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Kids study at college levelThe Academic Talent Search (ATS) program was founded by Dr. Terry Thomas in 1982. In the early 1980s, Dr. Thomas saw a need in northern California for the application of Dr. Julian Stanley's research in academic acceleration. Dr. Stanley's creation of the Study for Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) at Johns Hopkins University led to a greater national awareness of the need for talent identification and development opportunities for advanced adolescents. Believing that students should have a broad palette of educational options at a young age, and committed to the advanced of the gifted adolescent who frequently lacks support and nurturing from a public school system whose resources are often insufficient to provide differentiated curricula for students of all abilities, Dr. Thomas established the Academic Talent Search program at California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State) to fill the void.

Geo Caching using GPS device

Since 1982, ATS has offered acceleration opportunities as well as enrichment coursework to sixth through ninth grade students (students entering grades seven through ten) from throughout the greater Sacramento region. Beginning in Summer 2009, ATS also began offering courses for students currently in grades four and five. Classes are held on the Sacramento State campus, giving participants the opportunity to sample university life at an early age. Parents report that the collegiate environment is beneficial in developing students' self-confidence and independence. For some students, particularly those from disadvantaged and underrepresented households, coming to Sacramento State for ATS classes makes college seem like an attainable goal.

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