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What's New in Gifted Education
Davidson Fellows Award Ceremony in Washington D.C.
On September 26, 2014, 20 young people were honored at the Davidson Fellows award ceremony for their work in
science, technology, engineering, mathematics, literature, music and the category of
outside the box. Davidson Institute for Talent Development co-founder Bob Davidson presented the awards at the 14th annual ceremony held at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. In recognition of their remarkable achievements, each of the 2014 Davidson Fellows received a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship.
2015 Davidson Fellows Scholarship
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. Applicants must submit an original piece of work recognized by experts in the field as significant and that has the potential to make a positive contribution to society. The scholarship may be used at any accredited college or university. The deadline to apply is Feb. 11, 2015. For additional information, please visit
the Fellows website.
Broadcom MASTERS semifinalists and finalists announced!
The Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public (SSP) announced
the 2014 Broadcom MASTERS award recipients. Awards include the Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation, first and second place STEM awards that include funds for a summer camp experience, and the Rising Star awards, which include an all-expenses paid trip to
2015 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
(ISEF) in Pittsburgh, Penn. Holly Jackson, 14, of San Jose, Calif., won the $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize in honor of overall STEM excellence, and for her study on the strength and best application of
stitches in sewing.
The Siemens Foundation
established the Siemens Competition in math, science and technology in 1999. This
competition is for high school students and seeks to promote excellence by encouraging students to undertake individual or team research projects. It fosters intensive research that improves students' understanding of the value of scientific study and informs their consideration of future careers in these disciplines.
Congratulations to the 2014 Siemens Competition semifinalists!
The Davidson Academy of Nevada - Apply for 2015-2016 School Year
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 meet current students and parents, faculty and staff, network with others and ask questions at one of the Academy tours and information sessions. To
RSVP for upcoming tours (Nov. 21
and Dec. 12), visit the tours page of the website.
Davidson Young Scholars Application Available
The national Davidson Young Scholars program
provides FREE support, information and resources to
families of profoundly gifted students. Through an
online community and annual event, Young Scholars
have the opportunity to meet others with similar
interests and abilities, utilize their talents
to maximize their educational potential and make a
difference in the lives of others. Parents
collaborate with a team of knowledgeable Family
Consultants who provide individualized services
based on each family’s unique needs, most often in
the areas of educational advocacy and planning,
social and emotional development and enrichment
opportunities. Read Young Scholar Success Stories about how the Young Scholars program has helped make a difference in the lives of these students. The Davidson Young Scholars application deadline is the first of each month. Please visit the website to learn more.
2015 THINK Summer Institute
The Davidson Institute is seeking gifted teens who are interested in attending the 2015 THINK Summer Institute. THINK 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. 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
composite SAT score of 1130 (excludes writing portion) or an ACT score of 26. The application deadline is April 1, 2015. Due to limited space availability, it is strongly encouraged that applicants submit their application before the deadline. Homeschooled students are eligible to apply. To learn more about THINK, please visit the THINK website.
Legislative & Policy News
Parents in Turlock have started an online petition drive requesting junior high school honors or accelerated tracks for their students. Parents are concerned that the lack of challenging courses is stifling the academic and intellectual progress of gifted
students. Source: The Modesto Bee
San Diego Miramar College is partnering with Mira Mesa High School to provide college credits to
local high-achieving students. The college courses available will include calculus and political science.
Source: Times of San Diego
- The College Regents are asking for $75.6 million to reinforce security, start a scholarship program, and strengthen academic advising in the college and university system
during the next two fiscal years. Of the $75.6 million, $8 million will go towards the expansion of early college programs.
Source: Hartford Courant
The Orange County school board expressed support for a policy that would allow new magnet school programs to launch as soon as 2017. The policy aims to increase the number and type of magnet programs available from elementary to high school. Source: Orlando Sentinel
- The Dougherty County School Board heard a proposal to relocate the middle school gifted program from Merry Acres Middle School to Robert Cross Middle School. The move would place gifted students
in a magnet school environment and allowing both schools to better utilize space on school grounds.
