2019 Keynote Address

Tackling Obstacles so Students Reach to Achieve

Dr. Emily MofieldDr. Emily Mofield will share findings of her own co-authored research regarding patterns of perfectionism, mindset, and achievement among high-ability learners. Dr. Mofield will discuss positive achievement-motivation mechanisms and the environments that create them. 





Parent Session Descriptions

2019 Keynote Address

Session Title: Tackling Obstacles So Students Reach to Achieve

Time: 1 pm – 2:45 pm

Presenter: Emily Mofield, Ed.D.

How can we help students develop resilience to persevere in the face of setbacks? How can we ignite a drive that will inspire them to sustain effort even through difficulty?  How do students’ emotions, perfectionism, and beliefs about their abilities affect their achievement? In this session, Dr. Mofield will share findings of her own co-authored research regarding patterns of perfectionism, mindset, and achievement among high-ability learners. In this session, you will learn about positive achievement-motivation mechanisms and the environments that create them. Leave with ideas to help your child tackle challenges and setbacks that they might experience as they reach to achieve.

Emily Mofield, Ed.D., is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education teaching classes for the Doctor of Education Program and Gifted Education graduate studies. Her background includes 15 years of experience teaching gifted students and leading gifted services in Sumner County, Tenn. She is the co-author of several nationally recognized award-winning curricula for gifted and advanced learners and has received the National Association for Gifted Children’s Hollingworth Award for excellence in research in gifted education (with Megan Parker Peters). Mofield’s areas of research include perfectionism, implicit theories of intelligence (mindsets), and social-emotional learning, publishing in Gifted Child Quarterly, Journal of Education for the Gifted, Roeper Review, and other notable academic journals. She is passionate about translating this research into practice and has recently co-developed a Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum: Teaching Tenacity, Resilience, and a Drive for Excellence: Lessons for Social-Emotional Learning.


Session Title:  How Parents of Mathematically Gifted Students Can Nurture a Passion for Mathematics

Time: 3 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Ed Zaccaro

Research shows that thousands of hours of meaningful practice are the key to excellence in mathematics. Because of this, mathematically gifted children must not only progress through their curriculum at the proper pace, but also must be exposed to material that lights a fire and nurtures their love of math.  A failure to find mathematics challenging, interesting, or relevant are significant factors when children lose interest in the subject.  This session will give parents information that will help them nurture their children’s passion for mathematics by showing them high-interest uses of mathematics in the real world.

Ed Zaccaro, Ed is a popular presenter at math, homeschool and gifted education conferences around the country and has approached gifted education as a parent, teacher, and school board member. His students will testify to his ability to make math fun and challenging for them as well as his unique sense of humor which comes through in his classes and workshops. Ed has taught students of all ages and abilities since graduating from Oberlin College in 1974. He has a Masters degree in Gifted Education from the University of Northern Iowa. Ed is the author of several books for mathematically gifted children.


Session Title: Gifted ≠ Perfect: Why Teaching Gifted Children the Skills of Imperfection Will Help Them Thrive 

Time: 3-4:45 pm

Presenter: Jessica Rohlfing Pryor, PhD

While gifted children regularly experience success, these experiences may become yoked to increased pressure and expectations, internal or external, to continue to perform exceedingly well. Additionally, gifted students are not typically given adequate tools to navigate such pressure and the likelihood of setbacks, mistakes, or outright failure. In tandem, these factors often lead to unhealthy perfectionism. In this talk, Dr. Rohlfing Pryor will discuss how unhealthy perfectionism can develop in gifted children. She will also provide tools for how to prepare your gifted, perfectionistic child for the inevitability of imperfection.

Jessica Rohlfing Pryor, PhD, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University, Core Faculty in the Counseling (MA) Program at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, and a licensed psychologist. Dr. Pryor specializes in research and treatment of high-achieving individuals who struggle with perfectionistic thoughts and behaviors like crippling self-doubt, chronic disappointment in personal performance, self-sabotage and interpersonal difficulties. She has presented and published both nationally and internationally on these topics, and is solicited as an expert speaker on the unique mental health needs of perfectionistic children, university students, and high-achieving professionals. Dr. Pryor has been quoted about perfectionism in The Atlantic, Huffington Post, Fortune, Business Insider, Vox, Chicago Tribune, and The Guardian.


Session Title: Tackling Obstacles So Students Reach to Achieve II

Join our keynote speaker, Emily Mofield, in a more intimate context for a continuation and expansion of her keynote address in a workshop setting.  Bring your questions.

