AWE is coming to a town near YOU!

Scroll down to see what courses are being offered in the coming months in the Midwest and on the West Coast! 

Details

Application Process

The Accelerated Weekend Enrichment (AWE) Program welcomes applications from returning applicants as well as new score and portfolio applicants. Before beginning the online application, determine which type of applicant you are based on the descriptions below.

 

Returning Applicant
You are a returning applicant if you are grade 3 through grade 8 and you meet both of the following criteria: 

  • You have successfully completed a CTD course through the Weekend Enrichment Program, Summer Program or Online Program at the Emerald Tier, or a tier with a higher score requirement, within the previous twenty-four months. 
  • You are now applying for an AWE course with the same qualifying subject area (Verbal or Math) as a CTD course you previously completed within the previous twenty-four months.

New Scores Applicant
You are a new scores applicant if you are grade 3 through grade 8 and you meet any one of the following criteria:

  • You have not attended a CTD program within the last two years and you have qualifying grade-level test scores (Verbal or Math) for your desired course that are no more than two years old.
  • You have previously attended a course with the Weekend Enrichment Program, Summer Program, or CTD Online Program, but you are now applying for a course with a different qualifying subject area (Verbal or Math) and you have qualifying grade-level test scores. 
  • You have participated in above grade-level testing such as the PSAT™8/9 test taken in grades 3, 4, 5, or 6, the ACT® or SAT® test taken in grades 6, 7 or 8 (NUMATS);

 

New Portfolio Applicant
You are a portfolio applicant if you are in grade 3 through grade 8 and the following is applicable to you:

  • You do not have qualifying test scores because you have either:

             1) never taken a nationally normed standardized achievement test 

OR

             2) taken this type of test but not achieved a qualifying score.

 

An Admission Portfolio includes the following documents:

  • Required: one teacher recommendation form indicating that the student is performing 1½ to 2 years above grade level in the subject area of the course to which the student is applying; 
  • Required: most recent school report card indicating exceptional performance in the subject area of the AWE course to which the student is applying; 
  • If available: most recent state testing report (e.g. NWEA/MAP); or any results of a grade-level test such as PSAT™8/9 taken in middle school.

Eligibility

Traditionally, AWE courses do not have prerequisites. Please read individual course descriptions carefully for more information. 

To qualify for Emerald tier Accelerated Weekend Enrichment (AWE) Program courses, students must be in grade 3 through grade 8 and must also provide one of the following:

  • Achievement of  a score of 90thpercentile or higher on a nationally normed grade-level assessment in the required qualifying subject area (Verbal or Math) for the desired course; OR
  • Successful past completion of a CTD course, with the same qualifying subject area within the past two years; OR
  • Submission of a portfolio application, consisting of a teacher recommendation and the student’s most recent report card, demonstrating that the student is performing exceptionally well in the qualifying subject area; OR
  • Participationin above grade-level testing such as the PSAT™8/9 test taken in grades 3, 4, 5, or 6, the ACT® or SAT® test taken in grades 6, 7 or 8 (NUMATS)

 

Fees, Withdrawals and Financial Aid

 

Tuition 

Accelerated Weekend Experience

  • 2018-19 Academic Year $265 (2-day course)

Withdrawal Policy

  • Requests for withdrawals and refunds must be made in writing by the Tuesday prior to the course start date. E-mail requests should be sent to CTD-admissions@northwestern.edu.
  •  Withdrawals are subject to a processing fee of $60.
  • The tuition is nonrefundable after the Tuesday prior to the course start date.
  • Students who withdraw after the start of the program are not eligible for any refund.
  • Once a refund has been initiated, it may take up to six weeks to appear in the account from which it was paid, depending on the type of account and the billing cycles.

 

Financial Aid

CTD offers need-based financial aid awarded as requests are received. Families are encouraged to apply early because the amount of aid available is limited. Please see the Financial Aid page for details. 

  •  The deadline to apply for financial aid for AWE programs is approximately 2 weeks prior to the start of the session.
  •  It is imperative that you complete the financial aid application as soon as possible as it may take FACTS up to ten days to process your information.
  • If you have previously completed a FACTS application for CTD you must still begin with the current link in the application confirmation email for this year’s program.  You will be able to link your FACTS account to this new FACTS information.  You may need to update financial information.
  • If you experience difficulties with the FACTS process please call the FACTS helpline at 866-412-4637.

Course Environment & Locations

The AWE program is offered in locations throughout the US for students in grades 3 through 8. Since sites have many attractions nearby, parents and family members can pursue their choice of activities while students are in class.

AWE courses are from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Students break for 45 minutes each day to eat lunch they have brought.

