2017 Keynote Address

Developing the Psychological Strengths and Social Skills to Support your Gifted Child’s Emotional Wellbeing and Academic Achievement

Lori TallHow can parents and caregivers foster their gifted children’s social development? Join Dr. Lori Tall and Dr. Clark McKown, licensed Clinical Psychologists from the Rush NeuroBehavioral Center (RNBC), in an exploration of how to nurture the emotional wellbeing and academic achievement of your gifted child.





Parent Session Descriptions

KEYNOTE: Developing the Psychological Strengths and Social Skills to Support your Gifted Child’s Emotional Wellbeing and Academic Achievement

Time: 1 pm to 2:45 pm

Presenters: Lori Tall, PsyD and Clark McKown, PhD

Description: Join Licensed Clinical Psychologists from the Rush NeuroBehavioral Center (RNBC) in an exploration of how to nurture the emotional wellbeing and academic achievement of your gifted child. Dr. Lori Tall and Dr. Clark McKown will share the RNBC’s researchbased approach to developing psychological strengths and social skills in childhood. Learn how parents and caregivers can help support their gifted children’s social development and emotional wellbeing to foster their academic success.


Clark McKown, PhD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Pediatrics Executive Director Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Behavioral Sciences

Clark McKown received his PhD in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. He completed a Predoctoral internship at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, and holds a BA in Psychology from Yale University. He specializes in child assessment and therapy, school consultation, academic, social, behavioral, and emotional disorders of childhood, and fostering social development and friendship in children. His research encompasses typical and atypical social development, including the assessment and treatment of social problems, evaluating instructional environments, and enhancing children’s well-being.

Lori Tall, PsyD, Clinical Director Licensed Clinical Psychologist Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Behavioral Sciences

Lori Tall completed her Postdoctoral Fellowship at thePrimary Children's Medical Center, and received her PsyD in Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. She completed her Predoctoral Internship at the University of Minnesota. Her areas of expertise include neuropsychological assessment, Autism Spectrum Disorders, genetic disorders, and adoption.


Session Title: Understanding How Executive Function Supports Intellectual Ability

Time: 3 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Michael E Smith, PhD

This interactive session will provide parents with practical strategies from the field of Executive Functions to help them guide and support students in school and at home.  Smith will present an overview of current research from neuroscience describing the impact of the 21st Century influences on today’s student, including recent findings related to technology, media use, and learning. Parent participants will engage in brief interactive activities that will demonstrate specific strategies designed to help students with organization, time management, and test preparation.


Michael E. Smith, PhD Education Specialist at Rush NeuroBehavioral Center

Michael Smith earned a BS from Skidmore College and has been an Education Specialist at the Rush NeuroBehavioral Center since 2007.  Prior to his work at RNBC, he taught Theatre, Public Speaking, and College Prep. courses at North Lawndale College Preparatory High School on Chicago’s West Side. While there, Dr. Smith contributed to the development and implementation of a four-year College Prep Curriculum which focused primarily on Executive Function skills. At RNBC, Smith has been involved in multiple school partnerships assisting teachers and administrators to implement RNBC’s Executive Function Curriculum. In addition to his work with schools and teachers, he has helped hundreds of middle school, high school, and college-level students implement strategies in materials management, time management, and study strategies. Along with other members of the Education team, Smith has co-authored the RNBC Executive Function Curriculum and has devised and co-teaches RNBC’s Executive Function Summer Student Workshops for middle and high school students.


Session Title: Understanding and Supporting Your Twice Exceptional Child

Time: 3 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Alicia Ali, PsyD

Need guidance on how to help your twice exceptional child? This session will provide participants with information about how to understand and support the specific needs of students who are academically gifted and have attention deficit concerns. Learn about the intelligent brain as well as strengths and risk factors that come along with it. Dr. Ali will discuss common attention and behavioral challenges related to ADHD, how they present themselves in the classroom, and will outline ways to address these challenges. Participants will gain strategies to help promote positive psychological well-being within their child.