Session Descriptions for Grades 9-12

Session Title: Renewable Energy at Your Fingertips

Session Time: 1 pm to 2:45 pm

Presenter: Dick T. Co, PhD

Session Description: Participants will fabricate dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) using household ingredients, connect multiple cells in series to create a solar panel, and investigate its performance under sunlight with various pigments derived from fruits. Time permitting, students will experiment with difference parameters and engineering architectures to maximize solar output.


Session Title: The Mazzocchio in Perspective

Session Time: 1 pm to 2:45 pm

Presenter: Odile Compagnon

Session Description: Learn to draw and build complex geometries using techniques discovered by painters and architects from the Italian Renaissance, and modernized by Bauhaus professor Josef Albers a century ago. Participants will construct their own polyhedra from folded paper.


Session TitleMathematical Modeling in Conservation Ecology: Population Viability Analysis

Session Time: 1 pm to 2:45 pm

Presenter:  Angela Kinney

Session Description: In this course, students will use predictive mathematical modeling techniques to determine the effect of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) frequency on the penguin population in the Galapagos Islands.  This penguin species is unique in that it they are the only type of penguin found north of the equator. This species is very sensitive to changes in water temperature, as warmer water means less food.  In light of global climate change, we may see increase in frequency of ENSO, which warms water near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, causing the penguins food source to decline.  Students will learn the ecology of these penguins, the physics and chemistry of water in the oceans and why they are important to organisms, and the impacts and implications of global climate change on this and other species.  


Session Title: Exploring the Universe with Supercomputers

Session Time: 3pm to 4:45pm

Presenter: Zach Hafen

Session Description: Exploring other galaxies and the Universe beyond is a long-held dream of people the world over. Humankind is finally reaching the point where we can start to explore other galaxies: not by traveling there in person, but by creating our own virtual galaxies that we're free to traverse. In this session participants will learn how scientists use supercomputers to create virtual galaxies. In addition, students will work with an astrophysicist to make discoveries of their own, using real astronomy research data such as those from The FIRE Project or the Hubble Space Telescope database.


Session Title: From the Horse’s Mouth: College Students Give you the Scoop on Campus Life

Session Time: 3 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenters: Panel of Northwestern University Students

Session Description: In this panel presentation, current and former Northwestern University students will share their experiences about what goes into choosing a college that’s right for you, what the first year of college is really like, what to think about when choosing a study abroad program and more. Come prepared with your questions!


Session TitleNetLogo: Studying Complex Systems Through Developing Computational Models 

Session Time: 3 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Umit Aslan

Session Description: Our lives are embedded in many complex systems such as the internet, stock markets, transportation networks, or the immune system. Being able to make sense of complex systems holds the key to making critical decisions in our lives, as well as contributing to the betterment of our society and solving the pressing issues of our world. Computational modeling helps scientists, economists, historians, health care professionals, and others study such systems in depth. In this hands-on workshop, young scientists will learn the basics of the NetLogo agent-based modeling environment, create their own computational models and analyze the outcomes of their models in order to develop an understanding of complex systems concepts such as emergence, non-linearity, feedback loops, uncertainty, and self-organization. 


Session Descriptions for Grades 7-8

Session TitleExploring Virtual Universes

Session Time: 1 pm to 2:45 pm

Presenter: Zach Hafen

Session Description: Exploring other galaxies and the Universe beyond is a long-held dream of people the world over. Humankind is finally reaching the point where we can start to explore other galaxies: not by traveling there in person, but by creating our own virtual galaxies - with the help of sites like Zooniverse - that we're free to traverse. In this session participants will learn how scientists use computers to create galaxies, and will go on an interactive journey beyond Earth.


Session TitleSeeing Nano in Daily Life: From Sticky Post-It Notes to Never Wet Shoes

Session Time: 1 pm to 2:45 pm

Presenter: Matthew Hsu

Session Description: What allows a gecko, or any insect, to walk upside down on the ceiling seemingly unaffected by gravity? Believe it or not, a gecko uses the same nanotechnology as our everyday Post-It notes – the same kind of “stickiness” that all glues are based on. In this session, students will explore how Isaac Newton tried to discover the nature of this powerful attractive force. Students will also get a true "feel" for how small nanoscale objects are and explore other surprising nano phenomena, such as super reactive and super hydrophobic properties, using common objects like marshmallows, diapers and plant leaves.


