Archive for March, 2011

Clean Air Campaign comic strip contest for elementary school kids

March 31, 2011 Leave a comment

If spring break boredom sets in for your child, here’s something they can try: The Georgia Clean Air Campaign is  holding a comic strip contest for elementary school students (pre-K through 5th grade).

Students are asked to create a comic strip showing how everyday choices — such as using mass transit, riding a bike or combining car trips — can help reduce air pollution.

No big prizes here, but winners will be featured in Clean Air Campaign promotional materials, and each winner can choose a science, environmental or art program at their school to receive a donation.


Spring programs abound at Georgia’s state parks

March 30, 2011 Leave a comment

One of the responses to my most recent post (about travel with gifted kids) mentioned Providence Canyon State Recreation Area. Sometimes called Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon, this park is a geological treasure not far from Albany, about a 3-hour drive from Atlanta.

When I went to the park’s web site, I saw a couple of items on the calendar that caught my eye. First, on Saturday, April 9, the park will host Geology Day — a guided trip through the canyons, exploring their geological history. (If you can’t make it that day, they’re doing the event again on June 4 and Oct. 8.)

Looking forward on the calendar, Providence Canyon will welcome stargazers for Astronomy Night on July 30 and Nov. 19.

That got me wondering what’s happening at Georgia’s other state parks. The answer is, more than I had imagined. The state parks event calendar lists dozens of events for April alone. Here are just a few examples:

  • An 18th century colonial market this weekend at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder
  • An evening of astronomy this Saturday night at F.D. Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain
  • Civil War history hikes throughout the month at Sweetwater Creek State Park in Lithia Springs
  • A hike to see spring butterflies on April 16, also at Sweetwater Creek State Park

There’s much, much more, so I won’t try to list it all here. The events page has a well-designed search feature that lets you explore the calendar by month, by park, or by distance from your ZIP code, so it’s easy to see what’s happening that might interest you.

Categories: Enrichment

Parent to parent: Tell me about great trips with gifted kids

March 27, 2011 3 comments

During a presentation yesterday at Georgia State’s Saturday School, a couple of parents emphasized that travel has been one of the best ways of enriching their gifted children’s education.

I have to admit, my family hasn’t done a lot of educational travel, but we’d like to. Problem is, there’s a whole world out there, and I don’t quite know where to start.

So I’d like to ask you, readers: What are some great places to travel with gifted children?

Please reply to this post with your ideas, and check back to read what other parents suggest. I’ll use some of the responses to create a new travel section on the Enrichment page of this site.

Thanks for your help!

Categories: Enrichment

Smithsonian and MIT present an online mystery game for middle schoolers

March 25, 2011 Leave a comment

“An environmental disaster has taken place on Planet Earth and we need your help. The Smithsonian Institution and the MIT Education Arcade invite all scientists-in-training ages 10 ½ to 14 to log onto VANISHED and help decipher clues that unravel one of the world’s biggest mysteries.”

That’s the pitch from Vanished, a free, online, interactive game that will have middle-school students collecting scientific data, solving puzzles and playing online games. They’ll even have video conferences with Smithsonian scientists — all to find the clues that will answer the mystery.

The game will run for eight weeks, beginning on Monday, April 4. The MIT creators of the game say kids can follow along in as little as 10 minutes per week, but those who want to be actively involved will probably spend about 2 hours per week working on it.

Registration for Vanished is open now and will continue even while the game is in progress; however, if you aren’t signed up by April 4, you’ll miss the opening stages.

Categories: Enrichment

Well said: articles that remind me why I’m an advocate for the gifted

March 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Whether working on this blog or advocating for my family’s particular needs, thinking about the needs of highly capable children takes up a good bit of my mental real estate.

Even so, sometimes I need an infusion of enthusiasm, something to remind me why gifted education matters so much — to my child, my school, my country. Here are two articles I read recently that have helped me stay fired up.

If these inspire you as they do me, and if you’re wondering what you can do about it, here’s an idea: Mark your calendar for April 29, 2011. That will be when the Georgia Association for Gifted Children puts on Gifted Day at the capitol downtown. I will provide more details on the day as I get them.

Categories: Advocacy and policy

Registration opens today for Ben Carson Academy at Morehouse

March 21, 2011 Leave a comment

The Morehouse School of Medicine is now taking applications for the Ben Carson Academy summer program.

This science enrichment program exposes middle-school students to topics in science, math and health. Although participation in the program is not restricted to minority students, the program does have a strong component of African-American culture and content.

During the year, Ben Carson Academy is a Saturday program, but in the summer, it’s a four-week camp in a classroom setting. Kids take field trips, partake in lab work, and work on developing science fair projects.

The application can be downloaded online. It must be mailed in by April 15.

Categories: Summer programs

Come see what Odyssey of the Mind is all about tomorrow in Lilburn

March 18, 2011 Leave a comment

About a year ago, when I was looking into starting an Odyssey of the Mind team at my child’s school, I tried to learn more by reading the organization’s web site.

I was left scratching my head after reading their description of what OotM is:

“Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics.”

Huh? I mean, now that I’ve been coaching a team for a year, I understand that statement perfectly. But to the uninitiated, the above boiler plate does little to elucidate what exactly OotM is.

Luckily, when I called someone from the Georgia OotM organization, they suggested that the best way to understand it is to watch it in action. I attended a local competition, and in a just a couple of hours, I not only understood it but was awestruck by it.

Here were teams of kids who had worked on their own with minimal adult guidance to build machines, write plays, design costumes and create scenery. It was a true celebration of children’s creative ability.

I could go on and on about Odyssey of the Mind, but if you’ve thought about getting your child involved, or starting a team at your school, I have to give you the same advice I was given: Go see it.

The Lilburn regional tournament is being held tomorrow, Saturday, March 19, at Parkview High School. It starts at 9:00 a.m. and continues well into the afternoon. Check the competition schedule — out of the more than 100 teams participating, maybe there’s a school from your area you’d like to cheer on.

(Sorry for giving such late notice on this event, but I must admit, with coaching a team, I’m a little under water at the moment!)

Categories: Enrichment

Georgia Aquarium seeks summer youth volunteers

March 17, 2011 Leave a comment

The Youth Volunteer Program at the Georgia Aquarium is now accepting applications for summer 2011.

Volunteers help out with Camp H2O, birthday parties, craft projects and other aquarium activities. In return, they get to learn about the aquarium and its marine life, plus they earn benefits, including a one-year pass to the aquarium, once they complete their volunteer commitment.

The Youth Volunteer Program is open to 14- and 15-year-olds; those 16 and older can apply to become adult volunteers. The deadline to apply is April 16, 2011.

Note: The Youth Volunteer Program is also available during the fall and winter.

Scholarship program to attend elite high schools

March 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Parents of 7th graders: If your child is an exceptional and highly motivated student, you can apply for a scholarship that will pay for him or her to study at a top-tier high school.

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 16, 2011. In order to be considered for this scholarship, a student must take the SAT. The last SAT date for this year is May 7, and you must register for that testing date by April 8.


Georgia Tech engineering camp just for girls

March 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Georgia Tech invites middle-school girls with an interest in technology, engineering and computing to apply for TEC Camp, a one-week summer experience to nurture their interest and encourage them to consider further study and careers in applied science.

TEC Camp will be held June 20-24, 2011, on the Georgia Tech campus. The application process is competitive, with only 40 girls to be chosen based on their academic records and a personal essay. The deadline to apply is April 22.

Categories: Summer programs