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What's New in Gifted Education
Announcing the 2014 Davidson Fellows
2014 Davidson Fellows! Davidson Fellows have completed graduate-level projects
or portfolios that have the potential to benefit society. Each will receive a scholarship and be 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.
2015 Davidson Fellows Scholarship Applications
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 with a depth of knowledge in
a particular area of study.
Category requirements for the 2015 Davidson Fellows
scholarships are now available.
Jim Delisle Now Available
At a time when the U.S. education system
consistently lags behind its international
peers, Dr. Jim Delisle's new book,
Dumbing Down America,
shows exactly why America can’t keep up by providing a
critical look at the nation’s schools through the eyes of
the children whose minds are languishing in countless
classrooms. Filled with specific examples of how gifted
children are being shortchanged by a nation that believes
smart kids will succeed on their own, the book packs a
powerful message: If we want our nation to prosper, we must
pay attention to its most intelligent youth. Now available,
order it today!
New Home for Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY)
GiftedandTalented.com is the new home of Stanford University
Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY). Guided by ongoing
research at Stanford University, this website provides
educational tools to help advanced students and those
seeking academic excellence achieve their greatest
potential. The online K-12 courses in math, language arts,
science and computer programming feature a combination of
multimedia instruction and automated assessment that
provides students with a highly personalized, self-paced
learning experience. Courses include: varying levels of
algebra, geometry, calculus, physics, electricity &
magnetism and more.
Two types of courses are offered to meet the individual
needs of students and their families:
- Tutor Supported Courses include the guidance and
instruction of expert tutors.
- Independent Study courses allow students to work at their
own pace with the supervision of their parents.
- These online courses can be used with any connected device
and enrollment periods are quarterly. In only 20 minutes per
day, students can increase their educational foundation or
advance beyond what they have learned in the classroom.
Visit the website today to see what courses are available.
Restructuring of Stanford’s Pre-Collegiate Offerings
Largest Undergraduate Scholarship in the Nation Available to High-Achieving, Low-Income Students
Stanford University’s Pre-Collegiate Studies now serves as a home for a variety of programs designed to serve academically talented, intellectually curious pre-college students. It offers academic full-year programs, including the Stanford Online High School, University Level Online Math and Physics, and Math and Science Circles, and summer programs including Stanford Summer College, Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes for middle and high school, Stanford University Mathematics Camp (SUMaC), Summer Humanities Institute (SHI), Stanford Medical Youth Science Program and Stanford Youth Orchestra. The new Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies structure allows these programs to share expertise and resources; many students participate in more than one program.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
is accepting applications for its College Scholarship Program, the largest undergraduate scholarship in the country. Recipients will be awarded as much as $40,000
per year for four years for tuition, books, living expenses and other required fees. Up to 40 spaces are available to high-achieving high school seniors with financial need who seek to attend the nation’s best four-year colleges and universities. To be eligible to apply
for this scholarship, applicants must plan to graduate from a U.S. high school in
the spring of 2015 and enroll in an accredited four-year college in
the fall of 2015; earn a cumulative, unweighted
GPA of 3.5 or above; receive a SAT combined math and
critical reading score of 1200 or above or an ACT composite
score of 26 or above; and demonstrate unmet financial need.
The application period will
close on November 4, 2014. Final notification to accepted
students will be made in March 2015. For information about
the College Scholarship Program, click here.
The 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 2015-2016 school year, please review the
Qualification Criteria and
How to Apply pages for more information.
Upcoming Tours for Prospective Students
month during the school year, The Davidson Academy hosts a
tour for prospective students and their parents. Visitors
will meet current Academy students, parents,
faculty and staff, and ask specific questions about the
school. Upcoming school tours will be held on the
following Fridays: Sept. 26,
Oct. 24, Nov. 21 and
Dec. 12. RSVPs are required. For additional details and to RSVP, please visit
Guidebooks for Gifted Learners
The Davidson Institute offers FREE, online access to
educational planning 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.
