Northwestern Center for Talent Development


Northwestern Center for Talent Development

One of the most rigorous and most recognized youth academic programs in the US

Hosted by the world-renowned Northwestern University

One of the most recognized youth academic programs in the US

Official faculty assigned by CTD

With official CTD completion certificate and evaluation report


January 27th - April 7th (Classes on weekends)


Primary School Class: 5th~6th grade

Middle School Class: 7th~9th grade

Invitation Letter

ASDAN China reached a strategic cooperation with Northwestern University CTD – Center for Talent Development in 2022, which symbolizes the introduction of the CTD program to China for the first time, for outstanding Chinese youth. The CTD offers two main types of programs in 2023: In-person camps at Northwestern University and online camps.

Program Introduction

Gifted Education

The release of the Marland Report in 1972 is often described as a watershed moment in the field of gifted education and remains a touchstone for the field today. The report outlined the unique learning needs of gifted students and the challenges faced by these students in U.S. schools. The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) supports those who enhance the growth and development of gifted and talented children through education, advocacy, community building, and research. Working together NAGC will achieve the vision where giftedness and high potential are fully recognized, universally valued, and actively nurtured to support children from all backgrounds in reaching for their personal best and contributing to their communities. 

Gifted Education

Gifted Education

About Center for Talent Development

About Center for Talent Development

About Center for Talent Development

Since 1982, CTD has evolved from a single focus on talent identification to a multi-faceted research and service organization with four central goals: Talent identification, Talent development, Research, and Advocacy. By continually assessing programs, conducting new research, and surveying participants, CTD remains at the forefront of gifted education and talent development. Today, CTD offers hundreds of enrichment and accelerated courses for students age 3 to grade 12, parent and educator learning communities, and program development for schools.

CTD has a wide array of high-quality, captivating courses for students from age 3 through grade 12, which includes Science, Technology & Engineering, Mathematics, Social Science and Humanities, English & Language Art. Whether it is advancing in a core subject or trying something new, they have what students need to develop all their talents and interests. 



Optional Subjects

Elementary Class: 5th~6th grade

Breakout Bios: Infections Diseases
Infectious diseases have puzzled humanity from the beginning of time. Students learn about microbiology, immunology and epidemiology as they investigate how the human immune system works to keep us healthy. Study advances in medical technology that have helped combat and eliminate diseases and allow us to find cures for others. Learn to question and hypothesize, identify and manipulate variables, measure and record data, and interpret results.

Surviving in Space
Imagine NASA wanted YOU to live on Mars. Are you ready to launch? Investigate the red planet and the scientific and technological advancements NASA is developing to make travel to Mars a reality. Develop and propose your own plans for survival in space by researching current real-world projects that are preparing humans for off-world colonization.

Math Puzzles & Games
Learn and apply critical math topics through games of skill and luck including chess, KenKen and Sudoku, and carnival games of chance. Concepts come from algebra and geometry and include an exploration of probability and statistics. Apply the concepts of risk analysis, expected value, and outcomes to create your own game and predict the success of the players!

Start Up Strategies:Business & Design
Do you dream of presenting and defending your invention to the Shark Tank panel? In this innovative, exciting ,course, you’ll work on collaborative teams to develop, test, and market your problem-solving products in this project-based class. Through workshops and simulations, work to understand product needs, marketing, materials, engineering, design, and business presentation skills. Readings and discussions build knowledge of fundamental economics concepts and entrepreneurship terminology

Creative Writing
In this writing workshop, channel your creative ideas into polished short stories. Analyze professional writing techniques, practice writing and revising, and present work to an audience. Combining elements of great storytelling and the short ction form, create your own portfolio to take home.

Intro to Genetics
What does it mean to say “it’s in the genes?” Genes determine the color of our eyes and hair, our height, and our predisposition to certain illnesses. Learn how genes and DNA determine individual traits, discuss advances in the eld such as the Human Genome Project, and consider the ethical, legal, and medical issues involved in genetic modication.

Middle School Class: 7th~9th grade

Intro to Biomedicine
For millions of years the human body has been evolving, yet it still presents many challenges and mysteries. The industry of biomedicine is growing rapidly as scientists research how to understand disorders and cure diseases.In this course, students explore connections between groundbreaking medical research that has revealed insights into the body’s molecular and cellular processes and how that knowledge is applied to medical practice and treatments. Through readings, discussions and laboratory investigations, students are introduced to the fundamentals of this specialized branch of science and develop their laboratory skills. Examination of essential biochemical reactions that occur in the body acquaint students with topics in chemistry; physics is included in the form of investigating biomechanics; and areas of biology such as cell biology and genetics are explored. This course is an excellent introduction for students interested in the study of medicine or advanced laboratory courses.

