The purpose of the project is to explore the complex of stratifying mechanisms involved in reproducing in/exclusion within natural science subjects and mathematics. STEM disciplines are in many senses highly valued in the contemporary society and seen as important for the 'welfare society' (Persson, 2010), a potential 'insider' position (as signalled by passion or attainment) is not necessarily unproblematic for the individual, in that such 'inside-ness' can also be associated with 'social awkwardness' (Mendick 2006, deWitt et al. 2013). I focus on two 'figures' (Braidotti, 2011); the 'gifted' student (Callahan & Hertberg-Davis 2013) and the 'geek' (Bell 2013), to un-pack in/exclusion at work in STEM. While these figures resemble each other–e.g. in that they are endorsed or even celebrated in some contexts, while stigmatised in others–they are not identical. A consideration of both figures will therefore provide richer empirical data and potential for a more nuanced analysis.