The Davidson Institute's
is a FREE national service for active elementary, secondary
and post-secondary educators, as well as other professionals
who are committed to meeting the unique academic needs of
gifted students. You can become a member of this free online community
There is also an Educators Guild
discussion group on Facebook
- join today!
Legislative & Policy News
Encinitas Union School District recently revised their math acceleration
criteria seeking to lower gaps in student’s fundamental math knowledge by
increasing the difficulty to qualify for math acceleration. Source: Encinitas
- The Salida School District is changing its approach to and the number of students in its gifted and talented program, by expanding this year’s screenings for the gifted and talented program and growing the program.
Source: The Mountain Mail
DELAWARE - Delaware State University announced the opening of their first Early
College High School earlier this month. This new tuition-free program
provides students the opportunity to participate in college courses while
attending high school. Through its partnership with EDWorks, Delaware State
allows students to complete up to four years of college courses, and up to 60
college credits, before their graduation from high school. Source: Digital
FLORIDA - Dale County will be
observing all second graders as potential gifted students for their
gifted program. They will be using a behavior checklist that focuses on
aptitude, characteristics and performance. They are also asking for referrals
from any teachers, counselors, administrators, parents/guardians or peers
that know of an individual who may be qualified. Source: South East
IOWA - Due to a new grading system, Des Moines middle
schools will no longer offer stand-alone advanced English and science classes;
however, accelerated math courses will remain. Students will have the option of
completing honors-level assignments within general education classrooms or
taking accelerated courses at a magnet school near downtown.
Source: The Des Moines Register
KENTUCKY - Bullitt County
Discovery School for middle school students. This school focuses on
students gifted in math and science a more in-depth and accelerated education.
Students are able to begin earning high school credit in the sixth grade. Source:
MINNESOTA - Southgate Elementary School is hosting a new program for 19 top students from the entire district. The program, called Pi Academy or Personalized Instruction Academy, will include two first-graders, eight second-graders, four third-graders and five fourth-graders who will be learning together in one classroom with lessons based on skill level versus grade level. The top 10 percent of students were invited last year based upon data from reading, math and the cognitive abilities tests.
Source: Austin Daily Herald
- The gifted program
in Picayune school system is available for elementary school students in grades
second through sixth. Mass screening is done each year for students in the
first grade, however students can be screened at any time between second
and sixth grade. A student must score in the 91st percentile with an IQ of 120
to qualify for the program. Source: Picayune Item
- The Kearney School District announced a new name for their gifted program for
the 2014-2015 school year. The original title of the program “Beyond Basics,”
was transformed to “GATE: Gifted and Talented Education.” The district reports
that the name change was conducted with the aid
of students in the program, who constructed the name and tallied a vote, before
handing it off to elementary principals and central office administrators for
approval. Source: The Kearney Courier
- University of Montana (UM) received a $1.5 million dollar donation to fund a
professorship specializing in gifted education and advanced learning in
the classroom. The donation will also be used to fund research into how to best motivate
gifted students. Source: Missoulian
NEVADA - The Lyon County School
District policy and state law currently only cover retention, but not
acceleration. However, changes have recently been approved to add acceleration
to its promotion/retention policies. These changes will be made for kindergarten
through eighth grade. The policy revision uses similar requirements for
acceleration of students as the current retaining of students. Parents or legal
guardians must request students to be considered for acceleration, but the final
choice of placement is that of the teacher and school principal. Source: Reno Gazette Journal
NORTH CAROLINA - Parents of Academically or Intellectually
Gifted children (AIG) are upset with school officials regarding the lack of
communication about the class placements of their children and the dismantling
of the AIG program at Roland-Grise Middle School. Source: WECT 6
Lewis School for Gifted Learning Potential opened in
Youngstown. This school offers third through sixth grade with
plans for future expansion. Sources: WKBN and Vindicator
PENNSYLVANIA - Carnegie Mellon
University has decided to discontinue its Institute for Talented Elementary and
Secondary Students (C-MITES) which offered summer programs in math, science and the
humanities. Source: Pittsburg Post-Gazette
SOUTH CAROLINA - Bamberg-Ehrhardt
High School introduced online course offerings through Edgenuity, an
provides increased course options for gifted students. Source: The Times and
TEXAS - Palo Alto College has
partnered with four local school districts to offer early college options to
high school students. Students are able to earn up to an associates degree or 60
hours of college credit while earning their high school diploma. Source: San
Antonio Business Journal
Grand Prairie school district recently opened a charter school, called A School
for the Highly Gifted, for 45 elementary students from throughout the district.
