This is a report of the progress made in 2006 toward achieving the Davidson Institute's mission to recognize, nurture and support profoundly intelligent young people and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference.
In pursuit of this mission, the Institute delivered the following programs, services, and publications:
Davidson Young Scholars
Davidson Fellows Awards
THINK Summer Institute
Davidson Gifted Database
Davidson Young Scholars
An individualized program aimed at nurturing intelligent young people.
Number of Young Scholars Selected in 2006
207 Davidson Young Scholars were selected and enrolled in the program.
15 Davidson Young Scholars turned 18 in 2006 and became Young Scholar Alumni.
Total Number of Young Scholars Enrolled as of December 31, 2006
998 Davidson Young Scholars from 50 states as well as the Virgin Islands and Armed Forces Europe and Pacific. The total number of YS represents a variety of economic, racial and ethnic groups.
Types of Services Provided
The services provided to the Davidson Young Scholar family included:
Online seminar topics for Davidson Young Scholars:
- Free consulting services with each Davidson Young Scholar family
- Assistance with locating appropriate educational settings and materials, advocates, counselors, and mentors
- Access to professionals in areas such as parenting, schooling, talent development, assessment, etc.
- Connections with peers for Davidson Young Scholars and their parents
- Connections with adults who have developed their talents to make a positive contribution to society
- Group and topic specific list serves for Davidson Young Scholars and their parents
- Financial Assistance (based upon need) to implement the Davidson Young Scholars Action Plan
Online seminar topics for parents:
- Ken Keller – Fractal Art
- Ron Glensor – Intro to Forensic Science
- Paul Spurgeon – Artificial Life
- Eric Anderson – From Scratch: Creating a Computer Game
- Bryan Bates - Archaeoastronomy
- Anthony Bennette – Revised SAT: Intro to English & Language Writing Section
- Scott Mensing – The Geography of the Food We Eat
- Bryan Bates – Fire Ecology
- Michael Gottfried – Darwin to Dinosaurs
- Tonya Witherspoon – Digital Storytelling
- Donica Mensing – Who Needs News and Why? Jon Stewart, Fox News and the Future of Our Democracy
- T.J. Walker – Unleashing Your Inner Orator
- Tonya Witherspoon – Stop, Motion, Action! Creating Clay Animation Movies
- Jack Glassman – Fermi Problems
- Tom Letson - Bullying
- Andy Gavrin – How to Stick Anything to a Refrigerator: Magnets and Magnetism
- Dave Backer - Discussion on the Existence of Numbers
- Susan Palwick – Speculative Fiction
- Laurens Gunnarsen – Ramanujan, Hardy, and the Magic of 1729
- Dave Backer - Discussion on Dreaming and Reality
- Michael Gottfried – Mega-Sharks and More
- Laurens Gunnarsen – Why 1+2+3+4…=-1/2: or The Marvelous Madness of Mathematicians
- Ron Mallett – Time Travel: Past Results and Future Possibilities
- Scott Kim – Mathematical Puzzles
A Young Scholar Regional Gathering was held in Boston, Massachusetts in June, visiting Harvard and MIT.
A Young Scholar Regional Gathering was held at the Cleveland, Ohio in June, visiting NASA.
A Young Scholar Gathering was held in Reno, Nevada in August, visiting the University of Nevada, Reno and the Lake Tahoe area.
- Fred Frankel - Friendships, Teasing, Bullying and the Gifted Child
- Robert Schultz - Adolescence and the Profoundly Gifted
- Jim Delisle - Profoundly Gifted Guilt
- Tom Greenspon - The Roots, and Recovery from Perfectionism
- Ed Amend - Parenting the Gifted Child
- Miraca Gross - Profoundly Gifted Children Growing Up - What We Have Learned From Longitudinal Studies
- Wes Beach - Some Thoughts About College Admissions
- Maureen Neihart - Cause for Concern or Reason to Celebrate: The Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Children
- Sylvia Rimm - Parenting for High Achievement and Avoiding Underachievement
- Robert Schultz - Social/Emotional Needs of the HG/PG Individual
- Megan Foley-Nicpon - ADHD and Giftedness: What Do Parents Need to Know?
