Enrichment

Enrichment opportunities are a great way to encourage gifted children’s love of learning and expose them to information and ideas not covered in the general school curriculum.

On this page, you’ll find classes, programs and venues in and around Atlanta. Not all of these are exclusively for children who have been formally identified as gifted, but all are great resources to challenge and engage bright minds.

Classes

K.I.D.S. (Kids Interested in Discovering Science): These single-day programs for students in 2nd-12th grades are held at Georgia Tech. Over the course of three hours, students will rotate to three, one-hour sessions. Hands-on activities are designed to build kids’ enthusiasm for science, mathematics, engineering and technology.

Emory Math Circle: This semester-long program gives middle- and high-school students a place to join other math lovers in exploring mathematical concepts well beyond what’s covered in a typical classroom.

Ben Carson Science Academy: Operated by the Morehouse School of Medicine, this science academy gives kids in 4th-8th grades the chance to explore scientific concepts with hands-on activities. Classes are held on Saturdays.

IMPACT Science: (Note: This grant-funded program is not available now, but may be again in the future.) These Saturday afternoon classes for grades K-8 are held at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton. Scientific topics range from water and gravity to forensics.

Atlanta Young Writers Institute: The institute helps adolescent writers learn the craft of writing and find their unique literary voices. Offers a variety of classes, programs and events. (Their web site is still online, but they appear to be inactive, as it hasn’t been updated in several years.)

Callanwolde Fine Arts Center: This non-profit, community arts center in northeast Atlanta offers classes and summer camps in the fine arts, including visual art, dance, music, photography and writing. The center also hosts concerts, gallery shows and community programs. If you want to lead your children by example, Callanwolde offers adult classes, too.

STREMHQ: Computer programming, robotics, and engineering classes for ages 11 and up. Also offers competitive robotics teams. Classes are offered in the evenings and on Saturdays.

Imagine That: After-school and weekend classes, homeschool events, and camps during winter and spring school breaks. Topics offered include art, science and technology. For kids from preschool to middle school.

Museum of Design Atlanta: Kids from preschool through high school can learn about basic design, robotics, and electronics in MODA’s one-day classes.

Coding with Kids: Classes and workshops for ages 7 and up. Students begin at level one and progress to new levels at their own pace.

Saturday School for Scholars and Leaders: Note: As of January 2020, Saturday School is on an indefinite hiatus. It’s unknown if or when the program will resume. Georgia State University has operated this program for gifted-identified students in grades K-8 since 1975. Courses range from architecture to anatomy to film making. While the kids are in classes, parents can attend informational sessions on topics related to gifted children.

Kinase Academy: Classes introducing students to scientific research, with an emphasis on cancer research. For grades 6-9.

Museums / Venues

Fernbank Museum of Natural History: Exhibits at this Decatur museum include dinosaurs, shells, ancient pottery and an IMAX theater.

Fernbank Science Center: Located in Decatur and operated by DeKalb County Schools, Fernbank is home to a natural science museum, an observatory, and a planetarium that puts on shows for all ages year round.

Tellus Science Museum: This vast museum in Cartersville — just off I-75 — offers something for just about any science-minded kid. Exhibits include fossils, minerals, transportation technology, a solar house, a fossil dig and a planetarium.

Atlanta History Center: Located in Buckhead, this museum offers programming on a variety of historical topics, including occasional educational sessions specifically for homeschooled students. The center also includes a research library with archival information about Atlanta and the South.

Atlanta Botanical Garden: Adjacent to Piedmont Park in Midtown, these extensive gardens provide an up-close look at a variety of plants from different climates, including a large collection of orchids. The gardens also include an amphibian exhibit and — for those interested in plant science — a tissue culture lab where new plants are grown from a small amount of plant matter. Atlanta Botanical Garden also offers occasional classes.

Moonrise: A creative learning space in downtown Decatur. Kids ages 5-15 can be dropped off at the space, which features games, a library, craft supplies, a recording studio, and a makerspace. Monthly membership is required for entry.

The National Archives at Atlanta: This branch of the National Archives, located in Morrow, has exhibits and occasional programs, and offers access to thousands of government documents that can be used to explore the history of the region.

