This is a report of the progress made in 2013 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. (www.DavidsonGifted.org/YoungScholars)
Number of Young Scholars Selected in 2013
384 new Davidson Young Scholars joined in 2013. 211 Davidson Young Scholars turned 18 in 2013 and became Young Scholar Alumni, bringing the total number of Alumni to 825.
Total Number of Young Scholars as of December 31, 2013
2,674 Davidson Young Scholars representing a variety of economic, racial and ethnic groups from 50 states, as well as Armed Forces Europe, Armed Forces Pacific and Canada participated in the program this year.
Types of Services Provided
The services provided to the Davidson Young Scholar families included:
- Consulting services for each Young Scholar family, such as assistance with locating appropriate educational settings and materials, advocates, counselors, and mentors.
- Access to professionals specializing in talent development, parenting, education, assessment, twice exceptional issues, etc.
- Connections with peers for both Davidson Young Scholars and their parents.
- Topic-based eLists for both Young Scholars and their parents.
Need-based financial assistance was provided to help meet the unique educational needs of Davidson Young Scholars.
A one week summer program, Davidson Summer STARS focused on meeting academic and social needs of 8- to 12-year-old Young Scholars.
At the annual Summit, more than 300 Davidson Young Scholars and their families connected with each other during a three-day weekend. Leading experts in gifted education delivered keynote speeches and facilitated parent presentations. Young Scholars attended workshops in various academic areas. This event also included exhibitor booths, meet and greets, BBQ lunches, a talent show and a simultaneous chess game.
Areas of Service
Family Consultants serve Young Scholar families based on these specialty areas:
- Academic Support and Educational Advocacy
- Talent Development, College Planning and Early College
- Social, Emotional and Child/Adolescent Development
- Summer Camps and Programs
2013 online seminar topics for Davidson Young Scholars:
- Susan Baker - Much Ado about "Much Ado about Nothing"
- Jane Davidson - Megalosaurus the First Dinosaur and How It Changed
- Bruce Betts - The “Science” of Pokémon
- Judith Ames Whitenack - Short Stories from the Latin American "Boom"
- Pamela Gay - How do we statistically debate if aliens exist (or not)?
- Harold Reiter - Intermediate KenKen
- Bryan Bates - Human Populations and Environmental Carrying Capacity
- Rosanne Daryl Thomas - Weird and Wonderful Collectors
- Stephen Balzac - "That Should Only Take 10 Minutes!"
- Jane Davidson - Archaeopteryx: Bird or Dinosaur?
- Steve Witherspoon - U.S. Energy Policy: Grid-locked
- Teresa Bondora - How To Survive College Science Lab
- Robert Schultz - Dealing with Life's Downers
- David Finch - Introduction to Sketch Comedy Writing
- Judith Ames Whitenack - The European Short Story
- Bryan Bates - Archaeoastronomy
- Tom Letson - Bullying
- Hannah Mensing - Eating Isn't Easy
- Tonya Witherspoon - The Joy of Cooking
- Rosanne Daryl Thomas - Experiencing Nature: A Writing Workshop
- Teresa Bondora - How To Survive College Science Lab and Lecture - Double Feature
- Tonya Witherspoon - Gameification
- Rosanne Daryl Thomas - Amateur Naturalists: The Secret Heroes of Early Science
2013 online seminar topics for Parents:
- Michael Uretsky - Summer Enrichment Programs: Meaningful Experiences Beyond the School Year
- Kara McGoey - The Art of Preventing and Managing Disruptive Behavior
- Catherine Gruener - Making New Connections: Digging Deeper into the Practice of Positive Discipline Parenting
- Paula Wilkes - Emotional Intelligence: Raising a Child Who Can Think and Act in Intelligent Ways
- Edward Amend - Issues Related to the Assessment of Twice Exceptional (2e) Youth
- Kara McGoey - Bullying: How to Support Your Child
- Wes Beach - Creating Effective Transcripts
- Del Siegle - Recognizing, Understanding, and Reversing Underachievement