- Robin Schader - Keeping the Light in Their Eyes
- Nadia Webb - Homeschooling Moms
- Ed Amend - Individual Assessment of Gifted Children
- Sue Jackson - An Integral Approach to the Social & Emotional Development of the PG Child
- Tom Letson - What to do About Bullying
- Nadia Webb - IQ Testing and How to Use It
- Barbara Clark - The Gifted Brain and Learning: at Home and at School
- Carol Martin - SAT Writing Prep
- Mary Ann Swiatek - Social Experience of Gifted Adolescents
- Michael Gottfried – Mega-Sharks and More
- Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik - Parenting Mathematically Talented Students in 7th Grade and Younger
- Paul Beljan - The Role of Pediatric Neuropsychological Assessment in Gifted Children
- Tonya Witherspoon - Cybersafety: Keeping Your Children Safe Online
- John Wasserman - Intellectual Assessment of Exceptionally & Profoundly Gifted Children: Info Useful to Parents
Young Scholars Program Results Achieved
An annual evaluation of the Davidson Young Scholars program was conducted in October; 441 surveys were received representing 501 Young Scholars. Young Scholar families rated the following major program components for their effectiveness:
- The Family Consultant Team as a knowledgeable, supportive sounding board – 98% rated as Effective
- The Family Consultant Team's ability to provide assistance in a prompt and courteous manner – 98% rated as Effective
- The Family Consultant Team's ability to provide assistance with the location of resources – 97% rated as Effective
- Effectiveness of consultations with outside experts who contract with the Davidson Institute – 91% rated as Effective
- The Gathering as an opportunity for Young Scholars to connect with each other – 92% rated as Effective
- The Gathering as an opportunity for parents to connect with each other – 96% rated as Effective
- The Gathering as an opportunity to better understand the services available through the Young Scholars program – 81% rated as Effective
- Electronic Mailing Lists and Broadcasts as a medium for receiving program updates and information – 98% rated as Effective
- Electronic Mailing Lists and Broadcasts as a medium for connecting with other Young Scholar families – 95% rated as Effective
- Young Scholars Parent Bulletin Board as a way to connect with other Young Scholar parents – 78% rated as Effective
- Young Scholars Bulletin Board as a way for Young Scholars to connect with each other – 64% rated as Effective
- Private Website as a way to receive program updates and information – 88% rated as Effective
- Private Website as a way to connect with and learn about other program participants – 87% rated as Effective
- Online Seminars as an opportunity to learn valuable information – 92% rated as Effective
- Online Seminars as an opportunity to connect with experts in the field – 93% rated as Effective
- Young Scholar Seminars as an opportunity to learn interesting information – 95% rated as Effective
- Young Scholar Seminars as an opportunity to connect with a knowledgeable adult in a specific field – 93% rated as Effective
- Young Scholar Seminars as a way to connect with other Young Scholars – 70% rated as Effective
The program participants indicated their level of agreement with the following benefit statements:
As a direct result of participation in the Davidson Young Scholars program, my child...
- Is now in an academic environment that is better suited to his/her abilities – 90% agree
- Has an improved level of self-confidence – 93% agreed
- Is now working to develop his/her interests/talents – 91% agreed
- Has developed at least one friendship with another Young Scholar – 71% agreed
- Has shown an interest in using his/her abilities to make a positive difference – 86% agreed
As a direct result of participation as a Young Scholar parent, I feel more confident in my ability to:
- Advocate for my child – 96% agreed
- Parent my child – 95% agreed
- Locate resources for my child – 94% agreed
- Identify my child's strengths and needs – 91% agreed
- Address my child's strengths and needs – 92% agreed
Areas or Service
The following information was gathered from our Family Consultants and indicates the number of requests made by Young Scholar families for assistance in the following areas:
- Educational Advocacy: 391
- Assistance in locating Professionals for Social/Emotional Support: 228
- Talent Development & Academic Enrichment: 106
- Home Schooling Support: 93
- Assessment Consultation & Assistance: 42
- Early College Assistance/College Planning: 76
- Parenting: 69
- Mentoring: 64
Financial Assistance was provided to 164 Davidson Young Scholars.
back to top
Davidson Fellows Awards
Recognizes the outstanding achievements of highly gifted young people and awards scholarships annually to students up to age 18.
Any young person under the age of 18, who has created a significant piece of work in the areas of Science, Technology, Mathematics, Music, Literature, Philosophy or Outside the Box, may apply.
Judges, with high levels of expertise in the domain areas of the works submitted, carefully reviewed the qualified applications and selected 16 recipients: 3 Davidson Fellow Laureates each receiving a $50,000 scholarship, 6 Davidson Fellows each receiving a $25,000 scholarship, and 7 Davidson Fellows each receiving a $10,000 scholarship.
The following young people were named as Davidson Fellow Laureates and each received a $50,000 scholarship:
The following young people were named as Davidson Fellows and each received a $25,000 scholarship:
- Heather Engebretson, a 16-year-old from Tuscaloosa, Alabama whose Music submission was titled, "Music as Universal Communication."
- Shivani Sud, a 16-year-old from Durham, North Carolina whose Science submission was titled, “HIV-1 Tat and IGK-Chain Secretion Based Protein Transduction: A Novel Strategy for Molecule Delivery.”
- Michael Viscardi, a 17-year-old from San Diego, California whose Mathematics submission was titled, “On the Solution of the Dirichlet Problem with Rational Holomorphic Boundary Data.”
