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Welcome to our blog.   Please note that this page is open to the public, so any comments made by members will be visible to the general public also.  At this time, only members can make comments to the posts. 

  • August 01, 2016 7:15 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    From the Shedd Aquarium web site:

    Do you have what it takes to be in the club? We invite you to be a member! Club Shedd is a semester long program for passionate and driven teens with an interest in science and aquarium careers. Each semester, teens work together alongside Shedd professionals, behind the scenes, in Shedd's Teen Learning Lab, and with amazing resources to develop solutions for real aquarium challenges. Club Shedd provides you with skill-building opportunities and workshops to tackle the challenges presented by Shedd partners. In the past year, teens have inspired and developed solutions that have impacted the aquarium in these projects:

    • Enriching animal habitats through sculpting and molding/casting
    • Modernizing gallery exhibits utilizing digital software and 3D modeling
    • Designing ways to engage Shedd guests with our surrounding gardens, local plant species, and even Shedd's bees!

  • June 13, 2016 4:21 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    From the Northwestern web site:

    The Friday night observation tours at the Dearborn Observatory are open to the public, and there are two hours open for visiting:

    Spring/Summer Hours:

    • 9:00 - 10:00 pm: Reservation hour only.
      Your group will have a tour of the Observatory, and be able to look through the telescope.
    • 10:00 - 11:00 pm: Walk-ins welcome.
      We try to allow everyone at least one opportunity to look through the telescope, but space is limited and there is no guarantee that everyone will be able to look through the telescope if we are very crowded.

    There is no fee for the Friday night observation hour, however if you make a reservation for a group of 10 or more we require a refundable deposit which will be returned to you on the night of your visit. If you would like to make a reservation or need information about viewing, please call Gretchen Burnett at 847-467-3798.

    Please be advised that the dome does not have heat or air conditioning so please dress appropriately. Friday night tours are held "rain or shine," although of course cloud cover affects viewing. Tours are hosted by Ph.D. students and/or undergraduate students majoring in Physics & Astronomy. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions.

    Unfortunately, the Dearborn Observatory is NOT ADA-accessible. Several staircases must be climbed in order to reach the telescope.

  • June 06, 2016 10:01 AM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    Happening in Stores Nationwide

    June 10–12

    This June, hundreds of authors will appear at Barnes & Noble stores nationwide for B-Fest™, a three-day event celebrating the best books for teens. Join us for the biggest weekend of author events in B&N history, plus trivia, exciting sweepstakes, giveaways (while supplies last), and more. Be the first to sample upcoming teen novels, take part in games, and discover great new reads. Follow along with the fun at #BFestBuzz! or click here for details on their web site.

  • April 05, 2016 4:04 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    Now is the time to get ready for the Kane-DuPage Passport to Adventure.

    From the website:

                     As easy as 1-2-3!

    1) Each summer from May 1 until Labor Day, pick up a (free!) passport booklet at a participating museum or participating local library.

    2) Visit as many sites as you wish - museums, nature centers, and historic sites - described in the booklet. Receive a stamp at each participating site. Some sites are free, some charge a modest entry fee.

    Some sites may offer a prize if you've visited a certain number of sites. Return your stamped booklet to the location from step 1. 

    The Passport to Adventure Program is designed for children between the ages of 4 and 12 and is sponsored by the Kane-DuPage Regional Museum Association.

    Dozens of museums are included. See the website for a complete listing.

  • March 08, 2016 3:23 PM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    My family has some unique traditions.  For one, we always have scavenger hunts for birthdays.  This started when the kids were three and could recognize numbers.  They followed the trail of numbers to the stash of birthday presents! It has become ever more elaborate! My 18-year-old had a four-hour scavenger hunt with six friends that included dinner at the local Chinese restaurant, a visit to a game store and a bookstore, and dessert at a different restaurant. (Yes, there were clues hidden in the fortune cookies!)


