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July 2019

What's New in Gifted Education | Davidson News
Legislative & Policy News | On the Web | In the News | In the Spotlight

2019 Davidson Fellows to be Announced Next Month

The 2019 Davidson Fellows will be announced in mid-August! The Davidson Institute offers $10,000, $25,000 and $50,000 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.

What's New in Gifted Education

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair – New Frontiers in STEM Creativity

More than 1,800 outstanding high school science students, representing more than 80 countries, exhibited their inventive, groundbreaking projects at the 2019 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix. Krithik Ramesh of Colorado (pictured second from right) was awarded the top prize for developing technology that helps orthopedic surgeons achieve greater accuracy for screw placement during spinal surgery.

Allison Jia of San Jose, Calif. (second from left) and Rachel Seevers of Lexington, Ken. (far right) each received the second prize: Allison for her investigation into toxic protein aggregates, which are associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and Rachel for developing a prototype of an underwater propulsion device that could allow for greater access to the world’s unexplored oceans. Shriya Reddy of Michigan (far left) received the newly announced Craig R. Barrett Award for Innovation for her novel, noninvasive approach for rapidly diagnosing melanoma lesions. Source: Society for Science & the Public (SSP)

Google Global Science Fair Finalists Advance

The list of twenty Google Global Science Fair Finalists, including four American students, has recently been announced! Finalists and their projects include:
  • Isha Puri of New York, who created a freely accessible learning–based web application for the early detection of dyslexia.
  • Maanasa Mendu of Ohio, who developed a machine learning algorithm and application that identifies plant diseases based on pictures taken from a smartphone.
  • Ethan Jacobs of New York, who worked on improving a new method of detection and analysis of the presence of eDNA in three rivers for four different non-marine mammals.
  • Shreya Ramachandran of California, who tested grey (lightly used) water from soapnuts on soil and plants, finding that it showed a trend for higher plant growth than other grey waters and was comparable to regular water.

Davidson News

Davidson Academy’s Two Options - Designed to Be Different

The Davidson Academy offers two educational options specifically designed to meet the needs of profoundly gifted students – an online school for those living anywhere in the U.S. or Canada and a day school on the University of Nevada, Reno campus for local residents.

Both options are centered on a rigorous academic environment where students can thrive among their intellectual peers. Academy classes are grouped by ability rather than by age, providing profoundly gifted students an educational opportunity matched to their abilities, strengths and interests.

Online Campus - Helping Gifted Students Reach Their Goals
The Davidson Academy's online campus is a game changer for profoundly gifted students. Open to students living anywhere in the U.S. or Canada, the accredited online campus builds off the one-of-a-kind, exceptional framework put in place by the Davidson Academy Reno Day School. The result is a robust online community where students thrive.

Students are supported not only in their coursework at Davidson Academy Online, but also in their social and emotional development.

Please visit the Davidson Academy Online Qualification Criteria and How to Apply pages for details. If you have any questions, please email
Single-course enrollments are now available through the Davidson Academy's online campus! English and math courses are available for single-course enrollment. Single-course enrollments have the same curriculum and workload expectations as the full-time Davidson Academy Online campus. Courses follow the academic school year calendar. Please view the Single-Course Enrollments page and our infographic.

Davidson Academy’s Reno School
Since 2006, the Davidson Academy’s free, accredited public day school located on the University of Nevada, Reno campus has centered on interpersonal and instructional dynamics creating an atmosphere that is vibrant with intellectual energy and dialogue. As the school has grown, the Academy has evolved to offer an increasing amount of opportunities, while still providing a laser-sharp focus on the individual student. Davidson Academy students have the opportunity to participate in many clubs and extracurricular activities throughout the year, as well as enroll in courses at the University under a dual enrollment agreement.

Please visit the Davidson Academy’s Reno School Qualification Criteria and How to Apply pages for details. If you have any questions, please email

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, educational advocacy, an online community and the Ambassadors program. Young Scholars can also access annual get-togethers, a summer camp for 8 to 12 year olds and challenging online middle school courses. Applications are due the first of each month. See the How to Apply and Qualification Criteria pages.

Legislative & Policy News

COLORADO – Following a recent analysis, the Aurora school district has changed its method of identifying gifted students, leading to an increase in students from underrepresented groups being tracked toward high ability programs. Source: Sentinel Colorado

ILLINOIS – Chicago Public Schools recently passed the "Accelerated Placement Act", which will allow gifted students to enter kindergarten early and skip grades in one or more subjects. The new policy on early entrance to kindergarten will go into effect for the coming school year. is Sources: Midwest Academy for Gifted Children, Chalkbeat

MICHIGAN – The Detroit school district is partnering with the Roeper School, a private suburban Detroit school, and the Roeper Institute on a two-year initiative to introduce gifted education into four Detroit schools. The goal is to expand available options for families while avoiding inequity issues that have affected gifted programs in other cities. Source: Chalkbeat

The Portage school district will no longer use a centralized approach regarding its “Enrichment and Extension” program for gifted students, instead offering the program in individual classrooms. Source:

