The Educational Forum in Northern New Jersey -  Mar. 19, 2016
at Delbarton School  -  230 Mendham Rd., Morristown, NJ  07960
delbarton logo
 CO-HOST :   DELBARTON SCHOOL  has fostered intellectual and personal growth for three quarters of a century. Its academic environment, established by the Benedictine Order of the Roman Catholic Church, has prepared boys, grades seven through 12, for the most selective colleges in the country.
Participating Organizations

   TOPICS FOR INTELLECTUALLY CURIOUS MINDS:   for parents, students and friends

A Practical Map for the Road to College
It is one of life’s burdens – the college application process. Make it easier on yourself by learning some of the tools that will enable you to be an appealing admissions candidate. Most importantly, discover and be reassured that you do not need to compromise on hopes and dreams to find a college that will serve you best.
Presenter: Keith Berman, President   Options for College
Smart Girls, Challenging Times
Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck’s research reveals that high-achieving girls are significantly and disproportionately quick to display characteristics of helplessness when confronted with challenging tasks. Why does this happen? What makes the smartest girls this vulnerable? Come explore the challenges that girls and their parents face as they navigate a society, and even a world, that marginalizes female intelligence. Gain insight into the subtleties that govern the lives of smart girls and their perception of their ability, their potential, and their value. And, become better aware of how a high-achieving girl can address the obstacles she must meet in her quest for happiness and success.
Presenter: Laura Burgess, Director of Recruitment Emma Willard School
The New SAT, New ACT and College Admissions
The College Board and the ACT organizations have both announced upcoming changes to their tests that will dynamically alter the college admissions playing field for the future. With their vigorous market campaigning coupled with their extensive educational business relationships, both test administrations have been effectively targeting state-level standards and college admission approaches to better comply with the testing adjustments that will soon materialize. Come and find out what exactly will be changing on the SAT and the ACT and the very real ramifications on college admissions. More importantly, see how you can prepare yourself for what’s coming next.
Presenter: Edward Kim, Director of Curriculum  C2 Education
Academic Talent Development: Five Paths for Parents
A survey of the field of gifted education reveals few agreed-upon approaches for educating advanced learners that are sure-fire for every child. But take heart: There are some ways to proceed as a parent that raise chances for success. We’ll examine definitions of academic talent, parenting approaches that encourage motivation, considerations for a broader purpose for school, and a rubric for selecting providers of talent development opportunities beyond school. Come away with a deeper understanding of the choices before you, and a better idea of the paths that would most benefit your child.
Presenter: Charles Beckman, Manager, Parent and Volunteer Relations Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth
Addressing the "I'm Bored" Mantra
It is a two-syllable plaint that is at once a declaration and request ... and we have all heard it. It could reflect the mood of the moment or it could indicate an underlying lack of engagement. As talented and high-achieving as a student may be, it can often be difficult for the student, teachers, and parents to understand the root of frustration when "I'm bored" is continually repeated. Yet, these words are an invitation for remedy. They can herald occasions to uncover from where frustrations are coming and discover ways of addressing needs. Join a discussion on how to take advantage when hearing the "I'm bored" pronouncements and how to work with your student and help him or her achieve the goals you are supporting.
Presenter: Joel Pitt, Associate Director of Admission  Bard College at Simon's Rock
The Power of Creative Writing
Too often, young people's attempts to develop their writing skills are restrained by their uncertainty of grammar, or of what subjects or formats are "allowed." Giving students the space to make mistakes and express themselves creatively and in an environment uninhibited by censorship can make learning how to write not only doable but also enjoyable. Discover how providing a safe space for creativity can foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in your child.
Presenter: Kira Peikoff Beilis ,  NJ Regional Manager and Head Instructor  Writopia Lab
You, Your Child, & Einstein: The Imposter Syndrome
Have you ever worried that someday someone will find out your success is due purely to luck? Do you have a fear of failure,or a feeling that your hard work is never enough? If so, then you and about 70% of the population suffer from the Impostor Syndrome. It’s usually the highest achieving and most gifted people that get hit the hardest - Einstein, Tina Fey, Maya Angelou, you … your student. It is hard enough to deal with these feelings as adults, but it is harder when we see our children exhibiting the same fears. Come take a look at the Impostor Syndrome and learn how to combat this condition and give your children the confidence and skills they need to succeed.
