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Davidson Institute January 2015  

             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
  Summer Program Options for Gifted Students
It may be the middle of winter, but it is time to start thinking Gifted Summer Campsabout summer program options (if you haven't already)! Summer programs for gifted students are available across the country. Program themes range from science and mathematics to music and outdoor activities. See these Davidson Gifted Database articles for some excellent summer options:  To browse a more complete list of summer programs in the Davidson Gifted Database, click here and see the summer program information below for THINK, Epsilon and Delta, and RSI. Please note that 2015 application deadlines for certain summer programs may be approaching soon. If you know of a great summer program for academically gifted students not in our database, please contact us.

2015 THINK Summer Institute
THINKTHINK 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 2015 THINK Summer Institute will run from July 11 through Aug. 1. 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 an ACT score of 26. The application deadline is April 1, 2015. To learn more about THINK, please visit the THINK website.

Epsilon and Delta CampDelta Camp
A residential summer camp for the 6 1/2- to 11-year-old exceptionally (EG) or profoundly (PG) gifted child who loves math. Epsilon and Delta Camp, directed by Dr. George Thomas, founder of MathPath and Canada/USA MathCamEpsilonp, is an intellectually rigorous student camp combined with a parent workshop designed to help parents build mathematical and social maturity in the EG/PG child. The camp, now in its fifth season, will be held from July 26 through Aug. 9, 2015 at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. At least one parent must attend with the child and additional family members are also welcome. For more information, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, please visit and

Ore Academy Family Summer Camp
Ore Academy is a new summer camp for profoundly gifted children ages 3 to 10 and their families. The camp will be held July 20 to 25, 2015 near Concord and Appomattox, Va. Applications are available on this website and can be submitted starting Jan. 2, 2015. Notification of acceptance will be provided by March 2, 2015. Enrollment is $2,500 per family.

Research Science Institute (RSI)
Held on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Research Science Institute (RSI) is an annual summer program for high school students who participate in one week of theoretical classroom work followed by four-and-a-half weeks of research with a professor or scientist. The Institute is offered cost-free to competitively selected top-achieving students from around the world. For more information, click here.

Intel Science Talent Search (STS)
The 2015 Intel Science Talent Search has restructured their top awards, adding three awards of $150,000 for their 2015 class. The new award structure celebrates scientific and engineering skills, as well as aptitude by emphasizing three different approaches (Basic Research, Global Good and Innovation). Awards for the 2015 Intel STS will total $1,612,500, an increase of $382,000 from 2014. 

20th Annual National Curriculum Network Conference (NCNC)
The William & Mary Center for Gifted Education is pleased to announce the 20th Annual National Curriculum Network Conference (NCNC) to be held March 12 through 13, 2015. The conference offers more than 30 sessions held by leaders in the field of gifted education with a focus on curriculum, instruction and assessment for high-ability learners. This year’s keynote speakers are Dr. Karen Rogers and Dr. Julie Dingle Swanson. For more information and to register, please visit the conference website.
Legacy Book Award
Legacy Book Awards
The Legacy Book Awards, a service from the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented (TAGT), honor outstanding books published in the United States that have long-term potential for positively influencing the lives of gifted individuals and contributing to the understanding, well-being, education and success of gifted and talented students. Congratulations to the 2014 Legacy Book Award authors and publishers, including Prufrock Press, Free Spirit Press and Great Potential Press!

   Davidson News
2015 Davidson Fellows ScholarshipDavidson Fellows

If you are a student who will be 18 or younger as of Oct. 1, 2015 and are working on a graduate-level project in any field of study, please consider applying for the 2015 Davidson Fellows scholarship. The Davidson Institute for Talent Development offers high-achieving young people across the country the opportunity to be named a 2015 Davidson Fellow, an honor accompanied by a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship in recognition of a significant piece of work in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, music, literature, philosophy or outside the box. The deadline to apply is Feb. 11, 2015. For additional information, please visit the Fellows website.

The Davidson Academy of Nevada - Apply for 2015-2016 School YearAcademy
The Davidson Academy of Nevada, a free public day school for profoundly gifted pupils on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 school year. Unlike many traditional school settings, the Academy’s classes are not grouped by age-based grades, but by ability level, providing profoundly gifted young people an educational opportunity matched to their abilities, strengths and interests. To be eligible to attend the Davidson Academy, students must be at the middle or high school level across all subject areas, and score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ or college entrance tests, such as the SAT or ACT. For admission details, please visit the Davidson Academy website. Applications are reviewed on a monthly basis with a final application deadline of April 1, 2015. Interested families can attend a tour to meet current students, parents, faculty and staff. To RSVP for an upcoming tour (Jan. 30 and Feb. 27), visit the tours page of the website.