AWE courses are continually updated as dates and sites are confirmed. Check back often for new course offerings!

Safety & Conduct

The AWE staff takes every reasonable step to ensure the safety and well-being of every AWE student, including the following:

  • Requiring a high standard for student conduct; and
  • Protecting student information. 

High Standards for Student Conduct
In order to maintain a safe and inviting learning environment, AWE participants must adhere to the CTD Honor Code. The Honor Code establishes standards and expectations for student behavior and reflects CTD's commitment to fostering character development, integrity and respect for diversity.

Protecting Student Information
Center for Talent Development (CTD) at Northwestern University is committed to protecting the privacy rights of all children. Our protocol, with regards to the data and information we collect and what is done with it, is outlined in the Privacy Statement section of the Policy Statements web page.

Program Orientation

Acceptance notifications are sent via e-mail two to three weeks following receipt of a completed application. Please pay special attention to this notification. During the week before AWE, a second email is sent that contains:

• Classroom location
• Program orientation
• Program policies
• Supplies
• Behavioral expectations

Courses

Alice 3D Programming (Gr. 3-4, Evanston, IL)

April 6, 2019 - April 7, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

Create virtual worlds and interactive games with the 3-D programming tool Alice 3. Students develop a sample project from the ground up, while learning about object-oriented programming concepts and standard programming statements similar to those in Java, C++ and C#. Alice features a drag-and-drop interface that allows students to create 3D environments and populate them with a wide variety of easy-to-program objects and characters. By manipulating 3-D objects in Alice, students experience programming constructs. Students gain:

  • Experience with the Alice software applications.
  • An understanding of object-oriented programming.
  • An ability to manipulate 3-D objects and animations.
  • Exposure to C++ and Java syntax and logic.
  • Knowledge required to complete a virtual world project.
Program
AWE
Subject Area
Technology & Engineering
Location
Evanston, IL

Environmental Engineering and Water Chemistry (Gr. 5-6, Evanston, IL)

April 6, 2019 - April 7, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

How will chemistry and engineering help save the planet? In this hands-on course, students are introduced to the fundamentals of environmental engineering as well as the global air, land and water quality concerns facing today's environmental engineers. Students learn about the factors that impact the quality of the world’s water supplies, and understand how they can be a factor in protecting them. Applying what they learn, students identify possible solutions to help green our water.

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Science
Location
Evanston, IL

Smart Sensors Surround Us (Gr. 7-8, Evanston, IL)

April 6, 2019 - April 7, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

We have already heard about driverless cars that will be able to navigate freeways and stoplights without human interaction, but can you imagine smart buildings that can sense earthquake vibrations and change the stiffness of their walls to withstand tremors? In this hands-on engineering course, students explore how many of our modern sensors work and investigate smart sensor materials that respond to heat and pressure. Using their knowledge of these properties, students design a prototype coin-counting device and invent a new smart sensor system of their own.

 

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Science
Location
Evanston, IL

The Entrepreneurship Edge (Gr. 7-8, Evanston, IL)

April 6, 2019 - April 7, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

When applying to elite high schools or for competitive scholarships, today’s students face unique challenges to differentiating themselves from other applicants. In this portfolio-based course, students learn how to create a personal brand story and effectively market their unique skills and experiences.

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Leadership & Service
Location
Evanston, IL

Machine Physics: Industrious Engineering (Gr. 5-6, Flossmoor, IL)

April 27, 2019 - April 28, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

This course is only open for eligible students in Flossmoor District 161.

How do engineers create a high-flying projectile, explore an earthquake or improve a parachute?  In this hands-on course, explore the concepts of physics and engineering that influence the design process. Through individual and group projects, students dive into physics concepts such as force, friction, momentum, impulse, and potential and kinetic energy, and see how they are applied to science, industry, and everyday life. 

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Technology & Engineering
Location
Flossmoor, IL

Health and the Human Body: An Intro to Biomedicine (Gr. 7-8, Flossmoor, IL)

April 27, 2019 - April 28, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

This course is only open for eligible students in Flossmoor District 161.

How do biomedical science professionals identify new treatments for diseases and determine the best ways for people to stay healthy? By exploring anatomy and physiology and analyzing various case studies, students examine the human body at the cellular level and learn the connection between our health and our bodies. In this hands-on course, students engage in compelling, interactive projects and work together to propose solutions to real-world health issues.

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Technology & Engineering
Location
Flossmoor, IL

Animal Science (Gr. 3-4, Chicago, IL)

April 27, 2019 - April 28, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

This two-day weekend course takes place at Decatur Classical School in Chicago.

