Archive for August, 2011

Sign up now for K.I.D.S. Club Saturday classes at Georgia Tech

August 31, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve been keeping an eye on the K.I.D.S. Club web page, and they’d said they were going to open registration tomorrow, but I just checked and registration is open NOW. This is one of those great programs that fills quickly, so I wanted to let you know right away instead of waiting until morning.

K.I.D.S. Club (Kids Interested in Discovering Science) exposes kids to the fun side of science, math, engineering and technology. The program is open to students in 2nd – 12th grades.

Kids in 2nd – 5th grades do a variety of hands-on activities. In past classes, these younger students have built water rockets, rubber band cars, zip lines and high rises, to name a few. Older kids — grades 6-12 — are offered an introduction to developing applications for the iPhone without programming.

Fall sessions will be Nov. 12 and Dec. 3, 2011; spring sessions will be March 3 and March 24, 2012. Both fall dates and both spring dates are identical programs, so you should only sign up for one class per season. All sessions are held from 9 a.m. to noon at Georgia Tech.


Categories: Enrichment

UGA – Duke TIP Scholars weekend for gifted kids in grades 8-11

August 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Registration is open for the first UGA – Duke TIP Scholars Weekend of the 2011-12 season.

The program will take place Oct. 22-23, 2011 on the University of Georgia campus. Students stay at an on-campus hotel (the Georgia Center for Continuing Education), although parents who prefer can pick up their children at the end of the program day.

Courses for this session include creative writing, robotics, film making, forensic anthropology and more.¬†Program cost is $450, although you’ll get a $25 discount if you register before Sept. 16 — which is advisable, since spaces in popular classes fill quickly.

The program is open to any student who has participated in a Duke TIP Talent Search or has been identified as gifted according to the criteria of their local school. This would include any student taking honors, accelerated, AP or IB classes.


Categories: Enrichment

Sample a free taste of museum culture on Sept. 24

August 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Visiting a museum with your gifted child is a great way to let them delve into art, science or history. And on Sept. 24, it’ll be free.

That’s when select museums around the country will let guests come in the door at no charge as part of Smithsonian Magazine’s annual Museum Day.

Like fine art? Try the High Museum. Free.

Interested in Georgia history? Take a trip to Milledgeville to visit the Old Governor’s Mansion or Georgia’s Old Capital Museum. Free.

All told, there are 10 participating museums in the metro Atlanta area, 33 throughout the state of Georgia.

Three things you need to know:

1) You can’t just show up at the door. You have to register and print out your tickets before you go.

2) There is a limit of two free admissions per household.

3) This is a popular event. Be prepared to stand in line. (We went to the High Museum last year and waited about an hour to get in the door.)


Categories: Enrichment

Writing workshop will conjure up some magic at Margaret Mitchell House

August 25, 2011 Leave a comment

The Literary Center at the Margaret Mitchell House has announced its fall 2011 youth writing workshop: “Magic: Out of the Dust of Stars.”

This class for ages 10-14 will meet on Sunday afternoons for five weeks, beginning Oct. 2. Young writers will create pieces that incorporate different forms of magic, such as transformation, disguise and surprise.

The workshop is $250 per child; $200 for members of the Atlanta History Center. The class is limited to 15 students.

Categories: Enrichment

UPDATE: Ben Carson Academy — new information

August 23, 2011 Leave a comment

I just heard back from the folks at Morehouse School of Medicine. This year’s fall session of the Ben Carson Science Academy will begin Oct. 8 and will run every Saturday through Nov. 12. Applications are due Sept. 9; payment of $190 is due by Sept. 23.

The academy meets from 9:30a.m. until noon. Students can leave at that time or, if they bring a lunch, they can stay around for an optional robotics class, which will meet from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Dr. Jacqueline Scott.

Categories: Enrichment

Registration open for Ben Carson Academy at Morehouse School of Medicine

August 17, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s open season again to apply to Ben Carson Academy, a program on Saturday mornings for elementary and middle-school children, held at Morehouse School of Medicine.

The academy exposes kids to science and math, and health care careers. The Academy also has a socio-cultural aspect that’s designed to engage the Black student. For example, students learn about African-American contributions to medicine and participate in African dance. However, the program is not limited to minority students.