   Legislative & Policy News
NATIONAL - Congressional leaders doubled the Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Education Grant program for 2015 to $10 million. These funds will help the Department of Education pay for additional applied research programs and make grants available to states and districts, supporting their work with underserved, high-ability learners. If finalized, this $10 million is the only federal funding dedicated to supporting our nation’s gifted students and will mark Javits’ highest level of funding since 2005. Source: National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)

Educators from the University of Connecticut and Virginia Tech were recently awarded two federal grants to begin an investigation into the education of gifted students in urban and rural areas. These grants will be used to study schools in Colorado, North Carolina, Florida and Virginia that are successful in identifying and helping gifted students. Source: The Cavalier Daily

A team of University of Georgia College of Education researchers received a $360,000 cooperative agreement to evaluate gifted education programs around the world in U.S. Department of Defense schools, which provide education to children of military families. Source: Red and Black

CALIFORNIA - The Milpitas Unified School District Board of Education has proposed dissolving the GATE program, saying that there are other assessments in place to identify gifted and talented students without using GATE, which is no longer funded by the state. All Milpitas public schools, except two, have eliminated the program citing that the new Common Core State Standards are just as effective in allowing students to move at their own pace. Source: San Jose Mercury News

Adams Elementary School, located in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, has spent the last two years developing The Modern Scholars Academy. This program will begin with a challenging gifted program for kindergarteners and eventually encompass the school’s entire student body. Source: Daily Pilot
Gifted Legislation
FLORIDA - Juniors and seniors in Volusia County will have the opportunity to enroll in a new collegiate high school program that is more structured than a typical dual-enrollment program. Students will take classes leading to an associate degree at the nearby Daytona State College. Source: The Daytona Beach News-Journal

GEORGIA - The gifted program at Merry Acres Middle School will be moved to Robert Cross Middle Magnet School to better utilize space. Source: Albany Herald

KENTUCKY - The Kentucky Board of Education may be introducing a new program in the 2016-2017 school year called Kentucky Rising. This program will create a diploma allowing graduates access to scholarships and early college admissions, as well as establish criteria demonstrating that students are ready for the global workforce. Source:

MINNESOTA - A new school within a school program will be starting at Lincoln Elementary School for gifted third-, fourth- and fifth-graders. The new program will include a mix of existing district and specialized curriculum. Source: White Bear Press

MISSISSIPPI - Currently all grades, whether from standard courses or Advanced Placement (AP) courses, are weighted the same in a student’s GPA. The Starkville School District is considering raising the GPA weight of grades earned in AP courses. Source: Starkville Daily News

NEW JERSEY - The South Orange-Maplewood School District has decided to implement a gifted and talented program - the first in many years. The program will offer ability grouping within classrooms, cluster rotations, differentiated projects and assignments within the classroom, a mentoring program, and after-school and out-of-school opportunities. Source: The Village Green

NORTH CAROLINA - In a study called “Nurturing for a Bright Tomorrow”, 16 Wake County schools will partner with Duke University to increase the number of students identified as gifted, as well as close the gap in identification for minority and low-income children. Source: News Observer

A teacher at Huntsville Elementary School has created a solution to ensure that high-achieving students are not overlooked in the classroom. Students who score 93 or higher on a unit pre-test can participate in a robotics class, and eventually a competition, to help them learn teamwork and creative problem-solving. Source: The Charlotte Observer

NORTH DAKOTA - A North Dakota State University assistant professor of mathematics has started a math circle for high school gifted students, allowing them to learn and discuss advance math concepts. Source: Prairie Business

PENNSYLVANIA - The Glendale School Board heard a proposal to change their gifted programming from pull-out options to cluster grouping with tiered lesson plans. The teachers will go through training and a parent meeting will be held this month to discuss the changes. Source: The Progress News

SOUTH CAROLINA - The Charleston School District, in partnership with the College of Charleston, is implementing a gifted and talented curriculum in two elementary schools that have a higher percentage of low-income students. The funding for this curriculum is part of a five-year grant proposal to create gifted and talented programs in six elementary schools in Charleston County by 2018. Source: The Post and Courier

WASHINGTON -  The Oroville School District is starting a a Highly Capable Program for gifted and talented students. The goal is to first identify gifted students in the top two to three percent and then develop plans to help meet their academic needs. Source: Gazette Tribune

The Battle Ground Public Schools (BGPS) Aspire Program provides accelerated learning opportunities for highly capable students identified as the top three to five percent of the student population based on testing. Last fall, BGPS made the Aspire Program testing available to all K-12 students for the first time. Source: The Reflector

WISCONSIN - Youth Options is a new program that allows high school students to take college classes with the cost of college credits paid for by the school district. Source: HTRnews

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, Obsessions, discusses the intense relationship gifted kids have with certain topics of interest, such as dinosaurs, astronomy, games, science fiction, and more!

New Biology Blog
A former participant of two International Biology Olympiads from Lithuania has created this blog to help other students prepare for both National and International Biology Olympiad (IBO) competitions.

Featured Articles and Resources
The Davidson Gifted Database at is aOn the Web gateway to resources for and about gifted students. See what's new!

Help us continue to update this list of Gift Ideas for Eager Young Minds, which provides suggestions for books, magazines, toys and games appropriate for gifted young people.

In this Tips for Parents article, Raising Confident, Independent and Happy Girls, Dr. Kara McGoey provides information about raising confident girls.

