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Applications for Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program due this week; info session tonight

March 1, 2021 Leave a comment

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra invites serious musicians who are currently in grades 4 through 9 to apply for next year’s Talent Development Program (TDP).

Students selected for TDP receive weekly lessons with an ASO musician, financial assistance for music summer programs, performance opportunities, audition coaching and other benefits.

This is a selective program, accepting only 25 young musicians for the year. TDP aims to bring diversity to high-level musical education; therefore, to qualify for TDP, a student must have at least one parent who is Black or Latinx.

An information session about the 2021-2022 TDP and the applications and audition processes will be held today, March 1, at 6 p.m. on Zoom. (Sorry about the late notice — I only received word of this today myself.) You must sign up to attend.

Applications for TDP are due March 7.

Categories: Enrichment

Four things for STEM fans

February 28, 2021 Leave a comment

If you’re looking for STEM activities and content, here are four things to check out:

  1. Georgia Tech’s CEISMC K.I.D.S. Club and STEAM Workshops are registering students in grades 4 through 12 for workshops that will take place on March 13. CEISMC also is signing up students in grades 6 through 8 for the next round of its after-school STEAM Whistle Workshops, which will begin March 9. All workshops are being held virtually.
  2. The annual Atlanta Science Festival returns March 13-27. Many events this year will be virtual. Some are being held in person outdoors. As usual, there is a vast slate of programs. Go to their website to search and sign up. This year’s festival will not include the Exploration Expo, which is usually held on the final day of the festival in Piedmont Park.
  3. The Georgia Research Alliance has launched a YouTube channel called Xplorers, with videos featuring real college students who talk about what it’s like to work in some of the leading scientific laboratories at Georgia universities.
  4. STEM Gems, a company (with an associated book) aimed at encouraging more girls to pursue STEM careers, will host its STEM Gems Summit on March 20. This virtual event will allow girls (and boys, too), parents and educators to meet women working in STEM fields and learn how to prepare for STEM careers. Tickets to the event are $30 and up.
Categories: Enrichment

Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend

February 10, 2021 Leave a comment

The Great Backyard Bird Count will start this Friday, Feb. 12, and continue through Monday, Feb. 15. This worldwide citizen science project, which started in 1998, is a cooperative effort among the National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Birds Canada.

To participate, you’ll watch the birds in your back yard for as little as 15 minutes on any of the four days. You can do more than one day, or watch longer if you want. You count the birds and send in your data, either by using an app you download to your phone, or by entering your counts on the eBird website.

Not only can you collect data for these projects, but you can also view the data being collected all over the world — a great opportunity to see scientific research in action.

Categories: Enrichment

Saturday morning virtual enrichment classes for students in grades 1 through 8

February 8, 2021 Leave a comment

Gwinnett Alliance for Gifted Education will host their next Saturday Exploration Program starting February 20, 2021. Classes will be online, taught by live instructors.

These Saturday classes cover a variety of STEAM topics including game design, 2-D and 3-D animation, drones and more.

Cost to enroll is $125 for GAGE members, $150 for non-members.

The deadline to register is this Friday, February 12. UPDATE: GAGE has extended the registration deadline to Feb. 19.

Categories: Enrichment

Harvard Debate Council accepting nominations for its Diversity Project

February 7, 2021 1 comment

Harvard College is now accepting nominations for the 2021-2022 Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project. This is an extended course of study, headquartered in Atlanta, in which Black high-school students learn philosophy, political science, rhetoric and more, taught by Harvard’s assistant debate coach. The ideal candidate is highly motivated and is interested in debate, politics, or the humanities.

Students who are accepted into the program will meet three Saturdays per month, starting in August 2021 and continuing through June 2022. They will then attend a two-week summer residency at Harvard College. After their year of learning, students give one year of service to the organization and their community.

To be nominated, a student must be in grades 8-11 and live in metro Atlanta. Debate experience is not required. Nominations are due by February 28, 2021. The application will require a school transcript, a letter of recommendation from a teacher, and other elements.

Need-based financial aid is available.

Categories: Enrichment

Virtual STEM workshops from Georgia Tech

January 18, 2021 Leave a comment

The CEISMC program at Georgia Tech has several upcoming STEAM enrichment programs.

