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Davidson Institute March 2014  

             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
  Intel Science Talent Search – Recognizing America's Brightest Young Scientists
Intel Science Talent SearchThe potential of America's youth to change the world through scientific innovation was prominently displayed recently, as the Intel Corporation and Society for Science & the Public (SSP) recognized the winners of the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search (STS). Eric Chen won the top award of $100,000 for his research that could lead to a new class of drugs to control influenza outbreaks during a pandemic; second place winner Kevin Lee was awarded $75,000 for his development of a mathematical model to describe the shape of the heart, which could provide insights into arrhythmia and may lead to better treatments; and third place finisher William Kuszmaul, a 2013 Davidson Fellow, received $50,000 for developing a new approach to the mathematics of modular enumeration, which has applications to numerous problems in computer science, bioinformatics and computational biology.

Congratulations to 2013 Davidson Fellow Natalie Ng, who was the fifth place finisher for developing a diagnostic tool to more accurately predict the spread of breast cancer cells, and 2012 Davidson Fellow Anand Srinivasan, who was the eighth place finisher for his neural-network-based computer model, which “learns” patterns in DNA. View the press release and click here for a detailed description of each of the finalists' projects. Sources: Los Angeles Times, NBC News

Gifted Education Webinars
A number of gifted organizations and advocates across the country provide access to gifted education experts and resources through a unique channel - webinars.

National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) - Webinars On Wednesdays
Gifted Education WebinarsNAGC offers Webinars On Wednesdays (WOW) to directly provide gifted experts to classroom teachers, counselors, graduate students, parents, GT coordinators and administrators, sharing practical advice and updates on the latest issues in gifted education. Upcoming webinars include: A Twice-Exceptional Discussion to Help Teachers and Parents Better Advocate for Services; Creating a Diversity Toolbox for Gifted Education; and more! Experience the live WOW sessions to listen, view slides, access handouts, and pose questions to presenters, as well as interact with other participants. All prior WOW sessions are available on their website.

Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted Webinars (SENGinars)
Gifted Education WebinarsSENG’s webinars (SENGinars) provide convenient access to many of the top experts in the gifted field discussing issues related to the social and emotional needs of the gifted. These 90-minute webinars are designed expressly for parents, educators and mental health professionals who work with gifted children. The webinars are $40 per person and include a link to the recording and slides one week after the presentation. Upcoming webinars include: The Role of Gifted Youth and Community in Creating Positive Solutions to the Trauma of Bullying; Beyond Academics - Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted; and more!

Other Webinars
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation (JKCF) Seeks High-Performing 7th Graders
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation (JKCF)The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation (JKCF) is seeking high-performing 7th graders with financial need for its Young Scholars Program. Selected students have access to an educational adviser and services, which may include help planning a suitable academic course load, summer academic and enrichment program opportunities, study-abroad and community-service opportunities, lessons to develop music, art, or other talents, college and career counseling, and the opportunity to network with the larger JKCF Scholar community. The application is now open and will close March 20.

   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 2014-2015 school year, the final application deadline is April 1. Please visit the How to Apply Qualification Criteria 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 clicking here.

2014 THINK Summer Institute
THINK Summer Institute
With an application deadline of April 1, the THINK Summer Institute is a three-week residential summer program on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno where students can earn up to six college credits by completing two university courses. The 2014 THINK Summer Institute will run from July 12 through Aug. 2. Tuition is $3,400 and covers course credits, books and materials, room and board and the cost of planned activities. Need-based scholarships are available. To qualify, students must be 13 to 16 years old during THINK and must meet or exceed a composite SAT score of 1130 (excludes writing portion) or ACT score of 26. Homeschooled students are eligible to apply.

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.

   Legislative & Policy News
  ALABAMA – State Senator Arthur Orr has sponsored a bill that would provide more gifted education funding for state school districts. If the bill becomes law this year, it is unlikely money will be available until fiscal year 2016. Source: Times Daily

The Huntsville City school board has hired three new consultants to help with the district’s gifted and advanced programs. Source:

ARKANSAS – After recently voting on whether to turn Geyer Springs Elementary School into an academy only for gifted and talented children, the Little Rock School District announced the school will only serve grades 3-5 as "gifted and talented.” Source: THV-11

COLORADO – The House Education Committee recently passed a spending bill intended to improve gifted and talented education at a cost of $5 million. Elements of House Bill 14-1102 would require that districts hire qualified gifted and talented coordinators, and also evaluate all students to determine gifted and talented status before the third grade. The bill will now be sent to the House Appropriations Committee. Source: Chalkbeat Colorado

GEORGIA – Columbus State University recently announced that it is developing an Honors College to broaden opportunities for current and future gifted students. Source: WTVM

