COALTON— In the spring of 1960, 440,000 high school students in 1,353 schools across the country took part in a “Project Talent” study. At that time Coalton had a High School known as “Coalton Local High School” and the entire school of 105 students took part in the study.
Now, 53 years after the landmark Project Talent study was first administered, researchers are seeking the classes 1960-63 from Coalton Local High School to discover what became of the students lives.
In 1960, Project Talent assessed the aptitudes and abilities, hopes and expectations of 440,000 high school students from across America. The study was conducted by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and the United States Office of Education.
Over a two days period, students were administered surveys that assessed their knowledge, aptitudes, and abilities and probed their backgrounds, family lives, interests, expectations, aspirations, and personality traits.
This study was the first scientifically planned national inventory of human talents and the largest and most comprehensive study of high school students ever conducted in the Unites States. The project was funded by US Office of Education and undertaken jointly by the American Institutes for Research and the University of Pittsburgh.
Project Talent captured the hopes, dreams, and concerns of a generation of young Americans that witnessed sweeping social, political, technological change. Follow-up studies were conducted at 1, 5, and 11 years after high school, resulting in findings ranging from the factors, both within and beyond the school system, that influence students’ educational attainment, the impact of the Vietnam experience, and the changing role of women throughout the 1960’s and 70’s. Project Talent has informed over 450 government reports, academic articles, and scholarly books.
“The Project Talent generation is very important in the history of this country,” says Sabine Horner, Project Talent’s Director of Outreach and Communications. “They came of age during an era of great upheaval and they transformed the United States as we knew it. Project Talent is an opportunity to share their perspectives and experiences in a meaningful way that can benefit future generations.”
Today, Project Talent is the only large-scale, nationally representative study that has tracked participants from adolescence to retirement age. This enables researchers to study how experiences, abilities, interests, and personality types demonstrated early in life impact the health and wellbeing of individuals as they age. Researchers hope to discover patterns that indicate why some people continue to thrive mentally, physically, and financially throughout their lives while others are challenged in these areas.
Members of the classes of 1960-1963 from Coalton Local High School are asked to contact Project Talent to register their interest and provide details of where they can be contacted to receive further information. They are also interested in any information that can be provided about the whereabouts of other classmates.
Participants can call the project on 1 (866) 770-6077, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Project Talent website at www.projecttalent.org.