SIG eNewsletter: The Gifted Student

June 2015

Sponsored by Davidson Institute

In this issue:

SIG is a program of NSGT, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization

From the President's Desk

A letter from Barbara Swicord, President of SIG:

Top three hot summer S words of the season: Solar, Solstice, and SIG! All three signify the emergence of sunshine, energy, and fun! What a great time of year this is! In the northern hemisphere, students are completing another school year chapter in their lives, people are beginning their plans for the summer, and SIG's 32nd season started off with its first day program in Sarasota, FL on June 15, and with our first residential/commuter program close behind at Emory University in Atlanta, starting June 22. We certainly hope many of our readers will be joining us at any of our many programs or in an online SIG summer course. But, if this is not the year for you, we hope you at least are embracing the promise of summer in other ways.

What I love about summer, as an educator, is the freedom it gives us to allow our participants to discover themselves, what interests them, how they like to learn, and ways they can interact deeply in the summer with intellectual peers from other places. Summer removes restrictions and structures that necessarily define traditional schools, providing welcome opportunity for individualized self-actualization. If you are a student, and find that you have the freedom this summer to enhance your self-understanding, or, if you are an adult who can help to mentor, guide, facilitate, or support a student in such endeavors, and are looking for some ideas, try these ten suggestions:

  1. Research a local community concern and discover how you might be part of a solution for it.
  2. Find a topic that interests you, but that you know nothing about, and learn all you can about it. How can you use this new knowledge?
  3. Be aware of things that don't seem to make sense to you or that you think need improvement and create a new invention to fix what bothers you.
  4. Write – in a journal, for a blog, in a newsletter, for a newspaper, in a letter, for a speech—or just write as a flow of consciousness and see where your thoughts take you.
  5. Reverse engineer (safely) a product that intrigues you. What else can you think of that could be made with this found knowledge? What flaws can you deduce in the original design?
  6. Read—for fun, for information, for research, for analysis, for creative writing ideas—just read --and soak in as much new thought as you can. At the end of the summer, what stands out most to you from what you read? What will you do with that newfound self-awareness?
  7. Put down your technology for a day or more. Go on a nature walk and be in nature; be aware of all there is to offer you in the natural world; be present in those moments, and carry those feelings and thoughts with you into your next human and/or technology interactions. Express appreciation for all that is made available to you, by humans and by nature.
  8. Develop some aspect of your artistic self. Sing, dance, be dramatic, draw, paint, sculpt, do improvisation, study art history, visit museums—what aspect of your creative self-expressive self seems to be strongest? Try pursuing that interest in more depth.
  9. Challenge yourself physically, as well as mentally. How can you get to the next level of wellness and total health? Do you need more exercise, better nutrition, more spiritual growth, more knowledge about wellness research? Health care in the near future will be pervasive in careers of all kinds. Are there any aspects of such future careers that call out to you?
  10. Pick an area of the world where there is discord. Try to summarize the problem causing the discord after doing some research on its origins. If you could be a leader in that area, what would you seek to do? If you could communicate with the current leaders in that region, what would you say? How does the weight of leadership feel to you?

Of course, I'm sure you have your own list in mind, as well, so get going. The summer will be over before we know it and you wouldn't want the fantastic opportunities at your disposal to go to waste. We would love to hear about your interesting summer projects, so feel free to share those with us.

Our next newsletter will be in September, as we will be very busy at camp in July and August! Have a wonderfully free summer doing all you love to do (and we do love to do SIG!) and we will get back together in the fall.

Barbara Swicord
President, Summer Institute for the Gifted

SIG Store – Show Off Your SIG Pride!

SIG Store – Show Off Your SIG Pride!Visit the SIG Store for all of your SIG merchandise needs. Purchase your very own SIG hoodie for those unexpected cool summer nights along with a SIG stainless steel water bottle for those ultra-hot days! SIG products that are available include:

  • Zip Hoodie
  • Hooded Sweatshirt
  • T-shirts
  • Mugs
  • Water Bottles
  • Mousepad
  • Sticker

Please visit the SIG Store. If there is something else you'd like to see added to the SIG Store, please e-mail Kristin Bernor at

Limited Space Still Available at Select Campuses: Apply Now!

We have limited space available at the following campuses:

Residential/Commuter/Extended Commuter Programs

Day Programs

Residential Programs
Students choosing this option will participate in the full curriculum of SIG including the 4-period academic day, evening programs, Saturday Get-Away Days and Sunday Activity Days. Students live on campus in dormitories.

Commuter Program (8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.)
Commuter students participate in the full 4-period academic day, lunch and recreation period. They do not participate in any weekend or evening activities. Commuter students must be dropped off at 8:30 a.m. and picked up at 5:30 p.m.

Extended Commuter Program (8:30 a.m. - 9:15 p.m.)
Extended commuter students will participate in the full 4-period academic day, lunch, recreation period, dinner and all evening activities, as well as the Saturday Getaway trip. Extended commuters do not reside on campus or take part in Sunday activities.

