Education Opinion

Summer Learning Opportunities for the Kids

By Tamara Fisher — May 16, 2010 2 min read
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After focusing last time on great summer learning opportunities for the teachers and parents of gifted kids, this week’s focus is on excellent opportunities for the kids. Below are just a sampling of the many, many fun and challenging learning experiences bright kids across America can take advantage of this summer:

Yunasa is a summer camp located in Michigan aimed specifically at highly gifted kids ages 10 to 14. It takes place this year from July 25 to August 1. The Yunasa experience aims to assist gifted youth in integrating the intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical - to help them acknowledge that they are more than just their “smarts.” Yunasa is one feature of the Institute for Educational Advancement.

Mentor Connection is an amazing experience for gifted youth who are entering juniors or entering seniors. For three weeks (July 12-30 this year), they get to work side-by-side with professors and grad students at the University of Connecticut on a given topic or research project. A sampling of this summer’s topics includes “COMPARATIVE GENOMICS: GENE TRANSFER BETWEEN BACTRIA,” “CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH IN BIO-NANOMATERIALS,” “MATHEMATICS BEHIND THE RUBIK’S CUBE,” and “ARCHAEOLOGY IN YOUR BACKYARD: DIGGING WITH THE STATE ARCHAEOLOGIST.” (Check out the full list here.) One of my former students attended Mentor Connection twice and absolutely LOVED it.

The Summer Enrichment Program at the University of Northern Colorado is in its 33rd year. Begun by Dr. George Betts, it is a two-week-long experience for gifted youth who are entering 5th through entering 10th grade. Students get to pick four classes to take, and topics range from Poetry and Art to Computers and Technology. A Leadership Enrichment Program is also offered for gifted students who are entering grades 11 and 12, and a Young Child Program is available for gifted kids age 4 through entering 4th grade.

The Center for Talented Youth offers both onsite and online summer learning experiences for gifted kids. CTY is based at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Center for Talent Development also offers both onsite and online summer learning opportunities for gifted youth. CTD is based at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

I have students who have taken summer online courses through both CTY and CTD and they all enjoyed them immensely!

For my fellow Montanans, try the Carroll College Gifted Institute in Helena, Montana, for gifted students who are entering 5th through entering 9th grades. It is a well-loved favorite!

Another option is Peaks and Potentials at the Montana State University campus in Bozeman, Montana, for gifted students entering 5th through entering 7th grades. Peaks and Potentials also offers a host of fascinating classes that the students get to take.

SpectrUM, located on the University of Montana campus in Missoula, Montana, features a summer-long array of science camps.

The Summer Institute for the Gifted offers summer learning experiences around the country for gifted kids in Kindergarten through the 11th grade.

And, as always, for a more complete listing of options, check out the HoagiesGifted page, where list after list of great summer learning experiences for kids can be found.

While most of the above experiences cost $$$, most of the programs do also offer a limited number of scholarships (usually need-based) to students who qualify.

Feel free to mention your own favorite summer learning opportunities for kids in the comments section.

Happy learning, kids! :o)

The opinions expressed in Unwrapping the Gifted are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.