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
Talent Search Winners Push Scientific Boundaries
of America's brightest students were recently recognized as
the Intel Corporation and Society for Science & the Public
(SSP) announced the winners of the
2016 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:
Science News for Students,
San Jose Mercury News,
- Amol Punjabi (pictured, left) won the First Place Medal of Distinction for Basic Research.
He developed software that could help drug makers develop new therapies for cancer and heart disease.
- Paige Brown (middle) won the First Place
Medal of Distinction for Global Good. She
studied the water quality of six
environmentally impaired local streams with
high E. coli and phosphate contamination
- Maya Varma (right) won the First Place Medal of Distinction for Innovation.
She used $35 worth of hobbyist electronics and free computer-aided design tools to create a smartphone-based lung function analyzer that diagnoses lung disease.
Publishers on the Pulse of Gifted Education
A number of gifted book publishers are at the forefront of providing a
wealth of information for gifted students, parents, teachers and more.
Here are some of their latest releases, with numerous
additional offerings listed on their websites:
Please visit this
Davidson Gifted Database page for a listing of numerous
other publishers of content related to gifted education.
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:
The Davidson Academy of Nevada
- Upcoming Deadline
Davidson Academy of Nevada
is a free public school unlike any other in the
country. At the Academy, the abilities, strengths
and interests of profoundly gifted middle and high
school students are
encouraged and supported. If you are interested in applying to the
Davidson Academy for the 2016-2017 school year, the
final application deadline is
April 1. Please review the
Qualification Criteria and
How to Apply pages for more information.
"Nowhere else will you find a place so supportive, or as willing to do whatever it takes to help students realize their full potential. If you have a passion, I can guarantee you that it will not only be made accessible to you, but that its exploration and development will be encouraged."
students interested in receiving email updates about the
Academy can subscribe to the
Davidson Academy eNewsletter by
- Davidson Academy Graduate
2016 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
exceptionally gifted 13- to 16-year-old
students can earn college credits by
completing two university courses. This year, THINK will run from July
9 through July 30. Tuition is $3,555 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
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
– A new gifted and talented magnet school is opening in Huntsville. The school will start with 50 sixth graders and expand annually to
a total of 150 students. Source:
– Due to low attendance, the Geyer Springs Gifted and Talented Academy in Little Rock will be closing and converted into a pre-kindergarten facility. Source:
COLORADO – Mackintosh Academy, a K-8 school for gifted students in Boulder, will use a $1.5 million gift to provide full-ride scholarships to students in need.
CONNECTICUT – Regional School District 16 is working to open a gifted and talented program at Long River Middle School. In the
future, a gifted and talented program may also be opened at Woodland High
FLORIDA – A proposed new rule aimed at expanding access to gifted
education in the state is causing concern among a number of advocates that
funding for gifted programming may be in jeopardy. Source:
Tampa Bay Times
ILLINOIS – The Oswego Community Unit School District is seeking
to create new programs for gifted students in grades K-2. Additionally, the district is
considering a school-within-a-school concept for gifted students in advanced
Elgin Area School District U46 is expanding its gifted and talented programs to all middle schools within the district. Currently
offered at only five middle schools in the district, gifted programs will be available at all eight middle schools by the 2016-2017 school year. Source:
– The University of Iowa has developed a new early admittance program for high
achieving 10th graders. The Bucksbaum Early Entrance Academy for Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering and Mathematics
(STEAM) will open in fall 2016 and hopes to admit between 12 and 20 students for the
inaugural year. Source:
Iowa City Press-Citizen
KANSAS – A bill introduced by the House Committee on Education
have removed the special education categorization of gifted students has been dropped. The bill would have cut funding for gifted programs and removed the necessity for teachers to have special certifications in order to teach gifted classes. Source:
LOUISIANA – A controversial new funding formula on how to allocate tax dollars between students with special needs and those designated as “gifted and talented” will likely shift from the state legislature to the New Orleans school district. At issue is an estimated $390 million plan to redistribute tax revenue in the school district from gifted students to those with disabilities. Sources:
New Orleans Advocate,
MARYLAND – A number of advocates are voicing concerns about a new policy that groups advanced students into classes with lower-achieving peers in the Baltimore County school district. Previously, the school district evaluated every child at the end of second grade and placed high achievers into math and reading classes specifically for gifted and talented students. Source:
NEW YORK – Students who attend New York City’s full-day pre-kindergarten classes are five times more likely to apply for gifted and talented classes in the public schools when they enter kindergarten, according to a recent study. Source:
New York Daily News
OREGON – After numerous efforts to save the University of
Oregon’s Summer Enrichment Program following an announced closure, the program
for gifted students will continue to operate. Source:
TENNESSEE – The Metro Nashville school district is working to
increase diversity in the gifted program by holding community meetings and creating new screening assessments. Sources:
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, "Standardized testing - in or out?" Join the discussion
The sixth 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. The 16
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 17 to submit their projects.
Read more here.
Featured Articles and Resources
The Davidson Gifted Database is a gateway to resources for
and about gifted students.
See what's new!
The Difference Between IEPs and 504 Plans
compares and contrasts the two strategies.
