Davidson Institute - 2007 Annual Report


This is a report of the progress made in 2007 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
Educators Guild
Davidson Gifted Database
Publications
Newsletters
Conclusion

Davidson Young Scholars
An individualized program aimed at nurturing intelligent young people.

Number of Young Scholars Selected in 2007
177 Davidson Young Scholars were selected and enrolled in the program.
39 Davidson Young Scholars turned 18 in 2007 and became Young Scholar Alumni.

Total Number of Young Scholars Enrolled as of December 31, 2007
1122 Davidson Young Scholars from 48 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:

  • Free consulting services with each 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 Davidson Young Scholars:
    • Paul Spurgeon -Introduction to Animation
    • Sylvester James Gates, Jr. - Superstring Theory
    • T.J. Walker - Bully Pulpits: Speaking Secrets of World Famous Leaders
    • Bryan Bates - Global Warming Paul Spurgeon - Create Your Own Computer Games
    • Ron Mallett - Time Travel: Further Developments
    • Jeremy Smith - Internet Mapping: Games, Google, and GIS
    • Andy Gavrin - Cool Science: The Quest for Absolute Zero
    • Ron Burton - Evolutionary Molecular Genetics
    • Ron Glensor - Intro to Forensic Science
    • Dave Backer - Everything
    • Bryan Bates - Potential Solutions to Global Warming: From Individual to International Actions
    • Laurens Gunnarsen - Adventures in Topology: Or Why the Wind Can't be Blowing Everywhere at Once
    • Jack Glassman - More Fermi Problems
    • Dave Backer - Nothing
    • Juli Scala - Real Life Habits for Success: The Way to Set and Achieve Your Goals
    • Mike Branch - American Nature Writing
    • Pamela Gay - An Amazing and Expanding Universe of Motion
    • Tonya Witherspoon - Creating Comic Strips: The Art of Humor
    • Diane Stanitski - Hurricanes, El Nino, and Climate Change: Exploring Out Oceans to Understand Climate
    • Pamela Gay - The Big Bang and the Universe's Big Future
    • Thomas Phillips - U.S. Weather Prediction
    • Andre Potochnik - Grand Canyon, It's Origin and Evolution Through Time
    • Michael Gottfried - Deep Time 'Down Under' - New Fossil Discoveries Rewrite Ancient History
  • Online seminar topics for parents:
    • Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik - Acceleration for Students in 8th Grade and Younger
    • Nadia Webb - Surviving Your Gifted Teen
    • Robert Schultz - Where's the Spark?: Managing Boredom at School
    • Thomas Greenspon - Perfectionism Ed Amend - Worry, Stress, and Depression
    • Dan Holt - Cartoon Thinking
    • Maureen Neihart - Learning the Inner Game of High Achievement
    • Megan Foley Nicpon - Meeting the Diverse Needs of Twice-exceptional Students: What Parents Need to Know
    • Jim Delisle - Risk-Taking and Risk-Making
    • Mary Ann Swiatek - Social Experiences of Gifted Adolescents
    • Dan Holt - Teaching the Use of Humor to Cope with Stress
    • Aimee Yermish - Teaching Cheetahs to Hunt: Practical Advice for Teaching Executive Functioning and Academic Skills for Gifted and Twice-exceptional Kids
    • Jon Reider - College Admissions for the Unconventional Student: Looking at both Brand-Name Colleges and Beyond
    • Jessica Fields - Enrichment and Early Preparation for an Ivy League Future
    • Nadia Webb - Making Sense of Assessment Results Colleen
    • Willard-Holt - Learning and the Brain
    • Deborah Ruf - How Level of Giftedness, Gender, and Personality Affect School Behavior and Learning
    • Corey Cerovsek - Corey Cerovsek on the Life of the Gifted Young Musician
    • Juli Scala - "REAL LIFE HABITS FOR SUCCESS: The Way to Set & Achieve Your Goals"
    • Barbara Clark - The Gifted Brain and Learning - at Home and at School Fred Frankel - Friendship Issues of the Gifted and Talented Elementary School Child
    • Tonya Witherspoon - Digital Citizenship: Preparing Students for a Society Filled With Technology
    • Wes Beach - Creative Paths to College Admission
  • A Young Scholar Gathering was held in St. Paul, Minnesota in June, visiting the University of Minnesota for microbiology and nanotechnology, the Brain Sciences Center at the VA Hospital, Free Spirit Publishing, and Jet Choice at the St. Paul Tower for an aviation experience.

