Mensa reaches out to gifted youth
Young Mensans (under 18) are one of the fastest-growing segments of Mensa’s membership; one of the first two Special Interest Groups recognized in 1965 focused on their unique issues. Currently, American Mensa has more than 2,800 members under the age of 18 with the youngest being 3 years old.
To serve Young Mensans and their families, Mensa has a full-time Gifted Youth Specialist who supports Young Mensan services and resources. Additionally, Local Groups have Gifted Youth Coordinators who serve as resource guides and also often plan activities specifically for Young Mensans.
Membership benefits for Young Mensans
It can be tough to be the smartest kid in the room, and Mensa makes it easier by providing a wide range of benefits and opportunities for Young Mensans, including:
Young Mensa members can review books sent by publishers including Random House, Candlewick, National Geographic and Harvard University Press.
Coming in 2013, BrainWorx will bring a series of daily trivia questions, geared specifically toward gifted youth.
- Bright enewsletter
Mensa For Kids' Bright is the smartest monthly enewsletter for kids ages 6-10. Regular features include games of logic, math, spatial relations and word usage; science features; and activity ideas, programs and feature stories courtesy of the Mensa For Kids Web site and the Mensa Foundation.
- Bright Kids on Pinterest
We share a number of resources for teachers, parents and gifted youth on our Bright Kids Pinterest boards, created specially to highlight quality educational resources and fun activities.
Quarterly contests offer Young Mensans the opportunity to share their talents and interests, as well as win cool prizes.
Teams of up to five members, including Young Mensans, gather in their neighborhoods on a single day across the U.S. and Canada and, for 90 minutes, compete for cash prizes and cultural literacy bragging rights.
- Excellence in Reading
Through the Excellence in Reading program, the Mensa Foundation offers gifted youth the opportunity to read a list of age-appropriate books and earn a certificate and free T-shirt. The books on each list are selected by librarians across the U.S.
- Gifted youth discounts
In addition to discounts on magazines such as mental_floss and Scientific American MIND, young Mensa members can take advantage of several other cost-savings.
- Lesson and activity plans
Parents and teachers will find many lesson plans geared to gifted youth on the Mensa For Kids Web site. The plans are developed at a number of grade levels at which gifted youth can complete the lessons without adult assistance. Additionally, there are educational activity plans appropriate for use in school-based programs, as well as in the home.
- Mensa Bulletin
Mensa Bulletin, the national magazine received by all members of American Mensa, offers something in each issue guaranteed to get you thinking.
- Mensa For Kids
Sponsored by the Mensa Foundation, the Mensa For Kids Web site offers games, a monthly feature, mascot Max's blog and other resources geared to gifted youth. Resources for parents and teachers are available on the site, including lesson plans, activities, the Excellence in Reading program and TED Connections.
- Mensa Honor Society
The Mensa Honor Society is open to Young Mensans between the ages of 10 and 18 who have not graduated.
- Mind Games®
Shall we play a game? Mind Games® is the ultimate board game event. For three days, Mensans play the newest and hottest board games. Only five games emerge as winners, eligible to bear the Mensa Select® seal.
The Mensa Education & Research Foundation's college scholarship program bases its awards totally on essays written by the applicants.
- Social interaction
Young Mensans can connect with others of similar interests at local, regional and national events.
- Special Interest Groups
American Mensa's Special Interest Groups offer members of all ages the chance to connect with other members who share interests. Many SIGs are open to and welcome Young Mensans.
- TED® Connections
Sponsored by the Mensa Foundation, TED® Connections are short, easy-to-use guides for teachers, parents and youth. The guides, which can be used in a classroom or home setting, are extensions of the basic TEDTalks.
- Year of Living Poetically
The Year of Living Poetically is a one-year program designed to help gifted youth and adults memorize quality poems, enriching their lives and minds.
- YM2: The Young Mensan Magazine
YM2 is a quarterly flipbook-style magazine with a different theme in each issue. Young Mensa members are welcome to submit material for inclusion.