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2011 General Sessions and Mini-Keynotes

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Schedule at a Glance 

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What You'll Find at the NAGC Convention 

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General Sessions and Mini-Keynotes 

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Parent Day 

Virtual Convention 

Thursday, November 3
Opening General Session
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Bill Nye

Not many people can say their mother was a codebreaker, they studied with Carl Sagan, and hold a patent for ballet toe shoes. But most people just know him as Bill Nye the Science Guy®.

Scientist, engineer, comedian, author, and inventor, Bill Nye is a man with a mission: to help foster a scientifically literate society, to help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work. Making science entertaining and accessible is something Bill has been doing most of his life.

Bill’s fascination with how things work led him to Cornell University and a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduation, he headed for Seattle and worked as an engineer at Boeing.

It was in Seattle that Bill began to combine his love of science with his flair for comedy, as an engineer by day and a stand-up comic by night. This is where “Bill Nye the Science Guy®” was born. While working on the Science Guy show, Bill won numerous Emmy awards and he wrote five kids’ books about science, including his latest title, “Bill Nye’s Great Big Book of Tiny Germs.”

Bill Nye is the host of three currently running television series. “The 100 Greatest Discoveries” airs on the Science Channel, “The Eyes of Nye” airs on PBS stations across the country, and Bill’s latest project is hosting a show on Planet Green called “Stuff Happens.” It’s about environmentally responsible choices that consumers can make as they go about their day and their shopping.

For the last few years, Bill has served as Vice President of The Planetary Society, the world’s largest space-interest group.

America’s favorite stand-up scientist hasn’t changed much from that kid growing up in Washington, DC. He still rides his bike to work. He’ll pull out his Periodic Table of the Elements or his Map of Human Skin Tone from his wallet or show them to you on his phone display.

NAGC wishes to thank Disney Educational Productions and Disney Youth Programs for their support.

DEP                                           DYP 

 Bill Nye

Saturday, November 5
E. Paul Torrance Creativity Session (part of the Crescent City Celebration)
5:00 - 6:00 PM


Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Join us for a playful, hands-on exploration of the imaginative thinking tools necessary to creating. Building on their work in Sparks of Genius, the Root-Bernsteins share compelling stories of creative people and draw us into re-creating for ourselves their imaginative skills and strategies. Heighten observation, form patterns, think with body and play your way to an understanding of creative imagination across the arts and sciences.  

Root Bernstein 

Sunday, November 6
Closing General Session
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

George Rodrigue

Born and raised in New Iberia, LA, the heart of Cajun country, George Rodrigue's work remains rooted in the familiar milieu of home. After studying art at the University of Southwest Louisiana in Lafayette, and the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, he returned to Louisiana. He developed his unique style, using the area's visual symbols not only to capture the essence of his personal world, but also to express his spiritual and cultural ideas as they pertained to Louisiana, to the South, and to America.

A Smarter BreedUsing the oak tree as his subject in hundreds of paintings in the early 1970s, Rodrigue eventually expanded his oeuvre to include the Cajun people and traditions, as well as his interpretations of myths such as Jolie Blonde and Evangeline. It was one of these myths, the loup-garou, which inspired Rodrigue's most famous series, the Blue Dog.

The Blue Dog, as well as other series such as Bodies, Hurricanes, and Reflections continue to challenge Rodrigue artistically.

 George Rodrigue

Friday, November 4
8:45 AM - 10:15 AM

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: What Really Constitutes Differentiation for Gifted Learners?

Differentiation has become the new buzzword in the field of education. It is being used to describe any individualized effort in classrooms for students with many different profiles, only some of whom are gifted. Has this term, which originated within gifted education, been hijacked and its meaning and application corrupted? Has differentiation dissolved into a new philosophy of individualization of learning for everyone? Since most gifted children are served primarily in heterogeneous classrooms, a major issue facing gifted educators is defining what really constitutes an appropriate education. In this session you will hear leading researchers and practitioners give their views on what differentiation really is and what it is not.