The following young people were named as Davidson Fellows and each received a $10,000 scholarship:
- Stephanie Chen, a 17-year-old from Austin, Texas whose Music submission was titled, “A Musical Painting.”
- Kyle Dacuyan, a 16-year-old from Sterling, Virginia whose Literature submission was titled, “What Have You Been, Where Have You Gone.”
- Sheela Krishnan, a 17-year-old from Suffern, New York whose Science submission was titled, “Isolation and Characterization of a Potential Probiotic Cocktail for the Control of American Foulbrood.”
- Varun Kumar, a 17-year-old from Bellaire, Texas whose Science submission was titled, “Novel Properties in Europium DOTA - tetraamide Complex for use in MRI Contrast Agents.”
- Adam Solomon, a 16-year-old from Bellmore, New York whose Science submission was titled, “The Effects of Age on Brown Dwarf Spectral Features in the Near-Infrared.”
- Yi Sun, a 17-year-old from San Jose, California whose Mathematics submission was titled, “Combinatorics: On the Expected Winding Number of a Random Walk on the Unit Lattice.”
- Travis Johnson, a 13-year-old from Milwaukie, Oregon whose Music submission was titled, “Trails of Hope: The Importance of Adding New Music to the Classical Repetoire.”
- Drew Petersen, a 12-year-old from Oradell, New Jersey whose Music submission was titled, “Keeping Classical Music Alive.”
- Albert Shieh, a 16-year-old from Paradise Valley, Arizona whose Science submission was titled, “A Novel Algorithm for Automated SNP Genotyping.”
- Anna Stalker, a 15-year-old from Birmingham, Alabama whose Literature submission was titled, “The Reincarnation Journals.”
- Anarghya Vardhana, a 17-year-old from Beaverton, Oregon whose Mathematics submission was titled, “Novel Method of Computing Jacobi Symbols for Mersenne Numbers.”
- Xin Wang, a 17-year-old from Geneva, Illinois whose Science submission was titled, “nm2608A, A New Naturally Arising Mouse Model for Human Autosomal Recessive Achromatopsia 2.”
- Steven Wu, a 15-year-old from Folsom, California whose Science submission was titled, “Optimizing Quadrupole on Trap Geometry by Computer Simulations.”
Davidson Fellows were recognized at a special awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C. on September 27, 2006. The ceremony, held at the Library of Congress, was co-sponsored by Senator Harry Reid from Nevada and Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa.
back to top
THINK Summer Institute
Three-week residential summer program on the campus of University of Nevada, Reno, where students can earn up to seven transferable college credits.
Applicants must demonstrate both exceptional ability and the potential to benefit from the course offerings, as well as the social and emotional maturity to thrive in this three-week residential environment.
To be eligible for the THINK Summer Institute, applicants must be 12-15 years old and be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident living in the United States. Applicants must also submit a qualifying score on the SAT or ACT.
Thirty one students attended in 2006 and had the choice of taking Chemistry 392, Philosophy 224 or English 101 in the morning and Calculus 176 or Communications 212 in the afternoon. The average GPA was 3.4 .
Evaluations for THINK Summer Institute 2006
10 of 12 students
9 of 11 students responded
2 of 7 students
14 of 19 students
7 of 11 students
|The homework was relevant and helped me learn
|In this class, I learned a lot or a moderate amount
|In general, I enjoyed this course
|I gained a lot from interacting with my professor
|The professor made this class interesting
In addition, 100% of the respondents said they:
- Enjoyed living on campus
- Developed a clearer understanding of what to expect at college
- Felt the THINK experience make them feel more confident as a student
- Formed at least one friendship with a fellow THINKer
- Enjoyed the extracurricular events (such as: Desert Research Institute and various Artown events)
- Felt the overall experience with THINK was positive
- Would return to THINK Summer Institute next year
Davidson Institute Educators Guild is comprised of educators and other professionals who are interested in connecting with colleagues to locate resources and discuss strategies for identifying and serving highly gifted students. Members of the Educators Guild have access to electronic mailing lists and to the Davidson Institute for Talent Development’s team of consultants, who are available to assist with resource location, curriculum development, strategic planning and more. Members receive two newsletters, one in the Fall and one in the Spring, with a wealth of information about meeting the needs of gifted learners. In addition, members can look forward to monthly email posts with resources, strategies and classroom ideas.
1379 teachers, school counselors and school/district administrators are members of the Educators Guild Broadcast list, and 494 are members of the Educators Guild list.
back to top
Davidson Gifted Database
www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB/ - Your gateway to gifted resources in a free online, searchable database providing the latest information for and about profoundly intelligent young people.
