NDAGC Quarterly Newsletter

October 2022, Issue 8

NDAGC Welcomes New Board and Regional Representative Members!

On September 22nd, 2022, NDAGC had its 4th annual Board of Directors meeting where the Board elected 4 new members. Connie Olson and Holly Magcalas were elected to hold the two Board positions vacated this year. A Board member serves for a three year term.

Connie Olson has been a marketing coordinator in the Office of Teaching and Learning at NDSU for the past 18 years. She promotes K-12 professional development for educators and dual-credit courses. As the parent of a gifted child, Connie found herself square in the role of parent advocate. This combination of experience makes her uniquely qualified to serve as a Board member for NDAGC because she understands the perspectives of students, their families, and educators.

Holly Magcalas from Minot Public Schools, has been a teacher for 23 years. In that time, she has had the opportunity to work with students in general education as well as those with autism, special needs, and most recently, those who are gifted. Holly has been teaching within Minot Public School's Journey Program as a fourth-grade teacher since 2019. Holly represents gifted education from the western part of North Dakota and also has the unique experience of teaching within a self-contained gifted program.

Additionally, Anna Adrover and Kristy Coopman were each elected as NDAGC Regional Representatives for a two year term.

Anna began her third year in gifted education in Fargo Public Schools where she has enjoyed the immeasurably pleasant task of challenging her students to create artifacts they can be proud of. Anna is also the parent of a gifted child and says that she is learning many things about her as a learner such as the high emotions, the seemingly effortless understanding of concepts far past her age, and the anxiety of doing the wrong thing, or being paralyzed from fear of social ostracization. Anna believes this puts her in the unique category of understanding and being passionate about gifted education because she not only teaches gifted children but is in the process of raising a gifted child, too.

Kristy Coopman joined Minot Public Schools' gifted program in 2015 as a pull-out instructor. She was part of the transition from gifted education pull-out services to three self-contained gifted classrooms as well as an enrichment program reaching all 13 district elementary schools. In 2019, Kristy accepted the position of the Minot Public Schools' Gifted Education Coordinator. Through this role, she has been able to mentor and guide students, teachers, and parents in navigating the gifted education world. There are many professional tasks included in being a gifted educator, but Kristy says the most rewarding is being able to work with students who amaze her and make her laugh every day.

NDAGC is fortunate to have these four individuals as Officers to help lead the organization in its mission and provide representation extending to the far edges of North Dakota. NDAGC also would like to warmly thank both Julie Jagger and Jackie Owen for their dedication and service to the NDAGC Board of Directors from its birth, 2018, to this year. We are so grateful to have had the privilege of organizational growth as a result of their time and talent.

ND ADMINISTRATORS: Why is Gifted Education Important for North Dakota Learners?

Please follow the link below to learn about North Dakota statistics, what the research says, and actionable next steps to help foster gifted education at your school.

North Dakota Association for Gifted Children - Gifted in North Dakota (ndagc.org)

NDAGC Remembers Dr. Marcia Gentry

Dr. Marcia Gentry, Director of GERI and Professor of Educational Psychological and Research Methodology at Purdue University, died on August 31, 2022. Dr. Gentry, an icon in GT research, raised concerns about racism, classism, and elitism in the field. Her work reminded us that treating individuals as invisible harms them greatly and that our pursuit of bringing the needs of gifted individuals to light, we must remember that pockets of individuals from underrepresented communities remain overlooked.

In a state like ND that defers gifted education programming to local authorities, gifted education data is sparse and questionably reliable. NDAGC is indebted to Dr. Gentry’s work on “Gifted Education in the United States” that offers some statistical description of the state of underrepresentation in gifted education in ND. See ND’s report card that shows state laws, access, equity, and missing students related to gifted identification. Gifted Education in the United States - Purdue University College of Education

I had the incredible honor of meeting Dr. Gentry at the 23 rd World Council for Gifted and Talented Children Conference in Tennessee in 2019. I and Edwin Edpalina (another NDAGC founding member) presented on gifted programming at Standing Rock Community Schools.

