Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Please see the following list of summer opportunities. These are not affiliated with the Watertown Unified School District, but may be of interest to some families in the area!

   Northwestern University - Center for Talent Development Summer Programs

   Apogee is for 4th through 6th grade students. Has three week courses that meet for five hours/day in computer science, social science, engineering, and mathematics.

   Spectrum is for 7th through 8th grade students. Has three week courses in computer science, social sciences, natural science, and mathematics.

   John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY)

John Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth offers residential programs for students in a variety of disciplines. Courses are offered in mathematics, computer science, science, and writing. Residential programs are located on the east and west coasts of the US, as well as internationally.

   The Art of Problem Solving

The Art of Problem Solving, or AoPS, is an online math curriculum geared towards accelerated math learners. Students can sign up for a number of different courses from Pre-Algebra through Calculus that can be completed in anywhere from two to five months. Students have access to weekly chat-room style lessons, receive textbooks, and are generally able to receive credit for their summer coursework through the Shorewood School District (specific approval is required for credit).

     Math Camps

     Delta Camp (ages 6-7)
     Epsilon Camp (ages 7-11) is a residential camp serving promising young mathematicians and their families through an intensive student program and parent workshop. This program is for children who are passionate about math as well as very competent. (www.epsiloncamp.org)
     MathPath Camp (ages 11-14)
Advanced Summer Program for students age 11-14 who show high promise and love mathematics (http://www.mathpath.org/)
     AwesomeMath Camp
     Summer Illinois Math (SIM) Camp
     University of Chicago: Young Scholars Program
The Young Scholars Summer Program is a four-week day camp for sixth to eleventh graders held at the University of Chicago. The mathematical content switches from year to year -- in odd years, the focus is geometry and probability, and in even years, the focus is on number theory and the theory of field extensions. Students do a significant amount of research. The program is no longer free. (http://math.uchicago.edu/ysp/)
      Wolfram High School Summer Camp (grades 9-12)
Mathematica Summer Camp is a 12-day program for students entering grades 11-12. The program is intensive; students will learn Mathematica programming as well as attend lectures on higher level math.
     List of Summer Math Programs: http://artofproblemsolving.com/wiki/index.php?title=Mathematics_summer_program
     List of Summer Science Programs:
     List of Summer Computer Science Programs:

     AreTeem Institute Summer STEM Camps

Areteem Institute's Summer Camps are programs dedicated to promoting math, science, and technology in the education of young generations.

   STEPS at UW-Stout

Science, Technology and Engineering Preview Summer (STEPS) at UW-Stout is a five-day summer camp for girls between their 6th and 7th grades in school. STEPS for Girls aims to build confidence in young women by structuring their participation in STEM-related activities. The hands-on activities and the high-energy environment are designed to inspire both confidence and enthusiasm.

   Red Oak Writing

Led by accomplished writing coaches who tailor activities to the age and interests of each group, Creative Writing Camps provide young writers, entering 6th through 12th grade, with the time, space, support, and community they need to nurture their passion for writing. Each day includes some light-hearted activities, age-appropriate lessons on the craft of writing and, best of all, time to write. The grounds at all our locations provide a lovely setting for gathering inspiration and listening to the writer within. We work outdoors as much as the weather will allow. Locations at Mount Mary College and Sharon Lynne Wilson Center, Brookfield. Cost: $ 350.

   Marquette K-12 Engineering Academies

The Engineering Academies offer students of all ages a wide variety of interesting and challenging programs. The courses challenge youth to become critical-thinking problem solvers, appreciate STEM, and explore the engineering design process. Since 2006, the Outreach team develops and offers unique opportunities for students to have fun while solving real-world engineering problems. Somes courses are introduction to animation, Battle Bots: design and repair, and helicopters and drones. 

     Marquette University High School: Summer EXPLORE! Camps

“Summer EXPLORE! provides learning and social opportunities for boys from all schools entering grades 5 - 9. A variety of programs are offered in Computer Science, History, Science, German, Visual Arts, Music, Forensics, and Sports. Summer EXPLORE! programs are taught by current faculty, staff and coaches with the same excellence that is the hallmark of a Marquette High education. This is an ideal time for your student to make new friends, meet teachers and coaches, and experience the Marquette High community.”
   Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth (WCATY)

WCATY offers both residential and commuter camps for students in 4th through 12th grades. The Advanced Learning Program (ALP) is geared towards high school students. The Summer Transitional Enrichment Program (STEP) and Preparatory Academic Campus Experience (PACE) programs are intended for 7-8th and 6th-8th respectively. The Young Student Summer Program (YSSP) is geared for 4th through 6th graders. The courses range from one to three weeks, and are offered as residential or commuter options.