At the conclusion of 2006, the database contained:
- 3539 resources covering support and assessment organizations, schools, summer programs, printed material, web and media tools
- 448 articles on or about identification, gifted education, developing and parenting
- 246 comments submitted by members of the profoundly intelligent population
In 2006, the Davidson Institute produced the following publications:
- Book Review by Garcia, C., The Examined Life: Advocacy Philosophy for Kids, White, D.
- Book review by Garcia, C., Units of Instruction for Gifted Learners, Brigham, D., Fell, J., Simons, C., Strunk, K., Yodice, A.
- Book review by Garcia, C., The Handbook of Secondary Gifted Education, Dixon, F., Moon, S.
- Book review by Garcia, C., Encouraging Your Child’s Writing Talent: The Involved Parents’ Guide, Peterston, N.
- Book review by Bynum, J., Parenting Gifted Kids: Tips for Raising Happy and Successful Children, Delisle, J.
- Book review by Goodnight, A., The Gifted Kids’ Survival Guide: For Ages 10 and Under, Galbraith, J., Espeland, P.
- Book review by Harrison, S., The Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Kids: Understanding and Guiding Their Development, Cross, T.
- Book review by Harrison, S., The Best Kept Secrets for Winning Scholarships, Smith, B.
- Book Review by Coleman, R., Coping for Capable Kids: Strategies for Parents, Teachers and Students , Matthews, M.
- Book Review by Coleman, R., Encouraging Your Child’s Science Talent: The Involved Parents’ Guide, Matthews, M.
- Book Review by Coleman, R., Smart Kids with Learning Difficulties: Overcoming Obstacles and realizing Potential, Weinfeld, R., Jeweler, S., Barnes-Robinson, L. Shevitz, B.
- Book Review by Coleman, R., Serving Gifted Learners Beyond the Traditional Classroom: A guide to Alternative Programs and Services,, Van-Tassel-Baska, J.L.
- Schultz, R., Tips for Parents: Adolescence and the Profoundly Gifted
- Frankel, F., Tips for Parents: Friendships, Teasing, Bullying and the Gifted Child
- Delisle, J., Tips for Parents: Profoundly Gifted Guilt
- Greenspon, T., Tips for Parents: The Roots of, and Recovery From Perfectionism
- Amend, E., Tips for Parents: Parenting the Gifted Child
- Beach, W., Tips for Parents: Some Thoughts About College Admission
- Neihart, M., Tips for Parents: Supporting Healthy Social and Emotional Development
- Rimm, S., Tips for Parents: Parenting for High Achievement and Avoiding Underachievement
- Schultz, R., Tips for Parents: The Social/Emotional Needs of the HG/PG Individuals
- Nicpon, M., Tips for Parents: ADHD and Giftedness: What Do Parents Need to Know? tips on educational advocacy
- Schader, R., Tips for Parents: Keeping the Light in Their Eyes
- Webb, N., Tips for Parents: Homeschooling Moms
- Jackson, S., Tips for Parents: An Integral Approach to the Social and Emotional Development of the Profoundly Gifted
- Amend, E., Tips for Parents: Individual Assessment of Gifted Children
- Letson, T., Tips for Parents: What to do About Bullying
- Clark, B., Tips for Parents: The Gifted Brain and Learning: At Home and at School
- Webb, N., Tips for Parents: IQ Testing and How to Use It
- Martin, C., Tips for Parents: SAT Writing Prep
- Swiatek, M., Tips for Parents: Social Experiences of Gifted Adolescents
- Shoplik, A., Tips for Parents: Parenting Mathematically Talented Students in 7th Grade and Younger
- Witherspoon, T., Tips for Parents: Cybersafety: Keeping Your Children Safe
- Wasserman, J., Tips for Parents: Intellectual Assessment of Exceptionally and PG Children
- Beljan, P., Tips for Parents: The Role of Pediatric Neuropsychological Assessment in Gifted Children
- Davidson Institute for Talent Development, A Tale of Two Schools: Peabody and Challenge
- Davidson Institute for Talent Development, Bellevue School District – Collaborative Pioneers of Education Reform
- Davidson Institute for Talent Development, Dr. Iris Palazesi – A Unique Perspective
- Davidson Institute for Talent Development, Philosophy in Gifted Curriculum
- Davidson Institute for Talent Development, The Truth About Social and Emotional Aspects of Grade Skipping
In 2006, the Davidson Institute updated this guidebook and make them available online, free of cost:
In 2006, the Davidson Institute published the following newsletters:
- February: Davidson Institute eNews-Update
- March: Genius Denied Newsletter
- May: Davidson Institute eNews-Update
- Spring Educators Guild Newsletter
- October: Davidson Institute eNews-Update
- November: Genius Denied Newsletter
- Fall Educators Guild Newsletter
back to top
As of December 2006, the Davidson Institute is providing direct support to 883 profoundly gifted young people; 1,066 educators, and 600,000 people who received indirect support via the Institute's electronic broadcasts and websites.