Bubbles & Crashes: Introduction to Economics
Can you spot a stock market bubble before it pops? How do decisions by governments, businesses, and individuals affect markets? Budding economists examine economic booms and busts of the past and present, focusing on concepts such as risk, supply and demand, marginal utility, and the fundamentals of investing. This course builds critical-thinking skills through discussion and writing experiences and is ideal for those interested in future study of economics, political science, international relations, or other advanced social sciences.

Aerospace Engineering & The Science of Flight
How do the fundamental forces of flight work to get a giant machine off the ground? Apply the principles of aerodynamics to your own designs. Learn about the history of flight, and through experiments, create hypotheses, observe flying machines, and compose lab reports to understand the physics principles behind the science. Apply the engineering process as you become an aeronautical engineer.

Forensi Science
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” Apply the guiding philosophy of Sherlock Holmes and learn the forensic science involved in solving crimes, including how to collect fingerprints, crack secret codes, and examine evidence. Topics from life science, psychology, and physical science are combined to solve complex mysteries.

Brain and Behavior:Introduction to Psychology
Why do people do what they do? Why are we the way we are? What makes some behavior “normal” and others “abnormal”? This course focuses on the structures and functions of the brain, neurons, and nervous system; the relationship between brain activity and thought and behavior; and the role of biological, environmental, social, and individual factors in psychological experience. Examine key theories, experiments, and individuals in the field of psychology through dynamic lectures, group activities, debates, and hands-on projects in order to gain a better understanding of scientific research and psychological thought. This course is an excellent introduction for students interested in behavioral science or advanced-level psychology courses.

Real-World Math
Real-world issues big and small can be understood and addressed using math! Learn to apply exponents, percentages, multi-step equations, and more to devise solutions for both practical living and in the interest of solving some of the most complicated issues facing the planet.

Persuasion & Debate
Learn the principles and practices of effective communication in a variety of speaking situations encountered in school and later in life as an adult. Examine pressing social issues and develop skills in public speaking, argumentation, and writing through lectures and discussions, reflective writing, persuasive essays, speeches, and structured debates. Upon completion, you are prepared for advanced study in honors English, humanities, and the social sciences, and are ready to participate in various forms of competitive debate.

Creative Writing
In this writing workshop, channel your creative ideas into polished short stories. Analyze professional writing techniques, practice writing and revising, and present work to an audience. Combining elements of great storytelling and the short ction form, create your own portfolio to take home.

High School Class: 10th~12th grade

Discrete Math: Management Science and Fair Division
Modern problems require modern solutions. Learn and apply management science topics such as graph theory and optimization to achieve goals such as safe urban living or multinational co-operation for scientific advancement. Concepts of fair division help identify solutions where each party is satisfied and envy-free.

Introduction to Oncology
Explore what the National Cancer Institute calls the first question in understanding the biology of cancer: what is normal cellular behavior? Guided by Hanahan and Weinberg’s “Hallmarks of Cancer” framework, investigate genetic and epigenetic expression on cellular outcomes, including sustained proliferative signaling, replicative immortality, and activation of metastasis. Review available and potential therapies and clinical interventions.

Microeconomics explores the impact of individual and organizational decisions on markets. Use decision theory, game theory, and market theory to interpret topics such as incentives, supply and demand, and competition. Design economic solutions to complex problems such as crime, educational achievement, safety regulations, environmental degradation, gender discrimination, health care, taxation, philanthropy, and political participation. Further improve these solutions with an understanding of behavioral economics.

Explore the complex systems of the human brain, drawing on the interdisciplinary principles of biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, and psychology. Topics include neural systems and behavior; the embryonic developments of the central and peripheral nervous systems; study of sensory and motor systems; changes in brain chemistry; aspects of learning and memory; and disorders of the nervous system.

Astrophysics seeks the origin and evolution of planets, stars, galaxies, and the elements themselves. Explore laws and theories such as Newton’s law of universal gravitation, Kepler’s law of planetary motion, and Einstein’s theory of relativity. Principles of physics, mathematics, and astronomy are used to study the evolution and death of stars, the formation of planetary systems, and current theories of astrophysics.