- Anna Burago - Mathematical Circles as a way to sustain your child’s curiosity and develop scientific thinking
- Melanie Crawford - Autism Spectrum Disorders and PG Kids
- Meredith Warshaw & Sarah Wayland - Gifted with challenges: Understanding and supporting your twice-exceptional child, Parts 1 & 2
- Julia Brodsky - Nurturing math talent while homeschooling gifted children
- Teresa Bondora - How To Introduce Chemistry To Gifted Children
- SaDohl Jones - Organization Strategies for Gifted Learners
- SaDohl Jones - Advocacy and Gifted Learners
- Sam Lim - Secrets to Becoming a Scholarship Junkie: Learn About College Funding Resources . . . And How To Win Them
- Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik - Acceleration for Students in 8th Grade and Younger
- Kiesa Kay - Anger Management for Your Gifted Child
- Kiesa Kay - Helping Your Gifted Child Cope with Parental Divorce
- Kara McGoey - Collaborating for Success: Forming Effective Home-School Partnerships
- Marybeth Hicks - Teachable Moments
- Paula Wilkes - Raising Gifted Children Who Think for Themselves
- Rosanne Daryl Thomas - Navigating the Transition from 'Gifted Kid' to Young Adult
2013 Young Scholar Webinars:
- Bruce Betts - Asteroids Hitting the Earth
- Bruce Betts - Roving on Mars
- Pamela Gay - The Big Bang and the Universe's Big Future
- Laura Whyte - Beginner's Guide to Galaxies
- Jeremy Smith - Elements of Physical Geography - Webinar 1
- Jeremy Smith - Elements of Physical Geography - Webinar 2
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Davidson Fellows Awards
Recognizes the outstanding achievements of highly gifted young people and awards scholarships annually to students 18 and younger. (www.DavidsonGifted.org/Fellows/)
Any young person, 18 or younger, may apply who has created a significant piece of work in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Music, Literature, Philosophy or Outside the Box.
Judges, with high levels of expertise in the domain areas of the works submitted, carefully reviewed the qualified applications and selected 20 recipients: two Davidson Fellow Laureates who received $50,000 scholarships, and 18 Davidson Fellows each receiving either a $25,000 scholarship or $10,000 scholarship.
The following young people were named as Davidson Fellow Laureates and received a $50,000 scholarship:
- Hannah Larson, an 18-year-old from Eugene, Oregon whose Mathematics submission was titled, “Classification of Some Fusion Categories of Rank 4.”
- Samantha Marquez, a 17-year-old from Midlothian, Virginia whose Science submission was titled, “Celloidosomes®: A New Paradigm in the Bottom-up Assembly of Multicellular Architectures.”
The following young people were named as Davidson Fellows and each received a $25,000 scholarship:
- Ankita Ghoshal, an 18-year-old from Austin, Texas whose Science submission was titled, “Sustainable 100W Portable Generators for 24/7/365 Power Demand.”
- Coleman Hughes, a 17-year-old from Montclair, New Jersey whose Music submission was titled, “The Rhythm of Free Expression: Honoring the Great Jazz Masters.”
- Harrison Li, a 15-year-old from Dix Hills, New York whose Science submission was titled, “Determining Interannual and Spatial Trends in Convective Frequency over the Northeastern United States Based on Reanalysis of Convective Parameters.”
- Aashna Mago, a 17-year-old from Newtown, Pennsylvania whose Science submission was titled, “A Novel EZH2 Histone Methyltransferase Inhibitor: Potential Advancement in Epigenetic Cancer Therapy.”
- Natalie Ng, a 17-year-old from Cupertino, California whose Science submission was titled, “MicroRNA Prognostic Signatures and Prediction Models for Distant Metastasis-Free Survival (DMFS) in Breast Cancer.”
- Kailee Pedersen, a 17-year-old from Lincoln, Nebraska whose Literature submission was titled, “The Transliteration of Flesh: Dismantling the Metanarrative.”
- Lilia Popova, an 18-year-old from Ann Arbor, Michigan whose Science submission was titled, “Elucidating Environmental and Genetic Mechanisms of Magnetically Altered Plant Growth.”