Presenter: Jill Schaffer, Director  The Experimentory at Deerfield Academy
Teaching 21st Century Skills
The exponential growth in STEM-based technologies and the globalization of today’s market economy demand much of current K-12 curricula to prepare our students for the future. That’s because as the world keeps changing, it becomes increasingly challenging to ascertain the proficiencies and knowledge necessary for tomorrow’s demands. The U.S. Labor Department estimates that 65% of today’s students will hold jobs that have not yet been invented. As such, creativity and critical thinking are important skills that our educational system must foster in order for students to adapt successfully to ever-evolving conditions. Join a discussion to see how schools are fulfilling this task and learn what tools and techniques can be applied to ensure your student is well prepared for the 21st century.
Presenter: Carmine Liuzzi, Affiliate Director  NJ Destination Imagination
Experiential Service Learning
It is one of the most effective, and engaging, ways to broaden intellectual and emotional savviness. This is the process of gaining wisdom and self-assurance through personal experience undertaken in the service of others. Through description and examples, discover and understand how service learning has the capability to enable one to accrue a wealth of personal benefits – self-reliance, humility, communication skills, to name a few – that will contribute extensively to fostering emotional growth and confidence.
Presenter: Brian Theroux, Science Teacher  Delbarton School
Raising Creative Scholars
Everybody has the potential to be creative ... how to develop the potential into actuality that is the task at hand. Begin by exploring creativity - how it is defined and comprised - and hear of its common myths. Then, view the issues that are key to nurturing creativity in both the classroom and at home: what is it that motivates, or stalls; how to identify elements associated with being creative; how to infuse creativity into content-driven material. Come away with the ability to draw forth the creativity in your child and help widen the capacity for emotional and intellectual growth.
Presenter: Sarah Luria,  Primoris Academy
The Value of Voice in Success
It is the art of putting your best foot forward. It is how you can convey yourself effectively and memorably in an interview, on a standardized test, in an application essay, in class, or online. To be sure, if you had to think about it, the number of different ways you must present yourself can be overwhelming. Moreover, to present yourself in the best possible light, particularly in a medium that you might not consider to be your strongest suit, can be daunting. Come gain strategies to help identify the strengths in your own written and spoken delivery. And, learn how to apply those strengths in a variety of venues and disciplines so that you can put your best foot forward, anytime.
Presenter: Julia Gentile,  Director of Studies  Kent Place School
iFamilies & Smartkids: Leveraging Technology & Social Media for Success
Our fast-paced digital revolution is creating a multitude of challenges for the 21st century family. Modern-day child rearing necessitates a continually updated knowledge of technological and social media trends, as well as parenting practices that allow for the benefits that enhanced digitalization provides. Adolescents, who tend to be more informed than their parents about technological and social media, may lack the critical understanding of the potential perils of their use. Become aware, or raise your awareness, of the positive applications of social media and technology; and of the legal, social, and emotional consequences of their misuse. Finally, discover strategies for enhancing parent-child relationships in this ever-changing digital age so that you can take a bow for the new revolution.
Presenters: Rob Flynn, Technology Integration Specialist, and Matthew D'Urso, Ph.D., Dean of Guidance  Delbarton School
How Test Prep, GPA, & Academics Impact Financial Opportunities, Scholarships and Aid
Investing in your child's education involves many financial considerations given the ever-increasing cost of college. But, before making the leap to pay for college, families should understand how a student's full high school profile (GPA, course load, test prep scores, etc.) is factored into obtaining college scholarships, merit-based scholarships and aid. More importantly, involving the student in leveraging this financial awareness into a plan of action has shown to generate stronger commitment and engagement on the part of the student in the college admission process and, hence, greater gains in financial support. Come and find out what financial opportunities may be offered according to your child's high school profile and start developing your own plan to invest in your child's future.
Presenter: Anthony Weinkopff,  Co-Founder  Embrace Tutoring and Educational Services
The Social & Academic Trade-Offs of a Small Learning Environment
Students who have intellectual capability could face a barrage of challenges as they develop. Precociousness, sensitivity, curiosity - attributes that cultivate a capacity to learn and understand may also be inhibitors in a classroom environment that serves a wide range of abilities. Frustration about a slow pace of learning often results in boredom and apathy. The issues derived from an inadequate learning pace, of course, can be addressed in small, or one-on-one, learning conditions. But do these conditions that could foster intellectual progress come at a cost of social development? Discover the challenges and trade-offs of small learning environments and find out if such arenas are best suited for your child’s academic and social growth.