Source: Albany Herald
At the state of the schools address, Worcester Superintendent announced plans to present a plan for an academy at Doherty Memorial High School
for advanced learners. Source:
In the fall of 2015, the Academically Talented Youth Program based at Western Michigan University, will begin offering math and English language arts classes to
seventh and eighth grade students in the Kalamazoo region with qualifying ACT
and SAT scores. The program will allow middle school students to begin high school level work. Source: MLive
Makato Public Schools' new talent development program has been awarded a $300,000 grant
under the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education program. This
grant will be used to enhance the talent development program, including expansion
of services to diverse student populations, serving twice exceptional students and providing teacher training. Source: Mankato Free Press
NEW JERSEY - Cedar Grove school board is discussing changes to their Gifted and Talented Program
by lowering the eligibility scores in order to increase the number of students participating in the program. Source: NorthJersey.com
NEW YORK -
In an effort to increase diversity in city gifted programs, 28,000 postcards with information on how to apply to gifted kindergarten programs were mailed to families in
The Bronx and Brooklyn. Source: Daily News
PENNSYLVANIA - The Pennsylvania State Board of Education, as reported by PAGE, has passed recommendations
such as having more instruction for gifted learners as well as increasing the resources that are put into gifted programs throughout the state. Source: PAGE
TEXAS - DeSoto Independent School District has received a $7.8 million
U.S. Department of Education Gear Up grant to serve a group of sixth- and seventh-grade students
during the next seven years as they move through high school and their first year of college. Source: Dallas Morning News
Parents in the Lake Travis school district have formed a group to advocate for
the needs of gifted students. At a recent Board of Trustees meeting, this
advocacy group expressed concerns regarding a decrease in services for gifted students. Source: Statesman
- A group of business leaders in South Hampton Roads is urging local school
officials to create a Governor’s School for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Currently, there are 19 governor's schools in Virginia that instruct gifted
students throughout the academic year on specialized topics, such as art,
government, science and technology. None of these schools specifically focus on
teaching students how to innovate through engineering or turn their ideas into
successful companies. Thus, the newly proposed school would be the
first of its kind in the state, offering students a full-time experience. Source: The Virginian-Pilot
WYOMING - A group of parents in Natrona County are advocating for the development of a charter school
for high-achieving students with the goal of creating a K-8 option structured to accommodate students at their current ability levels. Source: Casper Star Tribune
How gifted-friendly is your state? Find out
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,
Screen Everyone, discusses how schools screen their students for
Featured Articles and Resources
The Davidson Gifted Database at www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB is a gateway to resources for
and about gifted students.
See what's new!
In this Tips for Parents, Catherine Gruener discusses Executive Functioning
- what it is, why we need it, and how parents can support their children's
The Davidson Institute team wrote this book review of
College Planning for Gifted Students
by Sandra L. Berger.
This article is a book review of Up From Underachievement: How teachers,
students, and parents can work together to promote student success by
Center for Talented Youth (CTY) Cogito Research Award, established in
2013 by Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and Cogito, is for middle- and high-school students who conduct research in science,
technology, engineering and math.
Enhancing and Practicing Executive Function Skills with Children from
Infancy to Adolescence provides activities suitable for students of
different ages and can be completed in sections focused on specific age
Fund for Teachers recognizes and supports teachers as they identify and
pursue opportunities around the globe that will have the greatest impact on
their practice, the academic lives of their students and on their school
The James Dyson Foundation
focuses on improving problem solving skills
for young engineers through the use of design and hands-on experience. The
James Dyson foundation also offers an award that celebrates, encourages and
inspires the next generation of design engineers.
The Montage Memory Makers Scholarship is
for students ages 13 to 17 who are
providing creative solutions to community needs.
In Why Smart Kids Worry: And What Parents Can Do to Help,
author Allison Edwards guides readers through the mental and emotional process of where children's fears come from and why they are so hard to move past.
