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What's New in Gifted Education
Intel International Science and Engineering Fair -
Changing the World With Groundbreaking Innovation
More than 1,500 outstanding high school science students, representing more than 65 countries, exhibited their wide-ranging projects recently at the 2011 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles.
Taylor Wilson (pictured third from left below; photo courtesy of
ScienceNews.org), a student at The Davidson Academy of Nevada, was the top individual winner. He was named an Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award winner and received a $50,000 award for his project, "Countering Nuclear Terrorism: Novel Active and Passive Techniques for Detecting Nuclear Threats." To
learn more about Taylor and his achievements at ISEF, read these articles from the
U.S. News & World Report and the
Los Angeles Times. In addition, Matthew Bauerle, a
Davidson Young Scholar, was the Best of Category winner in Mathematical Sciences, for which he received a $5,000 prize.
Matthew Feddersen and Blake Marggraff of Lafayette, Calif. were awarded the top
prize, for developing a
potentially more effective and less expensive cancer treatment that
places tin metal near a tumor before radiation therapy. A team of
students from Thailand also received an Intel Foundation Young Scientist
Award, for determining that a gelatin found in fish scales could be
successfully used in modern day food packaging. View the
from the Intel newsroom for a full list of the winners.
2011 Google Global Science Fair
finalists from three age groups will participate in the final
judging round and awards ceremony of the
Google Global Science Fair on July 11, 2011, at Google
Headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. With projects on topics such as Alzheimer’s Disease, the effect of air pollution on asthma patients, oceanographic data, and
much more, all of these students have potential to make a large impact.
Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)
Summit will take place July 15-17, 2011 in Seattle, Wash. and be
host to a number of wide-ranging topics related to gifted education.
Keynote speakers include noted gifted experts such as Dr. James Webb and
Dr. Nancy Robinson.
The 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. The Academy is specifically designed to meet the
needs 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. Hear from current students and Academy parents, familiarize yourself with faculty and staff, network with others and ask specific questions at
one of the
upcoming tour dates.
students interested in receiving email updates about the
Academy can subscribe to
The Davidson Academy eNewsletter by
2012 Davidson Fellows Scholarship Applications
Application requirements for the 2012 Davidson Fellows scholarships have recently been posted! New for 2012, age eligibility criteria is changing -
students must be 18 or younger as of October 10, 2012. The Davidson Institute offers $10,000,
$25,000 and $50,000 scholarships to students whose projects
have the potential to benefit society, and are equivalent
to college graduate level with a depth of knowledge in their
particular area of study.
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 1st of each month.
For more information, see the
How to Apply and
The Davidson Institute's Educators Guild 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 also become a member of their online community with access to free consulting services and Educators Guild publications
here. If you would like more information, please email EdGuild@davidsongifted.org.
Legislative & Policy News
Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act
– Javits, the only federal source of funding for gifted and talented education, has been de-funded for 2011. Previously funded at a spending level of $7.5 million, the program was eliminated as part of $38 billion in cuts to this year's spending levels,
which were agreed to by the White House and Congress in order to pass a compromise "continuing resolution" (CR) expected to last through the end of the 2011 fiscal year (September 30). Despite the recent setback for the Javits program, advocates are working to restore its funding for fiscal year 2012. For more information, see
NAGC's Legislative Update page
TALENT Act – A new bill before Congress would require states to note when students perform above grade level and report their learning gains as part of state report cards. The TALENT Act would mandate more professional development for teachers in gifted education and would require Title I schools to create plans to better identify minority and disadvantaged students as gifted. Senator Chuck Grassley
(IA) provided this
floor statement about the TALENT Act. Source:
ARIZONA – A new magnet school for gifted students will open as part of the existing Liberty/Gifted and Talented Magnet Elementary School this August. The school, which will accept students who score at or above the 97th percentile on a state gifted test, aims to boost the district's gifted education offerings and attract high-achieving students. Source:
Arizona Daily Star
– There will be no changes to the Lynwood Unified School District’s Gifted and
Talented Education Program, despite rumors that the program would be overhauled
or eliminated. Source:
Los Angeles Wave Newspapers
The Bakersfield City School District
recently eliminated a one-day Gifted and Talented Education program at Owens
Primary School due to budget cuts. Source:
The Bakersfield Californian
MINNESOTA – The Brainerd School District is changing its method of identifying gifted and talented students, with the intention of making the process more inclusive of all students. Source:
Brainerd Daily Dispatch
– The amount of students who took New York City’s test to qualify for gifted
programs increased by 13 percent this year, with the overall number rising to
39,160 from 38,015 last year. Sources:
Wall Street Journal,
The Syracuse school district will receive a $266,303 state grant to allow high
school students to take college courses. The school district won the “Smart Scholar Early College High School” grant through a partnership with Onondaga Community College and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Source:
OHIO – Ohio’s new two-year budget
plan requires school districts to maintain 2009 spending levels on gifted
education, but will provide no additional state aid for gifted student services.