Gifted LegislationILLINOIS – A recent three-month audit of the Oswego City School District gifted education program revealed the need for a major overhaul. Recommendations included a more centralized oversight of the gifted program and a general screening process in second or third grade. Source: Aurora Beacon News

The Elgin-based School District U-46 is settling its long-standing case that caused the district to revise how it assesses students for gifted education programs. Source: Elgin Courier News

NEVADA – About $178,000 will be spent to universally test all 19,900 second graders at Clark County’s poorest, highest-minority schools, designed to increase minority students’ representation in the district’s gifted and talented education programs. Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal

MISSOURI – Officials in the Maryville R-2 School District are hoping to launch a Talented and Gifted program for exceptional first through eighth graders in the district next school year. Source: KMAland

MISSISSIPPI – The Rankin County School District plans to replace its high school gifted program with Advanced Placement and dual-enrollment courses, citing dwindling enrollment and competition from elective and college-credit courses for the decision. Source: Jackson Clarion Ledger

NEW JERSEY – A new gifted and talented program for middle school students will debut in the Trenton Public School District next fall. To be invited to participate in the program, a student must be high-performing based on three of seven measures - test scores, grades, performance, art or science projects, intelligence testing, teacher or administration recommendation, and parent or student recommendation. Source: The Star Ledger

WASHINGTON – A local committee of teachers and parents in the Sunnyside School District recently met to develop a plan for the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to address the needs of the district’s gifted students. The plan will call for enhanced and deeper study challenges of all subject matter in the curriculum. Source: Daily Sun News

Beginning in September, the Port Angeles School District will start a program to serve gifted and talented students in all grades. Source: Peninsula Daily

WISCONSIN – The Trevor-Wilmot school district has expanded its gifted and talented programming to include a mixed-age class for students at one of its elementary schools. The class takes the place of reading and language arts for the students taking part in the program. Source: Kenosha News

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, "Bedtime math is back!" Join the discussion today!

Twice Exceptional (2e) Newsletter - "Spotlight on 2e" Series
2e NewsletterThe Twice-Exceptional Newsletter, is the only publication aimed squarely at the intersection of giftedness and learning challenges. Published by the newsletter, the Spotlight on 2e Series includes 10 titles, with more planned in the future: Parenting Your Twice-exceptional Child; Understanding Your Twice-exceptional Student; Understanding the Gifted Child with Attention Deficit; The Twice-exceptional Child with Asperger Syndrome; Guiding the Twice-exception Child: A Collection of Columns by Meredith Warshaw; The 2e Reading Guide: Essential Books for Understanding the Twice-exceptional Child; Caring for the Mental Health of the Twice-exceptional Child; The Mythology of Learning: Understanding Common Myths about 2e Learners; Writing and the 2e Learner: Issues and Strategies; and The Twice-exceptional Child with Dyslexia.

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

Summer Camps

SIGSummer 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 between the ages of 5 to 18. In addition to longstanding residential summer programs, SIG has expanded to day and commuter summer programs as well as SIG Beyond: Online programs that run during the academic year. Locations include Columbia University, Harvard University, the University of Chicago and more.

EpsilonApplication season is continuing for The Epsilon Camp, a two-week summer residential camp for exceptionally and profoundly gifted students ages 8 to 11 who love math. In 2014, the two-week summer residential camp will be held on the campus of Seattle Pacific University from July 27 through August 10. Epsilon Camp is an intellectually rigorous program for young students, taught by university professors of mathematics and directed by Dr. George Thomas, founder of MathPath and Canada/USA MathCamp. There is also a workshop designed to help parents build mathematical and social maturity in the EG/PG child. A unique feature of Epsilon Camp is apartment-style housing on campus for each family; at least one parent must attend with each child. Space is limited.

Epsilon Camp has also announced a new camp for similar students who are 6 and 7 years old, called Delta Camp, which will admit only 12 students in 2014 and run concurrently with Epsilon Camp.

PROMYSFor those interested in joining 80 mathematically ambitious high school students, 20 counselors, research mentors, faculty and guest lecturers for six weeks of rigorous mathematical exploration, Boston University's Programs in Mathematics for Young Scientists (PROMYS) offers students full and partial need-based financial aid. PROMYS seeks to provide an environment for young people that will arouse their curiosity and encourage a deep personal involvement with the creative elements in mathematics. The application deadline for the 2014 session is April 15.

The article, Tips for Parents: Advocacy and Gifted Learners, is from a seminar hosted by SaDohl Jones, who shares information related to advocacy.

The article, Tips for Parents: Anger Management for Your Gifted Child, is from a seminar hosted by Kiesa Kay, who provides advice on approaching anger management in relation to gifted students.