    Another tradition in our family is to have the not-Greek relatives (my side of the family) join the Greek relatives (yep, my husband’s side of the family) for Greek Easter, which is rarely on the same day as Easter. We put together a fabulous egg hunt for the little ones, with every child receiving his or her own assigned color making the hunt more “fair.”  Then we play the red egg cracking game. The objective is to be the last person with an uncracked egg. Each person selects a hardboiled egg that has been dyed bright red, and an opponent. Opponents bash their eggs against each other.  The winner moves to the next round. Strangely, one egg always cracks and the other never does. You learn quickly that eggs are strongest at their tip. (What? You didn’t know that eggs have tips?)


    There are so many more traditions. We always celebrate Pi Day by having two pie courses for dinner on March 14th, say shepherd’s pie followed by apple pie. Mother’s Day is actually grandmother’s day, as mom futzes in the garden. But perhaps our quirkiest tradition is backwards leap year.  Instead of receiving gifts for gift giving occasions we give them.  This means we are particularly busy around our own birthdays, between making or buying gifts, wrapping them and preparing birthday cake! (Yes, I am planning a scavenger hunt for mine, though that is not until November!)


    Join us on Facebook and share some of your quirkier family traditions!


    Newenka DuMont



  • March 06, 2016 5:45 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    The Hemingway Society, the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, and Dominican University are thrilled to announce their partnership in hosting the 17th biennial international Hemingway Society conference at Hemingway’s hometown of Oak Park, Illinois.

    Celebrate Hemingway’s 117th birthday with the largest gathering of scholars and fans from all over the world. Click here for conference registration information


    JULY 17-22, 2016

    Conference participants will enjoy excellent presentation venues at Dominican University, beautiful event venues in Oak Park and River Forest, including the birthplace and the North Kenilworth home, and opportunities for exploring the Art Institute, the Newberry Library, and other historic Chicago sites. Participants are encouraged to join The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park in celebrating Hemingway’s birthday with the community the weekend following the conference.

    In addition to scholars from around the world sharing their expertise: 

    • Novelist Tim O'Brien, author of Going After Cacciato (National Book Award), The Things They Carried, and In the Lake of the Woods, will deliver a keynote evening talk. 
    • Documentary filmmakers Lynn Novick (director), Sarah Botstein (producer), and Geoffrey C. Ward (writer), all longtime collaborators of Ken Burns, will discuss their creative process as they embark on a documentary biography of Hemingway. The film, co-directed by Burns and Novick, is a production of Florentine Films, and will air on PBS in 2020.
    • A selection of Grace Hall Hemingway's paintings will be exhibited.
    • Parallel programs will offer opportunities for veterans to discuss Hemingway and war literature through "Talking Service"; for teachers seeking continuing education; and for undergraduate Hemingway scholars in a one-day symposium. 

    Spread the word, stay tuned for more information, and we hope to see you in Oak Park!

  • March 01, 2016 2:24 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    Students in 10th through 12th grade are invited to apply for the QuarkNet internship program, which offers summer research opportunities in science and technology. Students will work with scientists for six weeks on projects related to the Fermilab research program. The application period begins March 1.

    Program Description

    • What are neutrinos telling us?
    • Are there extra dimensions of space?
    • What happened to the antimatter?

    High school students living in the Fermilab area work full-time with scientists and engineers who advance our understanding of the nature of matter and energy. QuarkNet offers summer research opportunities in science and technology for students who have demonstrated a strong interest in and aptitude for science and mathematics. Students work with scientists for six weeks on projects related to the Fermilab research program.

    Research Topics:

    • Direct detection of dark matter using the COUPP bubble chamber
    • Building 3D electronic circuits to trigger events at the LHC
    • Making neutrino detectors more sensitive
    • Using interferometers to measure holographic noise
    • Developing software for imaging spectroscopic cameras
    • Building better accelerators
    • Using astronomical surveys to study dark energy and dark matter
    • Looking for particles at the LHC

  • February 02, 2016 1:30 PM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    I have two daughters.  The oldest was a typical first gifted child; there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that she was gifted. She read and did multiplication before kindergarten. Her vocabulary was advanced and her thought processes were sharp as a whip; she picked things up with ease and passed every test with flying colors. Of course she qualified for the gifted program! (She is old enough that Illinois still had gifted programs in most districts. These programs were systemaically dismantled starting in 2002, but that is the subject of another post!)

