Duke TIP

Mrs. Pajela tells us about a unique academic opportunity for students who want to learn

Duke TIP

Mitchell Tyler, Staff Writer

I talked to MCA’s Duke TIP sponsor, Mrs. Edna Pajela about a unique academic opportunity for students seeking to further their learning potential. Duke TIP is a program from Duke university that challenges students to go above and beyond their standards for education. It offers above grade level testing, as well as a multitude of off-campus conferences and programs that focus on specific disciplines such as leadership, engineering, and math. A program from Duke, the “TIP” acronym stands for “talent identification program.” Mrs. Pajela informed me about one of the specific events available to participating students.  Mrs. Pajela says, “We’ve taken kids to SMU for the Visioneering conference, a critical thinking engineering program. At Visioneering, kids learn to collaborate with one another and work out practical solutions to a given problem.” Visioneering is just one of various out-of-school opportunities for “Duke TIPpers” to learn more and begin to discover what they want to do as adults. In addition to programs like Visioneering, students have the opportunity to use online learning resources, take academic summer camps and weekends, and take extended online courses to sharpen skills in specific subjects.

Duke TIP becomes available to students when they are in the fourth grade. Their third grade test scores are used to qualify for the program. If a student has good enough scores, they have the opportunity to take the PSAT, as well as additional fun learning programs. In fifth and sixth grade, qualification is also based on test scores. However, in seventh grade, there is a test that students take to qualify. If they pass that test, they are in the program until they graduate. To pass, a student must score within the 95th percentile on a grave-level standardized test. A student may also go into the program if they pass an IQ test by a score of over 125. Many could take advantage of the opportunities that Duke TIP offers. Mrs. Pajela says, “Duke TIP is what a student makes it. There are so many opportunities, free lessons and conferences, but it’s up to the student to choose how involved they want to be.”

Duke TIP is not a program for only the so-called ‘smart kids.’ “It’s not based on grades,” says Mrs. Pajela, “Duke TIP is for kids who want to learn.” It’s a program based on creativity and a hunger for understanding.

For more detailed information, you can visit the Duke TIP website at https://tip.duke.edu/