Alicia Ali, PsyD, Clinical Psychology Fellow with Rush NeuroBehavioral Center

Alicia Ali specializes in neuropsychological evaluations throughout the lifespan, and has worked with youth, adult, and geriatric patients. She received her BA in Psychology from Marquette University and her PsyD in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Neuropsychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Ali recently completed an APA-accredited clinical internship program through Henry Ford Health System. In addition to advanced clinical training, Ali spent some time in Juneau, Alaska working closely with the State of Alaska and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on the primary prevention of suicide, substance abuse, and interpersonal violence among adolescents.


Session Title: The Importance of Social Emotional Learning for Gifted Children

Time: 3 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Nicole Russo-Ponsaran, PhD

Discover what the current research says about social emotional learning and academic success in this interactive workshop. Dr. Russo-Ponsaran will share valuable and timely information, and will present her research on the importance of social emotional learning and how this research can be applied to the gifted learner. Participants will learn how they can help to develop social emotional growth and to support the overall mental health of the gifted child.  


Nicole Russo-Ponsaran, PhD, Research Director Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences Education and Training

Nicole Russo-Ponsaran attended Northwestern University, where she received her PhD, Neuroscience, and holds a BS, Biology from Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Russo-Ponsaran is also certified research reliable in administration of the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised, Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), and ADOS-2. Her areas of expertise include Autism spectrum disorders, fragile X syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and language-based learning problems. Dr. Russo-Ponsaran’s research interests include improving objective assessment of functioning for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, direct assessment of social-emotional learning skills and self-regulation in typically-developing and clinical pediatric populations, the evaluation of intervention efficacy, and the development of new treatment programs.

Session Descriptions for Grades 9-12

Session Title: Ahead of the Curve: Engineering and the Pace of Social Change

Session Time: 1 pm to 1:45 pm

Presenter: Alex Randhava

Session Description: What is the appropriate pace for technological progress? How do engineers stay “ahead of the curve” when it comes to social challenges such as transportation efficiency, better building materials, or more sustainable city planning? In this hands-on workshop, participants will define the engineering problem, describe the design goals for fixing the problem, and brainstorm methods to achieve possible solutions.  


Session Title: Medical Forensic Investigation: Determining Time of Death

Session Time: 1 pm to 1:45 pm

Presenter: Monty Adams

Session Description: How can forensic scientists establish a timeline of events and rule out a suspect’s alibis? The key is in the biological changes that occur in a body post-mortem, which can provide crucial information to forensic scientists engaged in a crime scene investigation. In this interactive workshop, participants will learn how to apply knowledge of post-mortem biological changes to establishing time of death in a medical forensic investigation. 


Session Title: Selecting the Right College for You

Session Time: 2 pm to 2:45 pm

Presenter: Shep Shanley

Session Description: Ready to start looking at colleges? In this session, discover how to identify and talk about what is important to YOU in a college or university. Begin to explore which colleges have what you are looking for in terms of programs of study, extracurricular activities, and social experience.


Session Title: Exploring 3-D Medical Imaging Technology

Session Time: 2 pm to 2:45 pm

Presenter: Chad Haney

Session Description: Ever wanted to visualize and manipulate a life size 3D image of a molecule? Learn how scientists advance medicine with technology in this interactive session. Participants will tour Northwestern University’s cutting edge facility, the Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging, and view state-of-the art medical imaging technology including Northwestern’s own, first-of-its-kind, advanced 3D visualization wall display. 


Session Title: Study Abroad Panel

Session Time: 3 pm to 3:45 pm

Presenters: Panel of Northwestern University Students

Session Description: In this panel presentation, current and former Northwestern University students will share their experiences in study abroad programs. Each panelist will describe how they made the decision to study abroad, why they chose a particular country, how they prepared for travel, and what academic subjects they studied while abroad. Participants are encouraged to ask questions of this well-traveled group!


Session Title: What is the First Year of College Really Like?

Session Time: 3 pm to 3:45 pm

Presenter: Panel of Northwestern University Students

Session Description: In this interactive panel discussion, participants will discover what the college experience is really like from current college students! Northwestern students will share their hard-earned wisdom, and will answer questions about what to expect from the first year of college.


