Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth honored students from around the world for exceptional academic achievement on Sunday October 16, 2016 at Shriver Hall. The annual event celebrates middle school students who, as CTY Talent Search participants, achieve scores on such above-grade-level tests as the SAT and ACT that would be impressive even for a high school senior. About 1,000 of the more than 27,000 students in grades two through eight who participated in CTY’s 2015-16 Talent Search were honored at Sunday’s ceremony for their exceptional test scores.
Warm weather welcomed honorees and their families to campus Sunday as proud parents snapped photos of their young scholars on the steps outside Shriver Hall. Some were local; others had traveled to Baltimore from as far away as California and Hong Kong for the event. For many, it was a validation of all the hours spent training their brains.
To qualify for CTY’s Talent Search, Aiman, being in grade 6 at the time (middle school), took a test called SCAT (School and College Ability Test), originally designed to test high school students’ academic abilities. Initially, Aiman’s dad wanted him to take a test that will qualify him for the following year’s summer STEM program for middle school students at Brown University in Rhode Island called SPARK.
Turns out, Aiman did exceptionally well, even though he didn’t really prepare for the test at all. He scored 508/514 on Quantitative (Math). This score is 99th percentile compared to students in Grade 9 (3 grades above him!). On the verbal portion of the test, Aiman scored 476/494 or 94th percentile compared to Grade 9. Aiman scores earned him an invitation to the CTY Grand Ceremony at JHU Homewood campus in Baltimore, Maryland.
Aiman is a student at Engineering and Science University Magnet School (ESUMS) in New Haven, Connecticut. ESUMS was recently awarded Top High School for Exemplary STEM Education Programs by The National Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) and earned a Finalist Award for the Middle School Category.
To participate in CTY, students must first enroll in the talent search for their respected grade levels. CTY’s Talent Search for grades 2 – 8 is the bridge to CTY, including CTY’s highly regarded summer programs, online courses, and other gifted and talented services and resources designed for advanced young learners.
Each year, more than 30,000 outstanding students from the U.S and abroad sign up to test as part of CTY Talent Search. The test can be taken at throughout the year by prospective students worldwide. Alternatively, students can also take another test called CTY Spatial Test Battery (STB). High School students can choose to take SAT or ACT instead.
Of the invited students, at least 100 students achieved a perfect score on the reading or math section of the test taken, including several students who received 800 on both math and verbal sections of the SAT.
CTY’s Study of Exceptional Talent (SET) also recognizes students under the age of 13 who achieve a score of 700 or higher on the SAT. There were over 400 students who met SET’s qualifications for the 2015-2016 academic year and were invited to the Grand Ceremony.
Students honored at the 2016 Grand Ceremony qualified for CTY’s residential summer programs, online classes, and family academic programs. At CTY, academically advanced students–who come from some 100 countries around the world–meet others like them and form a community of learners.
“Today we take a moment to recognize these young students for their remarkable achievements. We also honor the parents and educators who have helped these promising young people on their road to success,” said Elaine Hansen, executive director of CTY.
Illena Jones and Chris Lehmann were recognized as CTY Distinguished Alumni during the ceremony. Lehmann, who took seven summer courses at CTY, is the founding principal of Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, an author, and 2014 winner of the McGraw Prize in Education.
Jones, from Baltimore, took CTY summer courses in genetics and genomics, and earned a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Dartmouth in 2015. Now a research technician at Johns Hopkins University, she has published two papers in the areas of genetics, bioinformatics, and molecular biology.
Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg, Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin, and Lady Gaga are all alumni of CTY at Johns Hopkins University.
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Aiman Honored At Johns Hopkins University Center For Talented Youth Grand Ceremony – Part 1