Students in grades 7 through 12 are invited to take part in the Young Naturalist Awards, a science fair of sorts sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Participating students conduct research on a scientific topic of their choice and submit an essay about their research and findings. The winners receive cash awards.
The competition is open to all students, regardless of whether they are in public, private or home school. The rules state that students can work together on a project, so long as they write their essays individually. Sounds like it could be a viable project for a science class to do in small groups.
Entries must be submitted between Dec. 1, 2013, and March 1, 2014.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholarship Program offers funds — up to $30,000 a year — to support the college ambitions of high-achieving students with financial need.
The scholarship, which can be renewed for up to four years, is available to students who have high-school GPAs of 3.5 or higher and have scored in the top 15 percent on the SAT or ACT.
According to the foundation’s web site, students whose families make up to $95,000 a year will be considered; however, most of the recipients will have family income low enough to qualify for a Pell Grant.
The first part of the application process is open now. The Phase I application must be mailed in by November 5, 2013. Financial information, school records and teacher recommendations are required for the application, so allow yourself time to compile and complete the needed paperwork.
I’ve just returned from Knoxville, Tenn., where I attended the Global Finals of Destination Imagination (D.I.), an organization that encourages kids to solve open-ended challenges that require technical skill, artistic talent, interpersonal skills — or maybe all of that and more.
This year, I’ve managed a team of kids as they’ve learned new skills, foremost among them the ability to cooperate and work together as they navigate the creative process. This week, I’ve watched as kids from all around the world came together to celebrate the ingenuity and creativity of the work they’ve done this year.
What kids do in D.I. is hard to explain. Sometimes they create a performance. Sometimes they build a structure designed to hold hundreds of pounds. Sometimes they build vehicles that run a course to earn points. Sometimes they conceive and implement community service projects. The specific details of the challenges vary from year to year, but what is always true is that the kids use their own minds and hands to solve them. All the ideas must come from the kids, and they have to translate those ideas into a performance, a project, a structure, whatever their challenge requires, without interference from parents, teachers, or anyone outside the team.
I’ve watched this concept in action, and it works. It teaches the kids to be self-reliant and independent, and in the end, the teams have tremendous pride in knowing what they’ve achieved, on their own.
Here in Georgia, D.I. does not draw as many teams as a similar organization called Odyssey of the Mind, and in my opinion, that’s a shame. My team and I are refugees from the Odyssey program, and while Odyssey loyalists can disagree, my personal experience has been that D.I. is more supportive, more positive, and more fun than Odyssey ever was.
If you’re interested in creating a team at your school, in your neighborhood, with your Boy Scout troop, or anywhere, check out the Destination Imagination web site. Registration for new teams won’t open until August, but now is a great time to start planning. The Affiliate Director for Georgia, Dave Lohrmann, is a terrific resource who can answer questions and help you get started. Please tell him Dori sent you.
I am passing along a note I received last week. I’ve heard only good things about the FIRST LEGO League.
I am Sunitha Jayakumar, homeschooling mom to a 10 year old gifted girl. I am looking to start a Girl Scouts Robotics FLL team (First Lego League), for the coming year. The team can have a maximum of 6-7 girls. The meetings will be at my place in Alpharetta (near McGinnis Ferry Rd). Please pass on this information to any homeschooling girls interested in joining the team. The age group is 9-14 years.
Thanks for your help.
You can contact Sunitha by reconstructing this e-mail address:
sunitha_jay AT yahoo DOT com
Of all the scholarships out there, the QuestBridge College Prep Scholarship is one of my favorites.
QuestBridge recognizes that giftedness knows no racial, ethnic or socio-economic barriers. Its College Prep Scholarship program reaches out to high-school juniors who have amazing academic potential, but whose gifts are at risk of being squandered because their families cannot afford to send them to a top-tier college.
The College Prep Scholarship provides full scholarships to summer programs on elite college campuses, helps students navigate the admissions and financial aid application processes required by the best schools, and even provides all-expenses-paid visits to QuestBridge partner schools — colleges including Brown, Columbia, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, and their peers.