We shared the room with other researchers examining the needs of diverse GT students, one of whom was Dr. Gentry. Dr. Gentry’s stature in the field is stratospheric, and equally impressive was her humility and grace. Dr. Gentry’s spirit strengthens NDAGC’s resolve to bring GT services to some of the most underserved regions in ND.

Yee Han Chu, PhD MSSW, NDAGC Board Member and Immediate Past President

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October Webinar

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November Webinar

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Holiday Gift Ideas

The holidays are right around the corner! We at NDAGC want to provide fun gift(ed) ideas for children of all ages. Below is a summarized list of some recommended games. Watch your email in November for a more descriptive list!
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Free Webinars for Parents and Educators

The University of Connecticut's Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development will offer free webinars in 2022-23 for parents and educators. Don't miss this opportunity to interact with recognized gifted education leaders and scholars online.

Follow this link for more information on the webinars being offered and how to register:
Events from the Center | Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development (uconn.edu)
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ExploraVision K-12 Science Competition: Students Engage in High End Applications of the Scientific Process

Looking for an exciting opportunity for your students? Check out ExporaVision!


Engage your students in a project-based, problem-based, and inquiry-based experience, moving them through the scientific process with a goal in mind. For several years I had my students work through this amazing process. The experience and results are ones they talk about for years.

ExploraVision is a free science competition for K-12 students sponsored by NSTA and Toshiba. Students collaborate in groups of 2-4 as they engage in real-world problem solving, looking at an existing problem and what it would take to create a new technology to address the problem 10+ years in the future.

As a teacher, you guide your students as they pick a current technology, problem, or issue, research what has been done in the past as well as how it is currently being addressed, envision what is needed and what it could look like in 10 or more years with their prototype design. Students then describe the development steps needed for their design, the pros & cons, and the obstacles that might be faced with the development of their new technology idea. They literally Explore-a-Vision as they go through a real-life scientific development experience.

Students are grouped in age level groups: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. K-3 grade teams can use a ready-to-fill-out project template to complete and enter a project. 4-6 grade teams have a choice to submit projects in two types of formats: a PowerPoint Slide Style or the Standard ExploraVision Project Format. 7-9 and 10-12 use the Standard ExploraVision Format.

Standard formats include the following sections: Abstract, Description, Present Technology, History, Future Technology, Breakthroughs, Design Process, Consequences, Bibliography, and Sample drawings of 5 Web Pages.

This year, final projects must be submitted by Jan 31, 2023. As a national competition, students first compete with regional groups for a chance to compete for one of the top two prizes in each age group: National 1st place teams receive a $10,000 bond for each team member and National 2nd place teams receive a $5000 bond for each team member. Both team levels receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington DC.

Learn more about ExploraVision at https://www.exploravision.org. Everything you need is on their website -- the rules, guidelines, including sample projects, as well as, past and present winning project videos and websites. My students loved to look through the creative ideas shared. Just choose the grade level of choice and check out what “our future” thinks is important. It’s exciting to see how they Explore their Visions!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Julie Jaeger jjaegerconsults@gmail.com

Free Webinars for Parents and Educators

The University of Connecticut's Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development will offer free webinars in 2022-23 for parents and educators. Don't miss this opportunity to interact with recognized gifted education leaders and scholars online.

Follow this link for more information on the webinars being offered and how to register:
Events from the Center | Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development (uconn.edu)
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Northern Sky Astronomical Society - University of North Dakota

2nd Wednesday of the month at 7pm

The UND Northern Sky Astronomical Society is meeting at the UND Aerospace building inside the Atmospherium (planetarium), Odegard Hall 3980 Campus Road. The public is welcome.

How to Make A Star Wheel and Observe the Night Sky | Sky & Telescope - Sky & Telescope (skyandtelescope.org)

Math Kangaroo USA

The Math Kangaroo competition is scheduled for March 16, 2023.

Registration is $21 until December 15th, $35 DECEMBER 16TH-DECEMBER 31ST.

For more information and registration visit:


Teen Novel(ties) Book Box (ages 12-18) - Grand Forks

This bi-monthly themed box will allow teens to enjoy a book handpicked by a librarian, paired with an assortment of cozy, bookish trinkets (such as candy, stickers, bookmarks, pens, and more)!