Machine Learning
The Fortune 500 is increasingly dominated by companies that harness artificial intelligence to optimize safety and performance in the energy and defense sectors, supply chain in the manufacturing and retail sectors, and risk management in the banking and finance sectors. At the heart of artificial intelligence is machine learning, the design and build of algorithms that learn from data. Aspiring data scientists will use (R), linear regression, and large data sets to build predictive models. Construct machine learning tasks such as classification, regression, clustering, supervised and unsupervised tasks. Gain exposure to the fields of software engineering, data analytics, and risk management.

Student Portfolio

CTD Student's Story

The tests and the camps, combined, helped me identify what I love and also what I don't. When I was younger, for example, I had always wanted to be a vet. After vet camp, however, I realized I loved medicine, but I didn't want to work with animals. Most people don't get experiences like NUMATS gave me until they are in college or even in their first jobs. Because of NUMATS and CTD, I'm much more confident about my career choice. I now know I want to use my passion for medicine with people.


The CTD Geometry class fostered my work ethic and my desire for learning, and while these aspects of myself still aren't as great as I make them out to be, they wouldn't be where they are without CTD's teaching. My teacher was very helpful in getting me through this class. At times, I struggled but my teacher was able to encourage me to keep going and I'm so glad that I did. The Geometry class gave me the opportunity to take an HS level class before I started high school. I knew that the high school that I wanted to go to was competitive, so taking the CTD Geometry class helped me stand out among the other students.

Anna Brown

Do not shy away from camps. Even if you are a shy person, you will develop many friendships at these camps by interacting with peers. Try to take advantage of the chance to get to know people outside of your school; you may like being at camp better than you like being at school. If you are attending an academic focused camp, do not spend all your time focused on your grade. Complete your homework first, and then spend the rest of the time you have with your friends. Summer camp is a rare opportunity that allows you to make countless friends and create life-changing experiences, so don't miss out.


The several online courses that I took through CTD have proven to be extremely beneficial to me as my classes this year transitioned to virtual settings, as I had already formed the necessary skills to work through a remote learning environment. The organizational and communication abilities I developed through my several CTD classes helped me navigate through the online college experience and be successful.

Nathan Deep

CTD exposed me to new information and challenges, which helped make me more adaptable and more confident that I could rise above difficult situations.

Imani Bah

Sample Schedule

Time Activity
Saturday/Sunday 8:00-11:00/9:00-12:00 CTD instructor online classes*
After class Office Hour
Others Complete class assignments

*CTD programs have enrichment class activities, such as lecture, group discussion, material reading, hands-on practice, mini peer review, etc. CTD instructors will make adjustments according to the level of students in the class. The final course sequence and content are subject to change by CTD.



● Winter Camp: 14th Jan. – 7th April. 2024 (10 weeks, classes on weekends, with two weeks off)

For Grades:

Primary School Class: 5th~6th grade
Middle School Class: 7th~9th grade

Application Process:

Step 1
1.Submit application form and relevant documents (principal recommendation form orMath/English/Other transcripts)
2.If you do not have a principal recommendation form and relevant test scores, you will need to take the ASDAN China Academic Assessment

Step 2
Receive the acceptance letter

Step 3
Sign the e-contract and pay the fee with the acceptance letter

Step 4
Receive preparation instructions before the start of the program

Step 5
Participate in the program and receive official CTD program certification

Application Method:

  • 1. 90th percentile or above in math and 75th percentile or above in English on a nationally normed, standardized grade-level assessment(e.g.,MAP, STAR, ETC.) or participation in above-grade-level testing through CTD above-grade-level assessment or similar program, or successful completion, within the past two years, of a previous CTD course at the same or higher admission tier and in the qualifying subject area, or The requisite scores for PSAT 8/9 - Taken in grade 6 or earlier.
  • 2. Recommendations from invited principals of partner schools and submits school transcripts and meet the following English assessment.
  • 3. Targeted invitation assessment winners are exempted from the corresponding Math/English tests, and the assessments include:
    View Details
    Meet the following Math/Science/Informatics/Physics/Chemistry/Biology and English requirements
  • 4. Without the above test scores, students need to pass the online selection test organized by ASDAN China (focus on math and English skills).
  • Assessment price: English assessment 100 RMB, Math assessment 200 RMB, if accepted can be deducted from theprogram fee, if not meet the admission criteria, assessment fees are not refundable.

Scholarship and Enrollment Benefits

1. Students can use the ASDAN Scholarship in this program, for more information please visit:

2. students who have participated in the 2022-2023 ASDAN CTD online program and Purdue University GER2I Youth Programs (China) are eligible to register for this program without assessment and with the "ASDAN Friend Benefit".

3. The above "ASDAN Scholarship" and "ASDAN Friend Benefit" can be used in combination.