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Davidson Institute November 2013  

             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
  NAGC Urges Support of High-Ability Learners
NAGCThe National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) has released the 2012-2013 State of the States in Gifted Education, which includes includes individual states' approaches toward identification, funding, acceleration and more. The State of the States describes that while there have been some positive developments since the last report, states need to better train teachers, enhance access to services and expand reporting. NAGC is calling for numerous changes, urging lawmakers and education leaders to develop comprehensive state strategies to expand access to a full range of high quality gifted education services. Sources: NAGC Statement (PDF), NAGC National Summary (PDF), Education Week

2013 Davidson Fellows Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Davidson FellowsOn September 28, 2013, 20 young people were honored at the Davidson Fellows award ceremony for their work in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy and the category of Outside the Box. Davidson Institute for Talent Development co-founder Bob Davidson presented the awards at the 13th annual ceremony held at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. In recognition of their remarkable achievements, each of the 2013 Davidson Fellows received a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship.

Davidson Fellows2014 Davidson Fellows Scholarship
The 2014 Davidson Fellows Scholarship application is now available online! Young people 18 and younger have the opportunity to earn a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship in recognition of a significant piece of work in the categories of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Music, Literature and Philosophy, or a project that represents Outside the Box thinking. The application deadline is February 12, 2014.

Research Sheds Light on Under-Identification of Twice-Exceptional Students
SAGEThe new research article, Critical Issues in the Identification of Gifted Students with Co-Existing Disabilities: The Twice-Exceptional, has recently been published on SAGE Open. The article addresses the problem of under-identification of twice-exceptional (2e) students for services in American schools and reflects the work of 17 authors in the field, including psychologists, educators and twice-exceptional advocates. Advocates hope this article will positively influence the upcoming reauthorization of IDEA law to better protect the twice exceptional.

   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, visit the How to Apply page to access the new online application system. Please visit the Qualification Criteria page and the Application Review Process page for more information.

Prospective students interested in receiving email updates about the Academy can subscribe to The Davidson Academy eNewsletter by clicking here.

Upcoming Tours for Prospective Students
Each month during the school year, The Davidson Academy hosts a tour for prospective students and their parents. At these tours, visitors meet current Academy students, parents, faculty and staff, and ask specific questions about the school. Our upcoming school tours will be held on the following Fridays: Dec. 13., Jan. 31, Feb. 14 and March 14. RSVPs are required. For additional details and to RSVP, please visit the Tours page.

2014 THINK Summer Institute
THINK Summer InstituteThe 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. The application deadline is April 1, 2014. Homeschooled students are eligible to apply

   Legislative & Policy News
  ALABAMA – The Tuscaloosa County Board of Education recently approved an agreement with the University of Alabama that allows students in the district to sign up for dual enrollment courses at the University that count for both high school and college credit. Source: Tuscaloosa News

ARKANSAS – The Little Rock School District recently presented plans for a “High Ability" Academy for gifted middle and elementary students. Sources: KUAR, THV 11

CALIFORNIA – The Anaheim Union High School District's Gifted and Talented Education Orchestra recently received a $5,000 grant from the Leo Freedman Foundation. Source: Orange County Register

DELAWARE – The Delaware Board of Education recently approved a new state program that will make funds available to programs for academically advanced students. The program allows school districts to apply for grants to create programs for students who are at least half a grade level above average. Source: WDDE-FM

FLORIDA – The Galileo School for Gifted Learning in Seminole County will soon open a small middle school expected to draw from its elementary population. Source: Orlando Sentinel
Gifted Legislation
GEORGIA – Next school year, Morris Innovative High School in Dalton will evolve into a school that recruits and fosters gifted students who need extra attention. Source: The Daily Citizen

MICHIGAN – The Plymouth-Canton school district is changing the entrance criteria for incoming third-graders into the Talented and Gifted (TAG) program. District officials are examining the guidelines for entry into the TAG program, which will no longer be focused solely on a cognitive abilities test. Source: (article no longer available online)

MINNESOTA – A new school for gifted and talented elementary school students in Minneapolis has recently been proposed. Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune

MONTANA – Montana State University Billings was recently awarded a $1.2 million grant to develop a program targeted at recruiting and training gifted students to be math and science teachers in rural Montana schools. Source: Billings Gazette

NORTH CAROLINA – The Edgecombe County school district has updated its plan for Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) students in an effort to focus on professional development, program accountability, curriculum, student identification and more. Source: Tarboro Daily Southerner

PENNSYLVANIA – Among concerns from a number of parents, the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District is reviewing its program for gifted elementary students. Source: Delaware County Daily Times

TEXAS – The passage of House Bill 5 (HB 5) and its subsequent signing into law could be a positive step in regards to accountability for gifted education in Texas. Included in the law is a provision that will require school districts to evaluate and assign a rating to a number of specific programs annually, including gifted and talented. The Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented (TAGT) played a significant role in ensuring the inclusion of gifted language in HB 5. Source: TAGT

WISCONSIN – A new school for gifted and talented students will soon open in Green Bay. The new building will allow the Green Bay school district’s gifted program to expand from 131 students to about 250. Source:

WYOMING – A number of local parents, teachers and advocates feel that gifted programs in the state lack guidance, consistency and accountability. Other than self-reported surveys from school districts, the Wyoming Department of Education cannot track how the $2.6 million spent annually on gifted programs is allocated. Source: Billings Gazette

Davidson Institute Gifted State Policy Map

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, "Approaching the parent-teacher conference." Join the discussion today!

Epsilon Camp - A Challenging Summer Math Experience for Young Students
EpsilonApplication season has begun for The Epsilon Camp, a two-week summer residential camp for exceptionally and profoundly gifted students ages 8-11 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, 2014. 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, and additional family members are also welcome to attend. Space is limited.

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

Pennsylvania Summer Programs for High School Students
The University of Pittsburgh Health Career Scholars Academy and the Pennsylvania School for Global Entrepreneurship are accepting applications for their 2014 summer programs. All current high school sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply. These are four-week summer academic residential programs that introduce students to the fields of health care and business.
American Mensa
American Mensa
American Mensa is currently offering to waive the review fee - a $40 savings - if qualifying scores are submitted before Dec. 31. The organization accepts the LSAT, the GMAT and a number of other tests including the Stanford-Binet. Click here for details.

Featured Articles and Resources
The Davidson Gifted Database at is a gateway to resources for and about gifted students. See what's new!
Gifted Education
The article, Tips for Parents: Making New Connections: Digging Deeper into the practice of Positive Discipline Parenting, is from a seminar hosted by Catherine Gruener, who provides resources, tips and guidance in the application of "positive discipline parenting."

The article, Tips for Parents: Nurturing Math Talent While Homeschooling Gifted Children, is from a seminar hosted by Julia Brodsky. She discusses homeschooling from a mathematics perspective.

The Twice-Exceptional Newsletter, is "the only publication aimed squarely at the intersection of giftedness and learning challenges." The latest newsletter was the 10th anniversary issue, featuring highlights of past issues.

The book, Critical Issues and Practices in Gifted Education: What the Research Says (2nd ed.), is the definitive reference book for those searching for a summary and evaluation of the literature on giftedness, gifted education and talent development. The book presents more than 50 summaries of important topics in the field, providing relevant research and a guide to how the research applies to gifted education and the lives of gifted children. provides a recommendation engine for educational opportunities at all levels, from K-12 to college, grad school, weekend classes and professional development.
Suggest a Resource             Suggest an Article 