Session Title: Materializing Your Future: Careers in Materials Science — Session Full 

Session Time: 4 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Matthew Peters

Materials science is a fast-growing field, and this interactive session will introduce you to this new wave of science innovations and outline the educational and career possibilities in this exciting field of science. Participants will learn how materials scientists view the world around them. Discover the properties of a variety of materials, including an exploration of liquid nitrogen-activated superconductors! 


Session Title: Innovations in Food Technology: From Feeding to Fueling the World

Session Time: 4 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Rachel Watson

We might take for granted innovations in food technology that are part of our modern life – like fertilizer or refrigeration – but these technologies have shaped humanity and allowed us to survive and extend our lives. Participants will explore new challenges in our global food and energy production, and learn about new and emerging technologies in this hands-on session. Discover how food is not only energy for our bodies, but can also be a source of biofuels for the world. 

Session Descriptions for Grades 7-8


Session Title: Picture This: Creative Strategies for Writing Comics and Graphic Novels

Session Time: 1 pm to 2:45 pm

Presenter: Mike Freibeit

Session Description: What makes a compelling story? How can you tell a dynamic story with images? Participants of all artistic abilities are encouraged to travel to the edges of their imagination in this hands-on storytelling workshop. Explore creativity-boosting strategies for creating a one page comic or the first pages of your graphic novel. Participants will brainstorm story options in response to a selection of prompts, objects, and characters, and will learn the basics for combining word and image in engaging compositions. Tell your own story in a new and interesting way!


Session Title: You Are What You Eat: Discovering the Chemical Composition of Food

Session Time: 1 pm to 2:45 pm

Presenter: Rachel Watson

Session Description: In this hands-on workshop, participants will discover the nutritional content of food, including fats, carbs, protein, and even still living components like yeast! Learn how these complex structures powerfully impact the properties of the food we eat, and how this food becomes the fuel that keeps humanity alive and growing. Explore the future of food, and consider how food scientists work to improve the quality and sustainability of the food we grow and eat. 


Session Title: Projectile Motion: It’s (Not) Rocket Science! — Session Full

Session Time: 1 pm to 2:45 pm

Presenter: Matthew Peters

Session Description: Ever wonder how we landed a man on the moon or how SpaceX is able to land a first-stage rocket? The secret to these engineering feats lies in mathematical equations that describe the movement of flying objects. During this session, participants will learn how to use this math to launch their own paper rockets and calculate the velocity, range, and height they achieve. Participants will then use this knowledge to design a launch setup to reliably hit a target, just like real aerospace engineers. Come and learn that rocket science isn’t “rocket science”!


Session Title: Astrophysics: Observing the Sun and Imagining the Universe

Session Time: 3 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenters: Cody Dirkes, Zachary Hafen, and Eve Chase

Session Description: Imagine the outer limits of universe and explore the exciting fields of theoretical astrophysics and astronomy in this interactive session! Participants will travel to the Dearborn Observatory for this session, where they will learn the history of the observation dome and its telescopes – including the historic 18.5" refracting telescope – and will conduct a solar observation in the observation dome.

Please note: The dome at the Dearborn Observatory is not ADA accessible. Several staircases must be climbed to reach the telescopes.


Session Title: Forensic Psychology: How Reliable is Eyewitness Testimony?

Session Time: 3 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Monty Adams

Session Description: Can you trust your own memory? How does bias affect how a jury interprets testimony? Dive into an exploration of current case law and discover the psychological issues that can color the jury’s perception of eyewitness testimony. Learn how to evaluate the truthfulness of witnesses in this interactive forensics workshop!


Session Title: Power in the Process: How Engineers Solve Problems — Session Full

Session Time: 3 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Alex Randhava

Session Description: In this hands-on workshop, participants will harness the problem-solving power of the Engineering Method. This methodical approach to problem solving is the foundation for the work of engineers in many fields. Participants will learn how engineers define the problem, explore potential solutions, and create plans and prototypes. Armed with knowledge of this process, workshop participants will design a solution for a real-life engineering challenge, such as: transportation efficiency, new and better building materials, or more sustainable city planning. 

