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

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

February 9, 2019 - February 10, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

This course is open to eligible U46 students ONLY.

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
Elgin, IL

Smart Sensors Surround Us (Gr. 5-6, Elgin, IL) -- COURSE FULL AND CLOSED

February 9, 2019 - February 10, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

This course is open to eligible U46 students ONLY.

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
Elgin, IL

Health and the Human Body: An Intro to Biomedicine (Gr. 7-8, Elgin, IL) -- COURSE FULL AND CLOSED

February 9, 2019 - February 10, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

This course is open to eligible U46 students ONLY.

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
Elgin, IL

Aerodynamics & Flight (Gr. 3-4, Rockford, IL)

February 23, 2019 - February 24, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

Aerodynamics describes how air moves around a solid body. Students learn about the fundamental forces of flight and apply those principles to their own designs. Materials used may include paper, cardboard, balsa wood, and/or found materials. Students make predictions about designs and observe online flight simulations.

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Science
Location
Rockford, IL

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

February 23, 2019 - February 24, 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
Science
Location
Rockford, IL

Epidemiology (Gr. 7-8, Rockford, IL)

February 23, 2019 - February 24, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
Description

How does your body fight an infection? This hands-on course explores the human body and the different mechanisms that allow us to fight diseases and everyday pathogens. Young epidemiologists also investigate different infectious diseases, the history of deadly outbreaks across the globe, and the diseases scientists are fighting today. The class will focus on both historical and current events while we investigate what causes different diseases and the mechanisms behind how they spread.

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Science
Location
Rockford, IL

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

March 2, 2019 - March 3, 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
Manteno, IL

Forensic Science (Gr. 7-8, Manteno, IL)

March 2, 2019 - March 3, 2019 9:00 am to 2:30 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. This course covers observational skills, perceptual fallacies, codes and code breaking, osteology, chromatography, criminology and more. Students will extract DNA, take fingerprints, analyze blood spatters and discuss famous-and infamous-cases. 

Program
AWE
Subject Area
Science
Location
Manteno, IL
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