Roller coaster physics, criminal minds, and secret codes will challenge students enrolled in this year’s summer camp for elementary, junior high, and high school gifted and talented students.
Students entering kindergarten through 10th grade will have the chance to explore subjects not taught in their everyday school classrooms when they attend Threshold at Hardin-Simmons University.
Students should come prepared to design their own thrilling ride as they find out how physics affects roller coasters. Older students will also discover how covert communications are shared and how crimes are solved when HSU’s Irvin School of Education presents this year’s camp for gifted and talented students.
HSU began offering Threshold more than 30 years ago and has been recognized throughout the state as an exemplary enrichment program providing challenges for students whose abilities enable them to benefit from experiences beyond those provided by the regular school program.
“Few universities provide classes that enrich and challenge students beginning at such a young age,” says Dr. Mary Christopher, associate dean of Irvin School of Education and professor of educational studies.
Christopher came to HSU in 1995 after having taught gifted children for 15 years in Oklahoma and Kentucky, and continues as a crusader for gifted and talented children, saying, “About a third of all gifted students will drop out of high school.”
“We are letting some of our best minds go unchallenged, never reaching their full potential. Our schools are geared to meet the needs of the majority, who are average students. The gifted ones get bored and sometimes just quit.”
Those statistics are the very reasons behind the summer program that Hardin-Simmons University has been conducting for the last three decades.
The summer enrichment program for gifted children provides an opportunity for children entering kindergarten through 10th grade to explore topics with intriguing names like “What’s that Wiggling Under My Toes,” and “Mad Food Scientist Wanted.”
Christopher says, “Teachers in the summer Threshold program have a wealth of experience in gifted education and most hold a master’s degree in education.”
There are also opportunities for parents of children attending Threshold. The seminar for parents features interactive presentations based on current research and topics in the field of gifted education. The parent seminar is open to adult family members of gifted children and other interested persons. All parents and family members are invited to visit their children’s classes to view their work at the end of each session. Family Celebrations will be held on Friday at the end of each week.
Threshold is open to all gifted or talented students and those who are not currently involved in a gifted and talented program have been tested for eligibility. Some of the things that set gifted children apart, says Christopher, are humor, being able to connect disciplines, asking questions, a good memory, and a high I.Q.
About 350 students have registered for the two sessions, July 9-13, 2012, and July 16-20. Students may attend one or both sessions.