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
|| Intel Science Talent Search –
Recognizing America's Brightest Young Scientists
of America's brightest students were recently recognized as
the Intel Corporation and Society for Science & the Public
(SSP) announced the winners of the
2015 Intel Science Talent Search (STS).
The Intel STS recognizes 40 high school seniors set to create new technologies and solutions that
change the world through scientific innovation. The following students each received first-place awards of $150,000:
press release and
click here for a detailed description of each of the finalists' projects. Sources:
San Jose Mercury News
Noah Golowich (pictured, left) won the First Place Medal of
Distinction for Basic Research. He developed
a proof in Ramsey theory, a field of
mathematics based on finding types of
structure in large and complicated systems.
- Andrew Jin (center) won the First Place Medal of
Distinction for Global Good. He developed a
machine learning algorithm to identify
adaptive mutations across the human genome.
His system discovered more than 100 adaptive
mutations related to immune response,
metabolism, brain development and
schizophrenia in real DNA sequences, an important first step toward developing gene therapies or vaccines.
- Michael Hofmann Winer
(right) won the First Place Medal of Distinction for Innovation. He studied how fundamental quasi-particles of sound, called phonons, interact with electrons. His work could
potentially be applied to more complex
A Nation Empowered – Update to A Nation Deceived
Acceleration Institute has announced the upcoming
April release of
A Nation Empowered: Evidence Trumps the Excuses Holding Back America’s Brightest Students, an update to the watershed work initiated by
A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students.
A Nation Deceived delved into research-based practices for challenging academically talented youth.
A Nation Empowered tells the story of how well we have applied what we have learned. The purpose of
A Nation Empowered is to inform educators, parents, and policy makers of current research on acceleration, how that information has been applied to educational policy throughout the nation, and how educators can use the findings to make decisions for their brightest students.
Comparing Popular Online Math and Language Arts Programs
As the popularity of online educational programs continues to grow, the Davidson Institute offers the following charts providing side-by-side comparisons of
some of the most popular online math and language arts programs used by Davidson Young Scholars: Impacts of Common Core State Standards on Gifted Education
While the merit and politics of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have been much debated and discussed, one topic has been virtually ignored:
How will the standards impact gifted education? Fordham Institute recently hosted a live discussion on
The Davidson Academy of Nevada
- Upcoming Deadline
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 2015-2016 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.
students interested in receiving email updates about the
Academy can subscribe to
The Davidson Academy eNewsletter by
2015 THINK Summer Institute
- Upcoming Deadline
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 college credits by
completing two university courses. This year, THINK will run from July 11 through Aug.
1. 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. Please visit the
How to Apply and
Qualification Criteria pages for more
information. Homeschooled students are eligible to apply.
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
Legislative & Policy News
NATIONAL – Jack Andraka, a 15-year-old
gifted student, created a petition and is now seeking signatures in support of the
TALENT Act. Source:
The state legislature is seeking a grant program to provide additional resources for
statewide gifted programs. Sources:
Shelby County Reporter
The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District has proposed a reduction of a magnet site at the middle school level and an increase in “cluster” sites at current schools in the district. Source:
Fairfield Daily Republic
FLORIDA – The Escambia School District has proposed closing
the Program for Academically Talented Students (PATS) Center and moving the
services offered there into every school. Source: Pensacola Today –
ILLINOIS – The Moline-Coal Valley School District is altering its Program for Academically Talented Students (PATS). Currently, PATS groups academically gifted elementary students. The new program would mix high-performing students
into regular classrooms with students of varying abilities at their neighborhood schools. Source:
Kenwood Academy High School in Chicago will add an early high school program for nearby elementary school students and a summer enrichment program for students citywide. Source:
Hyde Park Herald
KENTUCKY – Opening this fall, the new Craft Academy for
Excellence in Science and Mathematics at Morehead State University will allow
gifted students to complete high school with up to 60 hours of college credit. Source:
LOUISIANA – The St. Charles Parish school district is providing extra support to “high potential” minority students to assist with IQ tests. Source:
MISSISSIPPI – An anonymous donor has agreed to match all new gifts up to $250,000 for the Frances A. Karnes Endowed Chair in Gifted Education at the University of Southern Mississippi. Source:
OHIO – Following a task force review, there will be a number of changes to the Dublin City School District’s gifted program starting in the 2015-2016 school year. For grades K-3, enrichment with a gifted intervention specialist in the classroom was recommended for all students. For grades four and five, differentiated teaching in the classroom would be utilized. Source:
SOUTH CAROLINA – A former elementary school in the Charleston County School District is set to reopen next year as a magnet school offering a gifted and talented curriculum. The new C.C. Blaney Center for Advanced Learning aims to engage students in critical thinking and problem solving. Source:
Charleston Post Courier
TEXAS – To ensure that less affluent, minority students have access to the most challenging classes, the Houston Independent School District (HISD) has formed a panel of administrators to revamp the way gifted students are identified. Source:
The Highland Park Independent School District will now offer Talented and Gifted testing every year. Previously, the district tested students every two years. Source:
Dallas Morning News
WYOMING – The Natrona County School District is considering a number of changes to improve its gifted and talented program, including possibly implementing a specialized kindergarten program for advanced students. Sources:
Casper Star-Tribune Online
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
Gifted Exchange Blog
Read Laura Vanderkam's take on all things gifted.
One of her recent posts is, "The Common Core and gifted ed." Join the discussion
The fifth annual
Google Science Fair challenges
students ages 13 to 18 to submit science projects that explore
unanswered questions or tackle scientific hurdles that have
yet to be overcome. After all submissions are in, the 20
selected finalists will go to Google’s headquarters in hopes of walking away with
one of many awards or the grand prize. Students have until
May 18 to submit their projects.
