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    #119043 - 12/30/11 08:08 PM travel grant?
    Orson Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/27/11
    Posts: 41
    Are there any education/travel grants available for gifted kids? My son wants to visit a museum that is really far away. We can't afford the flight and hotel stay, so we can't go. Curious if there are any grants out there for things like this. I'm trying to avoid having to take a graveyard shift at 7-11.

    #119055 - 12/31/11 05:26 AM Re: travel grant? [Re: Orson]
    DeeDee Offline

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    I don't know of any grants like this.

    It's OK to let this be a dream for him, and let him earn money toward it (chores, babysitting, whatever) as a goal. I think this is an educational want, not an educational need, and as such you don't have to knock yourself out as a parent to make it happen.

    Speaking as one who's knocked herself out over the needs...


    #119056 - 12/31/11 06:43 AM Re: travel grant? [Re: DeeDee]
    Orson Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/27/11
    Posts: 41
    He's in second grade, so it'll be a long time before he can work to earn $2,500. I know he doesn't have to visit this museum. But say your highly gifted 7-year-old was into oceanography. He read 50 tomes on the subject, cover to cover, researched every aspect of it, and was eating/sleeping/breathing oceanography for two years. But say you lived in Nebraska. If the child was seven, would you tell him, "Maybe you can see the ocean when you're a teenager. You'll probably still be interested in it..." I feel like in that case you're doing the child a disservice by holding him back from something that could be life changing. I doubt wealthy parents would tell their child, "Sorry, you can't see the ocean until you're old enough to earn money to buy your own plane tickets and pay a hotel tab."

    It comes down to financial means. Kids with wealthy parents can explore their world and advance their education in ways that other kids cannot. I see so many opportunities flying by. That's why I was curious about educational grants for individual children. All we hear is that the US is falling behind in math and science, but then there's a child like mine who is so incredibly advanced in science, yet he has no opportunities whatsoever to explore this in a real way. I know he can and does get a lot from books, but at some point you have to get up our of your chair.

    #119057 - 12/31/11 07:34 AM Re: travel grant? [Re: Orson]
    ABQMom Offline

    Registered: 08/25/10
    Posts: 868
    Approach a local benefactor such as a corporation or wealthy individual and see if they're interested in sponsoring the trip.

    There was a young climber in our area years ago who had earned a bid to a world competition but couldn't afford to go. He was motivated enough to go that he approached local businesses and found sponsors who were willing to help fund his trip in return for the publicity the story generated. He is now one of the top climbers in the world, but it wasn't the trip that put him in that position - it was the drive to work for what he wanted despite the odds in front of him.

    If you can instill a belief that it is within your son's power to set a goal and meet it no matter how long it takes or how hard it is, that lesson will likely be far more instrumental to his success than any one experience he may or may not have due to limited available funds.


    #119058 - 12/31/11 07:48 AM Re: travel grant? [Re: Orson]
    ColinsMum Offline

    Registered: 09/19/08
    Posts: 1898
    Loc: Scotland
    Mmm, but there's get out of your chair, and there's spend $2,500 on a trip to a museum! I don't think you should feel bad for being unable to do the latter. I think you're mistaken if you think many parents would do it. (I wouldn't, although I am so fortunate as to have the ability to do it if I chose - there are just too many other things that money would buy, like half a term's schooling. I have spent ~250 UK pounds on taking DS to London to see some museums, but that's about as much as I'd pay for an educational trip unless it was so stunning to all of us that we could decide to make it the annual family holiday!)

    Maybe if you tell us which museum it is and why he's interested, we can help brainstorm other things he can do to further his interest that aren't just reading books? Fairly generic suggestions might include writing to the research scientists who work at the museum with any questions he has, and searching for which universities have people studying those topics, especially to see if there are any nearby.
    Email: my username, followed by 2, at google's mail

    #119059 - 12/31/11 08:17 AM Re: travel grant? [Re: Orson]
    Cricket2 Offline

    Registered: 05/11/09
    Posts: 2172
    Loc: Colorado
    I have that child who is passionate about oceanography that you use as your example smile. We live in the middle of the country but she is fortunate to have family on the coasts so she has had the opportunity to see the ocean. She probably won't be able to do the summer ocean programs in North Carolina that she'd love to do b/c we can't afford it, but we've tried for alternatives like ColinsMum suggests.