Session Title: NetLogo: Understanding the World Around Us Through Developing Computational Models

Session Time: 1 pm to 2:45pm

Presenter: Umit Aslan

Session Description: Why are fast-food restaurants often very close to each other? Why do some forest fires burn out while others persist? What viral marketing strategies are effective for Twitter? Computational modeling helps scientists, economists, health care professionals, and others more deeply understand such complex questions about the social and natural worlds. In this hands-on workshop, we will learn the basics of the NetLogo agent-based modeling environment, create our own computational models and analyze the data our models produce in order to understand the world around us more deeply.


Session Title: Making a Functional Solar Cell from Scratch 

Session Time: 3 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Dr. Dick T. Co

Session Description: Participants will experience the “magic” of solar energy by making their own functional solar cells from basic household materials. Students will witness the sun’s light energy transformed into electricity in real time and leave the session with a better appreciation of energy and colors and how solar cells work.


Session TitlePowers of Ten: The Artist and the Architect, learning from Ray and Charles Eames.

Session Time: 3 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Odile Compagnon

Session Description: Learn the importance of dimensions and scale in design through the work of Ray and Charles Eames who worked together and developed design methods that could be applied to objects, buildings, landscapes and urban plans. Participants will end the session by designing a collective contemporary scale map. 


Session Title:  Disease Spread, Predicting Epidemics and Finding Patient Zero

Session Time: 3 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter:  Angela Kinney

Session Description: Have you ever been sick and wonder how you got it?  Have you ever wondered about how people get sick, how they make others sick, what epidemics are and how they get started?  Or how we can stop them?  In this course, student will simulate disease spread, predict their consequences and run an ELISA assay to identify patient zero and to see who tests positive for the disease.  We will be mimicking the transmission of Ebola, HIV or H1N1 in this course.  The concept of disease beginnings, spread, and control will be discussed and incorporated into the student lab experience, as well as future disease predictions, epidemics and range possibilities.


Session Descriptions for Grades 4-6

Session Title: The Science in Magic

Session Time: 1 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Amy Jacobs

Session Description: How do magicians use their knowledge of science to create dazzling illusions and fantastic tricks?  This hands-on workshop will provide you insight into some of the tricks of the great magicians of our times.  Learn how an understanding of States of Matter, Gravity, Surface Tension, Magnetism, and Optical Illusions can help demystify magic. How can you use your knowledge of scientific concepts to create your own magic tricks?  Practice and perfect common magic tricks; demonstrate your understanding of how scientific principles work by designing your own unique magic tricks.


Session TitleCracking the Code: The Art and Science of Cryptography

Session Time: 1 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Kori Milroy

Session Description: Codes and ciphers have been used for thousands of years to keep private communication under wraps. In this course, students will learn the fascinating history of cryptography and steganography as they encrypt and decrypt secret messages. Students will compare different types of invisible ink, create their own cipher disks, and learn how spies pass messages to one another without being detected. 


Session Title: Chemistry Magic: Fascinating Formulas and Explosive Reactions

Session Time: 1 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Rashida Clark

Session Description: Students explore the fundamental principles of chemistry which characterize the properties of matter and how it reacts.  The science of matter and how it interacts will be explored through presentation, readings, demonstrations, and hands-on laboratory work.   By the end of the course, students will have an understanding of the composition of matter, how matter is categorized, how matter interacts, the signs and causes of chemical reactions, and the properties and structure of matter. 


Session Title: Sole to Sole: A Breakdown of Shoe Design and Materials

Session Time: 1 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter:  Matthew Wilson

Session Description: Come take a deep dive into the world of shoe design in a hands-on lesson that will provide you with practice in fundamental industrial design drawing techniques as well as critical thinking in the design process! You will also learn about the lifecycle of shoe materials. Students will be able to work in pairs as "Lead Designers" presenting designs for a potential new shoe. Challenges, presented to meet the client's criteria, will incorporate a mix of Sci Fi influences as well as influences from nature. Students will use synthetic and natural materials, and will have to account for both the sustainability of the product, and the overall “cool” factor. Final deliverable will be a cohesive and well thought out design of a shoe as well as a hand-built, rough draft model.


Session TitleThe Poetry of Architectural Space

Session Time: 1 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Richard Kasemsarn

Session Description: Spaces and structures can provide domestic shelter or serve a public function.  Either way, structures all begin with the dream or imagination of an architect. In this engaging hands-on workshop, participants will explore how architecture is also an exercise in poetry, as much as, an exhibition of the possibilities of engineering and technology. Participants will dream big, and then they will create and scale models and drawings that introduce them to the challenges architects face when trying to give form to an imaginative concept. 