Young Scholars Program Results Achieved
An annual evaluation of the Davidson Young Scholars program was conducted in October; 394 surveys were received representing 447 Young Scholars. Young Scholar families rated the following major program components for their effectiveness:

  • The Family Consultant Team as a knowledgeable, supportive sounding board – 96% 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 – 96% 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 – 93% rated as Effective
  • The Gathering as an opportunity for parents to connect with each other – 94% rated as Effective
  • The Gathering as an opportunity to better understand the services available through the Young Scholars program – 93% rated as Effective
  • Electronic Mailing Lists and Broadcasts as a medium for receiving program updates and information – 99% rated as Effective
  • Electronic Mailing Lists and Broadcasts as a medium for connecting with other Young Scholar families – 97% rated as Effective
  • Young Scholars Parent Bulletin Board as a way to connect with other Young Scholar parents – 75% rated as Effective
  • Young Scholars Bulletin Board as a way for Young Scholars to connect with each other – 69% rated as Effective
  • Private Website as a way to receive program updates and information – 89% rated as Effective
  • Private Website as a way to connect with and learn about other program participants – 89% rated as Effective
  • Online Seminars as an opportunity to learn valuable information – 95% rated as Effective
  • Online Seminars as an opportunity to connect with experts in the field – 91% rated as Effective
  • Young Scholar Seminars as an opportunity to learn interesting information
  •  – 94% rated as Effective
  • Young Scholar Seminars as an opportunity to connect with a knowledgeable adult in a specific field – 96% rated as Effective
  • Young Scholar Seminars as a way to connect with other Young Scholars – 68% 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 – 91% agreed
  • Is now working to develop his/her interests/talents – 92% agreed
  • Has developed at least one friendship with another Young Scholar – 74% agreed
  • Has shown an interest in using his/her abilities to make a positive difference – 84% agreed

As a direct result of participation as a Young Scholar parent, I feel more confident in my ability to:

  • Advocate for my child – 97% agreed
  • Parent my child – 96% agreed
  • Locate resources for my child – 96% agreed
  • Identify my child's strengths and needs – 96% agreed
  • Address my child's strengths and needs – 95% 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: 520
  • Social/Emotional Support: 271
  • Talent Development & Academic Enrichment: 144
  • Home Schooling Support: 69
  • Assessment Consultation & Assistance: 39
  • Early College Assistance/College Planning: 100
  • Parenting: 76
  • Mentoring: 116

Financial Assistance was provided to 185 Davidson Young Scholars.

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Davidson Fellows Awards
Recognizes the outstanding achievements of highly gifted young people and awards scholarships annually to students up to age 18.

Application
Any young person, under the age of 18, may apply who has created a significant piece of work in the areas of Science, Technology, Mathematics, Music, Literature, Philosophy or Outside the Box.

Selection
Judges, with high levels of expertise in the domain areas of the works submitted, carefully reviewed the qualified applications and selected 17 recipients; 5 Davidson Fellow Laureates each receiving a $50,000 scholarship, 6 Davidson Fellows each receiving a $25,000 scholarship, and 6 Davidson Fellows each receiving a $10,000 scholarship.