This Tips for Parents article, Raising Resilient Children, is from a seminar hosted by Dr. Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik, who discusses ways for parents to teach their children how to be resilient.

The Research on Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent (RGCT) Special Interest Group (SIG) through the American Educational Research Association (AERA) deals with research studies that focus on how giftedness, talent and creativity are developed and nurtured. This group encourages both international and national studies involving qualitative and/or quantitative methods in a wide variety of topics such as: conceptions, models, identification, programs and practices, counseling, creativity, thinking skills, disabilities, parenting, and diversity.

Steam-Powered Classroom: Resources for the Creative Educator Guidebook, written by a part-time children’s librarian and homeschool mom, contains lists of her favorite books and online resources with tips on cross-referencing and putting together a fun learning unit—all with no textbook in sight.

The Western Carolina University - Special Education Graduate Program in Cullowhee, North Carolina offers three types of post-baccalaureate degrees and programs: two graduate degrees, a Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) and a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.), as well as an add-on Academically or Intellectually Gifted (AIG) licensure program. Starting in the spring of 2015, they will also offer a restructured cross-disciplinary online master’s degree in gifted education.
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   In the News
January 6 - Lifetime Television, Child Genius (10-part series)
January 6 - Education Week, Differentiation Doesn't Work
(Jim Delisle)
December 18 -, Debunking Myths about Gifted Students (Heather Wolpert-Gawron)

December 17 - Huffington Post, The Best Apps for Your Bright or Gifted Child (Daniel B. Peters, Ph.D.)
December 10 - Reading Today Online, Gifted and Dyslexic: Twice Exceptional (Kelli Sandman-Hurley)
December 8 - NPR, Researchers emphasize early math as a path to student success (Anya Kamenetz)
December 4 - Fox News, Let's recruit academically gifted students from poor neighborhoods . . . (Harold O. Levy)
December 2 - Reading Today Online, 'Gifted' Takes Different Forms in the Classroom (Justin Stygles)
November 25 - National Review Online, Punishing Achievement in Our Schools (Chester E. Finn Jr.)
November 25 - TIME, When One Twin is More Academically Gifted (Meredith Bland)
November 25 - IU Bloomington Newsroom, Reasons for students pursuing STEM fields are varied . . . (Staff)

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

   In the Spotlight

Stephanie Claeys
A Davidson Ambassador Making a Difference

In the SpotlightThe purpose of the Davidson Young Scholars Ambassador Program is to foster learning and civic engagement through community service, volunteerism and leadership in highly motivated and mature Young Scholars. Stephanie's community service work, called Project Iris Athletics, raises money for Team Aithon's track and field equipment in Dominica.

What kind of impact can your Ambassador’s project have on society?

Project Iris Athletics is a community service project that raises money and receives donations for athletic equipment, primarily track and field and training equipment, for a team in Grand Bay, Dominica called Team Aithon. Team Aithon is a track and field team comprised of about 130 children and young adults ages 11 to 21. The Peace Corps built the track and field facility for Team Aithon, but the athletes are lacking most of the equipment they need to compete. My project impacts the lives of the Dominican athletes by supplying the equipment they need to train to reach their athletic potential. I am also able to impact the everyday people who come in contact with my project. To know that I, as an 11 year old, was able to start a fully functioning community service project can inspire others to achieve things that they would otherwise deem impossible.

Please describe your academic setting and some positive experiences with mentors.
Currently, I am enrolled as an 8th grader in P.A.G.E., the Junior High program for Highly Capable Students in my school district. In this program I have the opportunity to develop leadership, public speaking and critical thinking skills. My academic setting has been rigorous and engaging since third grade when I began the full-day elementary program for highly capable students. While I have been well-nurtured academically, socially and emotionally in this program, the fifth and sixth grades were by far the most important years for me. My teacher, Mr. Gonzalez, has been an influential mentor in my life and instrumental in my getting Project Iris Athletics going. He taught me work ethic, and the importance of following through on commitments, and he motivated me to think and work “outside the box.”

What are your short and long term goals?
I have many plans and goals for my project and my life. For Project Iris Athletics, my initial goal is to ensure that Team Aithon has all the basic equipment for a fully functioning track and field team. I am currently raising money for team uniforms and collecting donations of track and field equipment. I am also working on making Project Iris Athletics a non-profit organization. Eventually, I hope to branch out to support other athletic teams and athletic programs around the globe, and to procure financial support to make the project self-sustaining. When it comes to my life, I have many goals both academic and non-academic. I plan to continue my education at an Ivy League college or university. From there, I want to move on to a career in politics, hopefully as a member of Congress and eventually as a member of the presidential cabinet.

If you would like to know more about my project, please visit Team Aithon’s website.

   Closing Thought

“Just as I believe every educator should teach at-risk children during his or her career, I also believe that every educator should experience both the joys and challenges that go along with teaching GATE students. Because it helps combat yet another myth: that they are somehow the easiest group to teach.”

~ Heather Wolpert-Gawron
Debunking Myths about Gifted Students, Edutopia


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