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This article examines a summer institute curriculum that was developed for and used with handicapped students who were identified as gifted in the area(s) of visual arts, performing arts, engineering, or life sciences. The students and the summer institute were part of a federally funded Javits program, Project High Hopes. The curriculum was real world, multi-disciplinary and problem based in that it used a decaying water feature on the school grounds as its focus. Using a creative problem solving process, students identified problems with the water feature, developed solutions, created presentations, and presented their solutions to the school board. Student products are described as are conclusions, results and possible implications for other educational settings.