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Joyce VanTassel-Baska, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA Catherine Little, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT Tamra Stambaugh, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN  
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William E. Harner, Cumberland Valley School District, Mechanicsburg, PA Jennifer Hoffman, Waldwick School District, Waldwick, NJ Kelly A. Hedrick, Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach, VA  
Critical Questions in Talent Development: Answered through 40 Years of Longitudinal Research by Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY)

What has SMPY learned in 40 years? Who among talent search participants become eminent and creative as adults? Do educational interventions in adolescence boost adult creativity and professional accomplishment? Can we enhance the likelihood that true excellence will emerge? What happens to mathematically talented women? Do we systematically miss certain groups of individuals with current talent search procedures? These and other compelling questions on talent development will be addressed using longitudinal data collected over four decades on 5,000 talent search participants within the top 1% in ability.

 Lubinski  camilla benbow    

David Lubinski, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Camilla P. Benbow, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN    
Stereotypes and the Nature and Nurture of Intelligence

This thought-provoking session goes beyond the concept of stereotype threat, self-esteem, motivation, and attitudes to explore the nature and the nurture of human intelligence. For more than a decade, Dr. Joshua Aronson has been studying stereotypes, working closely with Claude Steele on exploring the phenomenon of stereotype threat. The presenter also discusses the social conditions that promote intelligent thought and those that impair it. You’ll learn how to use this knowledge to help your students perform better on tests, maintain motivation in the face of challenges, and enjoy the learning process.

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Joshua Aronson, New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York, NY      

Saturday, November 5
8:45 AM - 10:15 AM

A Focus on the Arts: Arts Integration and Arts Programming for Gifted Students

Attend this session to learn about the various ways to include the arts in your school's gifted programming. The state of Louisiana mandates programming in the arts for students so identified. The Talented Arts Program requires the development of curriculum for the visual arts and performance instruction for all Louisiana students. Hear from leading Louisiana educators about their arts programs and models. One incorporates the arts into a residential, state-supported school that also focuses on math and science. Others integrate the arts into elementary, middle, or high schools that serve primarily minority students or rural students. Another program is community-based and serves students in an urban area on a part-time basis. You’re sure to hear ideas to apply to your own program.

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Karren Ryder, St. Landry Parish Schools, Opelousas, LA Pat Widhalm, Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts, Natchitoches, LA Kyle Wedberg, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, New Orleans, LA Bethany A. France, Louisiana Department Of Culture, Recreation, And Tourism,  Baton Rouge, LA  
Bullying of and by Gifted Children and Teens

Experts on the social and emotional development of gifted youth present perspectives related to bullying of and by gifted children and teens.  They will discuss unexpected findings in a qualitative national study of bullying experienced by gifted students, what teachers should be alert to and how they can address bullying, how therapists might approach working with victims or perpetrators who are gifted, and vulnerabilities related to bullying.  All panelists will share thoughts related to cyberbullying, family- and school-systemic strategies for countering bullying, current legislation related to bullying, assessment of risk for self-harm for victims, and why intervention for bullies may be as important as attention to their targets.

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Jean Peterson, Purdue University, West Lafayette, LA Dan Peters, Walnut Creek, CA Tom Hebert, University of Georgia, Athens, GA  Michelle Haj-Broussard, McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA

Connecting for High Potential: How Parents, Teachers, and School Counselors Can Work Collaboratively to Reverse Underachievement for Gifted Students.

Nothing is more distressing or perplexing to parents and educators when students with tremendous ability and talent are disengaged from school or achieving below their potential. The causes of underachievement are complex and approaches to ameliorating it must be multi-faceted. In this session, we examine the family, school, and psycho-social factors that contribute to underachievement among talented students. Our panel members have expertise about family dynamics and family systems related to achievement, gifted education programming and instructional practices to engage learners, and psychological issues that affect motivation and achievement. Panel members will present on their area of expertise followed by discussion on how schools, families, and counselors can work collectively to reverse underachievement.  

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Sylvia Rimm, Family Achievement Clinic, Sheffield Lake, OH Del Siegle, University and Connecticut, Storrs, CT   D. Betsy McCoach, University and Connecticut, Storrs, CT