    She did SCUBA classes in an indoor pool from the time she was eight. It was several hundred dollars for the initial SCUBA Ranger certification but only around $25-50 for future classes. We could do that even if we couldn't do thousands for the summer coastal camps. She's done other science camps that are free or inexpensive and local even if they weren't focused on marine biology. We actually found that the one "gifted" kid marine bio class she took at a STEM summer institute day camp locally wasn't a good thing b/c it seemed like it was more for much younger kids (even though she was one of the youngest) or kids with much less background knowledge in the subject.

    Can you give us an idea of the area of passion and see if we can brainstorm some less expensive alternatives?
    Study Strategies for Accelerated Learners

    #119061 - 12/31/11 08:24 AM Re: travel grant? [Re: Orson]
    aculady Offline

    Registered: 12/31/10
    Posts: 1040
    If this museum trip is something you really want for your child, and you think that it would make a big difference for him, I'd start out by calling or e-mailing the museum to explain the situation and asking if they know of any resources that are local to you that might provide some of the same benefits.

    I'd also look into alternative methods of travel and lodging that might bring the cost down to something reasonable. Is there a reason you'd have to fly? Use your social network - do you have friends who have friends who have friends who are local to the museum or who are on the drive there who would be willing to let you stay over for a night so that your kid can have his trip? Is there cheap camping along the drive instead of staying in a hotel? Is there a possibility that you could rideshare with another family to split driving chores and fuel costs?

    Think outside the box - just figuring out ways to make it happen has the potential to be a fun project for the family - but also realize that if not going to this museum is enough to kill your child's interest in the subject, it probably wasn't going to be their life's passion anyway, regardless of how interested in it they might seem now.

    #119062 - 12/31/11 08:44 AM Re: travel grant? [Re: ColinsMum]
    Orson Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/27/11
    Posts: 41
    DS has already been in touch with scientists, and has been invited to this museum by a scientist there who will give him a tour and let him see things the general public doesn't get to see. We just can't afford to make the trip.

    Believe me when I say we have exhausted all our local options. We do not live anywhere near the object of my son's interest, so we can only do so much. I'll put it to you this way. If you child was an expert on Stonehenge, would you take him to see it? There's only one. He's read all the books, he's seen all the documentaries, he's created artwork, dioramas, written essays. The only thing he hasn't done is see Stonehenge. No local US university will have Stonehenge. No local US university will even likely have people studying Stonehenge. Now luckily my son isn't interested in Stonehenge, because that's in a different country and would cost even more to visit. But the situation is the same. I totally understand saying, "Sorry, you can't visit Stonehenge. Maybe in twenty years when you've earned your own money..." That's just reality. But I still think it's a shame.

    I disagree that most parents would not take their child on an expensive trip. 90% of my friends have taken their kids to Disney--more than once--and that's absolutely frivolous.

    Living in Britain (as I did for a while), it can be hard to comprehend how far apart things are in the US. The distance between Scotland and England is similar to the distance between, say, Lubbock and Austin--and those are both in the same state! It's only a six or seven hour drive. If someone in the US wants to travel from, let's say, Austin to Seattle, it's at least a two-day drive (maybe longer with little children in the car). And you have to stay in hotels along the way, stop to eat, stay in a hotel when you reach your destination. You can't just turn around and drive home the next day, or hop on a train like you can in GB. The train here costs as much as an airplane, but takes as long as a drive.

    I was just curious about education grants for highly gifted kids studying science. I'm not surprised they don't exist.

    #119063 - 12/31/11 08:54 AM Re: travel grant? [Re: Orson]
    La Texican Offline

    Registered: 07/10/10
    Posts: 1777
    Loc: South Texas
    Would this scientist be willing to Skype with him?
    Youth lives by personality, age lives by calculation. -- Aristotle on a calendar

    #119064 - 12/31/11 08:56 AM Re: travel grant? [Re: Cricket2]
    Orson Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/27/11
    Posts: 41
    You DD's experience with a "gifted" class mirrors ours. Classes like this around us are babyish intros, and some have even rejected my son for his age (too young). DS has very advanced knowledge, much like your DD's. DS knows more about his subject than many professors. And I'm not kidding.

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