The article, Tips for Parents: Raising Gifted Children Who Think for Themselves, is from a seminar hosted by Paula Wilkes, who outlines several characteristics of independent, self-directed learners.

The Life of Fred book series is an array of math and language arts books in which each text is written in the style of a novel with a humorous story line. Each section tells part of the life of Fred Gauss and how, in the course of his life, he encounters the need for math and language arts.

A companion guide to the book for parents, Make Your Worrier a Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Child's Fears, the book From Worrier to Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Fears is designed to teach students how to conquer the Worry Monster by using several easy-to-follow strategies to overcome worry and fear.

One of the world's largest publishers of books for gifted students, the aim of Royal Fireworks Press is to enhance the educational experience of gifted and talented children, and provide teachers, administrators and parents with relevant books.
Suggest a Resource             Suggest an Article 

   In the News
March 16 - Washington Post, Why I no longer fear the SAT (Jay Mathews)
March 16 - Boston Globe, The poor neglected gifted child
(Amy Crawford)
March 14 - Co.Design, The One Extraordinary Skill All Prodigies Share (Eric Jaffe)
March 11 - InsiderOnline, No (Gifted) Child Left Behind (Chester E. Finn)
March 10 - Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minneapolis parents of gifted feel driven to Bloomington (Steve Brandt)
March 6 - Creativity Post, What Do IQ Tests Test?: Interview with Psychologist (Scott Barry Kaufman)
March 6 - New York Times, The Story Behind the SAT Overhaul (J. Brasher)
March 5 - Babble, The Afflictions of Raising a Gifted Child (Selena Mae)
March 3 - ChicagoNow, My View on Gifted Education (Annemarie Verweij)
March 3 - The Atlantic, 5-Year-Olds Can Learn Calculus (Luba Vangelova)
March 2 - Washington Post, Skipping a grade is rare, but it might just save the world (Jay Mathews)
February 28 - Staunton News Leader, Challenging students (Megan Williams)
February 19 - Education Views, James Webb: Seminar on Gifted Kids and Adults (Michael F. Shaughnessy)
February 16 - Washington Post, Tough class? That's a good thing (Jay Mathews)

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

   In the Spotlight

 William Graham, 14
A Davidson Young Scholar 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. William's project is The Luxasphere Project. The overall goal of this project is to inspire a large conscious-raising international youth movement of utopian eco sustainability through the lens of architecture, design and innovative business. The Luxasphere strives to catch the attention of youth and teens early so that they are invested in these areas once they become adult consumers.

What are some past and present projects you’ve worked on to help make a positive difference in the lives of others?
For the last year I have been very involved in the Austin music community, organizing peer music shows for causes. I was the youngest artist to officially showcase at South by Southwest (SXSW) as both a solo artist and with my band, the Painted Redstarts. I started a night called the Proper Nang Night. We play music and raise money for Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM), have had benefits for injured musicians, created scholarship funds, held orchestras and more.

This summer I organized and hosted, with my friend Grace London, the first annual Youngbloods Festival, designed to raise money for our new nonprofit called Music for Music which puts music where there previously was none. This year all the money we've raised is going to one of the least funded school districts in the United States to help fund a music program from the ground up. Music makes everyone feel great. I believe we can all make a big difference through our passions. I want to continue to find ways to raise awareness, especially with my peers, about environmental issues and to raise money for important causes through music.

For my Luxasphere Project I am writing for the Austin Chronicle to raise awareness of music and eco issues alike. I am also working on an innovative idea to change the way that disaster relief areas are helped.

How has the Young Scholars program helped you to reach your goals and achieve your accomplishments?
The Young Scholars program has connected me to other students like myself, including a few in Austin. The Ambassador training program has been tremendous with all the support and the classes. It's like getting a personal MBA training. It's been inspiring and educational. I feel so lucky to have been part of it.

Please describe your academic setting and some positive experiences with mentors.
My main mentor for the Luxasphere and for my architecture interests is Dr. Rachel Armstrong, a Sr. TED Global Fellow. I am almost done with my high school credits, having done a lot work through online gifted programs at Northwestern University, Stanford's EPGY and Harvard's Extension. I was a 2013 Thiel Fellowship Candidate and have met some amazing people through that connection as well.

   Closing Thought

"We at Intel celebrate the work of these brilliant young scientists as a way to inspire the next generation to follow them with even greater energy and excitement into a life of invention and discovery. Imagine the new technologies, solutions and devices they will bring to bear on
the challenges we face. The Intel Science Talent Search
finalists should inspire all of us with hope for the future."

~ Wendy Hawkins, Executive Director, Intel Foundation


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