Summer Programs

Not all of these programs are restricted to gifted and talented children. This list is simply intended to help you find opportunities that match your child’s interests. I have tried to include a bit about the application process, where there is one, to give you an idea of how selective the program may be.

To keep this list manageable, I have mostly limited it to programs in and around metro Atlanta. There are many residential programs elsewhere. To find them, you can visit the sites recommended on the Resources page of this site.

You can find more information about summer programs in the blog section of this web site. You can go directly to relevant posts by clicking on “Summer Programs” in the right-hand sidebar under “Browse Posts by Topic.”

For preschool children

Cambridge International School at Buckhead: Week-long camps for children ages 2.5 to 8, with a variety of themes that cater to different learning styles, based on the theory of multiple intelligences.

For elementary and middle-school students

Saturday School for Scholars and Leaders: Georgia State University has operated this program for gifted students in grades K-8 since 1975. During the summer, the program has a one-week camp as well as Saturday classes. Courses range from architecture to anatomy to film making.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History: A combination of permanent and special exhibits, including dinosaurs. The museum has a summer camp for kids in kindergarten through 5th grade (rising).

Georgia Aquarium – Camp H2O: This week-long summer camp with a marine biology focus is open to rising 1st-6th graders. The camp is also offered during spring and winter breaks.

Serendipity Summer Program: Operated by DeKalb County Schools, this is a two-week program for children who have been identified as gifted by the DeKalb County School System. Students choose from classes that focus on special topics in math, science, social studies and English / reading. Call (678) 676-0291.

Xanadu: Three weeks of day camp operated by Atlanta Public Schools. Students need not be enrolled in APS to attend, although fees are significantly higher for non-APS students.

Writing camps at Margaret Mitchell House: These camps are open to children ages 10-14. Margaret Mitchell House, a leading local supporter of literature and writing, offers a number of week-long camps with varying topics.

Summer Institute for the Gifted at Emory University: This three-week program is held at several  sites nationwide, including locally at Emory University. The program is open to rising 1st-7th graders. Students select three classes to take. Applicants must submit evidence of high ability or achievement. (A residential option is available to older students. See below.) My kids have attended the day program, and I’ve spoken with others about it as well, and honestly, it’s been a mixed bag. E-mail me via the contact page if you want me to share more information about my experiences with SIG.

Emory National Debate Institute: A two-week program for middle school students provides an intensive introduction to public speaking and debate. The camp is held at Pace Academy. Follow the link on the ENDI web site to get information.

Atlanta Young Writers Institute: AYWI offers a one-week Summer Workshop to encourage young writers. The program is open to rising 7th- and 8th-graders and teaches the fundamentals of storytelling.

Atlanta History Center camps: Kids from preschool through middle school take part in stories, games and crafts centered around historical topics. The center offers half-day and full-day camps.

Georgia Tech CEISMC camps: These week-long camps for rising 6th-9th graders offer hands-on experience in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. Past sessions have included rocketry, forensics, aeronautics and robotics. Applicants must submit a report card and a teacher recommendation. (CEISMC also offers programs for high-school students.)

TEC Camp at Georgia Tech: This one-week camp is for middle-school girls with an interest in technology, engineering and computing. Application is competitive.

Ben Carson Academy: Operated by the Morehouse School of Medicine, this is a four-week science program with lab activities, field trips and classroom instruction. Open to rising 4th-8th graders.

Callanwolde Fine Arts Center: Camps are offered in visual arts, drama and dance, for toddlers through teens.

Summer University at Kennesaw State: A series of one-week camps throughout the summer, in a wide variety of topics. Open to rising 1st – 12th graders.

Camp Carlos at Emory University: Camps with art and history themes for ages 7 to 17.

Appalachian Institute for Creative Learning: This residential camp isn’t local, but it’s worth a look. Open to children ages 8-17, AICL is held each summer at Warren Wilson College, near Asheville, N.C. Campers take classes in several subjects of their choosing and enjoy camp games and activities.