Read more here.
Featured Articles and Resources
The Davidson Gifted Database at www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB is a gateway to resources for
and about gifted students.
See what's new!
The article, Building Connections: Developing 21st Century Self-Management Skills for Gifted Students,
highlights a number of self-management skills essential for success in the
The article, Tips for Parents: Positive Boundaries - Where to Draw the Lines,
is from a Davidson Young Scholars parent seminar.
Step-by-step critical and creative thinking strategies are discussed in the article, Critical and Creative Thinking: The Joy of Learning!
The article, Exploring and Encouraging Creativity,
provides advice on encouraging creativity in gifted students.
Boston Leadership Institute
selects outstanding high school students for three-week programs each summer. Students develop high-level research skills and subject matter expertise that strengthen credentials valuable for college admission.
Brain Chase is
a five-week online summer learning challenge is disguised as a massive global treasure hunt for students in grades two through eight.
is an app that provides free math flash cards. It allows students to practice adding, subtracting, multiplication and more.
Suggest a Resource
Suggest an Article
In the News
March 6 -
The Care and Nurturing of the Gifted Child
March 5 -
This woman dropped out of Princeton at 19 to start a global nonprofit
ABC Action News,
How to Know if Your Child is Gifted
February 24 -
10-Year-Old Math Prodigy To Attend Open University
(Kevin L. Clark)
February 24 -
What it's like to raise son with IQ in 99.9th percentile of population
February 23 -
Will Gifted Education Weather the Common Core?
February 21 -
The American Bazaar,
Child genius wants to be the President of the United States
February 20 -
Ed Tech Magazine,
Students Line Up for Google Science Fair 2015
(D. Frank Smith)
February 19 -
(Maia R. Silber)
February 13 -
We must expect magic from every student
February 9 -
Chronicle of Higher Education,
The Rich Man's Dropout Club
January 30 -
For gifted children, being intelligent can have dark implications
(Marcello Di Cintio)
January 29 - The Atlantic,
Can All Children Become Calculus Whizzes?
Discuss these stories and
more on the
Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.
Misha Raffiee -
Davidson Academy Alumna
What have you been doing since graduating from the
Davidson Academy of Nevada in 2010?
After graduating from the
Davidson Academy at age 15, I enrolled at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) as a double major in
bioengineering, and business economics and management. I've had the opportunity to collaborate with world-class faculty on research projects in biofuel development as an Undergraduate Research Fellow at Caltech; in HIV antibody therapy as an Amgen Scholar;
and in earthquake engineering as a National Science
Foundation (NSF) Network for Earthquake Engineering
Stimulation (NEES) Undergraduate Research Fellow at
the University of Nevada, Reno. In addition, since July 2014, I have been pursuing an independent research project into jellyfish propulsion and healing mechanisms as a research scientist at Caltech.
During my undergraduate years, I was elected a member of the national engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi; awarded Caltech’s prestigious Deans’ Cup; competed as an NCAA athlete in swimming and water polo; and continued to pursue my passion for violin performance as concertmaster of the Caltech-Occidental Symphony Orchestra, two-time winner of the orchestra's concerto competition, and professional violinist with the Santa Monica Symphony. I was also honored as the sole recipient of Caltech's Beckman Political Internship in 2012 to pursue a policy internship in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office in Washington, D.C. Through this internship, I provided support on a number of scientific issues and consulted on the Senator-sponsored STEM Smart Conference geared towards strengthening K-12 education in STEM fields.
I also co-founded Caltech InnoWorks in 2011, a for-student by-student initiative to provide underserved middle school students with outstanding and free hands-on educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As InnoWorks Director this past year, I successfully managed and coordinated a weeklong day camp for 60 students, passing on my love for teaching and research in science and engineering to future generations of InnoWorkers.
What are your plans for the future?
In the fall, I will attend a Ph.D. program in bioengineering at either Stanford University or Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where I plan to pursue research projects with strong roots in medicine. Eventually, I aspire to either lead my own lab as a research professor or to be a pioneering leader in the biotech industry, conducting research that will lead to groundbreaking developments in disease therapy.
You recently gave a TEDx talk at the University of Nevada, Reno, called ‘Engage and Embrace Your Natural Curiosity by Asking “Why?”’ How did you come up with this topic?
From a young age, developing and using my natural curiosity has always been something very near and dear to me, and as I've gotten older, I continued to cultivate an appreciation for digging deeper and asking more 'why?' questions. I also became interested in whether there are known scientific bases for the positive effects of curiosity on the brain, and I felt that the TEDx stage was a perfect venue for me to share these exciting scientific discoveries and my own experiences and successes with developing and using natural curiosity. Through my TEDx talk, I hope to encourage people from all over the world to challenge themselves to become confident in asking questions and let that confidence feed into a desire to ask deeper questions and develop new ideas.
Misha's TEDx talk.
"A solid foundation in science, technology, engineering and math creates the critical talent corporations and startups need to drive their business and contribute to economic development. We hope this program will encourage other young people to become the next generation of
scientists, inventors and engineers."
Renee James, President, Intel Corporation
If you have information to include in future eNews-Updates, please email our Communications Team.
If you have been forwarded this eNews-Update, and wish to receive future editions,
Davidson Institute for Talent Development
Supporting our nation's brightest young minds.
9665 Gateway Drive, Suite B, Reno, Nevada 89521
Phone: 775-852-3483 Fax: 775-852-2184
Email: email@example.com Web: www.DavidsonGifted.org
subscribe, visit the
eNews-Update archive page.
the Davidson Institute on
and follow us on
The Davidson Institute also has a number of