This revision by the Ohio House was in response to the state budget plan put
forth by Gov. John Kasich, which would have placed funds formerly earmarked for
gifted services into a general pool with no requirements on how the funds are spent. Sources:
The Lorain City School District recently introduced the Honors Magnet Program, an accelerated curriculum that will cover all grade levels. Source:
The Morning Journal
TEXAS – A program in Texas allows students to receive a certificate that can be traded in for a high school diploma once they have demonstrated enough subject mastery. The standards for the certificate are set by the state's top two universities, Texas A&M and the University of Texas. Source:
New York Times
WISCONSIN – A report by state education officials questions the methods used in some Madison schools to identify and educate gifted students. The report was issued in response to parent complaints that the district does not offer self-contained advanced courses for students in ninth and 10th grades. The district will now attempt to create a plan to address the concerns. Source:
Wisconsin State Journal
How gifted-friendly is your state? Find out
Davidson Gifted Database State Policy Map.
If you know of new legislation, please contact the
On the Web
Gifted Exchange Blog
Read Laura Vanderkam's take on all things gifted.
One of her recent posts is titled, "Is 'Most Likely To Succeed' A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? Or Burden?" Join the discussion
Articles and Resources
The Davidson Gifted Database at www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB is a gateway to resources for
and about gifted students.
for Parents articles are summaries of the online
seminars held for the parents of Davidson Young Scholars.
These articles are written by the facilitators of those
seminar and cover topics from all over the gifted education
spectrum. The TIPS can be accessed by anyone, regardless of
whether or not they were a participant in that seminar.
Recently added TIPS for Parents include:
Tips for Parents: Raising a chess player - from the first steps, to a top young player
Tips for Parents: AP vs. IB - Which is best for my kid?
Tips for Parents: Navigating a Gap Year
In the book
Science Fair Season,
author Judy Dutton follows 12 teens looking for science fair greatness and tells the gripping stories of their road to the big competition. Some will win, some will lose, but all of their lives are changed forever.
Rutgers Summer Scholars Program for High School Students is designed for advanced high school students (and, on a case-by-case basis, younger, gifted students) to participate in a university summer session program. It offers over 2,000 course sections, independent study/research opportunities and internships.
Suggest a Resource
Suggest an Article
In the News
Summer 2011 -
High Schoolers in College
Summer 2011 -
Are We Lifting All Boats or Only Some?
(R. Epstein, D. Pianko, J. Schnur
& J. Wyner)
May 25, 2011 -
Do children need to know they're gifted?
May 25, 2011 -
Homeschooling transformed over decades
May 23, 2011 -
How can mom help her 6th grader?
(Barbara F. Meltz)
May 21, 2011 -
Schools move away from honors classes in favor of AP courses
May 20, 2011 -
Top-performing schools with elite students
May 19, 2011 -
Ranking America's High Schools
May 18, 2011 -
NY Daily News,
It's Supergirl: 5-year-old can speak 7 languages, play 6 instruments
May 18, 2011 -
15-Year-Old Graduates From College
May 16, 2011 -
Strange Advice for Parents of Bright Kids
May 16, 2011 -
High-achieving students left behind in quest to pull up
those who need help
May 16, 2011 -
Researchers Probe Causes of Math Anxiety
(Sarah D. Sparks)
April 2011 -
Scholastic’s Parent & Child Magazine,
Is My Child Gifted? How to Spot the Clues...
April 25, 2011 -
IQ tests measure motivation - not just intelligence
April 11, 2011 -
Finland's Educational Success? The Anti–Tiger Mother Approach
Discuss these stories and more on the
Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.
Slava Butkovich - A Davidson Young Scholar Making a Difference
My name is Slava Butkovich, and I am 16 years old. I became a Davidson Young Scholar in 2009. The Davidson Young Scholars Program has introduced me to many wonderful opportunities, including the THINK Summer Institute and the Young Scholars Ambassador Program, which I joined in 2009.
I decided to become a YS Ambassador because I wanted to use my abilities to improve the lives of others. My Ambassador project is called
A Trip Around the World: A Music and Dance Performance Group for Senior Citizens; it is a volunteer music group. The performers include my siblings, my uncle, and myself. We have accordions and a string quartet. About once a month, we go to local nursing homes, and play ethnic and classical music for the residents. We dress up in ethnic costumes and perform traditional dances. It is always wonderful to see the residents so excited about our performances; whenever a performance finishes, they always thank us and beg us to come back soon. I plan on continuing to perform at nursing homes for as long as
I am currently a sophomore at Blue Springs High School (a public high school) in Blue Springs, Mo.
I often spend free time volunteering as a tutor at my high
school; I help other students with math and ACT preparation. In addition to taking AP classes at school, I challenge myself academically by taking after-school courses. For example, I have taken many
mathematical courses online through
Art of Problem Solving (AOPS). Many of its classes are not offered at my high school, such as probability and number theory. Also, I attended the Davidson
THINK Summer Institute last July. THINK is held during three weeks every summer at the University of Nevada, Reno. At THINK, each student takes two college-level classes of his or her choice and has the chance to earn college credit. THINK is a one-of-a-kind experience that allows gifted students to meet other smart people and to get a glimpse of life in college.
I am still deciding what college I want to attend. In the future, I would like to become a medical researcher.
the Intel International Science and
Engineering Fair because we believe that
math and science are imperative for
innovation. This global competition features youth trying to solve the world’s most
pressing challenges through science."
~ Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel’s Corporate Affairs Group
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