May 2017

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

BREAKING NEWS: Davidson Academy Online High School Announces $5,000 Merit Scholarships and 8th Grade Option

Online High School applications for 2017-2018, including the eighth grade option, are being considered through the end of May. Email for details.

What's New in Gifted Education

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair – Pushing the Limits of STEM Creativity

Nearly 1,800 outstanding high school science students, representing more than 75 countries, exhibited their inventive, groundbreaking projects at the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles.

Ivo Zell of Germany (pictured, center) was awarded the top prize for for his design of a small “flying wing” drone. Amber Yang of Florida (left) and Valerio Pagliarino of Italy (right) each received the second prize: Amber for developing a method to predict the orbits of space junk circling Earth, and Valerio for research addressing how to get internet service to remote areas. Source: Society for Science & the Public (SSP)

Symposium to Spotlight Twice-Exceptionality

The 2e Center for Research and Professional Development will host its second biennial symposium on twice-exceptionality, entitled “Leadership and Vision in 2e Education," October 13-16, 2017 in Los Angeles. The symposium will feature keynotes, panel discussions, interactive forums and workshops. It is geared toward administrators, policy makers, advocates, researchers in the 2e field, and parents, as well as schools, teachers and support staff working with the 2e population.


Ranking America’s Most Challenging High Schools

Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews recently released his annual rankings of America’s Most Challenging High Schools. Mathews also complied a list of the nation's "Top-performing schools with elite students" that included the Davidson Academy for the seventh consecutive year. The 25 alphabetically-listed schools were excluded from the main rankings because, "despite their exceptional quality, their admission rules and standardized test scores indicate they have few or no average students."

Davidson News

Davidson Academy Online High School

The Davidson Academy is offering $5,000 merit scholarships for the inaugural year of its new Online High School to all accepted ninth and 10th graders. Additionally, a full-time, accredited eighth grade online option will be offered starting this fall. Every eighth grader accepted will also receive a $2,000 merit scholarship. These merit scholarships are renewable every year the student attends the school. Applications are still being considered through May 31. For details, email

Designed to be Different
The Davidson Academy offers two options for profoundly gifted students: the Online High School for students living anywhere in the U.S. and a day school on the  University of Nevada, Reno campus

“With the expansion of the Online High School, now profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the United States can access the benefits of the Davidson Academy,” said Academy Director Colleen Harsin. “A few of those benefits include personalized learning plans, guidance counseling, college planning services, and courses tailored to their academic needs that are rich with opportunities for interaction and critical discourse.”

The 2018-2019 application for the Davidson Academy Reno school will be availalble this August. Meanwhile, please visit the Academy's website for more information.

Davidson Fellows Scholarship

The Davidson Institute offers $10,000, $25,000 and $50,000 Davidson 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. The 2017 class of Davidson Fellows will be announced this August.

Davidson Young Scholars

The national Davidson Young Scholars program provides FREE services designed to nurture the intellectual, social, emotional, and academic development of profoundly intelligent young people between the ages of 5 and 18 (students must be between the ages of 5 and 16 when applying). Benefits of the program include:
  • Consulting Services
  • An Online Community
  • In-person Connections
  • Community Service Endeavors
  • Summer Programs (fee-based)
Read success stories to see how the Young Scholars program has helped make a difference in the lives of these students. The application deadline is the first of each month.

Legislative & Policy News

NATIONAL – President Trump's full budget proposal for the U.S. Department of Education would cut funding for the Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Education Grant (Javits) program for fiscal year 2018. Javits previously had received $12 million in funding. Sources: Washington Post, Committee for Education Funding (PDF)

ARIZONA – The Scottsdale school district will launch a gifted pre-K academy for four-year-old children beginning next fall. Source: Scottsdale Independent

KENTUCKY – Western Kentucky University is offering a new Specialist Degree in Gifted Education and Talent Development. Source: WKU News

MISSOURI – The St. Louis school district is struggling to increase diversity in local gifted schools despite recent efforts. Source: St. Louis Public Radio

NEW YORK – Bronx lawmakers are attempting to pass a bill that would require the education department to distribute details about the city’s gifted program in packets sent to potential pre-K students. Source: Riverdale Press

Students enrolled in the three gifted programs in Queens District 30 will continue to automatically receive a spot at one of two local gifted middle schools through the end of the year. The Department of Education recently planned to end this automatic matriculation policy in coming years. Source: DNAinfo

NORTH CAROLINA – A Senate proposal would strip out the funding needed to run the Governor’s School of North Carolina, a program for gifted high school students, in the 2018-19 budget year. Source: The News & Observer