   Concordia Language Villages: Summer Language Immersion Camps

“Coming to the Language Villages for a summer language immersion program is just like entering a new country. You’ll get your Village passport stamped at customs, receive your cabin assignment, and help us determine your language proficiency (don’t worry—no experience required!). We’ll also exchange any spending money you want to use at the gift shop during your stay, so you can practice language skills on real purchases.”

   Engineering Boot Camp - UW Extension
UW Colleges Regional Continuing Educa­tion is offering local high school students an opportunity to see first-hand the many career options that a degree in Engi­neering has! This is the perfect venue for high school students that want to become an engineer, but are not sure what exact field they would like to pursue due to the many facets of engineering that are available. This is a challenging, fun, and a hands on introduc­tory experience that exposes high school students to various engineering disciplines relevant to their interests. Students will learn about the exciting field of engineering from local engineers and engineering students, participate in engineering design projects, and visit local businesses to observe engineers at work. For one week in the summer, we visit a different local company each day, tour their facility, and speak with their engineers to learn what their day entails and how they landed their job position. During the week, we will explore civil, elec­trical, industrial/manufacturing, mechani­cal, material, and architectural engineering. Space is limited.

   University School Milwaukee IDEAS camp

The University School of Milwaukee offers a variety of summer options including coding, sports statistics, medieval challenges (catapults etc.), writing for web and blogs, and much more.

   College for Kids and Teens

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee’s school of continuing education offers a wide variety of summer programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, mathematics, and languages.

   Engineering for Kids

Engineering for Kids is a nationally-franchised organization with a location in Milwaukee County. Their summer programs include “Master Engineers” programs through MSOE in game design, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering geared towards 6th through 8th grade students. There are also “Apprentice Engineers” programs for 3rd through 5th grade students in similar subjects.

   Discovery World

Discovery World is offering a variety of camps geared towards STEM learning this summer. From game design to introductory robotics, these camps, which are available to students of all ages, are sure to have an option that interests your son/daughter.

   Mad Science Milwaukee

Information on Summer opportunities not yet published.

     University-Affiliated Summer Programs

BestCollegeReview.com publishes a list of the best college programs for gifted high school students. Check out the full list here: https://www.bestcollegereviews.org/features/best-college-programs-gifted-high-school-students/

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Talent Development Informational Meeting

When: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 4:00
Where: Riverside Middle School- LGI
Who: Anyone is welcome
What: Information will be presented as to the current Talent Development Plan

Monday, April 25, 2016

WUSD- Talent Development SPRING MEETING


When:  Monday, May 2- 6:00PM
Where: Riverside Middle School
Who: All parents are welcome to attend
What: District Talent Development update and short presentation on
“Self Advocacy”

The district Talent Development Staff will be present to answer any general questions regarding processes. If you have specific questions pertaining to your child, please contact your child’s teacher or Kathy Kennon: kennonk@mywusd.org  WUSD Talent Development Resource Teacher

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Find all of the information here!
UW- Madison Science Expedition

On behalf of the UW-Madison Science Expeditions planning committee, I’m delighted to invite you to the 14th Annual UW Science Expeditions campus open house April 1, 2 and 3.

UW Science Expeditions is a splendid opportunity to come visit your public land-grant research university and to experience science as exploring the unknown.

As a Wisconsinsite, you are a co-owner of this campus.

As a taxpayer (and even fourth-graders pay sales taxes), you are a co-funder of the research enterprise here.  

And it’s a pretty good enterprise:  UW-Madison is the 4th largest research university by budget in the United States.  (Notice that none of the other top 10 universities have cows on campus…)

Land-grant universities in general, and this one in particular, are remarkably welcoming places.  You can’t just stroll in to the NIH campus at Bethesda, Maryland; but here, we have over two dozen science venues that you can visit nearly any weekday.   

This weekend is a chance to get to explore many of those places.  We hope that UW Science Expeditions will make it easier for you to know, to navigate and to visit UW-Madison throughout the coming year.

