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Center for Talent Development

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Courses through the Center for Talent Development

The Center for Talent Development (CTD) at Northwestern University offers a wide range of resources for gifted students and their families, including a variety of enrichment opportunities for students. Below is a list of some of the courses I've taught for CTD in the past. As I develop online materials for courses, I'll put them up on the home page of this site.

DELE11-2-199A - Python II (Independent Study)

  • For students in grades 7-8
  • Course Description: Python is the perfect course for students who are fascinated by computers, want to understand how they work and begin programming. Students learn to write programs using the same language utilized by NASA, Google and George Lucas' Industrial Lights and Magic. Python is a powerful programming language that allows programmers to learn imperative and functional programming concepts using extensive libraries. It can also be used as a scripting language for writing web applications. Python uses a dynamic, object-oriented, open-source language that is easily accessed by students with no prior experience. It opens the door to future computer courses. Prerequisite: Python I or equivalent.
  • Course Dates: April 15, 2012 - June 17, 2012
  • Location: online

Statistical Research with NetLogo

  • For students in grades 7-8
  • Course Description:Explore NetLogo, a multi-agent programmable modeling environment used by students, teachers and researchers worldwide. Many areas of mathematics have important theoretical applications, but the field of statistics can be broadly applicable to daily life. Participants develop a deep understanding of probability and statistics as they explore computer-based models in everyday life, developed at Northwestern University's Center for Connected Learning (CCL) and Computer-Based Modeling.
  • Requirements:Subject Area: Math, Qualifying Score: Math
  • Course Dates:October 23, 2010 - October 24, 2010, 09:00 AM - 02:30 PM
  • Location:Evanston, IL

AWES10-1-108 - Exploration of Java Technology

  • For students in grades 7-8
  • Course Description: What do the Amazon Kindle, RuneScape, and Blu-Ray discs have in common? Java technology. Java is a cross-platform, object-oriented programming language used in countless applications and programs. Whether you are new to Java technology, the Greenfoot framework or an experienced user of either or both, this course is for you. Students with expe rience in these can extend scenarios they have already begun or create new ones. For those who are new, this course is a great introduction.
  • Requirements:Qualifying Score: Reading or Math
  • Course Dates:January 8, 2011 - January 9, 2011, 09:00 AM - 02:30 PM
  • Location: Evanston, IL
  • What's Next? Suggestions for further study
    • The Center for Talent Development currently offers two Java courses, one at the Spectrum level (Introduction to Computer Programming Honors: Java), and one at the Equinox level (Computer Science A—AP designation pending).
      This AWE weekend was a peek into this site and the following book: Wanda Dann, Stephen Cooper, and Barbara Ericson, Exploring Wonderland: Java Programming Using Alice and Media Computation (Prentice Hall, 2009).
      This site provides a free development environment called Greenfoot and online resources to help you get into game and simulation development with Java. There's also a great book for learning to use Greenfoot: Michael Kölling, Introduction to programming with Greenfoot: object-oriented programming in Java with games and simulations (Prentice Hall, 2009).

AWES10-1-109 - Alice Technology

  • For students in grades 5-6
  • Course Description: Students create virtual worlds and interac tive games with the 3-D programming tool Alice 2.0 by developing a sample project from the ground up. In this process they learn about object-oriented programming concepts and standard pro­gramming statements similar to those in Java, C++ and C#. By manipulating 3-D objects in Alice, students experience pro gramming constructs and gain experience with the Alice software applications and an understanding of object-oriented pro gramming (OOP). The ability to manipu­late 3-D objects and animations in addition to the exposure to C++ and Java syntax results in the competence required to complete a virtual world project.
  • Requirements:Qualifying Score: Reading or Math
  • Course Dates:February 5, 2011 - February 6, 2011, 09:00 AM - 02:30 PM
  • Location:Lombard, IL