The search for kids' hidden talent

Academically gifted students are being sought for a UNSW national education program that seeks to develop their talents.

Gerric web

How many Year 7-9 high school kids can figure out the number of defective light bulbs in a shipment?

The answer to this and other questions will determine who succeeds in a "hidden talent" search being run by the Gifted Education Research Resource and Information Centre (GERRIC) at UNSW.

Researchers are seeking students nationwide who need educational challenge to prevent their talent from going to waste. They want selected students to take tests designed for students at least two years older than them. Those in Years 7-9 take tests designed for Year 12 students, while students in Years 4-6 will take tests designed for Year 8 students.

Secondary students will be asked questions like this one: In a shipment of 1,000 light bulbs, 1/40 of the bulbs were defective. What is the ratio of defective bulbs to non-defective bulbs? (See answer below)

Students will be tested on maths, science, English and reading to determine which ones can attend a residential program, where their talents will be further honed.

"Identifying academically gifted students is critical; without appropriate educational challenge, they may not fully develop their areas of talent," said Professor Miraca Gross, Director of GERRIC.

"Over 11,000 primary school students and more than 2,000 high school students from across Australia have taken part in the tests," she said. "Those who have participated in the tests have indicated that the experience was extremely positive."

Students need to register for the Australian Secondary Schools Educational Talent Search (ASSETS) and The Australian Primary Talent Search (APTS) by Tuesday, April 10.

For more information, go to the GERRIC website or contact Talent Search co-ordinator Kate Morris

Answer: 1:39. For more sample questions and a full explanation go to the GERRIC website

Media contact: Prof Miraca Gross, (02) 9385 1948, Susi Hamilton, UNSW media unit, (02) 9385 1583 or 0422 934 024