This paper addresses a special subset of U.S. school students for whom innovation is innate and intuitive; they are the young innovators-in-the-making (YIITM). In considering these students, we need to ask several key questions. Are elementary and middle school teachers capable of keeping
the innate, innovative desire burning in these young minds? Are teachers capable of nurturing youth who seek to understand the world around them in scientific terms? Are teachers inadvertently quenching the innate, innovative, and creative desire in these young minds? Do young minds strongly
attracted to science and engineering have ambition and inclination beyond the comprehension of elementary and middle school teachers? Evidence provided in this paper from earlier research indicates that youth with an early interest in engineering and science may find their schoolteachers incapable
of understanding and helping them. The question addressed at the end of the paper is: What is the best way to prepare teachers who can ultimately understand, develop, and encourage science- and engineering-oriented youth? Some policy issues are addressed, and several research hypotheses are
proposed for future empirical investigation.
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