    Along came child number two.  She is four years younger than her sister and has always adored her! She did not read or even add before kindergarten.  She was shy and quiet.  One day in preschool she announced, “My sister is the smart one and I am the cute one.”  Instead of academic pursuits, she engaged in every sort of imaginative play.  She put on plays with her friends. She played with “guys,” building elaborate scenes that could not be dissassembled until the story had played itself out.  She told stories and later wrote stories and poetry. 

    I figured I had a gifted child and a “normal” child, okay by me!  I had both girls tested when the youngest was in Kindergarten when we briefly considered switching from our local public school to a private gifted school.  I was amazed to learn that she and her sister were both not just gifted, but profoundly gifted! I have since learned that it is quite common for giftedness to present completely differently in siblings and uncommon for siblings to be more that about 10 IQ points apart. 

    When I asked her second grade teacher for a letter of recommendation so she could take classes at the Worlds of Wisdom and Wonder, the teacher said, “But she isn’t gifted.” Unlike her sister, she did not qualify for the local gifted program at the end of second grade. One of the many tests they required for admission was a picture test, which she did not do well on.  On one of the questions they were given four choices for what goes with a dolphin.  These were something like a fish, a swan, an elephant and turtle.  I asked her why she chose the swan and her explanation was priceless, “They both move with same undulating motion.” Definitely not gifted. 

    Now she is at the top of her class in high school, has taken scads of APs and is a National Merit Finalist. She can compete academically with the best of them, but her real strength continues to be her creativity and imagination.  She writes fantasy, plays and creative non-fiction. She composes music and writes songs.  She writes and performs slam poetry. She draws and creates games.  And she sees connections between things and bridges across things that are novel and exciting. She is extremely imaginationally overexcitable.  And she is clearly gifted!   

    Newenka DuMont

  • January 20, 2016 7:59 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    The Society of Women Engineers - Northwestern University Chapter


    2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208
    8:30 am - 3:30 pm 
    The Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University is pleased to announce our 45th annual Career Day for Girls, scheduled for Saturday, February 27, 2016. 


    Saturday, February 27, 2016 McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science


    This program is designed for female junior high and high school students who have an interest in science and mathematics. The program will contain educational and career information about opportunities in engineering and applied science. Our speakers are women who have engineering degrees and current female engineering students.

    Cost: $10 for lunch. Registration closes February 5, 2016 or when the program reaches capacity. Click here for complete details.

  • January 20, 2016 7:49 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    Join the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) - Chicago Professionals Chapter for our National Engineers Week Expo! The Expo takes place on February 27, 2016 at the Illinois Institute of Technology. We have a full agenda with interactive and exciting Engineering and Science activities for Kindergarten - 12th grade students. Some workshops include App Design, World of Polymers and the Marshmallow Challenge for grade school students and a college panel and Speed Networking for high school students.

    We will also host a local NASCAR Ten80 competition, but you must be a registered racing team to participate.

    *** Registration closes Friday February 5, 2016 ***

    Parents & Educators are encouraged to stay and talk to our Engineers! Find out how to engage your children and hold their interest with fun experiments at home.

    No walk-ins, no on-site registration, no cash, no medical forms and no permission slips will be accepted on the day of the event, NO EXCEPTIONS.

    Tickets are $11.54 per person and include lunch. Click here for details and registration.



    To learn more about our chapter, go to 
    or to to learn about our national organization.

    Follow us on Twitter  @NSBE_ChicagoAE and Facebook at


    NSBE Mission: "To increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community."


    NSBE-Chicago is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For donations to support our STEM Programs, please add ticket type "Support NSBE-Chicago STEM Programs" to your order.


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The Chicago Gifted Community Center (CGCC) is a member-driven 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by parents to support the intellectual and emotional growth of gifted children and their families. 

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