What's New in Gifted Education
2016 Davidson Fellows! Davidson Fellows have completed graduate-level projects or portfolios that have the potential to benefit society. Each received a scholarship and
were recognized for their achievements at a special awards reception, sponsored by U.S. Senators Harry Reid (NV) and Chuck Grassley (IA), in Washington, D.C.
Positive contributions to society made by the 2016 Davidson Fellows include:
2017 Davidson Fellows Scholarship Application
Developing a cost-effective thermoelectric device that has the potential to enable
the generation of
electricity from industrial waste heat.
Creating an eco-friendly active refrigeration vaccine transportation system
that could save countless lives by providing safe and effective vaccines
- Designing a smartphone-based pulmonary function analyzer that can be used to measure lung
function and diagnose various respiratory illnesses.
- Creating a portfolio
of writing portraying positive depictions of young people of marginalized
identities based on racial, gender and cultural markers.
- Exploring the crossover of algebra and combinatorics, which has applications in computer-based
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
work with a depth of knowledge in a particular area of study.
Category requirements for the 2017
scholarships will be posted soon.
Examines State Accountability For High-Achievers
Recent Thomas B. Fordham Institute report
High Stakes for High Achievers: State Accountability in the Age of ESSA (PDF) examines the extent to which states’ accountability systems attend to the educational needs of high-achieving students,
citing Arkansas, Ohio, Oregon and South Carolina as leaders in
The publication details how states can take advantage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to create systems that serve all students.
One recommendation is that the U.S. Department of
Education allow states to rate academic achievement using a
performance index that gives schools additional credit for
getting students to an advanced level. Read more:
Thomas B. Fordham Institute,
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship Programs
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is accepting applications for its
Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship
College Scholarship Program. Recipients will be awarded as much as $40,000 per year for four years for tuition, books, living expenses and other required fees.
The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship allows up to 85 of
the nation’s top community college students to complete
their bachelor’s degrees by transferring to a selective
four-year college or university. The College Scholarship Program
provides up to 40 high-achieving high school seniors with financial need
the opportunity to attend the nation’s best four-year colleges and universities.
Visit their website for full eligibility requirements.
Academy of Nevada
The Davidson Academy application for the 2017-2018 school year is now available! Visit the How to Apply
page to access the online application system. The Academy is
a free public school unlike any other in the country, where the
abilities, strengths and interests of profoundly gifted
middle and high school students are encouraged and
supported. Please review the
Qualification Criteria and
How to Apply pages.
"The Academy is a school for people who love to learn; it gives them the tools to do so and lets them announce their passions freely to the world."
Upcoming Tours for Prospective Students
- Davidson Academy Graduate
The Davidson Academy frequently hosts tours for prospective students
and their parents. At these tours, attendees meet current Academy students, parents,
faculty and staff, and have the opportunity to ask specific questions about the
school. Upcoming school tours will be held from 2 p.m. to 4
p.m. on these Fridays (RSVP Required):
Oct. 21, Nov. 18 and
Davidson Young Scholars
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:
success stories to see how the Young Scholars program has helped make a difference in the lives of these students. The Young Scholars application deadline is the first of each month.
- An Online Community
- In-person Connections
- Community Service Endeavors
- Summer Programs (fee-based)
Free Guidebooks for Gifted Learners
The Davidson Institute offers FREE, online
guidebooks focused on various topics such as advocacy,
early college and mentorships, gap year, homeschooling and
giving back. With a wide variety of articles and tools,
these comprehensive guidebooks help direct parents and
students through the process of searching for an
appropriately challenging educational setting.
Legislative & Policy News
– While the enrollment of students in gifted classes in the San Diego Unified School District
has decreased in recent years, the school district continues to outpace the
rest of the state in identifying gifted students. Source:
San Diego Union-Tribune
FLORIDA – The Duval County School Board recently voted to approve the district’s plan to expand gifted services, with the intention of eventually developing gifted programs at all middle schools in the county. Source:
GEORGIA – Thirty-one gifted and talented teachers will be recipients of the Houston County Education Assistance Fund. Source:
KANSAS – The Kansas Supreme Court is considering whether the state could
attempt to raise test scores among low-performing students by shifting funds out of programs for gifted students. Source:
MARYLAND – Baltimore County Public Schools is proposing dropping the “gifted and talented” label in the school district in favor of a name change to “Advanced Academics.” The proposed new label would encompass honors courses, advanced placement classes, dual enrollment and other advanced programs. A number of local advocates worry the proposed changes will result in the removal of certain services. Sources:
MISSOURI – A new middle school in the Ferguson-Florissant School District is the first in St. Louis County to offer self-contained gifted instruction. Source:
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
MONTANA – The 16-member School Funding Interim Commission has proposed $2.5 million
to be appropriated to the current state block grant program for gifted and talented education. Most recently, the state has provided $250,000 annually for gifted education statewide. Source:
– An elementary school for gifted students recently opened in Henderson. Source:
KTVN Las Vegas
– The New York City school district has created an experimental program that will allow more than a hundred students from underserved neighborhoods entrance into sought-after gifted classes. Source:
New York Daily News
A new gifted program at PS 45 in Staten Island was created this year to coincide with the beginning of the school year. The new program will begin with a class of 25 kindergarten students. Source:
OHIO – Talks continue on how to best standardize the approach of educating gifted students in the state. Source:
Cleveland Plain Dealer
How gifted-friendly is your state? Visit the Davidson Gifted Database
State Policy Database to find out.