TEXAS – The Pine Tree school district in Longview will add science to self-contained courses offered to gifted students in grades 5-10. Source: Longview News-Journal

The Temple school district is implementing a plan to improve elementary test scores for its gifted students. Source: Temple Daily Telegram

WISCONSIN – The Jefferson school district will hire a half-time coordinator for its gifted program next year. Source: Daily Union

WYOMING – The Cody school district approved a number of cuts to its gifted program. Source: Cody Enterprise

On the Web

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


A Unique Challenge: Sorting Out the Differences Between Giftedness and Asperger’s Disorder describes two principles that should be followed to determine accurate differentiation.

Tips for parents of gifted children: What most parents wish they had known provides "Been there, done that" feedback.

Virtual Schools and Gifted Students covers potential advantages and disadvantages of virtual schools, and how they specifally related to gifted students.

Camp Innovation: Pathways to College Program (N. Kentucky University - Newport, KY) is a summer program designed for high potential youth to discover and explore advanced content and engaged learning. is designed to teach chess and allow students to play against others from around the world.

College 101: A Girl's Guide to Freshman Year imparts valuable information and secrets about the freshman year that every girl needs to make sure she survives (and actually enjoys) her first college experience.

In the News

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

In the Spotlight

Surabhi Mundada - a Davidson Fellow Helping Those with Impaired Hand Movements

Surabhi Mundada of Olympia, Wash. received $10,000 for her Davidson Fellows project, "MyGlove: Assisting Hand Movements, Grip, and Tremor."

What kind of impact can your Fellows project, “MyGlove: Assisting Hand Movements, Grip, and Tremor” have on society?
Millions of people daily face problems caused by impaired hand movements. This includes involuntary hand movements, grip problems, and tremors (also known as shaky hands). The people impacted with these issues range from people that are healthy and aging to people who have Parkinson’s Disease, Cerebral Palsy, arthritis and multiple other diseases and conditions. Addressing these impairments is important as they significantly reduce the quality of one’s life; they make it challenging to accomplish everyday essential tasks like eating, drinking, and holding objects. MyGlove does multiple things to address these issues. It assists impaired hand movements by helping open and close the hand and improves one’s grip. MyGlove also detects tremors, as well as dampens and controls tremors. The use of MyGlove will greatly lead to a higher quality lifestyle for a wide range of people impacted with these impairments. MyGlove’s concept can also be built upon to develop other wearables to solve similar problems. By working together, we can empower society and create healthcare devices for the betterment of our global community.

Please describe your academic setting and some positive experiences.
I’ve done science research since fourth grade in fields like environmental sciences, physics and medicine. Throughout these years, I’ve seen how combining knowledge from different fields improves how a problem is approached. From my experiences in engineering projects to robotics and a research internship, I’ve also seen how computer science and engineering can be used to efficiently and imaginatively solve broad problems - medicine to space exploration! Engineering MyGlove has been an especially meaningful experience; it helped me find my passions. Most importantly, hearing people tell me how this could help their family and seeing Parkinson’s patients’ optimism during testing was touching! All these experiences inspired me to further expand MyGlove.

So, I continued and developed a system called MyHealth to detect, monitor, and quantify various Parkinson’s disease symptoms. MyHealth can help users, doctors, and researchers, and can improve therapeutic strategies used by doctors, slow down disease progression, and improve quality of life. This research journey has given me the opportunity to share my work at different science fairs, symposiums, and conferences, where I’ve met many inspiring young scientists. Additionally, I got invited to attend the White House Frontiers Conference where I got to hear former President Obama speak about innovation and even shake hands with him!

What are some of your short-term and long-term plans?
I’m a high school senior and I plan to attend Stanford starting this fall. I hope to earn a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Science and/or Biomedical Engineering. My goal is to use engineering to tackle global challenges. I want to solve medical problems and help people by making early detection and health monitoring devices. I also want to develop user-friendly wearable healthcare devices, bringing more comfort to people’s lives. Long-term, I see myself exploring more engineering research and either working in a company aligned with my passions or starting a company that innovates healthcare devices.

Along with research, I want to encourage others to follow their deepest passions. After experiencing fewer girls in classes like robotics, physics, and computer science, I especially want to help girls pursue their passions like engineering. I’m glad I’ve been able help girls through a computer science club at my school and I want to continue this. Overall, I want to build onto the strong community that has fostered me. I hope to make the community happier and even more vibrant through the same support it has given me.
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