NEW YORK – Efforts to increase diversify in New York City’s most elite high schools continue, though the methodology of doing so is still up for debate. Source: Education Week

OREGON – A number of parents recently filed a formal complaint against the Portland school district, alleging that it underserves and under identifies gifted students. Source: OPB

VIRGINIA – Students identified as gifted will work with a gifted specialist in their regular classroom, alongside peers who aren’t identified as such, as part of changes implemented in the Charlottesville school district. The “push-in model” is aimed at opening lessons and activities, previously only available to gifted students, to all Charlottesville children. Sources: The Daily Progress, Charlottesville Tomorrow

WASHINGTON – The Spokane school district will implement a number of changes to increase diversity in its gifted program, a response to a report conducted last fall that cited critical shortcomings. Source: Spokesman Review

On the Web

Featured Articles and Resources

The Davidson Gifted Database features articles, resources and state policies to help students, parents and educators pinpoint gifted information.

How Do We Encourage Gifted Girls to Pursue and Succeed in Science and Engineering? Gifted girls often shy away from such careers. This article explores two explanations for this puzzling phenomenon.

In Pushing Back on Perfectionism: How to Be Happily Imperfect, view numerous strategies for coping with perfectionism.

Roles in Gifted Education: A Parent’s Guide offers parents in the "gifted world" a wealth of information of the staff and administrators that can help them and their students navigate the gifted experience.

Canyon Crest Academy (CCA) is a public high school in San Diego, California. Founded in 2004, the school continually ranks as the best public high school in the state.

In our digital era, young people need a safe, supportive place to connect and “just talk” with peers and attentive adults. The book Get Gifted Students Talking addresses issues faced by gifted students in middle and high school.

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology features a heavy focus on project-based STEM education. Located in Lawrenceville, Its rigorous courses make it one of the most prestigious high schools in Georgia.

Start Seeing and Serving Underserved Gifted Students is a reader-friendly guide that promotes equity in gifted education. The book provides teachers with a variety of flexible tools to nurture the academic and affective growth of their gifted students from traditionally underserved populations.

Teaching Empathy: Strategies for Building Emotional Intelligence in Today's Students guides teachers to create and maintain classrooms in which students are sensitive to the needs of others.

What to Expect When You're Expected to Teach Gifted Students is a practical, easy-to-read guide that reviews expectations versus likely classroom realities that first-time gifted teachers may face.

In the News

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

In the Spotlight

Lindsey Gorman, Davidson Ambassador

The 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. Lindsey's project is "Aphelion."

What are some past and present projects you've worked on to help make a positive difference in the lives of others?
Since middle school, I've worked with various organizations to make a difference in my community. My work has ranged from founding an ecological club to serving as volunteer coordinator for a camp, organizing a donation center to participating in the "reading buddies" program at my school.

My latest project stems from the Davidson Ambassador Program. Entitled Aphelion, it's a non-profit working to improve equity in education through artistic expression. We sell art and jewelry pieces, created by students, at various fundraising events. The profit from these events supports the education of two girls in Kenya, Regina and Beatrice. Aphelion has raised over $9,000 since its inception and grows more every day!

What are some of your short-term and long-term plans?
This year, I hope to raise $2,500 for Aphelion, hold four fundraising events, and ensure Aphelion continues after I graduate. I have a fantastic leadership team and am working to pass along my knowledge to the next generation. Currently, I'm documenting officer tasks, inspiring students to get involved, sorting through organizational documents, and finding ways to make volunteering fun.

It's hard to say what my plans are in the long-run. After I graduate, I'm looking to study psychology and business management. I also plan to continue volunteering in college. I'm driven by wanting to create positive change and wouldn't be surprised if I served with AmeriCorps. All I can say for sure is that I'm excited about the future!

How has the Young Scholars program helped you to reach your goals and achieve your accomplishments?
The Young Scholars Program, especially the Ambassador Program, is a community where I can thrive. I love the monthly seminars for ambassadors-in-training and reading what others are accomplishing. I've never connected with so many passionate kids, wholeheartedly invested in their cause. The seminars have taught me effective networking techniques, how to drive donations, ways to boost our social media presence, and how to be a better leader and communicator.

Being part of such a dedicated and positive community has kept me accountable for my tasks and inspired me to push harder than ever before.

Please describe your academic setting and some positive experiences with mentors.

I attend a private, K-12 academy for gifted and talented scholars with about 75 kids. The low teacher-to-student ratio allows me to dive deep in my passions for STEM and the fine-arts.

The role-models and mentors at my school have made me who I am today. My principal, someone I genuinely admire, inspired me to find a cause worth fighting for. She also taught me how to work hard in a challenging environment, and I try to emulate her passion and discipline. Another extraordinary mentor is my advisor for Aphelion. She's been our faculty sponsor for years and amazes me with her commitment and strength. As president of Aphelion, I rely on her wisdom and experience to guide me.
“Minding the issue of underachievement in gifted students goes well beyond lending helpful hands to a few smart kids. When even the best and brightest kids struggle in school, the issue alludes to something larger: more must be done to make schools a better place to learn for students of all capacities.”

-- Valerie Strauss, Washington Post (Source)
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