Talent Development in Science: A Unique Tale of One Student's Journey

Terry W. Neu, Sacred Heart University
Susan M. Baum
Carolyn R. Cooper

Published: Neu, Terry, et.al. "Talent Development in Science: A Unique Tale of One Student's Journey." The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education 16.1 (2004): 30-36.


This narrative presents the educational route followed by an Intel Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) winner who was not always recognized for his scientific abilities. Factors contributing to the success of this gifted student are presented, as well as his creative insights for solving the problem that gave rise to the winning project. Further, the major issues that emerged from this student's story can inform both professional development and instructional practice. These issues include: the need to recognize science talent or creative productive behaviors in students with special needs; students' need for an experiential science curriculum that incorporates multidisciplinary perspectives from which to study and apply the discipline of science, not merely the subject matter; the power of collaboration between students with similar interests; and the value of developing instructional strategies that accommodate a variety of learning difficulties and learning styles.