If you know of new legislation, please contact us at
On the Web
Featured Articles and Resources
The Davidson Gifted Database features easy search capabilities for articles, resources and state policy pages to help students, parents and educators pinpoint gifted information.
In Guilty thoughts: What parents of gifted children really think,
Gail Post covers a few of the most common "guilty thoughts"
The World Around Us: Embrace and Affirm Diversity with Literature is designed to help educators identify quality diverse literature to incorporate into the curriculum and reading
experiences of children.
Tips for Parents: From School to Homeschool at Three Stages addresses many of the concerns parents often have about transitioning their students from school to homeschool.
Academy for Gifted and Talented (Huntsville, AL)
supports the needs of gifted learners in grades 6-8 through
integrated curriculum, acceleration, compacting, extended
learning opportunities and more.
Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. With locations across the U.S., girls can join both summer immersion and club programs.
offers award winning, quality, affordable courses that both parents and
students can utilize.
The Beekman School (New York, NY) seeks to provide high school students with differentiated instruction based on each student's unique interests and needs through flexibility, focus on the individual
and a supportive environment.
In the News
|| Discuss these stories and more on the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.
In the Spotlight
Nicolas Poux - 2016
Davidson Fellow Laureate
Poux of Palo Alto, Calif. will receive $50,000 for his 2016
Davidson Fellows project, "Development of a High-Resolution Multi-color Fluorescent Reporter for Clonal Analysis."
What kind of impact can your Fellows project, “Development of a High-Resolution Multi-color Fluorescent Reporter for Clonal Analysis” have on society?
Since my project entailed the development of a tool to enable and facilitate previously unfeasible scientific studies, its impact can be measure by the the impact of these new studies. This tool, which we dubbed “Skittles,” allows us to label cells with one of 25 colors, and enables us to track each cell and its progeny based on their assigned color. The ability to track cells and how they divide allows us to study how organ systems develop and maintain themselves, a focus of stem cell biology with an enormous, tangible impact.
For example, the relatively recent discovery of hematopoietic, or blood-forming, stem cells has enabled us to perform life-saving bone-marrow and cord-blood transplants, of which I was a recipient in 2011. A current focus of stem cell biology is to identify other organ-specific stem cells, which would allow us to repair and reconstitute their respective organ systems in the same way that we can reconstitute the blood system using hematopoietic stem cells. Skittles would allow us to perform novel studies in these areas, giving us new insights on how to identify and harness these stem cells.
Another potential application of Skittles lies in cancer biology. As a powerful tool for tracking cells, Skittles would allow us to study the dynamics behind how tumors spread. We believe that the insights gained from such studies may allow us to develop a predictive system that describes common mutations that drive the spread of tumors. Targeting such mutations would open up a new avenue for fighting cancer.
These are only two examples of Skittles’ impact. This tool empowers researchers to explore new studies that we believe will have positive, life-changing effects.
What are some of your short-term and long-term plans?
I am still working on my Fellows Project and its applications, and I aim to get my project ready for publication. I intend to keep studying biomedical science, looking towards getting an M.D./Ph.D. after graduating. My goal is to make a significant contribution to helping patients with cancer and similar diseases, and I will keep pursuing research and my work in patient support to achieve that goal.
Please describe your academic setting and some positive experiences with mentors.
I graduated from Gunn High School last year, and I am currently preparing to start my first year at Stanford University.
My research mentor, Jonathan Tsai, has had a tremendous impact on my life. I met him while I was undergoing treatments for Leukemia at Stanford Children’s Hospital, as part of a program that links first-year Medical School students to long-term patients. His friendship over the past five years, and his mentorship in and out of the lab, have shaped my life and trajectory in a positive way. I also owe a large debt of gratitude to Professor Weissman for his support, guidance, and encouragement. My thanks goes out to both of them.
"When you look at the issues facing society now—whether it's health care, climate change, terrorism, energy—
these are the kids (gifted students) who have the most potential to solve these problems.
These are the kids we'd do well to bet on."
~ Dr. David Lubinski, in the
How to Raise a Genius: Lessons from a 45-Year Study of Supersmart Children