The Educational Forum in Westchester County, NY -  Apr. 2, 2016
at The Masters School  -  49 Clinton Ave., Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
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 CO-HOST :    THE MASTERS SCHOOL  provides its 5th-12th grade students with a challenging academic environment that prepares its graduates for success at top colleges throughout the country, and for life beyond. The school’s Harkness table approach fosters learning that engenders participation, collaboration and initiative. Its location, just 12 miles from Manhattan, enables the committed use of cultural and educational resources that only New York City can offer.
Participating Organizations

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

You, Your Child & Einstein
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
Considerations for Early College
The early college option could be a most rewarding educational experience. In an early college setting, students learn in an environment where advanced course material is not only the norm, but also where the expectation for intellectual fulfillment is commonplace. It is a setting where curiosity and the desire to learn can combine in a way that could foster substantial intellectual and emotional growth. Yet, even among advanced learners, early college may not be the best educational path to follow. Come learn about the different types of early college approaches and, more importantly, the type of student who would most benefit from this choice.
Presenter: Alan Dupont, Admission Counselor  Bard Academy / Bard College at Simon's Rock
How to Assess Summer Enrichment Programs
The selections seem infinite, as do the possible settings, purposes, and emphases. These are the wide assortment of summer enrichment programs all offering experiences that would provide your child with intellectual and emotional growth. But how would you look for a program that is best suited for your child’s needs and for your financial budget? More importantly, how might you assess the program’s suitability relative to the benefits that it may provide? Join in for a discussion that could enable you to contribute meaningfully to your child’s life.!
Presenter: Robert Friedman, Director - Penn Summer Discovery  Summer Discovery
Elementary Algebra: The Importance of Early Abstract Math
Traditional math curricula shun algebraic abstraction until students are well into middle school. It is becoming increasingly apparent that students are capable of working with algebraic thought and notation from a much younger age. In fact, this early exposure has shown itself to have real positive impacts on a child's overall cognitive development. Explore the history and theory behind a Russian approach that seeks to introduce the concepts of variable, equation and order of operation to students as young as the first grade. In a world of accelerating progress and endlessly proliferating information,adaptive analytical thinking and problem solving are more important than ever. Algebra is the perfect exercise to prepare young minds for this future. Find out why.
Presenters: Christopher Green, Principal   Russian School of Mathematics (Stamford)
Identifying & Accommodating the 2e Chld in Your Life
If you are concerned that your child’s academic performance seems at odds with your awareness of his/her capability, then join in to become familiar with the characteristics associated with twice exceptionality. The life of a twice exceptional (2e) student can be quite trying. A child who has the intellectual gifts to understand, but a learning difference that prevents the processing of information typically is subjected to considerable frustration and anxiety. Accordingly, 2e children, if not identified, nor accommodated, could find it especially hard to fulfill their potential both as students and as individuals. Learn what can be done to address a child’s learning difference while enabling a gifted mind to soar.
Presenter: John Manganiello, Head of School   The Beacon School
Fostering Critical Thinking Through Creative Writing
Creative writing is often considered frivolous in our test-prep culture where there is always the RIGHT answer. But who has the right answer and how does that teach us to think creatively and imaginatively for ourselves? It is through creative writing that we begin to find out. Structuring a story with a beginning, middle and an end requires intense critical thought. And, that intensity poses barriers for many students who feel restrained by their uncertainty of grammar or of what formats are "allowed." Giving students the space to err, and in an environment uninhibited by censorship can make learning how to write not only doable but also enjoyable. Discover what you can do to generate literacy, critical thinking and, yes, joy in your child.
Presenter: Lena Roy,  Northern Metro Regional Manager & Head Instructor  Writopia Lab
Creating Community for Parents of Intellectually Curious Kids
Raising a precocious child can feel frustrating, exhilarating and isolating--sometimes all at once. But you're not alone. Social media can provide a powerful forum for families of intellectually curious kids to connect and share resources, experience and support. It's free and empowering and, best of all, meetings are not required. Hear how a local virtual parent network got its start and get practical tips to build your own. From promoting a positive community culture to curating meaningful content, hear a discussion on what worked, what flopped and what will be next. There will be ample time for questions and discussion. Join us!