- Thabit Pulak, a 17-year-old from Richardson, Texas whose Science submission was titled, “Home-based Arsenic Bio-sane Water Filter and Rapid Arsenic Water Test using Nanotechnology.”
- David Steinberg, a 16-year-old from Rancho Palos Verdes, California whose Outside the Box submission was titled, “The Pre-Shortzian Puzzle Project.”
The following young people were named as Davidson Fellows and each received a $10,000 scholarship:
- Joshua Brakensiek, a 17-year-old from Phoenix, Arizona whose Mathematics submission was titled, “Bounds on the Size of Sound Monotone Switching Networks Accepting Permutation Sets of Directed Trees.”
- Alec Brenner, an 18-year-old from McLean, Virginia whose Science submission was titled, “Viscoelastic Modeling of Tidal Heating in Terrestrial Exoplanets.”
- Michael Janner, a 17-year-old from Redlands, California whose Science submission was titled, “Magnetic Manipulation of Nanoscale Mirrors and Photonic Crystals.”
- Ajay Krishnan, a 17-year-old from Portland, Oregon whose Engineering submission was titled, “Optimizing the Microbial Fuel Cell-Microbial Electrolysis Cell Coupled System for Sustainable Hydrogen Gas Production, Electricity Generation, and Improved Wastewater Treatment.”
- William Kuszmaul, a 17-year-old from Lexington, Massachusetts whose Mathematics submission was titled, “Equivalence Classes of Permutations Created Under Pattern-Replacement Relations.”
- Emily Lipstein, a 17-year-old from Port Washington, New York whose Science submission was titled, “An Analysis of the Genetic Variation of Monachus monachus and its Implications for Conservation.”
- Jiayi Peng, an 18-year-old from Chappaqua, New York whose Science submission was titled, “A Cellular Automaton Model for Critical Dynamics in Neuronal Networks.”
- Vinay Sriram, a 17-year-old from Boyds, Maryland whose Technology submission was titled, “Quantitative Modeling of Processing Cost and Energy Consumption for Cryptographically Enhanced Secure Internet Routing Protocol.”
- Vaibhav Vavilala, an 18-year-old from Indianapolis, Indiana whose Science submission was titled, “Neural Networks: Raising the Storage Capacity”
The Davidson Fellows were recognized at a special awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C. on September 28, 2013. The ceremony, held at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, 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 six college credits. (www.DavidsonGifted.org/THINK)
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 13-16 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.
48 students (“THINKers”) attended in 2013 taking Computer Science, History, or Psychology in the morning, and Math/Calculus, Biology, or Geography in the afternoon.
Quotes from 2013 "THINKers"
- “I learned a lot, hanging out with friends, being surrounded by those who are also of academic excellence. I really loved Tahoe.”
- “All of the people, the staff, teachers, and students were all amazing.”
- “Getting to meet people of similar interests, having a real college experience with transferable credits, Lake Tahoe trip . . . you just can’t beat it!”
- “I thoroughly enjoyed THINK 2013 and hope to return to the camp in the summer of 2014.”
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The Davidson Institute's Educators Guild is a free, online community for elementary, secondary and post-secondary educators, as well as other professionals committed to meeting the unique needs of highly gifted students. (www.DavidsonGifted.org/EdGuild)
The Educators Guild broadcast eList was comprised of 1,814 teachers, school counselors and administrators in 2013 with 967 members on the Educators Guild discussion eList. Members who signed up for the broadcast list received two eNewsletters, one of which featured a Q&A with Dr. Marianne Kuzujanakis, M.D., M.P.H. about the misdiagnoses of gifted children and another featuring Thomas S. Greenspon, Ph.D. about perfectionism. The Educators Guild Facebook discussion group had more than 535 members.
In 2013, the Educators Guild provided consultations to 30 educators throughout the country and the Ed Guild team presented at the Wyoming Association for the Gifted Conference in Cody. In addition, the Educators Guild team partnered with the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Education/Extended Studies to develop and offer an online three-credit, graduate-level class, Education for the Gifted, during the summer of 2013.
