Archive for April, 2012

Tellus Museum presents Astronomy Day, April 28

April 20, 2012 Leave a comment

If your child enjoys astronomy, a trip to  Tellus Museum for National Astronomy Day will offer a day full of opportunities to learn about space.

Astronomy Day at Tellus will be held from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, 2012. Highlights will include meteorite specimens — even some you can touch — stargazing tips from local astronomy clubs, solar astronomy, planetarium shows, stargazing via telescopes and the observatory, and nighttime guided tours of the stars.

All activities are included in the regular admission price (or free if you’re a Tellus member).

Categories: Enrichment

Planetarium shows, observatory viewing highlight Fernbank’s Astronomy Day schedule

April 18, 2012 Leave a comment

National Astronomy Day is next Saturday, April 28, and Fernbank Science Center in Decatur has planned a busy day of stargazing in the planetarium and the observatory.

Guests at Fernbank can view Venus in the observatory (weather permitting) and take in planetarium shows throughout the day. Admission to the science center, as always, is free, but there is a small fee for the planetarium shows — $4 for adults; $3 for kids.

Categories: Enrichment

Science journal forming for high-school students

April 16, 2012 Leave a comment

An Ohio teen who loves science and wants to foster scientific exploration among high-school students is starting an academic research journal — and she’s looking for like-minded teens who want to join her.

En Kephalos Teen Science will give students a place to publish their scientific research. Founded by Anamika Veeramani, currently a sophomore in high school, the journal will be overseen by an advisory board of representatives from colleges, high schools and hospitals.

The journal is seeking candidates for several editor positions, as well as a marketing coordinator and a web designer. The deadline to apply for these positions is April 25, 2012.

The journal also is looking for research to publish. High-school students can submit articles about their original research, or reviews that summarize a body of research done by others.

For more information, contact Anamika.

Categories: Enrichment

Aviation camp at Fernbank Science Center for rising 4th-6th graders

April 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Fernbank Science Center in Decatur is now accepting applications for Aviation Camp, a one-week summer day camp for students entering 4th, 5th or 6th grade next fall. Two sessions will be held, June 18-22, and June 25-29, 2012.

First-time campers learn about the principles of flight. Advanced campers with more experience will try out flight simulators and fly remote-control helicopters.

Cost of the camp is $260 per week. Full or partial scholarships may be available for students who receive free or reduced-price lunch at their school.

Fernbank Science Center is owned and operated by DeKalb County Schools, but Aviation Camp is open to students from anywhere.

Deadline to apply is May 14.

Categories: Summer programs

Advance information for 2012 Xanadu and Summer Academy programs

April 12, 2012 4 comments

Note: Applications are now online for 2012. See the Xandadu / Summer Academy post on this blog for more information.

At this time of year, a lot of parents start getting antsy to get a jump on applying to the Atlanta Public Schools summer programs. So, this morning I called the Atlanta Public Schools gifted office and got this information:

Xanadu 2012

Dates: June 4-29, 2012
Time: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. weekdays, with before- and after-care available
Location: Parkside Elementary School
Enrollment: Rising 1st – 5th grade students

Summer Academy for the Arts and Sciences 2012

Dates: June 4-29, 2012
Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, no before- or after-care
Location: Carver School of the Arts
Enrollment: Rising 6th – 12th grade students

Xanadu and Summer Academy both are operated by the APS gifted office; however, students need not have been formally identified as gifted to attend. The programs will accept students from outside the APS system. Tuition for those students is typically  higher.

Applications should go live the week of April 23. When they’re available, you’ll find them on the APS gifted page. Note that applications will not be accepted until early May. This waiting period is built in so parents don’t need to get anxious about downloading and submitting the application the moment it goes live.

There is no deadline to apply, but classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, and some classes will fill quickly.

Join the Firefly Watch to help scientists collect important lightning bug data

April 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Warm weather means fireflies should soon appear in our area. They’re amazing to watch, and for budding young scientists, they can be an opportunity to take part in a vast, nationwide study of the firefly population.

With the Museum of Science Firefly Watch, you and your kids can work as research scientists. And you don’t need any special training. If you can count lightning bugs, you can provide data that will help researchers evaluate how firefly populations are changing. It’s not a huge time commitment, either — just 10 minutes one evening a week during firefly season. You report your observations online, and you can see what data others have collected.

My kids and I participated last year, and it was easy and fun. Sign up now so you’ll be ready when the lightning bugs make their debut!

Categories: Enrichment

Just launched: A place for middle- and high-school kids to learn programming

April 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Today’s kids are voracious consumers of technology. But for some, consuming isn’t enough. They want to make the technology, too.

Those techno-curious kids are the target students for a new business called Start Code, which will begin teaching hands-on computer programming classes this month. Classes will focus on coding in Scratch, Java, Python, iOS and other current technologies. Students in grades 6-12 can enroll in Wednesday afternoon or Saturday classes.

All classes will be held at the Toco Hill shopping center. (For those of you who didn’t grow up in my old ‘hood, that’s in northeast Atlanta, just north of Decatur.)

Registration is open now. Classes start April 21, 2012.

Categories: Enrichment

Ask your Congressman to support federal gifted programs

April 2, 2012 Leave a comment

Parents of gifted kids spend a lot of time trying to advocate just for our individual children, making sure their needs are met. But from time to time, opportunities arise for us to push for programs that would help the entire gifted population.

This is one of those times.

The U.S. Congress has two pieces of legislation under consideration, and the more constituents they hear from who support that legislation, the better the chances they’ll give it their attention.

First is funding for the Javits Gifted and Talented Education Act. Javits provides funds for research into how to better teach gifted students, especially those who are socio-economically disadvantaged.  The program has been around for years, but in recent years has lost its funding. President Obama’s proposed 2013 budget did not include Javits funding, but members of the appropriations committee can still speak up in support of Javits. The only member of Congress from metro Atlanta who is on this committee is U.S. Rep. Tom Graves. If you live in his district, you have the opportunity to contact him in support of funding this program.

Second is support for the TALENT Act, an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that would require states to do more for gifted students. This bill was introduced and referred to committee a year ago. (See related post.) The bill needs cosponsors to help it gain momentum. Any member of the Senate or House can cosponsor the bill, regardless of committee assignments. You can show your support by sending an e-mail to Senator Saxby Chambliss and Senator Johnny Isakson. To contact your representative in the U.S. House, you can use the Write Your Representative tool.


Categories: Advocacy and policy