This weekend I hope you’ll come to campus, talk with the researchers, visit the venues and chat with the outreachers.  I hope you'll get a chance to discover for yourself some of the special places, and get to know some of the splendid people, who make this campus an extraordinary space for everyone—anyone—who yearns to explore the unknown and to invent the future.

One more invitation—or rather, a request.  In my previous life, I was a plant virologist. I admire the infectious.  I’d be grateful if you’d please help spread the word about UW Science Expeditions by sharing this invitation with your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.   

I’d be happy to respond to any questions or suggestions.

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at UW Science Expeditions this weekend!

Tom Zinnen

Thursday, January 21, 2016

What to say to your child about being "gifted".....

This article provides parents advice on explaining giftedness to students.

What should you tell your child about being gifted? Whether identified as gifted, referred for evaluation, or placed in a “gifted and talented program," children quickly form impressions about all the fuss. Does this mean I’m really smarter than the other kids? Will they see me as different/better/weirder? Will I have to live up to even MORE expectations from my parents and teachers? What if I don’t want to be gifted anymore?
Parents themselves often struggle with how to understand giftedness and its effect on their child. It is even more difficult for a six-, eight-, or ten-year-old to grasp its full meaning, and place it in a context that makes sense. These children already know they are different, as do the other children around them. They have most likely weathered boredom and frustration in classes geared toward the average learner. They may have already experienced both positive and negative feedback about their interests, quirks, and academic talents. While the label of “gifted” provides some validation for what they already know about themselves, it can also create uncertainty, misunderstanding, and even anxiety.
Children look to parents to provide a framework for understanding what the term gifted really means. The following are possible explanations you might suggest to your child:
1. Gifted is just a word. It doesn’t mean someone is better than someone else. It was named a long time ago because people felt that it was a “gift” to be able to read well/solve problems quickly/paint beautifully/(you fill in the blanks). People might feel the same way about kids who can run really fast or dunk basketballs easily. It is a very fortunate thing when something comes easily to someone. But it does not make them better than anyone else. People are special for all kinds of wonderful reasons. Being gifted does not make someone any more special than the next person.
2. Gifted is a word given to kids who have different learning needs. (Yes, it sounds like jargon. But it is an accurate way of confirming and explaining why your child needs accelerated/enriched/differentiated learning instruction.) Everyone is different. Just like some people are taller or shorter than others, or more or less athletic, some people need a different approach in school to make learning more interesting.
3. You were found to be “gifted” because of some tests you took. We asked the school to give you these tests because you complained about being bored. We knew that if the testing labeled you as “gifted,” we could ask the school to give you more interesting work. We didn't care if you were gifted or not. We didn't care what score you got on the test. The only reason for taking it was to give you more choices in school. (Note: it is never a good idea to tell a young child his or her IQ score.)
4. Giftedness is something that is a part of you, just like your eye color or height. It doesn't come from how hard you work in school, and will not go away if you slack off. It is always there and gives you some great choices to do some really creative/intensive/interesting/(you fill in the blanks) things. If you work hard, you can achieve a lot. If you don’t, you will lose out on the opportunities your abilities have given you. Just like you can decide what clothes you wear or what haircut you get, only YOU can decide how to use your abilities.
5. Giftedness comes in all shapes and sizes. Some kids are really gifted with math. Some are great writers. Some are born leaders. Others paint up a storm. Occasionally, a few gifted children are good at many things; most are not. You have your subjects in school that come really easily to you, and have interests that you love. We hope you continue to put a lot of energy into these things. But you still need to work hard in those areas that are not easy for you.
6. Gifted children sometimes feel they are different from other kids. Even if you like how easy school is, it can be uncomfortable when you feel like you are different from a lot of the other kids in your class. It’s normal to feel this way. We can help you to figure out what to say if other kids make comments about your interests. We also can help you find things you do have in common with some of the other kids or help you find outside activities that school does not offer.
These ideas are just a few suggestions for starting a conversation with your gifted child. You will need to modify them to suit your child’s needs, and incorporate your family's beliefs and values. What is most important, though, is conveying that giftedness and achievements play no role in how much you love and appreciate your child.

Resource from: giftedchallenges.com

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Schurz GeoBee

Schurz Elementary held the annual GeoBee this week! Congratulations to the first and second place winners! 

Douglas GeoBee

Douglas Elementary held the annual GeoBee last week. Congratulations to all participants!