Dallas Morning News
- Some resources for students in Utah are gifted services,
free ACT testing, online courses, student advocacy, tutoring services and language immersion programs. Source:
The superintendent of New Kent schools, is taking steps to improve the schools and
implement a mathematics acceleration initiative for the current school year.
Students will have a chance to progress faster with this new plan and move
forward beyond the typical advancement by grade. New Kent’s proposed plan will
begin with fifth graders who pass Standards of Learning tests with a required
score. After these requirements are met, students can be recommended by
their teachers to take accelerated courses. Source: New Kent - Charles City Chronicle
WISCONSIN - Leonardo Da Vinci School for the Gifted,
kindergarten through sixth grade, opened in downtown Green Bay. Source:
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 is,
The After School Solution
which discusses after school programs for Gifted Education.
National Association for Gifted Children Launches Redesigned Website
The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) recently
launched a redesign of their website. The new
site was created with various audiences in mind, such as
parents, administrators, college and university
faculty, elected officials and reporters. With the enhanced
design and navigation, users can easily search and find
updated information on a number of issues. The Information
contains a wealth of resources, including a link to the NAGC
Gifted and Talented Resources Directory
Gifted by State
data. Much of this information results from the work done on
behalf of NAGC members to keep the need for quality
programs and services for high-ability learners front and
center. Thank you and keep up the great work!
New Web Resource – GiftedandTalented.com
Featured Articles and Resources
- Not only does the GiftedandTalented.com website offer
EPGY online courses, but
also a variety of resources that support advanced learners including:
- Challenge Zone - Fun academic games and interesting problems designed for
gifted and talented students will keep young students engaged and learning.
- Expert Picks - Curated articles, events, resources and research studies are
shared. Engage with gifted and talented experts and other parents on the
best ways to develop advanced learners.
- Spotlight - Celebrate the achievements of students and other members of the
The Davidson Gifted Database at www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB is a gateway to resources for
and about gifted students.
See what's new!
Tips for Parents: Helping Your Gifted Child or Teen Cope With Death and
Chronic Illness, is from a seminar hosted by Kiesa Kay.
Hope Is More Than Wishful Thinking, by Janette Boazman, explores the concept
of hope and how it plays can play an integral part in gifted education, as
well as teaching methods to help students utilize hopeful thinking.
Adventure Write Kids - Totem Head's Story Contest
free writing contest is for anyone under 19 years old. There is a cash prize
and the winner's story gets published.
Jacob's Ladder is a proactive
enrichment program for intellectually gifted children who face obstacles to
Kids Know It Network's mission is to provide quality educational activities,
products, movies, music, games, articles, textbooks, learning programs,
lesson plans and worksheets - all free of charge.
Find online colleges and universities
by searching this online database. Community colleges, public colleges,
private universities and other institutional models all provide
high-quality, post-secondary opportunities to thousands of career-minded
students each year.
Space Education Resources provides
a list of links for students interested in space science and those wanting
to learn more about space and astronomy.
ZoomSci is a fun science website based on the PBS television show Zoom.