Results
The following young people were named as Davidson Fellow Laureates and each received a $50,000 scholarship:

  • Alexandra Courtis, a 17-year-old from Davis, California whose Science submission was titled, “Bright Luminescent Silicon Nanoparticles for Biological Applications.”
  • Yale Fan, a 15-year-old from Beaverton, Oregon whose Technology submission was titled, “Applications of Multi-Valued Quantum Algorithms.”
  • Madhavi Gavini, a 17-year-old from Starkville, Mississippi whose Science submission was titled, “Engineering a Novel Inhibitor of Bio-film-Encapsulated Pathogens.”
  • Todd Kramer, a 17-year-old from Port Jefferson, New York whose Music submission was titled, “Finding My Voice Through Music.”
  • Katherine Orazem, a 17-year-old from Ames, Iowa whose Literature submission was titled, “After – Elegies.”

The following young people were named as Davidson Fellows and each received a $25,000 scholarship:

  • Nate Bottman, a 16-year-old from Seattle, Washington whose Mathematics submission was titled, “Analytically Determining the Spectra of Solutions of the NLS.”
  • Michael Harwick, a 17-year-old from Bridgewater, New Jersey whose Literature submission was titled, “Highways: The Road as Existence.”
  • Danielle Lent, a 17-year-old from Cedarhurst, New York whose Science submission was titled, “Optimizing Recycled Polymer Blends Using Supercritical Carbon Dioxide.”    
  • Celeste Lipkes, a 17-year-old from Wesley Chapel, Florida whose Literature submission was titled, “Room To Pace.”
  • Damon Meng, a 16-year-old from Madison, New Jersey whose Music submission was titled, “Reviving Classical Music Through Individualism.”
  • Janet Song, a 15-year-old from Norristown, Pennsylvania whose Science submission was titled, “Development of a Urine Test for the Early Detection of Cancer.”
The following young people were named as Davidson Fellows and each received a $10,000 scholarship:

  • Richard Alt, II, a 17-year-old from Fredericksburg, Virginia whose Science submission was titled, “A Comparison of Three Seasonal Snowfall Forecasting Methods for Winter 2004-05.”
  • Christina Beasley, a 17-year-old from Vienna, Virginia whose Literature submission was titled, “An Experiment in Free Speech.”
  • Billy Dorminy, a 15-year-old from McDonough, Georgia whose Technology submission was titled, “Improper Fractional Base Encryption.”
  • Shannon Lee, a 14-year-old from Plano, Texas whose Music submission was titled, “Creating a Musical Bond.”
  • Graham Van Schaik, a 16-year-old from Columbia, South Carolina whose Science submission was titled, “Pyrethroid Pesticides and Their Potential to Promote Breast Cancer and Neurodegeneration.”
  • Nora Xu, a 17-year-old from Naperville, Illinois whose Science submission was titled, “Modeling of X-ray Scattering for Nanocrystal Superlattice Multilayer Thin Films.”

     

Davidson Fellows were recognized at a special awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C. on September 26, 2007. The ceremony, held at the Library of Congress, was co-sponsored by Senator Harry Reid from Nevada and Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa.

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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.

Application
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.

Selection
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.

Results
Forty-seven students attended in 2007 and had the choice of taking Computer Science 105, Physics 100 or History/Philosophy 282 in the morning and Journalism 204, Latin 111, or Mathematics 176 in the afternoon. The average GPA was 3.81.

Evaluations for THINK Summer Institute 2007

Course Evaluations Journalism
10 of 17 students
responded
Latin
16 of 21 students responded
Calculus
7 of 9 students
responded
Comp. Science
10 of 16 students
responded
Physics
15 of 17 students
responded
History/Phil.
10 of 14 students
responded
The homework was relevant and helped me learn 90% 88% 86% 100% 80% 100%
In this class, I learned a lot or a moderate amount 100% 100% 100% 100% 93% 100%
In general, I enjoyed this course 100% 100% 100% 100% 93% 100%
I gained a lot from interacting with my professor 100%
62% 100% 100% 93% 100%
The professor made this class interesting 100% 75% 100% 100% 87% 100%

Overall Experience Yes
I enjoyed living on campus 100%
The THINK experience helped me develop a clearer understanding of what to expect in college 94%
The THINK experience helped me feel more confident as a student 91%
I formed a friendship with at least one fellow THINKer 100%
I enjoyed the extracurricular events (TerraWatt Facility, Star Party, Reno Philharmonic Concert, BBQ at Davidson’s) 100%
My overall experience with the THINK Summer Institute was a positive one 100%
Would you like to return to the THINK Summer Institute next year? 94%

Educator's Guild
The Davidson Institute’s 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 an electronic mailing list 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 summer, 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.