Day Programs (8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. with extended care options)

Please call 866.303.4744 today for more information or visit our website at

Support Gifted Education – Make a Donation Today!

In 2015, SIG, the Program of NSGT, is celebrating 32 years of summer programming for students of high potential and ability. As we enter our fourth decade, we are challenging ourselves to provide opportunities to more gifted students than ever before. Our goal for 2015 is to achieve a scholarship fund of $300,000! We can't do this without your help; no matter what amount, your donation will give students of high capability a chance to maximize their potential. 100% of your donation goes toward scholarships for gifted education. We truly appreciate your participation in programs and advocacy as well as your financial support in years past and we hope we can count on you for a donation (large or small) that will enable NSGT to continue providing opportunities, advocacy, and programs to the extraordinary gifted and talented leaders of our future.

Please visit to participate today. 100% of your donation goes toward scholarships for gifted education.

Kevin's Korner

Summer is such a magnificent Kevin's Korner time of year! As you might expect, this is an exciting, action-packed time for us here at the Summer Institute for the Gifted. We are just a few short days away from our summer, campus-based programs opening and there is much to do: ensuring everything is set on our campuses, processing admissions applications, engaging in professional development with our administrators, faculty, and other staff members, publishing new catalogs, and plenty of other things that enable us to offer high-quality day, residential, and online programs.

For those of us who teach, or have otherwise served in public and private schools during the traditional school year, summer is a time of renewal; it is a time to reflect upon what we have accomplished during the school year, to think about the lives we may have impacted, to prepare and refine our skills, and to renew and refresh ourselves in anticipation for the fall. Here at SIG our schedule is somewhat flipped. We have been doing all of the above since the close of last summer's programs. The summer is a time during which we can apply all of the hard work and careful thought we have put into designing our academic and social programs for your children. It brings a sense of fulfillment, and allows us to see how what we do plays out in practice.

As I reflect upon the past few months, I am particularly pleased with the array of new courses we are offering this summer. Among the many we are eagerly anticipating include: Working the Future, helping prepare students for future challenges and opportunities that will await them in a world we can creatively imagine but do our best to predict; Unlocking the Genetic Code, providing students with opportunities to understand DNA and the processes by which it codes living organisms, as well as the techniques scientists use to re-engineer it; and Synaptic Plasticity: The Adaptable Brain, offering students a neuroscientist's glimpse into the ways that our brains are wired.

We have worked hard to develop courses that reflect the needs of our gifted youth in this evolving world, with bountiful upcoming opportunities that we can only imagine. In addition to our traditionally popular courses, you will notice our growing emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, fostering creativity, and taking an active role in shaping the future.

Summer offers an opportunity for us to put our creativity and reasoning into action, and we are confident that you and your children will be impressed with the results of the hard work we have engaged in since the close of last year's programs. We can't wait to see you on campus and in our online program's virtual classrooms. Here's to 2015; it's looking to be our best summer yet!    

Kevin Wickersham
Academic Director
Summer Institute for the Gifted

What Would You Like to See in the SIG Newsletter?

We are about to launch our SIG Summer 2015 programs. The newsletter will take a break for the summer as we focus on creating amazing gifted experiences. What would you like to see included in future newsletters? Please forward all feedback to Kristin Bernor at by August 1st. We will be back in September!

Puzzle Corner Puzzle Corner

Rearrange the order of the following words and place one on each row of the grid. If placed correctly the names of two cheeses will be read down the shaded columns.

What are they?



Submit your answer online at The first student who submits the correct answer will receive recognition in the next issue of The Gifted Student!


Last Month's Puzzle

What number should appear next in this sequence?

4   5   5   7   14   17   51   55   ?

A: 220. Add one, then multiply by one, add two then multiply by two and so on.

Congratulations to Marcy from Kansas City, Missouri, for being the first to respond with the correct answer to last month's puzzle!

Upcoming Conferences & Events


Professional Summer Institute
June 29 - 30, 2015
Center for Gifted Education (CFGE), The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia



The New Zealand Association for Gifted Children Conference
July 3-5, 2015
"The Many Faces of Giftedness," Speakers: Maureen Niehart, Saad Alamer, Melinda Webber, and more
Waikato University, Hamilton, New Zealand

University of Connecticut's Confratute
July 12 - 17, 2015
Keynotes: Joseph Renzulli, Sally Reis, Del Siegle, Gilman Whiting, Sandra Kaplan, James Kaufman, Ron Beghetto, and more
The Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut


SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) Conference Recommended  
SIG's president, Dr. Barbara Swicord, will be presenting.

July 24 - 26, 2015
"SOAR with SENG: Seeking Opportunities And Resources"
Denver, Colorado

SIG Will Be There


2015 World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC)
August 10 - 14, 2015
"Educating gifted and talented children – turning research into practice," Keynotes: Eunice Alencar, Ching-Chih Kuo, Shirley Kokot, Leonie Kronborg, Jonathan Plucker, Sylvia Rimm, Ann Robinson, and Margaret Sutherland;
Odense, Denmark


Spread the News!

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