The site includes a Parents & Teachers section as well as fun experiments
Suggest a Resource
Suggest an Article
In the News
September 2 -
Thiel Fellowships get young entrepreneurs going (Medha
August 28 -
Boy Genius The Rotarian (Tom Clynes)
August 28 -
EI, Duke TIP to have 3 week programme for Indian students at
Shiv Nadar University (M Saraswathy)
August 27 -
Back to school: Gifted students are
ill-served (Stephen Schroeder-Davis)
August 24 -
Sydney Morning Herald,
High schools group students based on test results
August 21 - San
Davidson Fellows 2014 (San Diego Living)
August 18 -
Study: Pro-social mindset may help improve math, science
grades (Ingfei Chen)
August 13 -
How Learning Profiles Can Strengthen Your Teaching (John
August 12 - EdSource
New twist to old debate on accelerated math (John
August 12 - TIME,
Top Mathematics Prize Awarded to a
Woman for First Time (Alex
August 12 -
Left to Chance: Early Identification and Development of
August 7 - Education
How Can Teachers Build on Gifted, Hyperactive Students'
Strengths? (Sarah D. Sparks)
August 7 - U.S. News
Two Gifted Teens Pursue Master's Degrees(Rebecca
August 3 -
Why college kids aren't timid or lost (Jay Mathews)
July 30 -
Why smart, poor kids lied about college (Jay Mathews)
July 28 -
Edutopia.org/Differentiated Instruction blog,
15+ Readiness Resources for Driving Student 8/7 Success
Discuss these stories and more on the
Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.
What kind of impact can your Fellows project,
"Novel Next-Generation Multijunction Quantum Dot Solar Panel Designs Using Monte Carlo-Based Modeling" have on society?
A 2014 Davidson Fellow Making a Difference
Every single year, we emit 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide – more than 100 times the combined weight of the entire human race – into Earth’s atmosphere just by burning fossil fuels to meet our energy needs. This causes environmental, health, and climate issues. Meanwhile, just 45 minutes of sunlight, if harnessed, is enough to supply complete global energy needs for an entire day. So why is solar power, a practically unlimited renewable energy resource, less than
one percent of world consumption today? The problem lies in cost, which is driven by efficiency. Today’s average solar panels are 15
percent efficient. Multijunction solar cells can improve this efficiency, but are more expensive. Quantum dot solar cells can lower cost, but are currently only
eight percent efficient at best. Thus, this project combines the high-efficiency multijunction design and low-cost quantum dots, and introduces a fast, accurate and cost-effective quantum mechanical model, the first that can quantitatively predict efficiencies of multijunction quantum dot solar cells as well as identify the highest-efficiency solar cell designs. This model would allow researchers to focus their efforts on particularly promising designs in future experimental work, drastically reducing redundancies, and time spent from years and months to weeks or even days.
What are some of your short- and long-term plans?
Short-term, I continue to work on improving my model and investigating added variables, with thanks to the support and encouragement of the Davidson Institute. Another focus project is advocating female involvement in STEM, especially in my local community where I coach middle school MathCounts and Science Bowl teams. Long-term, I hope to work towards an advanced degree in a computationally- and data-intensive field such as physics, an example of which is nano/quantum physics, which I have explored in high school through science research projects. My overarching and ultimate personal goal, which stems from an ever-present desire to understand and learn as much as possible, is to foster a sustainable lifestyle by dedicating myself to the advancement of scientific thought and spearheading applications and initiatives to improve quality of life, such as working on sustainable energy technologies, attempting to explore diverse systems of the world.
Please describe your academic setting and some positive experiences with mentors.
I am a senior at the Catlin Gabel School, where I have the great honor of working with mentor Dr. Veronica Ledoux on a daily basis. Dr. Ledoux has provided invaluable guidance, support and feedback as I work through everything from extensive literature searches to inconsistencies in my models to travelling to and presenting at science fairs. I look forward to another year working with Dr. Ledoux. Over the course of this work I was also advised by Mr. Bob Sauer, my physics teacher, and Mr. Andrew Merrill,
my computer science teacher, who taught me critical skills,
and provided encouragement and feedback on my research. I have been blessed with the guidance of solar expert Dr. Bjoern Seipel at SolarWorld, who previously conducted research on quantum dots, and provided many enlightening discussions on state-of-the-art solar cell research and industry, particularly the use of quantum physical modeling in solar cell research.
“…the most exciting
development in 30+ years of gifted education
was just starting to blossom: the
founding of the Davidson Institute for
If the field of gifted
education had superheroes, Jan and Bob
would both have magnificent capes.”
Dr. Jim Delisle, in his new book,
Dumbing Down America
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