The only requirement is that the recipient needs a Grand Forks Public library card number.

Sign Up: fill out this form.

How It Works

If you are on our list to receive the Teen Novel(ties) Book Box, you will be contacted when the box is ready for pickup:

  • The box can be picked up at the front desk or via Curbside.

  • Take the box home, open it, and enjoy the contents.

  • It will be checked out for two months.

  • The box and book can be returned to the front desk or the book drop in front of Grand Forks Public.
    (You get to keep the other items in the box.)

  • Await your next box of goodies!

Upcoming Themes

  • November 2022: A Witchy Good Time

  • January 2023: Don't Flurry, Be Happy

  • March 2023: Greeking Out

  • May 2023: Who Arted?

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Chess Club:

Tuesdays 5:30-8:30

The library’s Chess Club is free and open to all ages and levels of expertise. Registration is not required. Adults must accompany children under ten years old.

Recognizing Reptiles:

Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10 to 11 a.m.

National Reptile Day occurs each year in October as a way to promote education, conservation, and appreciation for reptiles. In honor of these cold-blooded creatures, we're celebrating with a visit from some live reptiles! A reptile craft and other themed activities will also be available.

No pre-registration is required.

Harry Potter Escape Rooms: Kids in grades 1-6

Saturday, Oct. 29 at one of the following sessions: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., or 3 p.m.

Are you clever like a Ravenclaw or brave like a Gryffindor? Are you cunning like a Slytherin or wonderfully patient like a Hufflepuff? You'll need all of these traits to break out of the Harry Potter Escape Room!

Registration opens on Oct. 15.

For more information about the Fargo Public Library program, please call Lori West at 701.476.5977.

LEAP (Learn, Explore, and Play): Caregiver and Child Classes


Take an adventure with your toddler! Toddlers and their favourite adults can come to join us on a short, fun, guided adventure through the Red River Zoo and encounter exciting age-appropriate animals close-up!

This program runs from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM.

$12 for members and $15 for non-members. This fee is NON-REFUNDABLE

Ages 2-3 and must be accompanied by an adult.

October 18th- It's SPOOOOOOOOOKY season at the Red River Zoo!! Challenge yourself to be brave as we explore some animals that people sometimes find creepy or scary.

November 15th- The closer we get to winter, the more our animals begin to change. This class class will teach us a little about the animals and their winter preparations.

Homeschool Zoo School


Hey, Homeschool Families, are you looking for a fun way to meet some of your science requirements? Well, stop by the Red River Zoo and check out our new Homeschool classes. This season's classes are designed with National Next Generation Science Standards in mind to support your learning outside of the zoo.

Who: Children in grades 1st through 5th

What: A fun animal science class at the Zoo!

Where: The Red River Zoo

When: 12:30 PM- 3:30 PM

Why: To have fun and explore science at the zoo


  • Register online

  • $30/child for non-members, $25/child for members. This fee is NON-REFUNDABLE

  • Limited space (20 participants)

  • If you have any questions about this class, feel free to email our education department at education@redriverzoo.org

November 8th- Some animals in the animal kingdom work together to provide for their young, and old, and all stages in between. In this class, we will look at some such animals and why this helps the species survive. (3-LS2-1)

Pint Sized Explorers


Come and explore the zoo and have a fun time learning and meeting our animals with our Pint-Size Explorers program. These classes are designed to support what the kiddos are learning at school while also being fun. These classes are about two and a half hours of a little bit of learning and a lot of fun so we hope you join us at the Red River Zoo as a Pint-Size Explorer. Classes are formatted to meet national science standards, and the associated standard is written at the end of each class description.

This program is for children ages 4 to 6.

Program fees are $20 for Zoo Members/ $25 for non-Zoo Members


This class runs from 3 PM to 5:30 PM.

November 1st- As winter approaches it is very important that we keep an eye on the weather for the well-being of our animals. This class will help us explore local weather, and how we prepare the animals for those changes. (K-ESS3-2)

For more information visit:


Or contact the zoo at 701.277.9240 or education@redriverzoo.org