Tag: creativity

In Art Class Gifted Students Flex Their Critical Thinking Skills

Although nearly all educators value as an outcome for students skillful critical thinking, defined as well-reasoned reflection informing decisions (Ennis, 1987), many still choose to limit student decision-making and to avoid opportunities for practicing critical thinking. Art classes can be a locus of critical thinking when art teachers encourage a cycle of reasoning, reflection, and evaluation, leading to artistic decision-making. Popular educational resources set high standards for the thinking students do in art class. Research has shown that a rigorous art program can improve critical thinking skills.

Gifted students’ needs include the challenge of practicing critical thinking skills in every class every year. Advancing at an appropriate pace in knowledge and skill is not enough to develop talent. Cognitive abilities also must be developed in various contexts in order to maximize potential as future experts, scholars, and artists.

What would it take for art class to meet gifted students’ needs to develop their critical thinking skills, and what other benefits might art class have for the intellectually gifted? Continue reading



Get Free Resources and Win Scholarships in M3 Math Challenge

NMAG would like to promote student participation in the Moody’s Mega Math Challenge introduced here by Adrienne P. Ali of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Check out their free downloadable Guidebook for Math Modeling as a model your gifted problem-based mathematics. You can also freely use their “What is Math Modeling” video library. Get ready for the Challenge Weekend at the end of this month.


Registration for Moody’s Mega Math (M3) Challenge 2017 will close in about one month!

It may seem like there is plenty of time, yet students who plan to do well are already registered and excitedly using the many resources offered, including FREE, year-long licenses to Mathematica and MATLAB, granted to all students on a team. Fully national since last year, students across the country are putting their heads together to vie for a share of $150,000 in scholarships to be awarded.

As a thought leader in education, can we count on you to help connect teachers and students in your area with this opportunity by distributing the below blurb? This ready to publish blurb is great for newsletters, online calendars, social media posts, and forwarding over email.

Also, please reply directly if you wish to receive promotional flyers, freebie mechanical pencils, and nice door prizes to giveaway at your meetings and events.

Thank you!

Adrianne, for M3 Challenge

Moody’s Mega Math Challenge

Registration for Moody’s Mega Math (M3) Challenge 2017 will close on February 17! Time is running out to register a team of three to five high school juniors and seniors to participate in the M3 Challenge for a chance at part of $150,000 in scholarships. The contest is free and open to U.S. high schools.

Participants solve an open-ended, math-modeling problem focused on a real issue in just 14 hours. Challenge weekend is set for February 24-27, 2017. Register before the deadline: Friday, February 17 at 4 p.m. EST sharp!

Students who hope to do well should use some or all of the many resources offered, including FREE, year-long licenses to Mathematica and MATLAB, available to all registered teams by request. Complete details, rules, and more resources are available at: http://M3Challenge.siam.org.

E-mail contact: m3challenge@siam.org

Designed to motivate students to study and pursue careers in applied math, economics and finance, the contest is sponsored by The Moody’s Foundation and organized by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).

Note: If you would like flyers or posters with more information about the Challenge to distribute to your organizations or colleagues, please send a request with the quantity, due date, and shipping address at the e-mail above.



Video Contest: World of 7 Billion

Are the gifted students at your middle or high school sensitive to global issues? Are they making connections and eager to express their ideas? Can they say it in 60 seconds or less?

Video Contest

Point them to this contest at World of 7 Billion for an authentic audience:

Back by popular demand, the World of 7 Billion student video contest can help you bring technology and creativity into your middle school high school classes. The contest challenges your students to create a short (60 seconds or less) video illustrating the connection between world population growth and one of three global challenges: either climate change, ocean health, or rapid urbanization. Students can win up to $1,000 and their teachers will receive free curriculum resources. The contest deadline is February 23, 2017.



Beyond AI Creativity in School

After the initial chest constriction and moment of panic, I started to think rationally about the latest artificial intelligence (AI) news: Google engineers made a machine that can compose music. It’s the stated goal of Google’s Project Magenta to make “compelling” music and art. The example I listened to, with variations on a theme of the first notes of “Twinkle Twinkle,” sounded like music to me, with simple patterns that drew me in and more complex patterns that held my attention, a nice balance of elaboration and simplicity, every dimension of composition calculated by algorithms. But could it ever generate an inspired performance?

From Ernest Edmonds' "Light Logic" exhibition 2012. Edmonds is a pioneer of interactive, computer-generated artwork.

From Ernest Edmonds’ “Light Logic” exhibition 2012. Edmonds is a pioneer of interactive, computer-generated artwork.

Cognitive Scientist, Margaret Bowden, on MIT’s Technology Review, calls this algorithmic art made by AI “combinational creativity,” essentially imitation remixed. She points out that AI’s processing is “hugely limited by relevance blindness.”

The processing that leads to contextual relevance will be a monumental leap for AI, and I won’t speculate about how soon or how likely it will be that engineers can get machines across such a chasm. Although Project Magenta piques my interest, as a teacher helping to develop students’ talents, I have much more optimism about the potential of children and youth to make that same leap from imitation to inspiration. Continue reading



Growing New Mexico’s Gifted Visual Artists

As a New Mexico public school art teacher turned teacher of gifted students, I’ve long been interested in the overlap of artistic and academic talent. It was satisfying to learn of positive reviews from both professional fields of the recent ESEA reauthorization. The Every Student Succeeds Act has been praised for revisions that will benefit advanced and gifted learners in the public schools It has also been recognized for including the arts as essential, no longer peripheral, to a “well-rounded education.” This reorientation prompted me to consider again what I can do to help develop the talents of gifted visual artists on my caseload.

I’d like to know if anyone in New Mexico is currently providing artistic talent development for students with a demonstrated very superior ability in the domain of visual art. If so, what instruments are used to demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual arts and to show the need for services, and what services can be designed to meet these needs?

The Impact of Disadvantage on Potentially Eminent Visual Artists
Mona Shahid, Artist.

By Daesherri (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

I have no doubt there are students with high potential in the visual arts who, without support, will not be prepared to succeed in post-secondary visual arts training. Without such credentials, they are not likely achieve positions of leadership in the arts and influence the work of museums, galleries, and higher education institutions. They have great potential but may be poor, recent immigrants, or racially, culturally, or linguistically marginalized. Unlike the young artists of families with more resources and connections to invest in talent development through clubs, lessons, mentorships, and arts activities, these disadvantaged students may lack affirmation of their artistic talents while young. For college and careers in the arts, they might lack the preparedness of better resourced peers. Can New Mexico’s gifted education programs support young, high-ability visual artists who lack their own connections and resources?
Continue reading