Can cows have twins? Can chickens actually fly? What does it really mean to be domesticated? In this hands-on animal science course, students learn about the various services humans use animals for and explore how we keep animals safe and healthy under our care. Using their newfound knowledge, students devise and build models of effective, humane animal dwellings, and design their own futuristic domestic species perfect for farm life.

All CTD Courses are assigned to an eligibility tier with designated admission criteria. For more information please visit the CTD Eligibility page.

 

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Science
Location
Chicago, IL

Smart Sensors Surround Us (Gr. 5-6, Chicago, IL)

April 27, 2019 - April 28, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

This two-day weekend course takes place at Decatur Classical School in Chicago.

We have already heard about driverless cars that will be able to navigate freeways and stoplights without human interaction, but can you imagine smart buildings that can sense earthquake vibrations and change the stiffness of their walls to withstand tremors? In this hands-on engineering course, students explore how many of our modern sensors work and investigate smart sensor materials that respond to heat and pressure. Using their knowledge of these properties, students design a prototype coin-counting device and invent a new smart sensor system of their own.

All CTD Courses are assigned to an eligibility tier with designated admission criteria. For more information please visit the CTD Eligibility page.

 

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Technology & Engineering
Location
Chicago, IL

Zoological Explorations: Animals & Their Behavior (Gr. 3-4, Hillsborough, CA)

April 27, 2019 - April 28, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

Through hands-on experiments and discovery, learn about the incredible diversity of the animal kingdom and the unique adaptations that animals have to their environments. Uncover the many behaviors animals use to claim a territory, find food, avoid predators, find mates, and raise their young. Student zoologists perform hands-on investigations, analyze data, and draw conclusions about their observations to learn more about the background of animal behavior. Activities include, but are not limited to creating an ethogram, designing choice chambers, observing human behaviors, and regenerating planaria.

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Science
Location
Hillsborough, CA

Sustainable Design: An Engineer's Guide to Saving our Earth (Gr. 5-6, Hillsborough, CA)

April 27, 2019 - April 28, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

With a growing population and increased technology and convenience, humans have higher energy demands and more waste generation than ever. For decades, engineers have been developing solutions for cleaner energy and recycling of waste that have helped address these problems and preserve what’s left of Earth’s ecosystems. In this project-based course, students discover the scope of the problem, and explore current sustainable solutions, including learning how to make, test and improve batteries, solar panels, and wind powered devices. Students discuss emerging sustainable technology areas and design their own solutions to saving the Earth.

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Technology & Engineering
Location
Hillsborough, CA

Smart Sensors Surround Us (Gr. 7-8, Hillsborough, CA)

April 27, 2019 - April 28, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

We have already heard about driverless cars that will be able to navigate freeways and stoplights without human interaction, but can you imagine smart buildings that can sense earthquake vibrations and change the stiffness of their walls to withstand tremors? In this hands-on engineering course, students explore how many of our modern sensors work and investigate smart sensor materials that respond to heat and pressure. Using their knowledge of these properties, students design a prototype coin-counting device and invent a new smart sensor system of their own.

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Technology & Engineering
Location
Hillsborough, CA

Animal Science (Gr. 3-4, Madison, WI)

May 4, 2019 - May 5, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

Can cows have twins? Can chickens actually fly? What does it really mean to be domesticated? In this hands-on animal science course, students learn about the various services humans use animals for and explore how we keep animals safe and healthy under our care. Using their newfound knowledge, students devise and build models of effective, humane animal dwellings, and design their own futuristic domestic species perfect for farm life.

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Science
Location
Madison, WI

Machine Physics: Industrious Engineering (Gr. 5-6, Madison, WI)

May 4, 2019 - May 5, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

How do engineers create a high-flying projectile, explore an earthquake or improve a parachute?  In this hands-on course, explore the concepts of physics and engineering that influence the design process. Through individual and group projects, students dive into physics concepts such as force, friction, momentum, impulse, and potential and kinetic energy, and see how they are applied to science, industry, and everyday life. 

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Technology & Engineering
Location
Madison, WI

Introduction to Java: Building Games in Greenfoot (Gr. 7-8, Madison, WI)

May 4, 2019 - May 5, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

Learn about the Java programming language using Greenfoot, a Java-based coding environment. Using basic Java concepts and design strategies, students create interactive media projects and learn about object-orientation and the class-object structure. Applying Java's class libraries and syntax as they develop game projects that they can share with friends or online, students write methods and develop algorithms. This class introduces foundational programming concepts that students will encounter in AP computer science coursework.