Session Titl
eBrainy Behaviors

Session Time: 1 pm to 4:45 pm

Session Description: Come explore the largest and most complex organ in the human body. Through interactive stations, students examine how the brain works and how brain functioning relates to their daily lives and habits. Students will experiment with various brain functions, diagnose a brain injury and design a supportive prototype to prevent future damage

Activities for Age 4 - Grade 3 (full afternoon)

Children age 4 through grade 3 enjoy hands-on architecture and construction activities, modeled on CTD’s Summer Leapfrog-Spark Program.

Please note: parents attending the 1 pm keynote address may drop off children at the activity site at 12:30 pm.

Presenter Biographies for Student Sessions

Umit Aslan, PhD candidate in the School of Education and Social Policy and a member of the Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling (CCL) of Northwestern University 

NetLogo: Studying Complex Systems Through Developing Computational Models 

NetLogo: Understanding the world around us through developing computational models

Umit Aslan’s research interests include mathematics education, non-deterministic thinking, computer-based modeling and computer science education. Previously, he worked as a mathematics and computer science teacher in Turkey and founded a company that develops 3D video games for education. He also has a master’s degree in Mathematics and Science Education. He has developed and taught two CTD courses.

Rashida ClarkInstructor, Center for Talent Development

Environmental Science, Engineering, and Sustainability

Rashida Clark has worked in the education sector for the past twenty years.  She has worked for education non-profit organizations, private schools, and charter schools in various positions.  She worked as director for an in-school health education program playing a major role in improving the quality of life for inner-city youth in Springfield, Massachusetts.  She has also taught elementary and secondary science courses at private and charter schools in Massachusetts, New York, and Illinois.  She holds a BS in Environmental Science, as well as a MSEd in School Building Leadership. She is an active member of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education.  Currently, she works at an elementary school as a special projects director.  She has taught science-related courses for CTD for the last three years.

Dick Co, Professor of Chemistry, Northwestern University. 

Renewable Energy at Your Fingertips 

Making a Functional Solar Cell from Scratch 

As a research professor of chemistry at Northwestern University, Dr. Dick Co has authored nearly 30 publications spanning early-stage commercialization strategies to ultrafast photochemistry of solar materials. During his decade at Northwestern University, Dr. Co co-founded and led the Solar Fuels Institute (SOFI) as Managing Director. In that role, he keynoted the inaugural U.N. Science, Technology, and Innovation Forum in 2016. Dr. Co has been quoted in the New York Times, MIT Technology Review, The Guardian, Chicago Tribune, and Congressional Quarterly. In 2017, Dr. Co led Northwestern’s team to win 1st place finishes in Market Potential and Communications at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition, where collegiate teams design, build, and operate full-size solar houses. Dr. Co is an Executive Scholar at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and he holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Harvard University and B.S. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley. He is currently the President of the Evanston Development Cooperative, a multi-stakeholder cooperative focused on providing sensible housing solutions to all Evanston residents, and CEO of PC Technologies LLC, a startup company specializing in the design and production of STEM educational outreach kits to inspire the next generation of students.

Odile Compagnon, Architect, professor School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Powers of Ten: The Artist and the Architect, learning from Ray and Charles Eames.

The Mazzocchio in Perspective

Odile Compagnon is an architect and a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She earned her Architecture degree from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Versailles in France. Odile’s professional practice as well as her research and work with students at SAIC are transdisciplinary. She is interested in involving her clients in the design as well as in the construction process. She is a founder of the Good City Group, which promotes collective participation in the reimagining of public spaces and infrastructures. The work she has done with theater companies and artists has permeated her architecture practice, which she sees as the coordination of a collaborative effort, allowing for many voices to be heard, and leaving some space and time for the unpredictable.

Zach Hafen, Instructor, Center for Talent Development

Exploring Virtual Universes

Exploring the Universe with Supercomputers

Zach Hafen is a PhD candidate at Northwestern's Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA), where he spends his time exploring and understanding virtual versions of our universe. Within these virtual universes he focuses on understanding where the atoms that make up our bodies come from, and beyond that where the atoms that make up all the stars in our galaxy come from.

Matthew Hsu, Senior Developer and Research Associate Materials World Modules, Northwestern University

Seeing Nano in Daily Life From Sticky Post-It Notes to Never Wet Shoes

Matthew Hsu oversees all aspects of NU’s Materials World Module’s STEM Program. He received his B.S. degree from UC Berkeley in Chemical Engineering, M.S. in materials science from a special program at NASA Langley Research Center, Virginia, and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering at Northwestern University. He works with regional teachers as well as field test teachers all over the U.S. in the development of MWM STEM modules. Matthew travels widely in the U.S., Mexico, Qatar, and China to conduct teacher workshops and enjoys visiting students in the classrooms to share the excitement of cutting edge science and nanotechnology.