Presenter: Jen Citrolo   SO Curious
The Importance of Tech-Free, Test-Free Socialization
Something important is missing in today’s world of communicating through social media and learning focused on standardized testing performance. The awareness of ourselves as individuals and how we view others are increasingly being defined through the directives of electronic proxies and by the narrow interpretations of educational achievement. Lost are the openness of mind and the importance of childhood and the ability to play and make and keep friends. Understand better why a "step back in time" into an environment, unencumbered by technology, where people interact in person, helps develop the social skills so important to personal success.
Presenter: Gordon Josey, Owner/Director  Breezemont Day Camp
Integrating Innovation, Entrepreneurship & STEM
Consider the conditions that spark innovation – not the incremental improvements that enable a car to gain gas mileage, but of those “paradigm shifters”, like Ford’s Model T automobile or Jobs’s Apple II computer, that redefine how we live. Both Ford and Jobs shared an ability to tap their wide-ranging interests to create something special. Too often, engineering is part of a science program; entrepreneurship is taught in a business class … components that are crucial in fostering innovation are learned and applied separately, and inefficiently. Explore how integrating disciplines not only kindles creativity but also provides a rich learning experience for students. Discover too, how you, as parents, can cultivate, in your child, an appreciation for connections that can encourage new ways of thinking.
Presenter: John Chiordo P'19, Director of Innovation Engineering & Computer Science   The Masters School
Developing Executive Function Skills to Enhance Student Performance
Executive functioning (EF) describes our ability to efficiently complete tasks – to recognize what needs to be done, to organize for action, and to carry out the tasks at hand. For those with high EF skills, fulfilling assignments competently and promptly is a matter of course. On the other hand, those without such skills and whose assignments may neither be competent nor prompt are often viewed as lazy, unmotivated, and sloppy. The good news is that EF can be developed. Join in to understand the importance of EF and how it can impact on a student's academic performance and morale. But, whatever your child’s EF “quotient”, come discover tools that can make work/study habits more effective to enable a boost in performance levels.
Presenter: Kathleen Brigham, Dir. of Fairfield & Westchester Counties and New York City   The Learning Consultants
Understanding the College Application Process
It is a process that seems to get more complicated with every passing year. Application packets never seem to thin and application numbers never seem to fall. What’s more, college admission officers have begun considering more facets of an applicant’s qualities than ever before. Thus students that understand the key elements of the application process, including the different components of the application, deadlines, choosing the schools, knowing when to start …will be in the best position to submit a compelling application. Come acquire an important overview of college admissions. At the least, a heightened understanding will help keep stress at bay.
Presenter: .    Ivy Global

        for students 

The Art of Writing Fiction  (grades 4-6 & 7-9)
Immerse yourself into a world that is bounded only by the infinite limits of your creativity. Then, express what you can imagine so that you can share your world with others – as a story. However, if you are like most, the ability to articulate effectively through the written word is a challenge. Discover tools and strategies (like starting with an ending, or mashing characters) that will add pizzazz and excitement, or pathos and sensitivity (or all the above, and more), to what you have to say. Give your writing skills a boost while allowing your creative juices to flow.
The Power to Speak in Public  (grades 4-6 & 7-10)
Imagine … When you speak, people are listening. If this is not happening now, there is no reason for this not to change – especially after you hone your potential public speaking skills with ways on how to project effective body language and with means to build confidence. And, you will learn how to debate: to build and support an argument while employing your critical thinking skills. If you have never debated before, if your pontifications never went beyond dispensing philosophy to your pet canary, then come and discover how just great it feels when your communication capability receives that boost it needs.