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Technology & Engineering
Location
Madison, WI

Animal Science (Gr. 3-4, Des Plaines, IL)

May 18, 2019 - May 19, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

Can cows have twins? Can chickens actually fly? What does it really mean to be domesticated? In this hands-on animal science course, students learn about the various services humans use animals for and explore how we keep animals safe and healthy under our care. Using their newfound knowledge, students devise and build models of effective, humane animal dwellings, and design their own futuristic domestic species perfect for farm life.

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Science
Location
Des Plaines, IL

Environmental Engineering and Water Chemistry (Gr. 5-6, Des Plaines, IL)

May 18, 2019 - May 19, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

How will chemistry and engineering help save the planet? In this hands-on course, students are introduced to the fundamentals of environmental engineering as well as the global air, land and water quality concerns facing today's environmental engineers. Students learn about the factors that impact the quality of the world’s water supplies, and understand how they can be a factor in protecting them. Applying what they learn, students identify possible solutions to help green our water.

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Technology & Engineering
Location
Des Plaines, IL

Architectural Design: The Math & Science Behind the Facade (Gr. 7-8, Des Plaines, IL)

May 18, 2019 - May 19, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

How do architects develop a sketch into a building? Why is it important for an architect to know the difference between an isosceles or equilateral triangle? In this project-based course, students are introduced to basic architectural drawing and model-making techniques. Using these foundations, they explore real design problems encountered by architects and engineers, and brainstorm the math and physics principles that can be used to solve them.

 

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Technology & Engineering
Location
Des Plaines, IL

Predators in our Ecosystems: From Gruesome to Useful (Gr. 3-4, Robbinsdale, MN)

August 5, 2019 - August 9, 2019 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Description

How might having one of the dirtiest mouths in the animal kingdom help the Komodo dragon survive? Our planet’s predators are fearsome, fascinating, and full of the unexpected. In this zoological exploration, students study predators across multiple phylum, from the well-known to the weirdly wonderful. Through readings, videos, research, and hands-on activities, analyze the factors that make Earth’s predators successful and important to their ecosystems, and identify possible solutions to keeping our endangered carnivores on the hunt.

Program
School Partnership Programs
Subject Area
Science
Location
Robbinsdale, MN

Crisis Averted: Engineering Our Environment (Gr. 5-6, Robbinsdale, MN)

August 5, 2019 - August 9, 2019 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Description

Human beings impact the natural world around them in many ways. In this collaborative, project-based class, students explore the positive and negative impacts of human activity on our complex ecosystems. From using electric cars to rebuilding reefs from recycled oyster shells, students research what engineers and environmentalists are already doing, and use their newfound knowledge to engineer their own solutions to real environmental issues. 

Program
School Partnership Programs
Subject Area
Technology & Engineering
Location
Robbinsdale, MN

Forensic Science (Gr. 7-8, Robbinsdale, MN)

August 5, 2019 - August 9, 2019 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Description

Forensic Scientists use skills and techniques that come from a variety of disciplines—logic, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, and technology—to solve mysteries. Utilizing mini-lectures, in-class discussion and hands-on activities, students collect, preserve and analyze crime scene evidence. Experiments and fieldwork provide perfect venues for learning scientific methods, lab procedures and techniques. Labs may include trace analysis of hair, fiber, stain, epithelial cells, fingerprints and DNA. 

Program
School Partnership Programs
Subject Area
Science
Location
Robbinsdale, MN

Brainiacs: Neuroscience & The Brain (Gr. 3-4, Lake Bluff, IL)

May 18, 2019 - May 19, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

What are the different parts of the human brain and what are they used for? How do these parts communicate with the rest of the body? While the brain has been studied for centuries, neurologists continue to learn new things about how it functions every day. In this hands-on class, students learn how the brain works and how brain functioning relates to their daily lives and habits. Experiment with various brain functions. Diagnose a brain injury and design a supportive prototype to prevent future damage.

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Science
Location
Lake Bluff, IL

Makerspace (Gr. 5-6, Lake Bluff, IL)

May 18, 2019 - May 19, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

Course description to follow.

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Technology & Engineering
Location
Lake Bluff, IL

Health and the Human Body: An Intro to Biomedicine (Gr. 7-8, Lake Bluff, IL)

May 18, 2019 - May 19, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

How do biomedical science professionals identify new treatments for diseases and determine the best ways for people to stay healthy? By exploring anatomy and physiology and analyzing various case studies, students examine the human body at the cellular level and learn the connection between our health and our bodies. In this hands-on course, students engage in compelling, interactive projects and work together to propose solutions to real-world health issues.

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Science
Location
Lake Bluff, IL
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