AmyJacobs, Educator, School of Arts and Sciences, Des Plaines

The Science in Magic

Amy Jacobs has been working with gifted students both as a gifted teacher and in various summer enrichment programs since her first teaching job at Quest Academy in Palatine in 1998. Mrs. Jacobs is currently on the faculty at Science and Arts Academy in Des Plaines, IL. Mrs. Jacobs has presented four times at National Gifted Conferences on topics which include differentiation and environmental education. She has also published articles on differentiation, science education and problem-based learning. In addition to extensive professional development and graduate coursework in gifted education, Mrs. Jacobs has an undergraduate degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI and a Masters Degree in Elementary Education from DePaul University in Chicago.  She has been working with the Center for Talent Development since 2010.

Richard Kasemsarn, Architect and Instructor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago and CTD

The Poetry of Architectural Space

Richard Kasemsarn has been teaching at the Weekend Enrichment Programs and the Center for Talent Development since 2009. His courses take an interdisciplinary approach that demonstrates how science, engineering, and design can all be developed together. Kasemsarn studied architecture at the University of Michigan and continued his studies with an MA from Yale University. In addition to teaching classes at CTD, he also teaches at the School of the Art Institute while maintaining a practice in architecture.

Angela Kinney, Teacher

Mathematical Modeling in Conservation Ecology: Population Viability Analysis

Disease Spread, Predicting Epidemics and Finding Patient Zero

Angela Kinney is from Michigan and her bachelor’s degree is from Michigan State University in psychology/neuroscience. She has a master’s degree in Education from North Park University and her certifications are in biology, chemistry, environmental science and psychology. She has a second graduate degree from Northeastern Illinois University in Biology, with concentrations in marine ecology, conservation and population dynamics.  She REALLY loves science.  She thinks about it constantly and her curiosity is never satiated.  She describes herself as an enormous dork, who likes doing math and kitchen science experiments. She loves music, marine life (particularly sharks), pickles, reading, office supplies, the color blue and anything academic!

Kori Milroy, Instructor, Center for Talent Development

Cracking the Code: The Art and Science of Cryptography

Kori Milroy has been teaching high-achieving students for 13 years. She is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago and earned her MSEd at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She is a licensed teacher with endorsements in science and gifted education. She has previously taught the CTD courses Microscopic BiologyDebate the IssuesThe Science of Treasure Hunting,and The Daring and Design of Flight.

Amy Schneider, Instructor, Center for Talent Development

Brainy Behaviors

Amy Schneider is currently a nationally certified teacher in Grayslake, IL. She has taught grades kindergarten through third for 16 years and has been an instructional coach for her school district for the past 4 years. Amy received her Bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University and her Master’s degree at Aurora University. She has recently completed her second Master's degree in Instructional Media and Technology. Amy enjoys teaching skills and concepts to students through technology programs, games, experiments, and activities. She is a returning instructor for the Center for Talent Development and has taught several courses for the Leapfrog and Saturday Enrichment programs over the past 10 years.

Matthew Wilson, Teaching Artist

Sole to Sole: A Breakdown of Shoe Design and Materials

Matthew Wilson is a teaching artist in Chicago who enjoys the challenge of using design thinking to develop solutions to everyday problems. He holds a BFA in Integrated Studio Arts and a Masters of Design in Sustainable Environments, both from Iowa State University. As a visual learner, he enjoys expressing data and findings as art assets. However, he is frequently diving into 3d printing, virtual reality, and coding projects as needed. For Matthew, anything is possible with enough creativity and focus. 


Fees & Policies

$97.50 for one person
$127.50 for two people
$137.50 for three or more people
$50 for families with proven financial need (families eligible for or that receive free or reduced lunch qualify for a reduced $50 conference fee) 50% off registration for Northwestern employees with Wild Card

Full refund for cancellations before May 15. $50 refund May 15 – June 9. No refund after June 9.

Northwestern University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for all events and programs. Accommodations such as Sign Language interpreters, accessible seating and presentation materials in alternate format are provided upon request. Please contact us at ctd-enrichment@northwestern.edu by June 20. Every reasonable effort will be made to implement accommodations in an effective and timely manner.

Copyright 2014 Northwestern University Center for Talent Development