Presenter: Matt Douglas,  Director of Admission and Outreach (Princeton)  Fusion Academy
Gifted/Talented Advocacy: When the Answer is "No"
You've met with your child's teachers. You've tried to meet with the principal. You're considering challenging the school board to get the accommodation your child needs. You are not optimistic. To be sure, there is no clear cut way for advocating on behalf of your gifted/talented child, or for yourself, if you are a gifted/talented learner. But, there are ways to help reduce barriers. Come gain an understanding of some advocacy protocols; become acquainted with the characteristics of effective programs and services for the gifted and talented. Obtain tools to become flexible in a seeming inflexible situation. And, even it you are just starting down the advocacy path, it is always good to be prepared.
Presenter: Paulette V. Blowe,  Director  Montclair State University Gifted & Talented Program

        for students 

Getting SAT/ACT Savvy and Boosting Scores (grades 7-12)
Did you know that many of the qualities that enable one to be a great student actually can inhibit SAT/ACT test performance? If you didn’t know, then this workshop may well be worth attending. Discover some of the biggest mistakes capable students make when they take standardized exams. Learn how to recognize and avoid these mistakes and how to adopt test strategies that can transform the overall testing experience into an easier and less stressful challenge. The added benefit is that lowered anxiety levels almost always lead to performance gains. So, get empowered to ace the exams and even find enjoyment along the way.
Hot Notebook! (grades 4-8, 7-12)
This is creative writing at 100 mph. You and others will each be assigned a unique character and a want – perhaps, for example, one looking to solve an agricultural crisis begun by a maniacal politician - and be charged to begin a story until randomly instructed to pass your story to another. At each turn, you’ll tap the limits of your creativity, navigating conflicts, confronting twists, and making sense of crazy dialogues so as to enable the story’s character to achieve his or her goal. Speed chess? Improv? They might hold a candle to the pace of Hot Notebook! Come write a story (or six) and discover how plot builds character … perhaps even yours.
Presenter: Writopia Lab
Mission: Possible (grades 4-6, 7-12)
Your mission, should you decide to accept, is to confront an undisclosed challenge with nothing more than your imagination, the qualities of your team, and some sundry, everyday, supplies. You may have to build a bridge of “x” feet in length, a tower of “y” feet in height, or create a presentation that emulates a Shakespearean drama ... and, there is that time limit pressure element. Behold the power of teamwork, appreciate the inner reserves of creativity, for without these qualities, success may not be fully realized. Think fast and create!
Rhyme & Reason: Poetry and the Scientific Mind  (grades 7-12)
Yes, Virginia, there are connections between poetry and the scientific mind. Both poets and scientists adhere to rules, rely on careful observation, and, most importantly, seek ways to understand the world around us. Experience ways that geology, chemistry, and biology make poetry accessible. And, use the art of poetry to explore complex scientific topics. To those of the scientific sort, become a keener observer of the qualitative wonders that nature provides. To those of the artistic sort, become better attuned to the quantitative precision that the scientific thought process demands. To those of both sorts, discover how you can enhance your overall awareness. This is a win-win-win proposition. No poetic or scientific mastery required.
Presenter: Delbarton School
Attacking the "Blank Page"  (grades 4-6)
"Writer's block", "artistic block", "blank page" - all describe a condition when no ideas come to mind and progress grinds to a halt. This can be an uncomfortable situation in the midst of a writing assignment, an art project, or anything that requires imagination and thought. There is that often-heard list of advice: take a breath, laugh at yourself, take chances, fill the page ... but, all of us know that any, or all, of these suggestions are never completely effective. The secret is knowing how to apply those suggestions so that "the blank page" can be conquered. So, come learn a non-threatening, art-based process that can help you overcome those "blank pages" you face and make life infinitely easier for yourself.
