Davidson eNews Update for July 2016

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Davidson Institute
July 2016

             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
2016 Davidson Fellows to be Announced Next Month
Google Science FairThe 2016 Davidson Fellows will be announced in mid-August! The Davidson Institute offers $10,000, $25,000 and $50,000 Davidson 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.

Google Global Science Fair Finalists - The Next Generation of Novelty in Science

Google Science FairTwenty-six Americans comprise the 100 Regional Finalists and five Community Impact Award winners for the 2016 Google Global Science Fair. The finalists’ projects address a number of crucial, timely issues, including: a project that could efficiently remove heavy metals from water; an experiment that could enhance space flight efficiency and maneuverability; and a project that focuses on a low-cost system that can assist coaching staffs in detecting concussions in youth football. Google will announce the 15 Global Finalists Aug. 4.

2016 Class of Thiel Fellows – An Innovative Approach to Higher Education
Thiel FellowshipThe 2016 class of Thiel Fellows comprised of 29 young entrepreneurs was recently announced. Thiel Fellowships consist of separate grants of $100,000 during two years to young recipients, allowing them to 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. Read about the 2016 class. Sources: BostonInno, ChicagoInno

     Davidson News

Google Science FairNew Davidson Institute Website
We are excited to announce the recent launch of the newly designed Davidson Institute website at www.DavidsonGifted.org! Our goal is to provide visitors with a clear and accurate look at the Davidson Institute programs including Young Scholars, Davidson Fellows, THINK Summer Institute and Educators Guild, as well as the Davidson Gifted Database.

The redesigned Davidson Academy website at www.DavidsonAcademy.UNR.edu was also recently launched to provide visitors with a clear and accurate look at the Davidson Academy admissions process, academics, student life, parent resources, press and more.

Any links you had bookmarked on these sites should redirect to that specific page or section on the new site. Take a look around - we hope visitors enjoy the new look of both sites and find them easy to navigate!

Google Science FairDavidson 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. If you are interested in applying to the Davidson Academy for the 2017-2018 school year, the application will be posted this summer. Meanwhile, please visit the How to Apply and the Application Review Process pages.

Upcoming Events for Prospective Students
The Davidson Academy is hosting a number of upcoming events for prospective students and their parents:
  • Admissions Information Sessions present and answer questions about the application and admissions process for the 2017-2018 school year and will be held on Aug. 17 and Sept. 14.
  • Tours allow visitors to meet current Academy students, parents, faculty and staff, and ask specific questions about the school.
  • Tours will be held on the following Fridays: Sept. 23, Oct. 21, Nov. 18 and Dec. 9.
RSVPs are required. For additional details and to RSVP, please visit the Tours page.

Davidson 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.

     Legislative & Policy News
Google Science FairNATIONAL – The Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Education Grant (Javits) program will almost certainly receive $12 million in funding for fiscal year 2017, the same amount as was allotted in 2016. Source: National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)

ARIZONA – Paradise Valley Unified School District in Phoenix has adopted inclusive strategies for identifying gifted students to better serve English language learners and other underrepresented minorities. Source: Education Dive

CALIFORNIA – Burbank school officials are creating a new plan to address the social and emotional development of gifted students in the district. Source: Los Angeles Times

COLORADO – The Denver school district is taking steps meant to diversify its highly gifted and talented population. All students in kindergarten, second and sixth grade will now be screened for gifted and talented status each fall. Source: Chalkbeat Colorado

ILLINOIS – Community Unit School District 308 in Oswego is overhauling its gifted education program, with a focus on creating individual plans for gifted students. Source: Chicago Tribune

MARYLAND – A recent Montgomery school district report recommended changes to increase diversity in the county’s highly gifted centers and magnet programs. Source: Washington Post

MINNESOTA – To keep pace with an increasing number of gifted students in the Rochester school district, two full-time teachers and one part-time teacher for the gifted and talented program was recently approved. Source: Post-Bulletin

MISSISSIPPI – The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science is cutting the number of students who will be admitted next year. Source: Mississippi Public Broadcasting

Google Science FairNEW YORK – Fewer New York City students were accepted into gifted education classes in 2016 compared to 2015, despite an increase in applications. Source: New York Daily News

NORTH CAROLINA – The Guilford County school district will move forward with revisions to the Academically and Intellectually Gifted Plan, meant to increase diversity and create additional ways to identify gifted students. Sources: High Point Enterprise, Greensboro News & Record

OHIO – The Ohio Board of Education is continuing to discuss ways to standardize the approach of educating gifted students in the state. Sources: Ideastream, Springfield News-Sun

The New Albany-Plain school district is considering adding staff members for the district’s gifted program. Source: New Albany News

VIRGINIA – With the recent closing of the Blandford Program for Mathematics & Humanities, the Petersburg school district will likely shift the gifted program into a “cluster” structure, with gifted students receiving special instruction at their home schools. Source: Progress-Index

How gifted-friendly is your state? Visit the Davidson Gifted Database State Policy Database to find out. If you know of new legislation, please contact us at admin@davidsongifted.org.