One advantage of enrolling your child at Ben Carson Academy is that it may put them on a path to someday be selected for the Vivien Thomas Summer Program, in which high-school students can work as apprentices in biomedical research labs at Morehouse.

The web site is still showing last year’s program dates, and I’m afraid they didn’t answer the phone or respond to my e-mail asking for the correct dates. But, chances are it runs from October to November, as before. The application deadline is Aug. 31.

Categories: Enrichment

What’s it like raising a gifted child? Researcher wants to know.

August 15, 2011 2 comments

Every parent has ups and downs. But parents of gifted children have a particular experience that is shaped by their child’s personality, their school’s accommodation of the child’s needs, and the level of support they get from family and friends.

A researcher in Australia wants to learn more about how parents feel about raising a gifted child (or children). Natalie Rimlinger is a Ph.D. student at Australian National University. She says that while there have been many investigations into gifted children and their needs, very little is known about the everyday experience of raising gifted kids. Natalie is looking for parents from anywhere in the world who are willing to complete an anonymous, online survey about life as a parent of a gifted child.

To participate, you must have a gifted child in either primary or elementary grades. If you believe your child is gifted, that’s enough to participate. Your child’s being formally identified as gifted is not required.

Because the survey asks questions about your interaction with your child’s teacher, you should only participate if you consider your child to have one primary classroom teacher, not a team of teachers. Homeschoolers can also participate.

Since this school year has just started, you can complete the survey based on your experience last year, or wait a month or two and fill out the survey based on the new school year once you’ve formed an impression.

The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Categories: Parenting

New report compares gifted populations among schools nationwide

August 14, 2011 Leave a comment

A basic tenet of advocacy for gifted education is that gifted children come from all racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. That’s why advocates are always pushing for equal access to gifted education for all children, regardless of their family’s income.

Unfortunately, in many cases, children in schools that serve wealthier kids still get more opportunities than poorer children. That was the stated conclusion of a new study released by ProPublica, a non-profit, investigative journalism group. ProPublica compared schools, districts and states across the nation, evaluating the percentage of kids who take gifted or advanced classes, and how that percentage differed according to the wealth of the student population (as measured by the number of children receiving free or reduced price lunch).

The good news is that overall, Georgia seems to do better than some states in giving all children access to advanced learning. We have a higher percentage of disadvantaged children than the national average, yet we have a slightly higher rate of enrollment in gifted programs — 11 percent —¬† than the national average. We also do better than the national average in terms of the percentage of our students who take advanced math, chemistry and Advanced Placement classes.

However, the results for metro Atlanta schools show that school districts with more underprivileged children do have a lower rate of enrollment in gifted programs.

To see the data for yourself, go to the Georgia results page. From there, you can drill down to view results for your school district and, in some cases, your individual school. (Not every school is listed in the data.)


Categories: Advocacy and policy

US FIRST turns LEGOs into lessons in technology and engineering

August 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Another school year, another new season for US FIRST, a technology competition for kids ages 6-18. Teams compete in one of four divisions:

  • Junior FIRST LEGO League, for ages 6-9 (grades K-3)
  • FIRST LEGO League, for ages 9-14 (grades 4-8)
  • FIRST Tech Challenge, for high school students
  • FIRST Robotics Competition, for high school students

In the primary program, teams build structures from LEGO bricks. In the rest of the programs, kids design and build robots from LEGO products or kits.

Registration is open now for all but the robotics competition by visiting the US FIRST web site. (The robotics registration will open soon.)

IMAX film on Hubble Space Telescope opens at Fernbank this weekend

August 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Hubble, an IMAX film about the Hubble Space Telescope, will begin its run at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History this Friday.

The film includes astounding images of the outer reaches of the universe, and shows Space Shuttle astronauts on a mission to repair the telescope.

My son and I saw this film at Space Camp this spring, and it is truly remarkable. Seeing the Hubble’s images on the larger-than-life IMAX screen will captivate the imagination of anyone remotely interested in the vastness and beauty of space. And watching the astronauts at work is especially poignant in light of the conclusion of the Space Shuttle program.

The film will run at Fernbank through Jan. 1, 2012.

Categories: Enrichment