Services for Students & Families

Gifted Boys Conference

(7th-grade boys only)

February 13, 2015

Conference Schedule
9:30 - 10:00 a.m. Registration
10:15 - 11:00 a.m. Leadership
Dr. Michael McLendon, Academic Dean, Simmons School, SMU
11:15 a.m. - 12 Noon Breakout Session*
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Complimentary Box Lunch
1 - 1:50 p.m. Breakout Session*
The Gifted Boys Conference is offered through the Gifted Students Institute (click here for the GSI home page). Registration and and Breakout Session choices must be received by February 4.

Keynote Speaker

Portrait of Associate Dean Michael McLendonDr. Michael McLendon
Academic Dean
Harold and Annette Simmons Centennial Chair in Higher Education Policy and Leadership
Simmons School of Education and Human Development
Southern Methodist University

Breakout Sessions for 2015 will be announced in January
Below are samples of sessions from previous years. 

Psychology of Success
Ann Batenburg, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, Education, SMU

Which Mindset are you? A fixed mindset believes in natural ability, that one is born with a certain amount of talent or intelligence, and one can do little to change it. A growth mindset believes that one can always change one’s basic ability. This presentation will explain the mindsets and their consequences.

Exploring the Power of Music in Our Lives – Music Therapy and Beyond
Robert E. Krout, EdD, MT-BC. Professor and Director of Music Therapy, Meadows School of the Arts - SMU
Music surrounds us everyday and can influence us even before we are born. It can also have a major impact on health and happiness. This session will briefly examine how music affects brain function and stimulates the emotions, as well as how it can bring people together in a myriad of ways. The discipline and profession of music therapy will be introduced, and original music therapy songs will be shared and discussed.

Mars A New Frontier
Kurt Chankaya— Aerodynamics Engineer, Member of the Mars Society
Have you wondered what possible new frontiers may open up in the future?  Come for a discussion on the exploration of Space, and in particular, Mars.  We’ll talk about the past and ongoing robotic explorations of Mars, and some of the challenges and possibilities of how human exploration could be done in the near future.  We’ll also discuss the natural resources available on Mars, and how these could support a human colony living and thriving on a new frontier.

 *Meadows Museum
Meadows Museum Docents

Travel through 1000 years of Spanish history on a guided tour of the Meadows Museum. One of the largest collections of Spanish art outside of Spain, the Meadows Museum is home to many great masters such as Goya, Ribera, Velazquez, Picasso, El Greco, Miro, Rodin, and Giacometti. Come see our collection of Spanish masters in a new light!

Photography As An Art Form and A Career?
Jim Olvera, Professional Photograper
Come find out how the art of photography can be used to communicate personality, sell products, and see the world in a different way.  This award winning photographer will show you how to turn a passion into a career.

The Science of Speed
Kenneth Clark, SMU Locomotor Performance Laboratory
Are you a sports fan? Have you ever wondered how your favorite athletes run so fast? This presentation will explore the scientific factors that determine sprinting speed and other aspects of athletic performance. The session will also cover how an interest in sports and exercise can be developed into a career in Applied Physiology and Biomechanics.

Is there a Doctor in the House? - Stories from the E.R
Pintu Amratlal M.D., Emergency Room Physician
Have you ever wondered what an E.R. physician does? And what it takes to be a doctor?  Come listen to stories about what really happens in the E.R.  In addition, come hear about the amazing research that is being done in the fields of Emergency Medicine.  Learn about what it takes to be a doctor and what are some things that you should be doing to learn about an exciting career as a physician.

*This session will require extra walking time. Backpacks/bags and food items will not be allowed at this session.

Conference Location

The Gifted Boys Conference will be held on the SMU campus.  A map (click here to link to SMU's online map site), parking directions, and confirmation letter will be faxed to the participant's school within two days of receiving the registration.  Space is limited; please make reservations early. 


Click here for the bus parking and student drop off map. For those driving cars, click here for a visitor parking map.

Conference Fee

The conference registration fee per person is $45. The registration fee for boys who are eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch program is only $10. The Conference is limited to 7th-grade boys and their teachers/sponsors, but each teacher who registers five boys will receive a free registration.  Breakfast is NOT provided, and the light lunch (included in the registration fee) is not served until 12:15.


Complete a registration form and Breakout Session form for each boy and adult attending (copy the form as needed).  All boys must be accompanied by either a teacher or a parent, and there must be at least one sponsor for every ten boys. Due to space limitations, the conference is limited to seventh-grade boys and their sponsors. Notice that the form requires a Guardian's signature.  

Registration deadline is February 4, 2015.

Please mail all of the registrations for any one group of boys sponsored by the same adult together in one packet with a check or purchase order payable to SMU/GSI.  Requests for refunds must be received seven days before the lecture/workshop; otherwise no refund will be made.  Cancellation prior to one week will be refunded less a $15 handling fee; a check for the balance will be mailed in 3 to 4 weeks.  Registrations and payment information must be sent to:

Gifted Students Institute
Southern Methodist University
PO Box 750383
Dallas TX  75275-0383

Click here for a PDF registration form. Click here for a sponsoring teacher registration form.

Contact Information

Phone: 214-768-4383
Fax: 214-768-3147