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Now You See It. Now You Don’t.

June 22, 2009

The Summer Honors Institute. Cut from the original budget, restored under HB1. Reaffirmed by the Ohio Senate Substitute Bill. Cut again by the Governor. Status: doesn’t look good. Truly the only state funded program for gifted high school kids, the Summer Honors Institute provided an opportunity for all identified high school kids in the state to grow intellectually – regardless of their parent’s bank accounts – and get a taste of what college might be like. A level playing field for high ability kids from across all demographics, I am sorry that it has fallen victim to the budgetary blade.

If I had a wish it would be for some enterprising company to lift up this burden and provide summer opportunities for gifted high school students in the fields of medicine, technology, science and/or new energy resource development. The courses would be one to two weeks in duration in a camp-like atmosphere – encouraging a collaborative learning environment among high ability students state-wide. Money would not be a consideration because any identified student in Ohio could participate either in person or by computer. Wealthy children would attend because the program would be prestigious. Middle class and poor children would attend because the only qualification required would be ability and a desire to learn along with other students like them. We could set them to solving the problem of Zebra Mussels in our freshwater lakes and rivers. Or the environmental impact of a wind turbines on migrating bird populations. You could call it the “P&G Institute of Creative Thinking,” or the “Cleveland Clinic Academy of Cognitive Cooperation,” for example. Any takers?

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