Suggest a Resource
Suggest an Article
In the News
The Washington Post,
Wild ideas for fixing gifted education
October 28 - Huffington Post,
Open Invitation to Lisa Ling and CNN
October 21 -
How to expand who gets gifted services
October 20 -
The Hechinger Report,
More AP courses slated for major overhaul
October 20 -
Lynchburg News and Advance,
Early college sparks students’ intellects, but cost can be a barrier
October 20 - Picayune Item,
Defining Your Children's Intelligence (Susan Spiers)
October 17 -
Purdue education researchers look for ways to challenge gifted students (Haley Checkley)
October 17 -
Potential grows in children through nurturing interests, strengths
Ocotober 17 - DNAinfo,
How to Get Your 4-Year-Old Ready for Gifted and Talented Admissions (Amy Zimmer)
October 16 - New York Daily News,
Nurture the gifted, don’t resent them
October 13 -
The value of gifted education programs
October 10 - USA TODAY College,
Bachelor’s degree before driver’s license: The life of a child prodigy
October 10 -
Gifted Challenges Blog,
Stop misrepresenting gifted education research
October 8 - Washington Post,
Why gifted education doesn’t make sense
October 7 -
The actual value of a college education
October 7 -
Are We Missing the Mark If We Support Our Children's Passions?
(Daniel B. Peters)
October 6 -
Why separate classes for gifted students boost all kids
October 3 -
The Atlantic online,
When Anxiety Hits at School
Discuss these stories and more on the
Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.
Romi Yount is the first person named a Davidson Fellow for playing the guzheng. She feels performing music has been an essential part of her bilingual, bicultural upbringing. Romi hopes that people can walk away from her performances feeling open to new possibilities, and more closely connected to Chinese culture.
A 2014 Davidson Fellow Making a Difference
Tell us about your Davidson Fellows Portfolio and what kind of impact it has on society.
“Mountain and Water” is a Chinese classical music masterpiece composed
2,000 years ago about the deep friendship between a musician and his friend. It was also the first piece in my Davidson Fellowship portfolio, played on the guzheng, (Chinese table harp), which I have been studying for
10 years. Ancient instruments are proof that music can transcend time. Stories like
"Mountain and Water" resonate with all of us, but someone must play them for the music to stay alive. That’s what I do.
My portfolio included musical pieces throughout China’s history, from the Warring States period to the 21st century, as well as my improvisation. Last year after a performance, an American audience member asked, “Why isn’t Chinese music catchy for me like Western music is?” I think that was a great question, and I can see why someone who’s never heard a guzheng before may not be used to its sound and style. It’s like being exposed to a foreign language or food for the first time. I believe that preserving diversity in music is just as vital as in everything else.
By telling the stories about the guzheng, its music and my journey of studying it, my work excavates and preserves sounds whose origins lie deep in the past and far away from the Western music world. I hope to introduce more people to new artistic possibilities, promote musical diversity and connect with audiences across cultures.
Please describe your academic setting and some positive experiences with mentors.
I study the guzheng at the Chinese Art and Music Center in San Francisco. It’s a little hole-in-the-wall music shop/studio sharing the space with an auto parts store (now also a curtain store). It’s a cramped non-conventional place but I love going there because of my incredible teacher, Ms. Gangqin Zhao. I first saw her play the guzheng at a concert when I was
7 years old, and I was instantly hooked. She has been teaching me since then. Her kindness and patience have been the rock that supports me through my artistic journey. She made learning guzheng so enjoyable that I always strive to do the best I can. I am also very grateful to my Western music teacher, Ms. Susan Kennedy at the Chinese American International School. She taught me the fundamentals about music in a very holistic way, always tying music to a story, a tradition, a culture, or a place, and integrating it with dance movements, poetic expressions, colorful costumes, and calligraphy. Her approach shaped my understanding of music, and inspired me to tell stories through my project. Both of my mentors were instrumental in helping me develop the passion for music, pursue it and get lost in it.
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