1,355 teachers, school counselors and school/district administrators are members of the Educators Guild Broadcast list, and 576 are members of the Educators Guild discussion list.

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Davidson Gifted Database
www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB - Your gateway to gifted resources. Davidson Gifted Database is a free online, searchable database providing the latest information for and about profoundly intelligent young people.

Results Achieved
At the conclusion of 2007, the database contained:

  • 4059 resources covering support and assessment organizations, schools, summer programs, printed material, web and media tools
  • 512 full-text research and informational articles on or about identification, gifted education, developing and parenting
  • 4825 comments submitted by members of the profoundly intelligent population

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Publications
In 2007, the Davidson Institute produced the following publications:

  • Book Review by Adrian, J., A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children, Webb, J. et al.
  • Book Review by Harrison, S., The Examined Raise Your Child's Social IQ Stepping Stones to People Skills for Kids, Cohen, C.
  • Lupkowski Shoplik, A., Tips for Parents: Acceleration for Students in 8th grade and Younger
  • Webb, N., Tips for Parents: Surviving Your Gifted Teen
  • Schultz, B., Tips for Parents: Where's the Spark?: Managing Boredom In/Out of School
  • Greenspon, T., Tips for Parents: Perfectionism
  • Amend, A., Tips for Parents: Worry, Stress, and Depression
  • Holt, D., Tips for Parents: Cartoon Thinking
  • Neihart, M., Tips for Parents: Learning the Inner Game of High Achievement
  • Foley Nicpon, M., Tips for Parents: Meeting the Diverse Needs of Twice-exceptional Students
  • Delisle, J., Tips for Parents: Risk-Taking and Risk-Making
  • Swiatek, M.A., Tips for Parents: Social Experiences of Gifted Adolescents
  • Holt, D., Tips for Parents: Teaching the Use of Humor to Cope with Stress
  • Yermish, A., Tips for Parents: Teaching Cheetahs to Hunt: Practical strategies for teaching executive functioning and academic skills for gifted and twice-exceptional kids
  • Reider, J., Tips for Parents: College Admissions for the Unconventional Student: Looking at both Brand-Name Colleges and Beyond
  • Fields, J., Tips for Parents: Enrichment and Early Preparation for an Ivy League Future
  • Webb, N., Tips for Parents: Making Sense of Assessment Results
  • Willard-Holt, C., Tips for Parents: Learning and the Brain
  • Ruf, D., Tips for Parents: How Level of Giftedness, Gender, and Personality Affect School Behavior and Learning
  • Cerovsek, C., Tips for Parents: Corey Cerovsek on the Life of the Gifted Young Musician
  • Scala, J., Tips for Parents: Real Life Habits for Success
  • Clark, B., Tips for Parents: The Gifted Brain and Learning - at Home and at School
  • Frankel, F., Tips for Parents: Friendships of Gifted Elementary School Children
  • Beach, W., Tips for Parents: Some Thoughts about College Admission

 

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Newsletters
In 2007, the Davidson Institute published the following newsletters:

  • February Davidson Institute eNews-Update
  • May Davidson Institute eNews-Update
  • June Genius Denied Newsletter
  • Summer Educators Guild Newsletter
  • Fall Educators Guild Newsletter
  • November Davidson Institute eNews-Update
 

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Conclusion
As of the end of December 2007, the Davidson Institute is providing direct support to 1,335 profoundly gifted young people; 1,355 educators, and 800,000 people who received indirect support via the Institute’s electronic broadcasts and websites.

 

Forty-four students attended The Davidson Academy in the 2007-2008 school year. For more information about the Academy, please visit www.DavidsonAcademy.UNR.edu.


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