Gifted and Talented Symposium starts Sunday

Published 3:20 pm Friday, June 10, 2011

There’s going to be intelligent discussion going on next week in Austin on, well, intelligence.

The third annual Gifted and Talented Symposium will be held in Austin Sunday through Thursday next week. The conference, put on by Austin Public Schools and Minnesota Department of Education, will include presentations, keynote addresses and demonstrations from some of the top national and international minds on how to best teach the top of the class.

“It is exciting to see that level of interest” in meetings the needs of students who excel, said John Alberts, director of educational services.

Email newsletter signup

There’s a lot of talks covering many aspects of education from a lot of experts to boot. There’s a talk about whether receiving accolades gets in the way of learning, as well as how gender influences learners. There’s talks about using improvisation (of the theatrical variety) in the classroom to get students excited and even a speech from Dr. Ann Robinson, President of the National Association for Gifted Children, this Wednesday.

“We’re really excited this year too because in conjunction with this, we’ve been able to offer a math camp for kids,” said Alberts. The camp, which was available to third through sixth-graders, takes place every morning next week led by experts who’ll give strategies on learning math using things like origami and cube blocks.

“We’re very fortunate,” Alberts said.

The conference is open to residents for free, so all are welcome. Events usually kick off around 8:30 a.m. with a keynote speech at the Frank W. Bridges Theatre in Riverland. For more information, visit