The Short, Short, Story  (grades 4-8 & 7-12)
Discover the power of imagination – how it will take you and others on journeys, how it could hold you captive, or set you free. More importantly, discover how expansive imaginings can be, even if confined within narrow boundaries. You will be tasked to write a story. You will be given a first line and a last line, and will be guided to construct a compelling narrative in between. Amaze yourself and your friends with your characters, plots, resolutions and unexpected twists. Experience tells us that there are no limits to what you can come up with. Join in on a journey of exploration.
Presenter: Writopia Lab
The Art of Coding  (grades 4-8)
Envision yourself a coder by visualizing the swirls and twirls of a Scribbler Bot. New to programming? No problem when you quickly get into the swing of things as you and your team will use Python, a very high-level programming language, and apply “sequencing”, “ looping” and “variable declaring” to get your Scribbler to sketch geometric shapes, letters, patterns, and scribbles. It’s art … it’s coding … it’s intoxicating. Explore the rudiments of programming, then contribute to an all-class art-fest.
Instant Engineering  (grades 4-7 & 7-12)
Become that creative engineer. As part of a team you are charged with helping to design a new household product to be presented as a viable concept to be compared with those developed by other teams. That means, on top of being creative, you must also integrate your ideas with those of your teammates and contribute your growing awareness of engineering design principles effectively. Did we mention that the time between the problem identification and the rollout is to be 60 minutes? So, being creative, efficient and receptive count. Pick up the challenge and consider, contemplate, and create..
The "Un-Aerodynamic" Helicopter  (grades 5-8)
At first glance, it would seem that nothing could keep a helicopter airborne – it is, after all, a body attached to whirling propellers. However, a helicopter’s propellers serve to act like an airplane’s wings, providing lift when spun by the rotor assemblage. It is how the propeller blades are shaped and combined that determines how much lift can be provided. The mission is to design a blade and rotor mechanism that offers the best flight performance capability. You will construct your design with an inventory of materials. And then you will test and modify your prototypes under conditions that require you to calculate, and tabulate, results. Make Igor “the father of the copter” Sikorsky proud.
Becoming a Better Homeworker  (grades 4-8)
You are only human if there were days that you did not want to do your homework. And, for some of us, even if we wanted to do the homework, it is tough to get started. Here’s your chance to see how you can make the process easier. Learn tips that will empower you to make your studies more manageable. Discover how you can get your mind to become more focused. To be sure, the homework will still be there and with the same quantity of problem sets. But you will gain the mental focus and discipline needed to complete your assignments more quickly. Think of it! More time to play, more time to sleep, what can you lose?
Making Art to Make a Statement  (grades 4-7 & 8-12)
They are the latest rage. They are Zines: mini-magazines that express your voice through your compilation of drawings, stencils, collages and stampings. Art, imagery and words are combined, along with a copier machine, to deliver statements you wish to make and what you want others to hear. Think of what Thomas Paine could have done over 200 years ago when he argued for the American Revolution had he used graphics. But you need not be political … letting the world know the migration patterns of the American oystercatcher could be an admirable undertaking. Discover the power of art, discover the power of imagery, and craft a statement that draws on the power of your imagination.
Approach the SAT-ACT With Confidence  (grades 7-12)
Everybody shares three inescapable experiences: death, taxes and college entrance exams. The good news is that of the three, college entrance exams may well be the easiest for which to prepare. Whether or not you have begun the exam preparation process, join in to gain an overview of the different tests – the SATI, SAT II, ACT and how to select among them. Obtain a handy roadmap for the road ahead – a timetable for test dates and deadlines that will optimize your planning efforts. And then, acquire those all-important tips that can result in your highest possible scores. Give yourself an hour well worth spending.
Presenter: Ivy Global
Mathematics: Elegantly Simple  (grades 7-12)
Bulgarian Solitaire is a simple game with a simple rule. Yet, continuous play reveals interesting and unexpected patterns. Play the game and use your mathematical mind to look for patterns, make conjectures and prove your ideas. Wade into the mysteries of numbers and experience mathematics in a fashion not to be seen in school. You won’t regret it.