Session Descriptions for Grades 4-6

Session Title: Engineering the Future: Prototyping with Design for America 

Session Time: 1 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Deniz Alpay                                                                                                

Session Description: Learn how design solutions can change the lives of individuals or communities! In this hands-on workshop, participants will tackle a real design challenge using a human-centered approach to design: empathize with the needs of a particular user, imagine possible solutions, and build a prototype. Participants will see inspirational projects examples implemented by the Design for America network, and will identify new design problems to imagine creative solutions for.

Design for America is an award­-winning, nationwide network of university-led teams using design innovation to improve their communities and create social impact. DFA is proudly headquartered at Northwestern University and has studios at 29 college campuses around the country. 


Session Title: Debate Workshop: How to Win Arguments with the Art of Rhetoric

Session Time: 1 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Kori Milroy

Session Description: Interested in sharpening your debate skills? Learn to craft effective and persuasive arguments using the three Aristotelian rhetorical appeals of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos! This hands-on workshop will equip participants with strategies for effective debate, and will allow them to practice using these rhetorical appeals to persuade others and win arguments.


Session Title: Science Lab Adventures: Chemical Reactions — Session Full

Session Time: 1 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Biljana Spasic

Session Description: Learn about Chemistry in this hands-on science lab! Participants will view demonstrations, perform their own experiments, and learn about the changes that occur in both organic and inorganic chemical reactions. Examine chemical reactions as they occur and learn about reactants, products, and the formation of a precipitate. Participants will build on their chemistry lab experience by imagining future design applications.


Session Title: Electric Anatomy: Collaborative Robotics Applications — Session Full

Session Time: 1 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Jeff Sweeton

Session Description: In this hands-on robotics session, participants will work together to create a "humanoid" robot. Students will work together to create, design, animate and assemble the robotic limbs and appendages. Participants will learn construction methods and will leverage the electromagnetic forces that propel motors using wire solenoids, gears, switches, and batteries. The final collaborative effort will be animated, tested, and explored for its potential functional – and fun! – applications.


Session Title: How to Make a Movie in Three Hours: Basic Digital Video Production — Session Full

Session Time: 1 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Ruslana Lichtzier

Session Description: Do you want to learn more about how to shoot, edit, and export digital video? In this hands-on session, participants will be introduced to the fundamental elements of video production as well as to the essential elements of visual representation and storytelling. Participants will learn how to present their ideas in video format, and how to use video cameras and computer software to conceive, plan, shoot, and edit short form digital videos. 


Session Title: Kinetic Architecture: Designing Systems and Structures that Move — Session Full

Session Time: 1 pm to 4:45 pm

Presenter: Richard Kasemsarn

Session Description: How can you build a structure or system of parts that move? In this engaging hands-on workshop, participants will explore how math, physics, and drawing are used by architects to design and engineer structures, and how motion can be used in their designs. Participants will create drawings and build kinetic architectural models to envision their own project ideas. Learn how to apply good design principles and make informed decisions in the process of creating a new building or system – whether it’s stable or mobile!

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 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

Monty Adams, Forensic Scientist and Instructor, Latino Youth High School and CTD

Medical Forensic Investigation: Determining Time of Death

Forensic Psychology: How Reliable is Eyewitness Testimony?

Monty Adams was trained as a forensic scientist by the Illinois State Police Department of Forensic Services, and worked as a forensic chemist and serologist for the Chicago Police Department Crime Lab. He later became an investigator for the Chicago Fire Department's Internal Affairs Unit. Adams has also received training from John Reid & Associates in Interviewing and Interrogation and has worked with an FBI criminal profiler while working for the Chicago Police Department. Adams was the research coordinator for Calibre Press, a leading law enforcement training company that trained over 40,000 law enforcement officers in Street Survival®. As an educator, Adams has over ten years of high school teaching experience and currently teaches Chemistry, Health, and Forensic Science at Latino Youth High School in Chicago. He has taught courses in Forensic Psychology, Biology, Bioethics, Chemistry, and Physics at CTD since 2006. Adams received his BS degree in Biology from DePaul University, MAT in Biology from National-Louis University, and also an MM degree in flute performance from Northwestern University.


