Year in Review: 2016

Duke TIP is dedicated to identifying academically talented students and supporting the development of their educational potential. Here are some of the highlights from the past year showing how we fulfilled our mission in 2016.


Year in Review 1
  • TIP launches a Ready for College website to provide gifted students with specialized college prep advice.
  • Field Studies opens for applications with more unique destination learning locations than ever before.
  • Summer Studies applications open for the thirty-fifth year in a row.
  • TIP partners with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to spread the word about its Young Scholars Program.


Year in Review 2
  • TIP's innovative eInvestigators program debuts its first spring session with spots for forty-eight students.
  • CRISIS, our summer program for fifth and sixth grade graders, opens applications for its fifth summer.
  • TIP Research Director Matt Makel announces he will personally take the upcoming new version of the SAT so he can check out the test changes for himself and blog about his experience on behalf of TIP students. 


Year in Review 3
  • TIP's 7th Grade Talent Search closes enrollment on its thirty-fifth season and announces that nearly fifty-six thousand academically talented seventh grade students nationally took above grade level college entrance exams through TIP in late 2015 and early 2016.
  • Over one thousand stories are submitted to TIP's 2016 Writing Contest, a record for TIP's 4th–6th Grade Talent Search.


Year in Review 4
  • eStudies opens for summer applications with thirty-seven total course sections and seats for 888 students, the largest online TIP program ever.
  • For the first time, TIP offers younger students an online summer option though its new eInvestigators program.
  • TIP's 4th–6th Grade Talent Search announces that more than 8,200 fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students took ACT’s EXPLORE test for eighth graders through Duke TIP in late 2015 and early 2016.
  • TIP names Shawna Young, then executive director of the Office of Engineering Outreach Programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as its new Executive Director, effective July 1.


Year in Review 5
  • Duke TIP debuts a new monthly schedule for its student publications, providing significantly more enrichment and recognition options for TIP talent search participants.
  • Working with host academic institutions, Duke TIP recognizes more than twenty-two thousand seventh graders for their academic abilities at state recognition ceremonies.
  • TIP honors seven hundred seventh graders with exceptional  ACT or SAT scores at a Grand Recognition Ceremony held at Cameron Indoor Stadium on the Duke University campus.


Year in Review 6
  • TIP researchers announce they have confirmed the link between high test scores in adolescence and adult accomplishments.
  • TIP Executive Director Martha Putallaz steps down after guiding TIP through twelve years of remarkable growth and returns full-time to her appointment in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University.
  • TIP's new blog Gifted Today launches, providing parents, educators, and students with a new outlet for research-based advice and ideas.
  • The second year of TIP's Summer Studies at Duke Kunshan University in China takes place, with sixty-eight students participating.


Year in Review 7
  • TIP ends the summer season with 4,300 seventh through tenth grade students taking part in Summer Studies on twelve college campuses. Another 440 students took part in Field Studies, 1,200 fifth and sixth graders attended CRISIS, 820 students participated in eStudies, and 140 students enjoyed eInvestigators.
  • TIP researcher Jonathan Wai wins a 2015–2016 Mensa Award for Excellence in Research.
  • Shawna Young joins TIP as its new Executive Director.


Year in Review 8
  • A new research study coauthored by TIP's Director of Research Matt Makel finds that millions of US students are being under-challenged by an American educational system that overemphasizes age-based curriculum and downplays individual ability.
  • Our thirty-sixth annual 7th Grade Talent Search opens.
  • TIP publishes a middle school survival guide for 4th–6th Grade Talent Search participants to provide advice on a host of academic and social challenges that gifted students often face.


Year in Review 9
  • A series of gifted education forums and symposiums in Florida signal TIP's increased commitment to public outreach on gifted education best practices.
  • TIP announces it distributed over $3.6 million in financial aid in 2016 to allow students from all economic backgrounds to attend our programs.
  • TIP partners with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to promote its College Scholarship Program.


  • TIP's Academic Year Programs area announces it will expand to Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.
  • TIP's rapidly growing eInvestigators conducts its fall session with 244 spots for students and four different real-life cases to solve, doubling the program's previous size.
  • Our 4th–6th Grade Talent Search opens with the news that TIP will now offer the PSAT 8/9 as an above level test to its participants.


Year in Review 11
  • Duke TIP affirms its commitment to the gifted education field by attending the 2016 National Association for Gifted Children annual conference in Orlando and conducting multiple presentations.
  • TIP celebrated its twenty-fifth year of offering academic year programs to gifted students by conducting advanced daylong and weekend courses for gifted students on three campuses, including Duke University, Queens University of Charlotte, and Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.


Year in Review 12
  • TIP debuts a new responsive website that meets the needs of its mobile-friendly families.
  • A new, comprehensive analysis of a century’s worth of research, conducted by researchers at Duke TIP and Northwestern University, shows overall student academic achievement can be improved through the use of ability grouping and acceleration techniques.
  • Details on summer programs for 2017 go out to over 850,000 eligible current students, underscoring TIP's ability to serve nearly one million gifted students a year in total.