     On the Web
Google Science FairFeatured Articles and Resources
The Davidson Gifted Database features easy search capabilities for articles, resources and state policy pages to help students, parents and educators pinpoint gifted information.


Intelligence denied: When gifted children's abilities are ignored describes the circumstances when giftedness is denied, dismissed or ignored, and the negative outcomes that can occur as a result.

This book review takes a look at the new Prufrock Press publication, Parenting Gifted Children 101: An Introduction to Gifted Kids and Their Needs.

Tips for Parents: Nurturing Creativity at Home summarizes the key points in which parents can encourage and facilitate creativity in their children.

FlexSchool is a day school for gifted and twice exceptional (2e) middle and high school students. With two campuses, one in New Jersey and another opening in this fall in 2016 in New Haven, Conn., FlexSchool is designed to provide a high-quality, flexible, individualized educational experience for divergent thinkers in middle school, high school and post-graduate year.

Gifted EducationKhan Lab School (Mountain View, CA) was launched as a brick-and-mortar school by the founder of Khan Academy, Sal Khan. Lab schools are dedicated to research-based instruction and furthering innovation in education. Khan Lab School currently serves students ages 5-12 and intends to expand to a full K-12 model.

Milestones is a free online collection of videos aimed at helping parents understand grade-level expectations in grades K-12.

The Nasri Academy for Gifted Children in Henderson, Nev. is opening this September for students in grades 1-4. This school is the first in southern Nevada to focus exclusively on gifted children. Their plan is to continue growing each year with 5th and 6th grade opening in 2017.

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

     In the Spotlight

Jack Li
A Davidson Ambassador Making a Difference

In the SpotlightThe purpose of the Davidson Young Scholars Ambassador Program is to foster learning and civic engagement through community service, volunteerism and leadership in highly motivated and mature Young Scholars.

Please introduce yourself and your academic interests.

I am a senior at Harvard-Westlake School. I enjoy writing and serve as Ambassador for the school’s Poetry Festival and Associate Literary Editor for its literary magazine. My interest in poetry began in middle school, while reading and responding to the testimonials of Holocaust survivors for a school project. I realized that I could offer poignant responses through poetry, and a tribute to the experiences of individuals who lived through difficult historical moments. In high school, I completed a literature portfolio entitled “Poetic Voices: War, Trauma, and the Power of Poetry.” For this portfolio, I analyzed English poetry written in response to the horrors of the World Wars, composed poems reflecting on violence around the world today, and wrote a short story about trauma victims who heal through literature. I strongly believe in the poets’ duty to engage with global crises, humanity’s responsibility to support survivors of trauma, and the healing potential of literary expression. My portfolio received an Honorable Mention for Literature from the Davidson Fellows Scholarship.

Tell me about a project you are working on to help make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Working on the portfolio made me a better writer and a more empathetic person. I decided to advocate for the healing power of poetry. Senior citizens in California report high rates of depression and social isolation. In order to address this problem, in the summer of 2014, I founded Poetic Voices, a community service organization that seeks to encourage creativity and poetic self-expression among senior citizens residing in rehabilitation and assisted living centers. Poetic Voices leads workshops in which senior residents read, write and perform poetry in a collaborative setting. Since its inception, Poetic Voices has worked with hundreds of senior citizens. As a Davidson Young Scholars Ambassador, I am receiving 18 months of training to continue developing my skills in service and leadership.

What are some of your short-term and long-term plans?

I hope that Poetic Voices will make a significant difference in the well-being of many seniors in rehabilitation facilities and assisted living centers. By expanding my work across numerous facilities and proposing a model for the integration of creative methods into healthcare settings, I want to make artistic expression a greater part of mental healthcare for the elderly. I will continue helping my community, and inspiring other young people to pursue a similar path of literary and community engagement work.

How has the Young Scholars program helped you to reach your goals and achieve your accomplishments?

The Young Scholars program has given me an extraordinary learning experience. Pursuing the Davidson Fellows Scholarship has challenged me to develop my abilities in academic research, critical thinking, and creative writing. The Young Scholars Ambassador program provided a collaborative environment where I learned tremendously not only from my advisors, professors, and mentors, but also from my fellow ambassadors. I gained important skills to develop my community service project and make a significant impact on society.

   Closing Thought

"Efforts to improve gifted identification and helping gifted children understand what it means to be gifted are essential. Identification not only informs an educational plan aimed at enhancing their development, but can clear up confusion and misunderstanding about traits these children recognize but can't quite name. And providing gifted services tailored to their academic needs is critical to their educational growth as well as the development of resilience in the face of challenging tasks."

~ Dr. Gail Post, in the Gifted Challenges post, Intelligence denied: When gifted children's abilities are ignored


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