Deniz Alpay, Fellow, Design for America (2016-2017)

Engineering the Future: Prototyping with Design for America

How can we better communicate our thoughts across vastly different disciplines? Deniz Alpay has been curious about this question throughout her years as a research assistant when she teamed up with chemists, engineers, and patent attorneys to develop nanoparticles for cancer therapy. Now more focused on systems that are visible to the naked eye, Alpay is excited to help interdisciplinary DFA teams achieve their design goals. Alpay received her MS in Materials Science and Engineering from the McCormick School of Engineering and her MA in Learning Sciences from the School of Education and Social Policy, both at Northwestern University, and she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Materials Science and Engineering, with a Minor in Chemistry, from Sabanci University, in Istanbul, Turkey.


Eva Chase, Graduate Student in Astronomy, Northwestern University

Astrophysics: Observing the Sun and Imagining the Universe

Eve Chase is a first-year graduate student in Astronomy. Chase’s research focuses on the strangest and most dense stars in the universe: black holes and neutron stars. She uses supercomputers to identify and model ripples in space-time caused by the collision of two neutron stars or black holes. 


Cody Lee Dirks, Graduate Student in Physics & Astronomy, Northwestern University

Astrophysics: Observing the Sun and Imagining the Universe

Cody Dirks is a fifth-year graduate student in Physics & Astronomy. His research focuses on analyzing the gas and dust that is spread throughout our Galaxy, called the Interstellar Medium. Dirks studies how this gas and dust changes over time: going from being very diffuse to eventually condensing down and forming stars. He is also interested in a variety of astronomy education and outreach projects, trying to develop better science communication skills and increase public interest in science.


Mike Freiheit, Cartoonist

Picture This: Creative Strategies for Writing Comics and Graphic Novels

Mike Freiheit is an accomplished freelance illustrator, cartoonist, and teacher. He has worked for such clients as Washington PostTime Out ChicagoThe Globe and Mail and advertising giant DDB. He is a co-organizer of Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE), Chicago's largest annual independent comics festival. He has made comics for Symbolia MagazineDistrict Comics (Fulcrum Publishing), The Stranger, and most recently an autobiographical account of growing up as a fat kid entitled “Hey Fatty!” for Buzzfeed. He lives in Chicago, with his wife Megan and their two cats.


Zachary Hafen, Graduate Student in Physics & Astronomy, Northwestern University

Astrophysics: Observing the Sun and Imagining the Universe

Zach Hafen is a third-year graduate student in Physics & Astronomy. He studies the universe by making "virtual galaxies": super-computer-simulated galaxies that look and act like real galaxies. He uses these virtual galaxies to see massive, nearly-invisible bubbles of gas that engulf entire galaxies. Beyond research, Hafen is involved in a wide variety of science communication projects, from giving talks at Adler Planetarium to teaching in local high schools and more.


Chad Haney, PhD, Research Associate Professor, Northwestern University

Exploring 3-D Medical Imaging Technology

Dr. Chad Haney is a biomedical engineer with over ten years of experience in multi-modality imaging research. He is a Research Associate Professor in the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute, Biomedical Engineering, and Radiology. Although his primary area of research is oncology he has collaborated with a diverse group of researchers from evolutionary biologists to cardiovascular specialists.


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

Kinetic Architecture: Designing Systems and Structures that Move

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. 


Ruslana Lichtzier, Core Fellow, Museum of fine Arts, Houston

How to Make a Movie in Three Hours: Basic Digital Video Production

Ruslana Lichtzier is an artist, writer, and curator. Born in Russia and raised in Israel, she received her BFA with Honor from Bezalel, Academy for Fine Art and Design, Jerusalem, Israel, and her MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute, Chicago, with a Dean scholarship. She is the co-director of Triumph, Chicago, and Triumph Triumph School Manual Project, Triumph, IL. Re​cent productions include the research project in form of a group exhibition Terrorists in The Library, at Harold Washington College (Chicago, Illinois), and Charles Fogarty’s solo exhibition, Why All Things Happen, at Ferwey Gallery (Chicago, Illinois). She is a Core fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston, TX) and a contributor writer for The Seen Magazine (EXPO Chicago), and Newcity (Chicago). Most recently she taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Kori Milroy, Instructor, Center for Talent Development

Debate Workshop: How to Win Arguments with the Art of Rhetoric

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 Biology, Debate the IssuesThe Science of Treasure Hunting, and The Daring and Design of Flight.


