Identify. Nurture. Celebrate! These words encapsulate how Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS) helps families and educators of high ability students recognize and develop their exceptional talents. On Saturday September 7, Center for Talent Development hosted hundreds of students and their family members at the annual NUMATS Award Ceremony in Evanston, Illinois.
In addition to the students who were honored for high scores on the ACT®, SAT® and EXPLORE® tests taken through NUMATS, four teachers were chosen by top students to receive certificates reflecting their impact on gifted students’ achievements. Peruse the photo album from our recent awards ceremony for a glimpse of how NUMATS celebrates bright students. This inspirational event brings families to Northwestern’s prestigious, beautiful campus for a day of recognition that includes awarding of certificates and medals, presentations by accomplished young people and scholars, and scholarship awards.
But the awards ceremony is only one small component of NUMATS. So, how did the students in these photos get to this point?
Identify: The process starts with accurate assessment of students’ achievement through NUMATS’ above-grade-level testing. Grade-level tests, including state exams and popular computer-adaptive tests typically used in schools, can’t measure the full extent of high-achieving students’ knowledge, so NUMATS uses a different approach.For over 30 years, NUMATS has utilized the EXPLORE®, ACT® and SAT® tests to remove the “ceiling effect” of grade-level tests. Students in grades 3 through 6 take the EXPLORE test, typically administered in grade 8 for high school placement. Students in grades 7 though 9 take the ACT or SAT – the same tests given to high school students preparing for college entrance.
Nurture: Using the test data, the next step is to provide guidance and learning opportunities. A wealth of resources is available through an individualized NUMATS Toolbox. Families receive
- Scores and interpretive resources that help them understand and use the data;
- A statistical summary to identify how their children are achieving compared to other bright students across the Midwest;
- Personalized recommendations for planning course sequences through high school;
- An educational programs guide, providing information on summer, online, and weekend opportunities throughout the U.S.;
- Articles, webinars and other parenting resources.
And, as a program of Center for Talent Development (CTD), NUMATS connects families to a premier talent development center offering programs and services that help exceptional students discover their unique voice, explore opportunities, cultivate a love of learning and become bold, creative achievers.
Participating in consecutive years provides a record of academic growth, enabling educators and families to work as a team to help students thrive.
Celebrate: NUMATS focuses on strengths and recognizes exceptional academic ability. As the award ceremony photos illustrate, NUMATS provides ways to recognize students’ abilities in the same way other talents, such as athletic or artistic, are commonly celebrated.
If you want to become a member of the NUMATS community, or know a student who could benefit, contact NUMATS today.
Complete our web form to connect with a NUMATS staff member. Or you can
Call 847/491-3782 ext. 3