The Center for Talent Development's Summer Program
CTD's Summer Program

The Summer Program’s Equinox courses provide rigorous acceleration opportunities for academically gifted and talented students completing grades 9 through 12.  Equinox offers courses in English and writing, humanities, mathematics, science, design and technology. During each three-week session, students take a single course that meets from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., five days a week. All Equinox courses are taught at the high school honors, Advanced Placement, and college levels by highly qualified instructors.  Each course carries one or two semesters of high school credit upon successful completion. 

Please go to MyCTD to apply now.

 ** Please note: If you completed an application through our original form,
our staff will create an account for you in MyCTD, and will email you a login and password.

are found on our 2015 At a Glance page!

NEW FOR 2015!

Exciting Partnership Courses offer career-focused explorations taught by the original content creators.
  • A new partnership with the Chicago Botanic Garden offers students a chance to support Environmental Engineering NU PhD Fellows in research and lab work using the growing field of geomatics.
  • Mobile Makers Academy Chicago will host Equinox students in their intrinsically collaborative dev shop and design space in River North, offering an eight-week iOS Bootcamp & Swift Development course in three intense weeks.  You don't want to skip college, but coding between classes will give you a real leg up when you develop your first iOS application.
  • A new partnership with Windy City Lab puts students on the front lines of programming, robotics design and product development. Arduino Microcontrollers in Robotics & The Internet of Things, taught by IBM Deck5 Software developer Kevin McQuown, will teach Equinox students how to use and program Arduino microcontrollers to build devices and an autonomous robot.
  • The Starter League returns to offer Ruby on Rails to Equinox students. Located in 1871, the hub of Chicago's entrepreneur community, The Starter League offers students the day-to-day journey of a typical Chicago software engineer.
  • Northwestern University's own Segal Design Institute returns to offer a course in Engineering Design at the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center.  Built in 2005, this state-of-the-art facility offers students the chance to work in the multi-million dollar design shop with Northwestern faculty and staff while experiencing a college level Design Thinking & Communication curriculum.
New Courses for Summer 2015 
  • Translating numeric data into recipes (life-hacks) that regular folk can use daily is the work of our new course: Data Science Honors: The Metrics of Change. Aspiring wall street investors and social justice crusaders alike will learn how to use data to make a difference.
  • Equinox students will develop industrial and research laboratory techniques in the provocative advanced biology course Biotech: From Microbes to Genomes Honors. Students will apply college-level concepts in genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and microbiology to contemporary problems such as cloning, immunology assays and cell culture generation. 
  • This summer we’re offering our creative writing students the opportunity make a scene in Screenwriting Honors.   Students will indulge their appetite for film, drama, and great writing by reading the masters and making masterpieces of their own.
  • Students in the Third Coast Story Slam Honors course will practice the techniques required to captivate any audience, such as pacing, persuasion, and performance.  Practicing conventions such as improv, slam poetry, Moth Story Hour and Ted Talk, aspiring brokers and hip-hop artists alike will earn real performance chops. 
  • Would you like to convince others on controversial topics? Critical Discourse: Tackling Big Questions with Confidence exposes students to the essential ethical theories and logic techniques that will allow students to persuade others on all sides of the issues of our day, such as stem cell research, gender and sexuality, and social welfare. 
New AP Math Course
  • Equinox will offer six weeks of AP Calculus for Summer 2015.  AP Calculus AB first session will be followed by AP Calculus BC in the second session. The courses build on one another and -- taken separately or together -- are a powerful preparation for the AP Calculus exams in May 2016 and college level mathematics.

Extended Session Course Offering for AP Science Classes
  • AP Chemistry, AP Biology, and NEW FOR 2015 AP Physics 1 & 2 require a five-week commitment. In order to fully comply with College Board revisions, this time frame allows students to spend more time in the lab, learn challenging material, and prepare for the AP exam in our accelerated format.
  • AP Physics 1 & 2 is a compressed two year AP Course taught in our challenging, accelerated five-week format, and will prepare students who successfully complete the full course for both the AP Physics 1 and the AP Physics 2 test.

Intersession Stay-Over Option Retained for Summer 2015

  • Students taking two courses over the summer may stay in the Equinox residence hall over the intersession weekend of July 17-19 for a nominal additional fee.  More information regarding this option will be made available to accepted students.

Equinox participants…
  • maximize their potential by studying one topic in depth at an accelerated pace.
  • prepare for Advanced Placement exams and college-level courses.
  • earn academic credit and study subjects not always offered in their schools.
  • thrive under enthusiastic instructors who recognize talent and encourage achievement.
  • develop self-awareness, self-confidence and self-directed learning and critical thinking skills.
  • experience a college campus, learning and making friends with intellectual peers from all over the world.