Matt Peters, PhD Candidate, Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University

Materializing your Future: Careers in Materials Science

Projectile Motion: It’s (Not) Rocket Science!

Matt Peters taught in New Orleans as a grade 4 and 5 science teacher before joining the PhD program as a graduate student in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. His thesis work is based on computational thermodynamics, with the end goal of developing tools and databases to help accelerate the material design process. Peters participates in the Graduate Student Speaks Series (GS3) where he discusses his research with local middle and high school teachers on how to implement materials science in their classroom. He also recently finished an internship at SpaceX where he worked on failure analysis as well as mechanical properties of rocket components. Peters is currently a Saturday Enrichment Program instructor for the Center for Talent Development, where he has taught courses on topics including biotechnology, materials science, and general engineering.


Alex Randhava, Engineer

Ahead of the Curve: Engineering and the Pace of Social Change

Power in the Process: How Engineers Solve Problems

Alex Randhava designs and teaches the enrichment engineering courses for the Center for Talent Development. He has also taught in Evanston's public schools and at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago. He has extensive experience working in the development of engineering startups. He holds two U.S. patents, and has received grants to fund design-phase engineering work from the USDA and NASA.  


F. Sheppard Shanley, Senior Associate Director, Undergraduate Admissions, Northwestern University

Selecting the Right College for You

Sheppard Shanley recruits and reviews applications for U.S. and international students applying to Northwestern University. He has worked for University Admissions for more than four decades, and is frequently consulted for articles about college admission procedures. Shanley has previously taught Advanced Placement® U.S. History and Advanced Placement European History courses.


Biljana Spasic

Science Lab Adventures: Chemical Reactions

Biljana Spasic is an experienced and passionate teacher. As a Science and Biology teacher, she taught elementary and high school students for over 20 years. Spasic earned her Bachelor and MS degree in Biology from University of Belgrade, Serbia. Her background in education includes the creation of several educational programs for children and young adults in areas of Science and Pedagogy as well as Educational Leadership. She was awarded a grant from The World Bank for developed multidisciplinary programs. Spasic has been teaching with the Center for Talent Development for three years in the Weekend Enrichment Programs, where she enjoys engaging students in an environment that fosters curiosity.


Jeff Sweeton, Founder and Facilitator, CodeCreate Technology Education

Power Puppets: Exploring Robotic Physics Applications with Everyday Materials                      

Jeff Sweeton founded and facilitates CodeCreate Technology Education consultation and workshops with partner organizations including the National Science Foundation, Disney Magnet Schools, the Art Institute of Chicago, Intel Start Making!, the MacArthur Foundation and the Adler Planetarium. For the past seven years, Sweeton has taught a variety of technology, electronics and engineering courses at Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development. He ran two Computer Clubhouses in Chicago for eight years, as part of an international network with the MIT Media Lab. He also works as a freelance filmmaker and has produced media for a diverse array of clients.


Rachel Watson, Instructor, Center for Talent Development

Innovations in Food Technology: From Feeding to Fueling the World

You Are What You Eat: Discovering the Chemical Composition of Food

Rachel Watson will earn a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Northwestern University this summer. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Environmental Engineering from University of California, Riverside in 2012. She loves all things science and has been actively sharing this passion through a variety of teaching and outreach programs for nearly a decade, including Wilmette’s District 39 Science Olympiad program, Research Engagement at Evanston Township High School, and Letters to a Pre-Scientist. This fall, Watson will begin her career with BASF, a global leader in chemistry.


Fees & Policies

$95 for one person
$125 for two people
$135 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