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

Online clearinghouse helps you find summer programs that fit you

January 27, 2021 Leave a comment

American colleges and universities offer hundreds of summer programs for middle- and high-school students. And with many academic summer programs offering online options for 2021, kids have a wealth of options for summer enrichment courses regardless of their geographic location.

Summer Study in the USA is a non-profit, non-commercial site that pulls information from more than 100 universities. Their search tool can help you identify programs — online or residential — suited to your child’s grade level and area of interest.

In addition to its searchable database, Summer Study in the USA is hosting several live, virtual fairs where you can visit the “booths” of programs that interest you and chat with their representatives. The next two fairs are February 3 and 20. Advance registration for the fairs is required.

Categories: Summer programs

Duke University opens applications for new summer programs

January 20, 2021 Leave a comment

As previously reported in this space, Duke TIP has been discontinued. In its place is Duke University Pre-College, which is now accepting applications for summer 2021 programs, to be offered online only.

The courses are open to students who are currently in high school. Class topics include criminal law, econometrics, Mars, politics and photojournalism. Courses run for two or three weeks, depending on the topic.

Unlike the Duke TIP summer programs of the past, the Pre-College summer programs aren’t restricted to students who have participated in a Duke TIP Talent Search, in which 7th-grade students take the SAT or ACT. Instead, applicants will be asked to provide a transcript, resume and essay.

Categories: Summer programs

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

Mentorships for high schoolers through Vanderbilt PTY

October 15, 2020 Leave a comment

The Vanderbilt Program for Talented Youth is now accepting applications from students in 10th through 12th grades for its Mentor Immersion program.

The six-month, all-online mentorship program will begin in January 2021. Small groups of 3 to 6 students will meet once a week to learn under the guidance of an expert in the field. During the winter months, students will explore their selected topic. Then, in the spring, they’ll use what they’ve learned to complete independent research or a project.

The application went live today. The program is rigorous and the application requires a transcript, test scores, and an essay. PTY will conduct its first round of application reviews on November 3, 2020. After that date, PTY will use a rolling admissions process to fill spaces that aren’t already taken.

Tuition for the program is $2,500. Need-based financial aid is available.

Categories: Enrichment

Duke TIP’s Talent Search permanently shut down; other programs suspended

October 14, 2020 Leave a comment

Duke TIP announced it has ended its long-running Academic Talent Search Programs, in which students took above-level standardized tests — most often, sitting for the SAT or ACT as 7th graders.

They also have suspended all programming through spring 2021, and plan to hold their 2021 summer programs online.

From what Duke TIP has said publicly, Duke University was already looking at making changes to its pre-college programs, including Duke TIP. The university accelerated this review after the pandemic shut down Duke TIP’s residential Summer Studies program — a primary revenue stream in Duke TIP’s business model. This, in turn, resulted in significant layoffs in the Duke TIP offices.

Duke TIP said it still intends to offer enrichment to talented students, and will be looking for new ways to identify those students. Meanwhile, Duke TIP will continue to work with students who were part of previous talent searches to provide them with programs, research and resources.

Categories: Enrichment