Finally, the College Prep Scholarship prepares students to apply during their senior year for the QuestBridge National College Match program, which pairs exceptional high-school seniors with prestigious colleges that will provide them full scholarships.
Current juniors can fill out the free application now through March 27, 2013. The application is long and involved, so leave time to gather the requested information and documentation.
Teachers, if you know a student who deserves to be considered for this scholarship, won’t you encourage them to apply?
High-achieving, seventh-grade students whose families have limited incomes are encouraged to apply for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Young Scholars program. Applications are being accepted through March 21, 2013.
The Young Scholars program pays for enrichment activities — such as summer camps, music lessons, and distance learning classes — for students who are academically solid and financially challenged. (Wondering what “financially challenged” means? Applicants must have adjusted family income of $95,000 or less, and the Foundation reports that the average family income of its scholars is $25,000 a year.)
Students must apply during their seventh-grade year. Those selected enter the program in 8th grade and continue as Young Scholars through high school.
The application package requires tax forms and teacher recommendations, so give yourself time to get everything together.
Registration is now open for the U.S. Physics Team competition.
Each year, the American Association of Physics Teachers assembles a team of pre-college students who excel in solving physics problems. The top five students represent the United States at the annual International Physics Olympiad, being held in July 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
To qualify, students first take a preliminary, multiple choice exam at their school. Those who score in the top 300 to 400 of all test takers will be invited to take a more intensive exam. Twenty top students are then chosen to attend an intensive, 10-day training camp at the University of Maryland, and five of those students will be selected to represent the nation in Copenhagen.
Students can’t register for the qualifying exam on their own. They must have a faculty member register on behalf of their school. Registration deadline is Dec. 10, 2012.
A couple of years ago, when I first became interested in starting an Odyssey of the Mind team at my kids’ school, the best advice I got was to go see a competition. It was a day well-spent. You can read the OotM materials to try to understand what the program is like, but phrases like “team members apply their creativity to solve problems” and “teams present solutions” don’t really provide a clear picture of the nuts and bolts.
This Saturday, you can come watch as more than 100 teams, from kindergarten kids to high-school students, compete in the regional Odyssey of the Mind tournament at Parkview High School in Lilburn. You’ll see the structures they’ve built, and the plays they’ve created. You’ll also see how excited the kids are and what a great vibe there is, as the judges and parents and competitors all salute the kids’ efforts. It is an amazing thing to see these kids in their element.
For a complete schedule of this Saturday’s tournament, visit the Georgia Odyssey of the Mind web site.
Parents of exceptional 7th graders: If you’re evaluating your high school options, consider applying for a scholarship that could pay tuition for the kind of school your gifted child needs.
The Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship is a program of the Institute for Educational Advancement, aimed at helping elite students get the most out of their high-school experience.
Students who are selected as CDB Scholars are notified in the fall of their 8th grade year. Then, the organization provides guidance in applying to high schools that would help the scholars realize their intellectual potential. Finally, IEA pays for tuition for all four years of high school.
The application, which is rather involved, must be submitted by May 14, 2012. In order to be considered for this scholarship, a student must take the SAT. The last SAT date for this year is May 5, and you must register for that testing date by April 6.
If you’re a high-school junior whose family is just getting by financially, you might not let yourself think about attending Dartmouth or Yale. But an unusual scholarship is reason to think again.
The QuestBridge College Prep Scholarship comes to the aid of high-achieving, lower-income students, to help them navigate the admissions and financial aid application processes required by the best schools. The College Prep Scholarship also gives students the chance to experience college life on elite campuses, through full scholarships to summer programs, and all-expenses-paid visits to QuestBridge partner schools. (These include some of the most respected names in higher education — Brown, Columbia, Princeton, Stanford and their peers.)
The QuestBridge scholarship program also prepares students to apply in their senior year for the QuestBridge National College Match program, which pairs exceptional high-school seniors with prestigious colleges that will provide them full scholarships.
Current juniors can fill out the free application now through March 27, 2012.