidance from these mentors, I would not have been successful in pursuing my science interests.
"Knowledge about talent development suggests that gifted children
thrive when given the opportunity to explore their curiosity at a pace that works for them. Accelerated coursework and enrichment programs are critical to the success of such students .
It’s a myth that gifted children would thrive no matter what their learning environment."
~ Camilla Benbow, in the
New York Times op-ed,
Challenge Highly Talented Children
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