Academic summer camps for grades 6-12 at University of West Georgia

February 9, 2022 Leave a comment

The University of West Georgia will offer academic camps on its Carrollton campus this summer for students rising to grades 6 through 12. This is a shift for UWG, which previously offered camps for elementary school children. The Department of Continuing Education told me the new camps will have more of an academic focus and will be taught by UWG faculty and staff.

Camps will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, with early drop-off and late pick-up available.

Registration hasn’t opened yet. However, UWG has set up a poll at the webpage linked above, where you can indicate which topics would interest your child. Choices include forensic science, archaeology, drawing, photography, Esports, entrepreneurship and several others. UWG even has an open answer form where you can tell them what additional topics would appeal to your child. The final camp lineup will be based on the responses they receive.

Categories: Summer programs

Virtual STEAM classes for grades 1-8, presented by Gwinnett Alliance for Gifted Education

February 8, 2022 Leave a comment

Gwinnett Alliance for Gifted Education is now registering elementary- and middle-school students for the next session of its Saturday Exploration Program, which will be held online.

Class topics include digital storytelling, 3D design, stop motion movies, drones and more.

Classes will meet weekly for five Saturdays, February 26 through March 26. Cost to enroll is $125 for GAGE members, $150 for non-members. Registration deadline is February 21.

Categories: Enrichment

Statistics competition for high-school students

February 4, 2022 Leave a comment

Georgia Tech’s School of Industrial and Systems Engineering is holding a probability and statistics competition for high-school students. Prizes will include cash awards, scholarships to Georgia Tech’s Mission Possible Camp, and formal recognition.

To qualify, students must have completed AP Statistics.

The first round of the competition will be held online on February 18. The second round will be April 4 at Georgia Tech. Registration closes February 15.

Thank you to Cindy D. for the heads up about this event!

Clemson University introduces astronomy camp for middle- and high-school students

February 3, 2022 2 comments

Clemson University plans to open a new camp this summer for students interested in space and astronomy. The Clemson Space Camps will be hosted at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute in western North Carolina and will be run collaboratively by staff from both Clemson and PARI.

The PARI facility has research-grade optical and radio telescopes, and PARI’s skies meet the gold-level rating standard of the International Dark Sky Association, making it an outstanding place to view outer space.

Campers will conduct independent and group research under the guidance of astronomers and scientists. They’ll also take a field trip to the main Clemson University campus to tour the labs of some of the university’s astrophysics faculty. The camps also include activities such as campfires, hiking and tubing.

Middle-school students (ages 11-14) are offered a one-week residential camp; high-schoolers (14-17) can attend a two-week residential camp. Registration is open now.

Categories: Summer programs

Great Backyard Bird Count, Feb. 18-21

February 1, 2022 Leave a comment

Downy-Woodpecker-Poster_2022This year’s Great Backyard Bird Count will start on Friday, Feb. 18, and continue through Monday, Feb. 21. This worldwide citizen science project, which started in 1998, is a cooperative effort among the National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Birds Canada.

To participate, you’ll watch the birds in your back yard, at a local park, or maybe around your school playground for as little as 15 minutes on any of the four days. You can count on more than one day, or watch longer if you want. After counting the birds, you send in your data, either by using an app you download to your phone, or by entering your counts on the eBird website.

Not only can you collect data for these projects, but you can also view the data being collected all over the world — a great opportunity to see scientific research in action.

Categories: Enrichment

Emory Math Circle registering for spring semester

January 26, 2022 Leave a comment

The Math Circle program at Emory University is now registering for its spring 2022 classes, which will be a mix of online and in-person sessions.

All middle-school sections will be held online, via Zoom. Each online session will be 40 minutes long.

Two sections for high-school students will be held in person, on the Emory campus. In-person classes will meet for 75 minutes. Students enrolling in the in-person sections must show proof of vaccination (including a booster shot, if eligible) and must wear masks in the classroom, in accordance with Emory policy.

A separate online section will be offered for high-schoolers who prefer to meet virtually.

Math Circle is a free enrichment program for middle-school and high-school kids who are fascinated by mathematics and who want to explore math topics beyond what’s taught in the typical classroom. Classes meet twice a month on Saturdays. In-person classes begin this Saturday, January 29. Online classes begin February 5.

Categories: Enrichment

The rules on class sizes for gifted students

January 12, 2022 1 comment

Did you know that Georgia sets limits for the headcounts in gifted classes, including high-school AP classes?