Imagine That: Week-long camps in technology, science and art. For kids preschool age through middle school.

internalDrive (iD Tech): Computer camps for kids ages 7 to 18, held on the campus of Emory University. Day camp and residential options.

Mercer Youth Programs: Enrichment in math, science, and creative writing, for rising 1st-8th graders, held on Mercer University’s campuses in Atlanta, Macon, Douglas County and Henry County.

Emagination: Technology camp with computer programming, robotics, and digital art, offered as a day camp or overnight camp. Hosted at Mercer University’s Atlanta campus.

For high-school students

Governor’s Honors Program: This highly selective, residential program at Valdosta State University is for rising juniors and seniors. Applicants must be nominated by a teacher in a specific subject, which they study in depth. Formerly a six-week program, GHP was shortened to four weeks in 2010 because of budget shortfalls. The program is free for participants.

Ivy Hall Young Writers Workshop: This three-day workshop is hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design at their Midtown Atlanta campus and taught by professors from the SCAD writing department. Open to rising juniors and seniors, it focuses on creative writing. Twenty students are selected based on the strength of their applications and writing samples.

VOX Media Cafe: One-week camps for teens ages 13-19 focus on the tools of modern storytelling, from journalism and poetry to videography and design. Small groups are taught by volunteers from high-profile media organizations such as CNN. Field trips to local media destinations included.

Georgia Tech CEISMC camps: Rising 10th-12th graders can get hands-on experience in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. Past camp sessions have included finance, astrobiology and nanotechnology. Applicants must submit a report card and a teacher recommendation. (CEISMC also offers programs for middle-school students.)

Emory National Debate Institute: Students who are members of their school’s debate team can attend this residential program at Emory University, where they will learn debate strategies, conduct research, and engage in practice debates. Applicants are evaluated and selected based on their previous debate experience.

Callanwolde Fine Arts Center: Camps are offered in visual arts, drama and dance, for toddlers through teens.

Camp Carlos at Emory University: Camps with art and history themes for ages 7 to 17.

Xanadu: Three weeks of day camp operated by Atlanta Public Schools. Students need not be enrolled in APS to attend, although fees are significantly higher for non-APS students.

Summer Science Academy: The Emory University School of Medicine hosts this two-week program, which can be taken as a residential program or a day program. The academy was created to be “a learning atmosphere where a student’s natural curiosity of science could be encouraged and freed from the constraints of time, grades, and the distractions of those whose interests were minimal.” Students research a scientific topic of their choice, participating in lectures, field trips and hands-on labs. Open to students entering 9th-12th grade.

CDC Disease Detective Camp: This one-week camp gives rising juniors and seniors an inside look at how the CDC works to protect public health. The program is selective. The field of applicants is narrowed based on an essay, and those who pass the essay phase are entered in a lottery for available spaces. The camp is free. Because of regulations, students must be 16 or older on the first day of camp.

Vivien Thomas Summer Research Program: Students completing 9th-12th grade can attend this six-week program at the Morehouse School of Medicine, where they will serve as assistants in biomedical research labs. The program’s stated goal is to increase the number of minority students pursuing careers in biomedical science. Applicants must have a 3.5 GPA and meet other eligibility requirements.

Emory Pre-College Program: Open to rising juniors and seniors, this program introduces students to the college atmosphere and allows them to enroll in college-level courses. A six-week program offers college credit for up to two classes. A two-week program is also offered, but is not for credit. Students can live on campus or commute. An application including SAT, ACT or PSAT scores is required.

Savannah College of Art and Design: SCAD has two summer programs for rising sophomores, juniors and seniors. SCAD Summer Seminars are one-week programs which include two hands-on workshops and afternoon and evening activities. SCAD Rising Star offers a five-week residential or nonresidential program at its Savannah and Atlanta campus, where rising seniors can take college-level art courses and earn college credit.