Tips for Parents: Talking about Terrorism
provides advice on how to discuss terrorism with gifted students.
The Book Concierge compiled by staff members at National Public
Radio (NPR) lists the top books for each year starting in 2008.
Categories include: kids' books; young adult; book club ideas;
biography and memoir; comics and graphic novels; cookbooks;
family matters; for music lovers; for history lovers; historical
fiction; "it's all geek to me"; poetry; science fiction and
SPARC Math (Berkeley, CA) is a math summer program that helps talented high school students apply their quantitative thinking skills to their lives and the world. The curriculum covers topics from causal modeling and probability to game theory and cognitive science.
GenCyber - Summer CyberSecurity Camps (Various Locations) provides summer cybersecurity camp experiences for students and teachers at the K-12 level.
As part of the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver, the
Institute for the Development of Gifted Education supports
practice, conducts research, develops publications, serves the
community and leads professional development. Graduate training is
also offered in gifted education.
The major goal of Renzulli Creativity Programs: Pathways to Excellence in Innovation,
designed for students ages 13 to 17, is to teach participants
advanced learning skills and how to apply them in creative and
Suggest a Resource
Suggest an Article
In the News
March 2016 -
New York Magazine,
How Schools Are Failing Their Quietest Students
March 2016 -
The Math Revolution
March 21 -
A Nation at Risk: How Gifted, Low-Income Kids Are Left Behind
(J. Wai & F. Worrell)
March 16 -
Students thrive when districts develop sustainable gifted services
March 2 -
LLeaving talent on the table: Fixing gifted education in America
(N. Augustine & R. Crew)
February 24 -
7 Ways to Support Your Gifted Learner
(Donna Y. Ford)
February 23 -
Is Your Teen Gifted — and Ready for Advanced Classes?
February 18 -
Is Genius Innate?
February 14 - The Register-Guard,
Gifted need to be guided, programs funded
February 10 -
6 Myths of Gifted Ed That Lead to Overlooking Talented Minority Students
February 10 -
Why I'm Tired of 'Grit'
(James R. Delisle)
February 10 -
Identifying gifted and talented students with equity proves difficult
February 9 - Midland Reporter-Telegram,
Gifted population needs as much attention as other students
January 31 - Baltimore Sun,
High academic achievers need attention, too
January 30 - New York
How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One: Back Off (Adam Grant)
January 20 - Fast Company,
How These Parents Work And Homeschool Too
Discuss these stories and
more on the
Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.
kind of impact can your Fellows project, Novel Photocatalytic Composites for Degrading Organics and Inactivating Bacteria in Water,
have on society?
A 2015 Davidson Fellow Making a Difference
The environmental and societal impact of my research is vast, considering the scarcity of clean water and the large number of people
who are affected by the global water crisis. Currently, one-ninth of the global population lacks access to clean drinking water. Water contamination, which causes diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery and cholera, is responsible for more than two million deaths each year, most of which are children in developing countries. In these countries the burden of water collection is usually placed on women and girls, who have to walk an average of
three hours every day to the nearest water source. These girls are unable to find time to attend school, remain uneducated, and therefore unable to contribute to the economy.
According to the United Nations World Water Development Report 2014, “water and energy are the enablers for poverty reduction, job creation, women’s empowerment and human wellbeing in general”. Even in
the United States, access to clean water could become of great concern during periods of droughts as experienced in California, as
well as after natural disasters, when communication, power, sewage, drainage, transportation and other infrastructure is incapacitated. This is evident from events such as
Hurricane Katrina, which inflicted devastating damage in New Orleans. Houses, roads and highways were flooded, and the overflow of sewage added to the water pollution. This resulted in several cases of infections and deaths from cholera related bacteria. A water purification technique, such as the one developed in my research that uses natural sunlight and does not require any other power source, could be a tremendous resource in such severe conditions.
What are some of your short-term and long-term plans?
I'm currently continuing to work on the project I submitted for the Davidson Fellows
Scholarship. I have been working with my friend at Harvard
College to start a non-profit, and this summer we will
attempt to perfect the technology and develop a prototype that can be deployed in developing countries.
Please describe your academic setting and some positive experiences with mentors.
Last year I graduated from Nashua High School South in Nashua, N.H. as a junior (I skipped senior year). I am currently a freshman at Harvard College. I love the academic setting at Harvard because I've found that when trying to succeed, my peers often value collaboration over competition. They are also all passionate about a broad range of subjects, and it is great to be able to learn from them and their experiences.
In 2012, my first-ever scientific mentor Dr. Jim Jonza at the 3M Center really guided me through the innovation process. He is
an inventor on numerous patents, so it was great to be able to learn from his expertise. Professor Ram Nagarajan at the University of Massachusetts Lowell also served as my mentor over the past few years, and his guidance has been extremely valuable.
"In addition to
honoring two female top winners, this year’s
competition is the first in the Science
Talent Search’s 75-year history in which
more than half of the finalists are female. This milestone is an inspiring sign of progress toward closing the gender gap in technology and engineering."
~ Rosalind Hudnell, President and Executive Director, Intel Foundation
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