Duke TIP


CRISIS (Creative Resolutions of Impending Situations with Intelligent Solutions) is our summer residential program for current fifth and sixth graders in the 4th–6th Grade Talent Search. Through problem-based learning, CRISIS will build leadership and teamwork skills by asking students to assume the role of a professional on a research team, collaborating with team members to solve a community crisis. They will explore a field such as engineering, business, medicine and health while participating in leadership and development activities designed to help participants discover more about who they are and what they want to be.

The Current Crisis: TIP Goes Viral

The Bubonic Plague. Spanish flu. Swine flu. All three are pandemics that have had a profound effect on society. Pandemics, infectious diseases occurring over a widespread geographic area and affecting a large number of people, have occurred since ancient times. These tiny pieces of RNA have the ability to attack and sicken large numbers of people—perhaps millions—and public health officials throughout the world say it’s a matter of when, not if, the next pandemic will happen.

An influenza pandemic can occur when a non-human virus gains the ability for efficient, sustained human-to-human transmission and then spreads globally. The World Health Organization is concerned about a potential influenza pandemic on the horizon, and you must do your part as an expert in your field to provide prevent, prepare for, and contain the outbreak before it grows to pandemic proportions.

Examine the effect of pandemics from the perspective of medical professionals, researchers, and vaccine developers, the government, the media, businesses, and financial institutions as you prepare a response to a potential outbreak.  

What is Problem-based Learning?

CRISIS is unique in its utilization of problem-based learning. Pioneered in medical school programs, problem-based learning actively engages students in constructing knowledge by

  • allowing students to learn in the context of complex and multifaceted problems.  
  • leading students to see the relevance of learning to future roles,
  • building motivation for learning, and
  • developing responsible, professional attitudes to complex societal problems.

The Academic Experience

Participants join peers on a college campus to:

  • Study under TIP’s expert instructors as they build students’ confidence to take on the problem, encourage students, and stretch their understanding.
  • Gain access to cutting edge computer technology.
  • Utilize college science labs, library facilities, local off-campus resources and instructional classrooms.
  • Role-play and problem solve their way through hands-on activities.

The Residential Experience

Outside the rigorous classroom atmosphere, TIP students participate in social and recreational activities that focus on leadership development and give students a chance to get to know students from other classes and residential groups. While at Duke TIP, students will live in college residence halls and be assigned to double or triple occupancy rooms.  Students will eat meals in campus dining halls alongside residential and instructional staff members. Residential counselors chosen through a competitive application process live in the residence halls with students, supervise and organize recreational activities, serve as role models, and support students in adjusting to TIP.