I did. So when I found out one of the AP classes at my child’s school has more than 30 students, I decided to step into my advocacy role and dig a bit deeper into the rules. I got information from administrators at the school, district and state levels, and now I’m writing this post to share what I learned with you.

Let’s start with the rule itself. The Georgia Resource Manual for Gifted Education Services, which lays out how gifted students are to be identified and served in public schools in Georgia, states: “The total class size specified by the SBOE [State Board of Education] is 21 at the high school level.”

So why are high school AP classes so often larger than that?

First, public school systems in Georgia can get a “strategic waiver” from the state which allows them to exceed the state’s class size rules by a few students. These waivers allow extra students in all classes, not just gifted classes.

(Does your school system have a strategic waiver? Most do. You can check the Department of Education’s list to find out.) 

Second, the class size standards are treated more as goals than absolute requirements. Schools are expected to do what they can to meet the standards when possible, but if class sizes go above the limits, there are no consequences.

Nevertheless, if your gifted student is in a class that’s been designated as gifted or AP and the class has too many students, it doesn’t hurt to reach out to the assistant principal who oversees scheduling. They may not know that state policy calls for smaller class sizes for gifted sections.

Always be polite and non-confrontational. Educators work hard and have to balance the needs of hundreds of students using limited resources.

Finally, be reasonable and realistic. If your school has two sections of AP Government, and each has 36 students, you can make a good argument that a third section should be added. Or if one section has 30 students and the other has 20, it’s reasonable that the two classes should be balanced to 25 students in each section.

On the other hand, if the school has just one section of AP Physics, and the class has 30 students, it may not be realistic to ask that the school break this class into two sections of 15. School funding formulas can rarely provide the financial support for classes that small.

I hope this is helpful in your advocacy for your student and for other gifted students in your school community.

Categories: Advocacy and policy

Summer programs at Vanderbilt for rising 7th to 12th graders

December 22, 2021 Leave a comment

The Vanderbilt Program for Talented Youth has published the list of available courses for its 2022 Vanderbilt Summer Academy (VSA) and summer mentor immersion program.

VSA is a residential program for rising 7th to 12th graders with one-week and two-week options. It’s academically rigorous, and applicants are asked to show they can handle advanced work.

Class choices for summer 2022 will include marine biology, rhetoric, astrophysics, poetry, legal studies, mathematics, and many others. Students enroll in only one course from among the choices.

Priority registration for VSA will open January 6 and close January 13. Registration to fill open slots that haven’t been taken by priority applicants will continue after that.

Vanderbilt also has posted the courses of study for its 2022 mentor immersion program, a three-month program for rising 11th and 12 graders. Students select a single course of study. They attend four hours per week of small group meetings — all held virtually — with a mentor in their field of study. They then have additional independent research outside of classes. Priority registration for the mentor immersion program will be open from January 6 until January 27. Registration for remaining slots will continue after that time.

Need-based financial aid is available for these programs.

Categories: Summer programs

Applications open for UGA summer VetCAMP

December 6, 2021 Leave a comment

The University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine is now accepting applications for the summer 2022 session of VetCAMP, scheduled for June 12-17, 2022.

VetCAMP is a one-week, residential program for current high school sophomores, juniors and seniors with an interest in veterinary medicine. Students learn about what it’s like to attend veterinary school and see whether they have the skills to become successful veterinarians.

The application and all supporting materials must be submitted by January 24, 2022.

Need-based financial aid is available.

Categories: Summer programs

Vanderbilt PTY offers virtual mentorships for students in grades 10-12

October 12, 2021 Leave a comment

The Vanderbilt Program for Talented Youth is now accepting applications from students in 10th through 12th grades for the spring 2022 session of its Mentor Immersion program.

The five-month, all-online mentorship program will begin in January 2022. Small groups of students will meet online once per week to learn under the guidance of an expert in the field. Students should expect to spend an additional two to four hours per week on assignments, including a research project.

(Does this sound like too much for your child to take on during the school year? PTY will offer a summer mentorship program, with dates running May-August and June-September. Join the PTY email list to be notified when applications for summer are available.)

Most topics of study are in life sciences. Classes in rhetoric, leadership, and law are also available.

This program is rigorous and the application requires a transcript, test scores, and an essay. PTY will conduct its first round of application reviews on November 2, 2021. After that date, PTY will use a rolling admissions process to fill spaces that aren’t already taken.

Tuition for the program is $2,750. Need-based financial aid is available.

Categories: Enrichment