Bio@Tech: This three-week camp at Georgia Tech focuses on advanced topics in the biosciences. The camp is open to rising 11th and 12th graders, or “exceptional rising 10th graders.” The application is competitive.

Atlanta Young Writers Institute: AYWI offers a two-week summer workshop called the Summer Intensive. Rising 9th-12th graders learn about literary genres and work on their own original pieces.

Summer University at Kennesaw State: A series of one-week camps throughout the summer, in a wide variety of topics. Open to rising 1st – 12th graders.

Summer Institute for the Gifted at Emory University: This three-week program is held at several  sites nationwide, including locally at Emory University. The program is open to rising 8th – 12th graders. Students take challenging courses by day and socialize with other motivated, gifted kids in the evenings and on weekends. Those who prefer can commute to the institute, forgoing the evening and weekend activities. Students must submit evidence of high ability or achievement with their applications.

internalDrive (iD Tech): Computer academies for teens, held on the campus of Emory University.

Emagination: Technology camp with computer programming, robotics, and digital art, offered as a day camp or overnight camp. Hosted at Mercer University’s Atlanta campus.

Appalachian Institute for Creative Learning: This residential camp isn’t local, but it’s worth a look. Open to children ages 8-17, AICL is held each summer at Warren Wilson College, near Asheville, N.C. Campers take classes in several subjects of their choosing and enjoy camp games and activities.

Links on this page were verified Jan. 31, 2013.

  1. Denise Jenkins
    May 24, 2012 at 9:09 am

    This list is AWESOME!

  2. Hedy Fung
    February 8, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Thank you for your updated information. It is really helping parents who are trying to scout for meaningful summer program for their children. Thank you! Thank you!

  3. Tsahai Allen
    March 26, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I have two children and we live in Locust Grove, Ga. My son is 10yrs old. I would like some information about medical summer camp. My son wants to be a doctor and I want him to get an understanding of what been a doctor entails.

    • March 27, 2013 at 8:40 pm

      At 10, your son is old enough to participate in the Ben Carson Summer Academy, which was discussed in this prior post: http://giftedatlanta.com/2013/03/05/ben-carson-summer/. Unfortunately, the deadline to apply was in mid-March. You could contact them to see if they would consider a late registrant. If not, keep Ben Carson in mind for the fall session, which meets on Saturdays. I have not done any research into science programs closer to you down in Henry County. Good luck!

    • Stephanie
      April 2, 2013 at 11:18 am

      Also check into Mini Medical School offered by Saturday School for Scholars and Leaders at Georgia State Univ. The course is taught on Saturday mornings or afternoons over five weeks. The courses are offered in fall, winter, and spring. I don’t know if it’s also offered in summer along with science summer camp. My 12-year old son liked it very much. Dissections of a pig fetus was the high light.

  4. January 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Kennesaw State University College of the Arts also offers a one-week, non-residential Summer Arts Intensive during the week of June 1-6 for rising 9-12th graders. For more information, please visit http://www.KSUSummerArtsIntensive.com. Deadline to register is May 16th.

  5. January 25, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Thank you for this valuable information!

  6. jpb
    February 3, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    This is a great list…thanks so much!

  7. EH
    February 19, 2014 at 11:59 am

    This is a great list of resources. Thank you for putting so much information in a single location!

  8. Susi Campbell
    March 6, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Do any of you have experience with the AICL camp listed above? I’m very interested, but would like to talk to some parents who have had experiences there.

  9. Envy
    May 22, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I stumbled upon this page and I’m hooked! I have my child’s summer planned, but have a lot of great ideas for next year! Thanks

  10. D
    June 5, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    This list looks great. I would like some more information on the Debate camp and the Gifted camp.

    • June 8, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      To get more information on any camp listed here, click on the link for it.

  1. January 9, 2012 at 11:32 am
  2. June 25, 2012 at 8:49 am
  3. September 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm

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