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Friday, August 12, 2022

Gifted children: not all are scientists

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Quitzé Fernández
Quitzé Fernándezhttps://www.amonite.com.mx
Amonite es un sitio dedicado a la divulgación científica para niños y jóvenes. Somos un grupo de amigos que escucha, cuenta historias y las plasma en algo parecido a un papel. Por medio de la ilustración y los medios audiovisuales buscamos acercar las novedades de ciencia y tecnología con un lenguaje accesible para todos. Amonite es un proyecto binacional editado y diseñado entre México y Argentina. Nace en 2017 a iniciativa de Quitzé Fernández, quien obtuvo en 2013 el Premio Nacional de Periodismo y Divulgación Científica, convocado por el Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología de México (Conacyt), con la crónica La mujer que encontró dinosaurios en el patio de su casa. A él se unieron los ilustradores Daniel Galindo y Jess Silva, que han generado trabajo visual para diarios e instituciones del norte de México; y más adelante los periodistas José Juan Zapata y Jessica Jaramillo, en la edición y generación de contenido, desde Buenos Aires, Argentina. Todos ellos forman parte del staff permanente de Amonite, junto a un grupo de colaboradores que aportan sus visiones periodísticas, visuales y literarias del mundo de la ciencia.

Illustration: Wuishō

A few years ago we learned about the case of Carlos Santamaría, who at the age of 12 began studying Biomedical Physics at UNAM, which shows us that gifted children require special attention to develop their abilities.

Maybe you know the story of Mozart , who at the age of four already played musical instruments masterfully, and at five was already writing small pieces. Today he is considered one of the most famous composers of humanity and is one of the best examples of what we could call “gifted children”.

Although they seem somewhat unusual, the truth is that we often see examples of children around the world who have above average ability. In Mexico, the most notorious case recently was that of Carlos Santamaría Díaz , who from an early age showed a great capacity for learning.

“He is easy to process information. Since he was a year and a half, he entered nursery school. When they gave him a letter, he wanted all of them, when they showed him a planet, he looked for all of them”, his father Fabián Santamaría told the newspaper El País. “From the age of five he was able to assimilate an entire high school science book and learned the periodic table in a couple of weeks.”

At the age of 9, Carlos began a diploma in Analytical Chemistry at the Faculty of Chemistry of the UNAM, and at 10 others in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology , in addition to Superior Algebra, an undergraduate subject. In 2014, he accredited primary and secondary education at the INEA of the Ministry of Public Education, then he completed the online baccalaureate to be able to apply for the higher education exam at UNAM.

At the age of 12, he began studying Biomedical Physics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) , but in 2020 he decided to change to the Biomedical Engineering degree at the Anáhuac Mayab University, after denouncing that he suffered bullying at the national university.

How is a gifted defined?
There is no generally accepted definition of giftedness for children and adults, and it is a source of recurring controversy among psychologists and educators, but many schools rely on studies that take into account the 2.5 percent of the population with IQs above 130.

The gifted need special education, since They are at serious risk of school failure and serious adaptation problems if they are not identified early. Gifted children, by virtue of their exceptional abilities, are capable of high achievement and require educational programs and services beyond those routinely provided by a normal school program in order to carry out their contribution to themselves and to society.

They can be developed in many fields
“We must never forget that children with superior intelligence are people who have the same problems as any other child and who also have to know how to manage the expectations that the world has of them,” says psychoanalyst Silvia Feitelevich , in a note on the portal Infobae .

According to a study by psychologists Julian Stanley and David Lubinski, there are different ways of being intellectual. The research found that while there are people with high IQs who end up being excellent scientists, there are also others who work in different fields , such as letters, psychology, law, and even art. This set aside the popular belief that gifted little ones should only be great scientists.

“Not all gifted children are the same, as it happens with the rest of the people, they are different; Perhaps those differences are not valued socially like other boys, but they acquire knowledge easily, but it is not necessary that they are destined to be pigeonholed into a profession, but that they can be whatever they want, artists or mathematicians,” Feitelevich said.

Illustration: Wuishō
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