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Characteristics of Highly Able Science Students

This list consists of examples of possible indicators of potential. Few students will exhibit all characterisitics and these characteristics can emerge at different times, in the study of different topics, and as the child develops cognitively, socio-emotionally, and physically. For a student to be considered highly able, these characteristics should be inherent to the student and not a result of outside guidance or intervention.

A highly able science student independently:

  • demonstrates an intense level of curiosity in science.
  • makes intuitive leaps in solving science problems.
  • demonstrates extensive knowledge base in science and is able to relate that knowledge base to new problems and topics.
  • demonstrates unusually high levels of motivation and/or concentration.
  • demonstrates the ability to integrate information and concepts into existing knowledge base.
  • possesses a good memory.
  • persists in the pursuit of science knowledge or solving a problem.
  • comprehends abstract concepts beyond age level expectations.
  • sees connections between science and other disciplines.
  • uses mathematics to understand, define, and /or solve problems.
  • makes generalizations and assumptions based on data.
  • supports thinking with logical reasoning.
  • reasons analytically, deductively, and inductively, and is able to reverse the reasoning process and to switch methods easily and in a systematic manner.
  • views problems in a holistic manner.
  • shows confidence in the use of science processes and a willingness to take risks in advancing scientific explanations and posing questions.
  • understands and applies advanced scientific vocabulary.
  • evaluates experiemental results in light of the original problem