   In the News
November 17 - Town Hall, School Choice: A Solution to Bullying (Mytheos Holt)
November 10 - Washington Post, How to detect inflated grades at your school (Jay Mathews)
November 5 - BlogHere, Should You Have Your Young Child Tested for the Gifted Program? (Gail Post)
October 31 - Coca-Cola Journey, The Challenges of Parenting Genius Kids (Julie Besonen)
October 30 - Education Week News, Language Barriers: The New Segregation? (Matthew Lynch)
October 28 - Huffington Post, The End of IQ (and the Dawn of Working Memory) (Ross Alloway & Tracy Alloway)
October 28 - Huffington Post, Parenting and Teaching the Gifted Child (Gail Gross)
October 21 - Huffington Post, Who is the Gifted Child? (Gail Gross)
October 14 - Mind/Shift, Five Research-Driven Education Trends At Work in Classrooms (Katrina Schwartz)
October 13 - CBS News, Parenting a gifted child: Lessons from the Andrakas (Staff)
October 13 - CBS News, Boy Wonder: Jack Andraka (Morley Safer)
October 11 - ChicagoNow, With learning labels, come responsibilities (Rhonda Stern)
October 9 -, Coleman Hughes wins big with his soulful trombone [video] (Gwen Orel)
October 4 - NPR, Parents Of Child Prodigies Face Difficult Choices (David Greene)
October 3 - WWNO, Studying The Science Behind Child Prodigies (Staff)
October 1 - Education Week News, Parents Press for Attention to Programs for Gifted Students (Nora Fleming)

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

   In the Spotlight

 Thabit Pulak
A 2013 Davidson Fellow Making a Difference

In the SpotlightWhat kind of impact can your Fellows project, “Home-based Arsenic Bio-sane Water Filter and Rapid Arsenic Water Test using Nanotechnology” have on society?
My home-based arsenic water filter, alongside my home-based rapid arsenic testing solution has been developed to meet the urgent need of an affordable, easy to use solution by the underprivileged people across the world who need it the most. The arsenic filter is nearly 10 times cheaper, while being lighter, requiring less maintenance, and being easier to use and the home-based arsenic test is over 1,000 times cheaper, 40 times faster, nontoxic, much more environmentally friendly, and is able to be used by anyone, because it can be made even from the kitchen of a rural village home in Bangladesh. The home-based arsenic test, alongside the home-based arsenic filter is over 13 times cheaper than any other existing detection plus filter technology bundles. Thus, with the complete, home-based arsenic remediation package, there is a high potential to save and protect literally millions of lives across the world, by eradicating the decades-long problem of arsenic poisoning.

What are some of your short-term and long-term plans?
In the short term, I would like to continue to work towards implementing my affordable arsenic filtration and testing technologies, after rigorous field testing in Bangladesh, and also lab testing in a professional laboratory setup. As of now, since my filters aren’t completely ready for distribution, I am deploying currently available standard filters to arsenic-affected people through my nonprofit organization iKormi.

Ultimately, arsenic water poisoning leads to serious health problems, such as cancer. Millions of people in Bangladesh are affected with such health problems, but there isn’t much help available to address such health issues. Thus I hope that down the road, I will pursue a career in the medical research field to help alleviate such severe health problems.

Please describe your academic setting and some positive experiences with mentors.
My school is very new with regards to supporting science research. My school didn’t have suitable research facilities; after trying to contact various professors of universities close by, I wasn’t successful. However, I didn’t let that initial setback hold me back, as I then took it upon myself to perform extensive literature review and read as much scientific research papers on the topic as I could. Many of the articles required paid subscriptions, but I got around this by requesting these articles from various professors and university students. As my project started to materialize from the knowledge I gained from the research, I sought out the advice of a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas at Dallas, who became my mentor.

My positive experiences working with this home-based research helped me realize that a lot of things can be done at home. Necessary laboratory equipment can be purchased affordably from the Internet. This eventually opens up a lot of flexibility researching from home. In addition, my experience has shown me that a high-end professor in the field isn’t required for mentorship. Mentors who can give enough time to the student even if they are not as well-known, are better than high-end mentors who don’t.

Click here to read more about Thabit's project.

   Closing Thought

"Despite pockets of strength, our nation by and large continues to neglect the needs of our high-achieving and high-potential students to the detriment of our future prosperity. Until we ensure these students receive an education that maximizes their talent and that supports them in achieving at the
highest levels, we will continue to fall farther and farther
behind our global competitors."

~ Tracy L. Cross, NAGC President, and executive director of the Center for
Gifted Education at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va.


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