Announcing the Gifted India Network+ #26

+ Upcoming Events | Upcoming Courses

Quote of the Week

“Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?

-Benjamin Franklin


Hi, this is the GenWise team- we bring out this newsletter to help parents and educators to complement the work of formal schools and associated systems. We can help our children thrive in these complex times only by exchanging ideas and insights and collaborating on this.

In this week’s main post, we announce the launch of the Gifted India Network- a consortium dedicated to meeting the needs of academically advanced learners and creating an ecosystem for such students in India.

You are invited to be an early member and beta-tester of the GenWise Club (ages 13-90), a community of interested students, parents, and educators. Check out this link for more about the club and how to join it. It is open to all in the current beta phase. 

Join this conversation on learning, by commenting on our posts, or joining our club community for more regular and closer interactions.

Contents

  1. Announcing the Gifted India Network

  2. Upcoming Courses @GenWise

  3. Upcoming External Events

Announcing the Gifted India Network

We are excited to launch the Gifted India Network - a consortium of Universities, Schools, Companies and Non-Profit Organizations - all of who recognize that the conventional classroom does not always provide the challenges that a gifted child might need.

The founding members of Gifted India Network are:

•    Center for Talent Development, Northwestern University

•    Educational Initiatives

•    GenWise, and

•    Agastya International Foundation

CTD’s Talent Development approach to gifted education is the charter for all collaborators in the Gifted India Network, and promotes these core ideas:

· Talents and passions need to be identified and nurtured.

· Talents can be developed through learning and practice.

· Talent development requires more than content knowledge; it takes supporting the student holistically to develop critical psychosocial skills. 

Giftedness is not a state of being. It’s a process, a journey, that involves developing potential into achievement in an area of interest and passion.

Ei- ASSET Talent Search (Ei- ATS) will help identify gifted children in India and the Middle East and high-performing Ei- ATS scholars will have access to advanced courses in India through the GenWise Summer Programme, and through GenWise Online and Agastya’s programs. They will also have access to international programs by Northwestern CTD - both their residential programs on the Northwestern University Campus in the USA, as well as their online offerings. In addition to accessing offerings from the founding members, parents and educators will also be able to connect with other experts/ organisations in the field through the Gifted India Network.

Parents, educators and others interested can subscribe to receive updates on activities of the Gifted India Network by filling in the ‘subscribe form’ on this page.

Talk by Dr. Paula Olszewski-Kubilius

The first expert talk of the Gifted India Network is by Dr. Paula Olszewski-Kubelius, Head of the Center for Talent Development, Northwestern University on Fri, Oct 29 at 6 PM IST. The talk is titled ‘The Importance of Non-Cognitive Skills in Talent Development’.

3 types of questions spring to mind when we think about developing children's talents-

  1. Is giftedness natural ability or achievement or both? Can you start gifted and become 'un gifted'?

  2. How does one translate potential into achievement? What is the process of talent development?

  3. I am providing my child opportunities I never had- but she doesn't focus, she gets anxious... What's going on?

This session will address all 3 questions and particularly the importance of psychosocial skills in talent development.

A  large component of developing talent into high achievement in school  and productive careers in adulthood are psychosocial skills such as  optimism, effort, resiliency, openness to feedback and challenge. In  this session we will discuss how parents can cultivate these skills in  their children so as to maximize their talents and abilities.

The details of the talk and the registration form are available here.  The talk is relevant to both parents and educators.

Why do we need such a forum?

Gifted learners are at the upper end of the distribution in a particular talent domain (top 1%- 5% typically). Systemic efforts to provide additional enrichment and learning opportunities to such gifted students are important for 2 reasons-

  1. Without adequate challenge, these students may lose motivation and under-achieve.

  2. Gifted students realizing their potential is important for society as a whole, as they outweigh the rest of society in the extent of their influence.

“…these gifted students, the 'mathletes' of the world, can shape the future. When you look at the issues facing society now — whether it's health care, climate change, terrorism, energy — these are the kids who have the most potential to solve these problems.”

-David Lubinski, Psychologist, SMPY, Vanderbilt University

There are few initiatives in India related to identifying and nurturing gifted students, and those that exist are small and disconnected from each other. Many teachers and parents are not aware of the idea of giftedness or believe that gifted students will ‘make it on their own’ and do not need special support. Even when there is recognition of the need for special support, there are few avenues to get such support.

We derive encouragement from the fact that the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) spells out a direction towards addressing this situation. Section 4.44 of NEP 2020 says that “Teachers will aim to encourage students with singular interests and/or talents in the classroom by giving them supplementary enrichment material and guidance and encouragement.” It also spells out the need for high-quality national residential summer programmes with a rigorous merit-based but equitable admission process to attract the very best students and teachers from across the country including from socio-economically disadvantaged groups.