This Saturday, Jan. 23, CEISMC has three virtual STEAM Workshops for students in grades 6 through 12. Topics include computer-aided design and solar-powered cars*.

Younger kids — grades 4 and 5 — can sign up for their own virtual workshops through the CEISMC K.I.D.S. Club. This Saturday, kids can learn to build a ping-pong ball launcher* or a gear-powered carousel.*

* These workshops and some others require materials you probably don’t have at home, so you’ll need to order these on your own before the workshop.

Also, in February, CEISMC will launch an after-school STEAM enrichment program for middle-school students. Students will meet (online) twice a week for four weeks. The debut class will combine block code programming skills with storytelling.

Categories: Enrichment

Emory Math Circle continues online

December 29, 2020 Leave a comment

The Math Circle program at Emory University is now open for registration for spring classes, which will be held online, via Zoom. The program’s coordinators report that they’ve reworked their lessons to adapt them to the online format.

Math Circle is a free enrichment program for middle-school and high-school kids who are fascinated by mathematics and who want to explore math topics beyond what’s taught in the typical classroom. Classes meet twice a month on Saturdays. The Spring 2021 session starts in late January and runs through April.

Categories: Enrichment

Dive into marine life with online programs and videos

December 21, 2020 Leave a comment

Just added to the “Enrichment from home” page on GiftedAtlanta.com: Aquarium Online Academy, produced by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California.

The Online Academy page links you to a variety of educational programs. For younger kids, there are live programs, some of which include craft activities. For older kids (and adults), there’s an archive of lectures given at the aquarium going back 10 years, and the Aquatic Academy with courses on such topics as sea level rise and extreme weather. You can also find links to the aquarium’s online exhibits and a YouTube channel with hundreds of videos.

Note: If you plan to watch livestream content, bear in mind that the times posted are Pacific time. Add 3 hours to calculate the corresponding time in Atlanta.

Categories: Enrichment

Report bird activity in your back yard with Project FeederWatch

December 9, 2020 Leave a comment

If you’ve been following GiftedAtlanta.com for a while, then you know I’m a big fan of citizen science projects as a way for gifted kids to participate in the scientific process. Project FeederWatch is one such effort, relying on amateur birdwatchers throughout North America to report the birds who visit a feeder or other location. The data these citizen scientists collect help ornithologists understand the location and size of bird populations.

A project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, FeederWatch is more involved than other bird counts I’ve written about. Participants should be prepared to tally the birds they observe on two consecutive days a week, during most weeks, ideally from now through early April. For that reason, I’d recommend this for kids who show some interest in birds already. (In contrast, the Great Backyard Bird Count requests that you count for as little as 15 minutes on one day during a specified four-day period. If that sounds more your speed, mark your calendar for next year’s event, scheduled for February 12-15, 2021.)

The counting process is detailed in FeederWatch’s online instructions. Briefly, you’ll select two consecutive days a week that you’ll watch for birds, always in the same location (e.g., your yard). You’ll use a mobile app or paper tally sheet to record the number and species of birds you see. The Cornell Lab has resources to help with species identification, if you need them. You aren’t required to submit a report every single week — in fact, Cornell Lab says if you do only a single, two-day observation, it’s still helpful — but the more weeks you provide a tally, the more useful your data will be.

FeederWatch may be too complex for most elementary school kids to do alone, but with all of us spending more time at home, I think this could be a great activity for parents and kids to do together. Teens should be able to handle the tallying on their own, after some initial training from a parent.

The cost to join FeederWatch is $18. For this fee, you’ll get a poster of common bird species, digital access to Cornell Lab’s quarterly magazine, and a copy of the annual summary report of the FeederWatch results.

Categories: Enrichment

Smore children’s magazine highlights STEM and the women who work in STEM fields

October 28, 2020 Leave a comment

Smore magazine presents a kid’s eye view of STEM topics — from life science, to physical science, to computer science — with an emphasis on female leaders in STEM fields.

Targeted at children ages 7 and up, the magazine publishes four issues per year. Smore accepts no advertising, making its revenue solely from subscriptions, which cost $49.99 per year.

If you’d like to try the magazine without committing to a subscription, selected back issues are available in the online shop for as little as $2.25 each. This clearance sale will run until October 31. Topics in the back issues include cryptography, bionics, aerospace and puffins.

Categories: Enrichment