Gifted and Talented group on boat

Gifted and Talented

The Gifted & Talented programmes aim to give a challenging hands-on experience based on the theme “Making sense of the marine world aids survival and enriches lives”. The senses of the participants and the senses (and science) of the marine animals are the focus for extending and enriching student learning. After a day of activities and enquiries which challenge student ideas, develop skills in instrument use and experimental design, participants are introduced to a range of possible projects by postgraduate research students in the Marine Science Department. Over the subsequent days practical investigations are designed, carried out and reported on by small research teams under the guidance of post-graduate marine science students who encourage students to be practical with problem solving, and creative with science analysis and presentation.

Talent Development Initiative (TDI)

As part of a contract with the Ministry of Education, GATE programmes were developed for Year 10 students and for Primary Year 6-8 students. These popular programmes continue to be offered by the NZ Marine Studies Centre. Schools and students must apply to be part of these programmes.

Primary Gifted and Talented Programme 2015

Year 10 Gifted and Talented Programme (Schedule 1 starting 23rd May 2015)

Year 10 Gifted and Talented Programme (Schedule 2 starting 14th June 2015)

Deep Thought: Extension Programme for Year 11 Students

Students who have attended a Year 10 TDI programme have the opportunity to join a scientific cruise on RV Polaris II.

Te Rauawa o te Pahi - Year 10

A science enrichment and extension programme for Year 10 Māori students

Rangatahi o te Moana - Years 11 and 12

Open to any able and enthusiastic young Māori science students in Year 11 or 12 in 2015 but primarily for those students who participated in Te Rauawa o te Pahi or a Year 10 Gifted and Talented Programme at the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre in 2014.

Learning Experiences Outside The Classroom

As part of our Ministry of Education LEOTC school programme we will design customized GATE programmes for individual primary and secondary schools or school cluster groups (15 student minumum group size). Examples of programme types are found below:

More Information about Gifted and Talented Programmes

Call Steve Cutler for Gifted & Talented programme bookings on 479-5843 or email

Meet the Education Staff who support our programmes.

Gifted and Talented group in lab

Student Comments:

“I’m not a freak here.”
“It's real.”
“Mentors know heaps about the subject yet are learning at the same time as us.”
“ Less formal (than at school) but we have more responsibility (to define and do the work).”
“At school I do all the work whereas here with this team everyone can do the work. “
"The best thing about Marine Camp was realising that science is cool. And that I'm good at it, sort of. Before this camp I hated science and saw myself as creative and intelligent at music and stuff, but not science. What changed my mind? Doing it! And also Daniel, our mentor - he was so passionate about his work he made us passionate too."

Teacher Comments:

“It (the learning) is right across the board—the first three or so days is very science based. By the end it includes languages, performing arts. sound and oral communication, visual communication, public speaking and working as a team.”

“The skills will transfer back into any subject--information skills, information technology, “
“They see possibilities of careers opportunities in science. Before they (might have) liked it but now they know what hands on research is all about. “
“Their confidence has just gone through the roof. (The experience is) taking away the constraint of being the bright one.”
“For me it has been definitely PD: observing how you run things, seeing the kids involved and meeting other teachers of gifted students."
“Wow, what an experience for the girls! The trip has been the talk of the school...“
“It was a truly challenging and educationally, very informative programme of work. I was most impressed with it...“

Gifted and Talented group giving presentation

Parent Comments:

“She hasn’t stopped talking about it since.”
“Was it worthwhile? Yes, because Y enjoyed the hands on experience in a small group situation away from the classroom."
“As to the Portobello trip, Z loved it. Highlights expressed to us, aside from the social aspects of spending time with fellow geeks, and the fun of the trip there and back, were as follows, not in order of importance: seeing the marine creatures in their natural environment, as well as in the aquarium, and being able to handle them, dissecting animals, devising their own experiments, and working in groups, learning."

Related Articles and Organisations:

Some TDI students choose to present their results in the form of research posters. Click here to see samples of the students' Research Posters

The Minister of Science, Research and Technology visited the facility and met with students in August 2008. Read about his visit.

The Otago Association for the Gifted & Talented: is a group of parents and teachers of gifted children who meet regularly to discuss issues regarding gifted children and education. Read about the 2008 workshop "Nurturing Our Gifted Children"

Tall Poppies is a magazine aimed at gifted children and their families, professionals in the field of gifted education, and the general public. Click here to go to the Tall Poppies website. Read article "Life on the Ocean Wave" published in Tall Poppies Magazine 2009.

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