Tonight the Davidson Institute for Talent Development honors twenty very special high school students at a reception taking place at the National Museum of the American Indian. Each student has completed a significant piece of work or a project demonstrating unusual talent, creativity, or originality, and each will be presented with a scholarship of $10,000, $25,000, or $50,000—with very few strings attached.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Davidson has awarded more than $4 million to 166 brilliant young scientists, mathematicians, musicians, and writers. This year’s program includes a student who identified compounds that can help convert human and mouse cells into stem cells as well as another who created new musical expressions and listening experiences through classical music.
Similar to the MacArthur Foundation “genius grants,” Davidson fellowships are awarded on the basis of “significant work” that experts in the field recognize as having potential to make a positive contribution to society. According to the Davidson website, the work may be:
• an exceptionally creative application of existing knowledge
• a new idea with high impact
• an innovative solution with broad-range implications
• an important advancement that can be replicated and built upon
• an interdisciplinary discovery
• a prodigious performance
• another demonstration of extraordinary accomplishment
Applications may be submitted in any one of seven different categories, including science, mathematics, technology, music, literature, philosophy, and “outside the box.” Group and team projects are not eligible.
The Davidson fellowships are made possible through the generosity of Bob and Jan Davidson—the geniuses behind children’s educational software such as “Math Blaster” and “Reading Blaster.” The scholarships are one component of a multifaceted program intended to support extraordinary talent among young people.
Deadlines for next year’s competition have already been set, and application forms are now available from the Davidson Institute. To learn more about the fellowship program or download the 2011 application, go directly to the Davidson website.