Presenter: Kent Place School
Itching Your Programming Urges with Scratch  (grades 7-12)
Scratch – the high-level language that makes coding fun. Here, there are none of those linguistic inconveniences that contribute to the complexities of programming like in the “good old” days. Yet, all the fundamental concepts of real programming - loops, conditionals, iterations, etc. - are still relevant in Scratch’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface. That makes Scratch the ideal vehicle to experience an engaging world of systematic reasoning, logical thinking and creative problem solving. Obtain a practical coding perspective by applying Scratch to familiar concepts from geometry and algebra. Chances are that you will eventually have to develop some digital literacy, so why not begin your journey here?
Presenter: Delbarton School
To "SAT" or "ACT", That is the Question  (grades 7-12)
Reduce your college planning to-do list when you attend this handy session on the comparative benefits of the SAT and ACT tests. Discover, once and for all, why you might prefer one of these college entrance exams over the other, or if it might behoove you to take both. Even if the pressures of college planning loom somewhat over the horizon, it would be good to get a feeling on one of the more important college-related issues that you will be facing when your parents and guidance counselors begin bearing down. So, gain valuable insights on both tests, experience some practice problems, and obtain a stronger feel on which test is right for you.
Presenter: C2 Education
The Art of Persuasion (grades 6-9)
Stand up and be heard. Become acquainted with a number of debating tactics – such as employing the straw man and red herrings, generalizing on examples and identifying causal errors – that can help you greatly in getting your points across. And, should you be accosted by a would-be persuader, be able to recognize an argument that is presented with sneaky reasoning, or genuine brilliance. Whether you like to debate in a formal setting, campaign for the class presidency, wish to sell your obsolete gaming platform to a prospective buyer, or buy one from a seller, it will behoove you to know how to persuade, or how not to be persuaded, under every circumstance.
Codes, Secrets and Ciphers - Cryptology 101 (grades 5-8)
Cryptology – the study of creating and cracking codes and ciphers. See some early examples of concealing messages, such as invisible writing. Learn techniques to encipher messages that only your intended recipient can read. Maintaining secure lines of communications can be of essential value, especially if you are passing notes in class. Discover why cryptology might have shortened World War II by two years; and why it is such a huge area of research in mathematics today - "someone" thinks the subject is important.
The Morris County Soap Laboratory (grades 4-6)
Combine chemistry with craft and create a cleanser fit for consumption. Obtain foundational chemical knowledge that defines the mechanism of "soap"("states of matter", pH testing, acids, bases ... ), then receive the procedural knowledge that governs professional laboratory operational and safety guidelines, then get into production mode and produce a unique soap product that would make your mother proud. Your parents would welcome your new-found interest in cleanliness, and you would gain insight in a scientific approach to getting your hands dirty in order to gain the ability to make them sparkle.
Presenter: Primoris Academy
Architecture, Culture, and You - The Experimentory at Deerfield Academy (grades 6-8)
With an architect's eyes, combine your interest of function, your appreciation of design, and your awareness of your surroundings to explore concepts of customs, sustainability and the world around us. Examine how local culture, climate, topography, and resources have historically governed the model and function of man-made structures. Then, look at contemporary times where an increasing reliance on technology has diminished many of the long-established traditions that defined building design. Finally, see for yourself how much you are influenced by a changing world when you sketch out your own ideas of how a building should look. This is a multi-dimensional intellectual experience not to be missed.
Meet the Fibonaccis (grades 4-6)
No one likes patterns more than mathematicians, and Fibonacci numbers stamp their patterns everywhere they go, from flower petals to nautilus shells. We’ll set you loose with dominoes and Starbursts so you can discover why this classic number sequence amazes mathematicians. The session promises to build your math agility and maybe even your appreciation for pure math . . . and Starbursts.
Predicaments in Predicting: Applying Severe Weather Expertise (gr.4-8)
Did you know that a major role of the world's so-called “super computers” is to predict weather? That's because the variables for predicting global weather patterns are considered too complex and too dynamic for any mere mortal, or the average computer, to handle. But why be concerned with next year's minor front over in Morocco when all you want is to gauge the probability of next Monday’s snow storm on the eve of next Tuesday's math test? Make this know-how a reality when you learn how to become an expert in predicting and analyzing severe weather events. One can, after all, make reasonable assessments of major weather conditions, if you know how. So, come apply your analytical STEM skills and learn about something worth knowing about.