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Davidson Gifted Database
Your gateway to gifted resources is a free online, searchable database providing the latest information for and about profoundly intelligent young people. (www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB/)
At the conclusion of 2013, the database contained:
- 4,441 resources covering support and assessment organizations, schools, summer programs, printed material, web and media tools.
- 779 full-text research and informational articles on or about identification, gifted education, development and parenting.
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In 2013, the Davidson Institute Young Scholars and staff wrote the following articles in the Davidson Gifted Database (www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB/):
- Deferred, Waitlisted, Rejected, and Accepted - What does it all mean?
- Interview with Marianne Kuzujanakis on Misdiagnosis
- Interview with Thomas Greenspon on Perfectionism
- Taking on Advocacy as a Negotiator
In 2013, the Davidson Institute published these Tips for Parents in the Davidson Gifted Database (www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB/):
- Tips for Parents: Acceleration for Students in 8th Grade and Younger by Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik
- Tips for Parents: Advocacy and Gifted Learners by Dr. SaDohl Jones
- Tips for Parents: Anger Management for Your Gifted Child by Kiesa Kay
- Tips for Parents: Autism Spectrum Disorders and PG Kids by Dr. Melanie Crawford
- Tips for Parents: Bullying: How to Support Your Child by Dr. Kara McGoey
- Tips for Parents: Collaborating for Success: Forming Effective Home-School Partnerships by Dr. Kara McGoey
- Tips for Parents: Creating Effective Transcripts by Wes Beach
- Tips for Parents: Emotional Intelligence: Raising a Child Who Can Think and Act in Intelligent Ways by Dr. Paula Wilkes
- Tips for Parents: Gifted with challenges: Understanding and supporting your twice-exceptional child by Meredith Warshaw & Dr. Sarah Wayland, Parts 1 & 2
- Tips for Parents: Helping Your Gifted Child Cope with Parental Divorce by Kiesa Kay
- Tips for Parents: How To Introduce Chemistry To Gifted Children by Teresa Bondora
- Tips for Parents: Issues Related to the Assessment of Twice Exceptional (2e) Youth by Edward Amend
- Tips for Parents: Making New Connections: Digging Deeper into the Practice of Positive Discipline Parenting by Catherine Gruener
- Tips for Parents: Mathematical Circles as a way to sustain your child’s curiosity and develop scientific thinking by Anna Burago
- Tips for Parents: Nurturing math talent while homeschooling gifted children by Julia Brodsky
- Tips for Parents: Raising Gifted Children Who Think for Themselves by Paula Wilkes
- Tips for Parents: Recognizing, Understanding, and Reversing Underachievement by Dr. Del Siegle
- Tips for Parents: Secrets to Becoming a Scholarship Junkie: Learn About College Funding Resources...And How To Win Them by Sam Lim
- Tips for Parents: Summer Enrichment Programs - Meaningful Experiences Beyond the School Year by Michael Uretsky
- Tips for Parents: Teachable Moments by Marybeth Hicks
- Tips for Parents: The Art of Preventing and Managing Disruptive Behavior by Dr. Kara McGoey
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In 2013, the Davidson Institute published the following newsletters:
- January 2013 eNews-Update
- March 2013 eNews-Update
- Spring 2013 Educators Guild Newsletter
- May 2013 eNews-Update
- July 2013 eNews-Update
- September 2013 eNews-Update
- Fall 2013 Educators Guild Newsletter
- November 2013 eNews-Update
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As of December 31, 2013, the Davidson Institute provided direct support to an estimated 2,938 profoundly gifted young people and 1,814 educators, as well as indirect support to 14,172 eNews-Update subscribers, 2,450,215 visitors to the Institute’s websites and 7,396 subscribers to the public discussion forum, Gifted Issues.
The Davidson Academy of Nevada had 133 students enrolled for the 2013-2014 school year with 4,340 subscribers to the school's eNewsletter for prospective students. For more information about The Davidson Academy, please visit www.DavidsonAcademy.UNR.edu.