Invitation to School Charter Members

Schools have a crucial role to play in realizing the charter of the Gifted India Network shared above. We are looking for School Charter Members who will engage with us closely in working on these ideas. Exchanging ideas and showcasing the initiatives of school charter members on this platform will inspire our collective efforts on working with academically gifted students. If you are a school and are interested in being a part of the Gifted India Network, please write to vishnu@genwise.in.

Follow the Gifted India Network on Social Media

Twitter

Facebook

LinkedIn

Upcoming Courses @GenWise

Details of upcoming GenWise courses are available here. The next few courses are listed below.

Register

Register

Upcoming External Events

The below events are free to attend unless otherwise specified.

  1. How Companies Build Data-Based Recommendation Systems (part of the Data Science Lecture Series for school students)

    This talk is targeted at students in the age range 13-17 and is part of a series of talks in the 'Agastya Junior Data Scientists Club' (more about this club at the end of this note). The session will be on Saturday, 2nd October, 6pm-7pm. Please register here to receive a zoom link by email. There is a limit of 100 participants and if you are unable to join by zoom, you can attend the talk through this link on Youtube-

    The Guest Speaker this month is Ankit Jetwani (Platform Product Manager, Airtel). Ankit has been a data scientist, product manager, and in other data related roles at Airtel, PayTM, and Dell Computers. His work has always revolved around using data to solve high impact business problems.

    Ankit did his undergraduate studies from BITS Pilani and an MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur where he was an Aditya Birla Scholar. Originally from Indore, he is an internationally rated chess player. Apart from this, he enjoys quizzing in his free time.

    Ankit will speak about how companies build recommendation systems, what data is used for this, and the algorithms used (for example, collaborative filtering). He will also talk about the business impact of such data-based decisions.

    The 'Agastya Junior Data Scientists Club' had about 100 students participating in a 6-week long course on data science from Jul to Sep 2021. Students continue to be part of a community for 1 year beyond the end of the course to learn more about the subject. The talks and interactions in this community are open to all students now and not restricted to just the students who were part of the course.

    GenWise developed and delivered the course on data science for Agastya’s highly able learners program. GenWise Mentor, Navin Kabra, developed and facilitated the course, supported by a team of teaching assistants. The Junior Data Scientists Club is supported by Mytrah Energy and Pravaha Foundation.

  2. Finding your Voice! An In-Person Storytelling Workshop in Bengaluru (Paid)

    Ankit has worked with students in previous GenWise residential camps at IIIT Hyderabad and Bangalore International School and his sessions were very popular- we recommend his workshop highly. If children are interested in storytelling, theatre and ‘finding themselves’, these sessions will be both fun and relevant.

    This is a two day long workshop on the art of Storytelling. The workshop is from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday (Oct 9 & 10, 2021) and the venue is a hall near Ulsoor lake (Bengaluru). A small group of 12-15 adolescents is expected and 5 seats are still available. This experiential workshop involves the use of drama, visual art, rhythm, movements and narratives. Participants are given a safe space to feel comfortable and gradually expand the boundaries of their comfort. No prior exposure or experience in storytelling or public speaking necessary.

    Ankit Dwivedi, the facilitator, is trained in Storytelling at Emerson College, England. He is also a trained Art Therapy practitioner. With 10+ years of experience in Performing Arts & Group Facilitation, he has worked with hundreds of young people and professionals. To register interest or know more, reach out to him at +91 9769576038.

  3. Up Close with Science: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance ( part of the Chai and Why series targeted at school students) on Sunday, Oct 3, 2021 at 11 AM from the cool TIFR outreach team. Zoom, YouTube & FBLive links available here. Here’s what the session blurb says-

    Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, NMR, is a powerful analytical technique that has revolutionized chemical, biological and medical sciences. By using the magnetic properties of the nuclei of certain atoms when kept in a very strong magnetic field, NMR spectroscopy has allowed scientists to visualize the structures of complex molecules with amazing detail. NMR also forms the basis for MRI imaging, widely used in medical diagnostics today. In this session we'll visit the National NMR Facility at TIFR and take a peek into the wonderful world of nuclear spins placed in powerful magnetic fields.

    About the speaker: Mamata is a Scientific Officer in TIFR. Her research interests are NMR and application.

    While registration isn't needed to watch this session, do fill in this form

  4. Bengaluru Bird Day Talk at 4 PM IST on Sat, Oct 2, 2021. Abhisheka Krishnagopal (Artist, Ecologist, Nature Educator) and Garima Bhatia (Avid Birdwatcher) will be giving a talk about the 'Handbook for Bird Educators' they have co-created, at the Bangalore Bird Day (celebrated on Oct 2nd every year). Do register at www.birdday.in. Registrations for the nature walk are closed, but you can attend the virtual session.