Conference Supports Gifted Children and Their Families

Conference Supports Gifted Children and Their Families

conference“Opportunities for the Future” open to all; features workshops and challenging activities

In her keynote address “Straight A’s and Stressed,” psychologist Danielle Black will discuss anxiety, common parenting traps and ways to build resiliency during Northwestern University’s annual summer conference for families of academically advanced children.

Opportunities for the Future,” sponsored by Northwestern’s Center for Talent Development (CTD), features workshops and programs for adults and children, ages preschool through 12th grade.

Black, director of the Child Anxiety Clinic at Northwestern’s Family Institute, will host a workshop following her speech so parents can dive deeper into the issues discussed, including the causes of anxiety in gifted children and how it impacts their growth.

Other workshops for adults include the following:

  • “Stick With It: Embracing Uncertainty By Learning To Shift Manually in an Automatic World” by Joseph Holtgreive, assistant dean and director of the office of personal development at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering
  • “10 Essential Tips For Ensuring Your Gifted Child’s Success” by Kathleen Niles, parent services and communications manager for the National Association for Gifted Children

Students in fourth through 12th grade can attend workshops designed to offer new perspectives on current areas of study as well as future career opportunities. Children age 4 through third grade can participate in hands-on architecture and construction activities, modeled on CTD’s Summer Leapfrog Program.

Several workshops are university-level classes that have been adapted for the first time for younger students. “Solar Cell Workshop: Turning Sunlight into Power,” for example, is based on the work of Sameer Patwardhan, a materials scientist and postdoctoral scholar at Northwestern. Students will construct solar cells capable of powering electronic devices with sunlight, based on Patwardhan’s work at the Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research Center.

“Opportunities for the Future” is open to all interested parents and children. There are no admission criteria.

The conference will be from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 25, at Northwestern’s Technological Institute, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston.

Registration is available through June 24. For more information on conference workshops, fees and presenter biographies, visit the conference page or contact

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 6/17/16