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By GreatSchools Staff
Academically oriented summer programs offer middle-schoolers who need more challenges the opportunity to stretch their minds while being in the company of like-minded students. Many local schools and communities offer GATE programs, and some colleges offer residential programs. Summer institutes engage students specifically interested in science or literature.
The Great Books Summer Program offers students in grades 6-12 the opportunity to read and discuss selections from classic and contemporary literature in one- or two-week residential programs with college professors and top faculty at Amherst College and Stanford University. College and graduate students serve as counselors. There is ample time for recreation, too, and students have access to the college pool and other facilities during their stay.
The Acadia Institute of Oceanography, located in Seal Harbor, Maine, offers students with a keen interest in science and studying the ocean a chance to study marine biology through a hands-on curriculum in a residential setting. The introductory program is geared to 10 to 12-year-olds. Students come from all over the country to attend this program. The staff of classroom teachers, practicing scientists and researchers work with students in small groups.
The National Association for Gifted Children has a directory of summer programs for the gifted on their Web site.
The Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG), in existence since 1984, offers 11 residential sessions in seven states (for grades 4 through 11) and four day programs (up to grade 6 only). Their mission is to provide the highest quality educational and social opportunities for academically gifted and talented students through programs designed to meet their abilities and needs. The program provides students the opportunity to engage with other students who have similar abilities and interests in small classes and also to have individualized learning programs. Residential programs are held at several universities across the country including Amherst College, University of California at Berkeley, Emory University and Vassar College.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth offers summer residential and day programs on the east and west coasts for qualified students who have completed grades 5-6. Day site locations (which also include classes for students who have completed grades 2-4) are in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, as well as in West Los Angeles and Pasadena, California. Eligibility for the program is based on what grade the student has completed, as well as his score on the CTY-administered SCAT test. CTY also offers two residential programs for qualified students who have completed grades 7 and above.
Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University offers three-week courses in both Chicago and Cleveland (Case Western Reserve University) during the summer. Fourth through 12th-grade classes are offered in Chicago while 7th through 12th-grade classes are offered in Cleveland. Residential and commuter options are available.
Duke TIPs (Duke University Talent Indentification Programs) are residential summer programs designed to meet the intellectual and social needs of gifted students in grades 7-12. Programs are held on college campuses across the country and in field locations around the world. Financial aid is available for most programs. Students learn highly challenging material at a rate suited to their advanced abilities. Students enroll in a single course for three weeks of in-depth study. Classes of approximately 16 students are taught by highly qualified instructor-teaching assistant teams. Outside the classroom, a carefully selected residential staff supervises students during meals, free time, and social and recreational activities. Program participants experience college classroom instruction and residence hall living. Campuses include Duke University, Duke Marine Lab, Appalachian State University, Davidson College, University of Kansas, and Texas A&M.
The EPGY Summer Institute at Stanford University offers a Summer Institutes Middle School Program (MSP) for ages 11-13 consists of three two-week sessions for students in 6th and 7th grade. The program provides academic enrichment, a taste of college life at Stanford University, and the opportunity to meet others with similar interests and abilities. Students study several related topics within a single subject area.
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