The Wylde Center: Kids can explore the public gardens in this Decatur center, formerly known as the Oakhurst Community Garden. Classes are also available.

Performing Arts

Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra: Established in 1974 under the auspices of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the ASYO performs in Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center. Open to students age 13-18. Auditions are held in September.

Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra: Founded in 1988 at Emory University, the EYSO is open to high-school students who play string or wind instruments or percussion. The symphony plays collegiate and professional level pieces. Auditions are held in August.

Competitions

Odyssey of the Mind: Students from kindergarten through college compete in this international celebration of creative thinking. Teams of 2-7 kids work together to develop solutions to theatrical or engineering challenges, then present their solutions at regional, state and world competitions. The metro Atlanta regional competition, held each spring in Lilburn, typically draws 125-150 teams.

Destination Imagination: An international program for kids of all ages. Teams of up to 7 kids take on challenges, then present what they’ve done at regional, state and global competitions, similar to Odyssey of the Mind, but in my personal experience was much more positive and enjoyable. DI was inactive in Georgia for a couple of years, but is returning for 2022-23.

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST): This organization offers activities to inspire interest in science and technology. FIRST’s competitive leagues start with a junior LEGO league for kids in K-3rd grade and go up to robotics and technology competitions for high-school students.

The American Rocketry Challenge: In this annual competition, students in grades 7-12 build and launch model rockets. Top performing teams from local competitions are invited to Washington, D.C. to compete for cash and scholarships and the opportunity to participate in NASA’s advanced rocketry program. Registration is open each fall.

Future Problem Solving Program International: Encourages students to apply creative problem solving to real-world scenarios. Students in grades 4-12, working independently or in small groups, research a problem, devise a number of possible solutions, then use critical thinking to choose the best of their possible solutions. A separate,  non-competitive division is open to students in grades K-9. Information on local activities available at the Georgia FPSP page.

Enrichment from Home (Virtual)

Google Arts and Culture. See online museums and cultural sites in the Collections area. Places to visit include the Smithsonian Institute, the Museum of Modern Art, the Palace of Versailles, the LIFE Photo Collection, and hundreds more, some famous and some obscure. From the main Collections page, you can click on MAP to find cultural venues all over the world. You can also use Street View feature to virtually walk through museums and landmarks. Jigsaw Planet. Free online jigsaw puzzles, some with as few as 6 pieces and going up to 300 pieces. If you create an account, you can also make your own puzzles. (Thank you to the Atlanta History Center for the tip!) The Escape Game Field Trips. The Escape Game is an escape room company with locations in Atlanta and around the United States. Their online field trips are set in a famous location or time in history. Players solve puzzles and find clues to complete their mission. (Note: My son tried this and said it was more like a scavenger hunt than solving puzzles.) Aquarium of the Pacific Online Academy. Live and on-demand educational content about marine life, with options for little kids through teens. Atlanta History Center online exhibitions Georgia Aquarium webcams Zoo Atlanta panda cam Wildeverse. A wildlife-conservation themed, augmented reality game that can be played indoors or outdoors. Presented by Zoo Atlanta. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Virtual Stage. View recorded concerts. Atlanta Museums from Home. A joint project of 11 Atlanta attractions, including the Children’s Museum of Atlanta, High Museum, Fernbank Museum, Atlanta Botanical Garden and more. Offering a virtual “field trip” Fridays at 10 a.m. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. See videos about NASA missions and research. MENSA virtual game room. Crosswords, jumbles, Sudoku and more. MENSA also has a selection of kids’ games. The Kid Should See This. More than 4,500 videos for curious kids. eBird. Observe birds in your own yard and report in. This is an ongoing citizen science project from Mass Audubon.

This page was updated on July 24, 2020. If you find errors in the links or the information presented, or if you would like to submit information for consideration, please send a message using the Contact page on this site. Thank you.

  1. Tammy
    May 27, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Thank you! I appreciate this much needed source of information for my little bright mind! 🙂

  2. levy280
    August 3, 2022 at 1:30 am

    Thank you for sharing. this Information is very much needed.

  1. August 14, 2012 at 9:51 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: