Threshold Summer Program

A Summer Enrichment Program for Advanced and Gifted Learners

July 9-13 & July 16-20, 2018

Threshold courses are designed to provide challenge and enrichment for students whose abilities enable them to benefit from experiences beyond those provided by the regular school program. Exciting classes feature higher-level thinking and active learning. Low teacher to student ratios maximizes learning. Each week offers unique class experiences, so students may choose to attend one or both weeks. Threshold is a “day” experience only. Adults must provide transportation to and from Threshold. All classes meet in Abilene Hall on the Hardin-Simmons University Campus.

In order to attend Threshold, qualified students must possess demonstrated intellectual ability at the 90th percentile or above. See Qualifications and Testing for more information.

Session One – July 9-13, 2018

Session Two – July 16-20, 2018

Half-day Program for Students Entering K-5

($100 per session) 9:30-12:15 OR 1:15-4:00

Early Steps K-1: Wonders of the World
Swinging Bridges, ice-cold houses, sandy sculptures, and buildings that touch the sky… Did you know that some of these structures are made by animals? Humans? Nature? Come and explore some of the world’s most amazing structures and learn all about their architects. Create crazy 3-dimensional structures and build your own wonders for the entire world to see!

Primary 2-3: Walk Like an Egyptian
Have you lost your mummy? Then come and search through the pyramids of ancient Egypt to find it! Having trouble reading that last sentence? You won’t after cracking the code of hieroglyphics! Become an expert Egyptologist and explore giant pyramids, ancient ruins, famous Pharaohs, and some of the greatest structures in the history of the world.

Intermediate 4-5: Could an ant take a shower?
Does size matter? Discover big reasons for building small and learn the little things that count when building big. Build structures that will survive the epic battle against the destructive forces of weight, torque, and gravity. Study the physics and mathematics of scale and structure or simply start building and discover what works!

Full-day Program for Students Entering 6-10

($160 per session) 9:30-4:00

Morning Choices

Action Contraptions
Whiz! Bang! Zing . . . through the air, into the cymbal, around the water glasses, and into the trash can! Analyze Rube Goldberg inventions and create your own new and exciting gizmos, gadgets, and contraptions. Take your plans from an abstract idea to reality!

What’s up Doc(umentary)?
What stories need telling? What important messages need to be heard about politics, social issues, health, safety, sports, the arts, entertainment? What is the difference between truth and accuracy? In this class, you will learn the art of interviewing and produce a compelling documentary about a topic or issue for which you are passionate. Join us and find out “What’s up!”

Make Me Laugh!
Why did the Threshold student cross the road? Probably to get to this class… Why do we laugh? What exactly is comedy? Come explore the structure of comedy while creating comedic skits, stories, memes, and videos. Discover what it takes to Make Me Laugh!

Afternoon Choices

Zombie 101
It was inevitable. Zombies are taking over the Earth. If you aren’t prepared to battle the undead, you will become one! Join us as we learn about the fascinating customs of the dead in our world. Battle through survival challenges to find clean water or heat for cooking and solve problems as we head to our final test, the Zombie Escape room.

Under Pressure: Go Big or Go Home!
Do you dream of being an engineer, building extreme structures that will not collapse under pressure? Come learn to design prototypes to withstand natural and man-made forces. All this and more will be water under the bridge (and a sturdy one at that!) once you learn the science of building big.

That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It
Whether it’s the same old story or a whale of a tale, you’ll use ancient techniques to cutting-edge technology as you learn the process of creation, design, and illustration to tell YOUR story. Check it out, because that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

Registration Options

  1. Register online. Please be advised that online registration is not available for scholarships or partial payments. REGISTER NOW!
  2. Download the Threshold 2018 brochure and mail completed forms along with payment to:
    Dr. Mary Christopher, Threshold Director
    Hardin-Simmons University, Box 16225
    Abilene, TX 79698

Registration Information

New Students
Students who have not previously attended Threshold but have been accepted into a school district’s G/T program must submit:

  • Completed Registration Form
  • Tuition for enrollment and optional parent seminar fee
  • Letter or email from the school documenting the student’s enrollment in a G/T program by May 31

Students who have not previously attended Threshold and are not currently enrolled in a G/T program must submit:

  • Completed Registration Form
  • Tuition for enrollment and optional parent seminar fee
  • Test results through the school or through Hardin-Simmons University verifying the student’s qualifications.

Conditional Students
Students who have previously attended Threshold on a conditional basis must submit:

  • Completed Registration Form
  • Tuition for enrollment and optional parent seminar fee
  • New test scores for the current school year

Returning Students
Students who have previously attended Threshold must submit:

  • Completed Registration Form
  • Tuition for enrollment and optional parent seminar fee

Tuition and Scholarships

  • Early Steps (K-1), Primary Threshold (2-3), and Intermediate Threshold (4-5): $100 per session
  • Threshold (6-10): $160 per session, which includes lunch
  • Written requests for tuition refunds, minus $20 processing fee, will be honored through May 31. Online processing fees will not be refunded.
  • Scholarships are available for families with demonstrated financial need. Complete and submit the Scholarship Application Form to apply for assistance. The deadline for scholarship applications is April 30. Students may apply for a scholarship to either Session I or Session II. You must also fill out the hard copy of the separate Registration form.
  • Notification of scholarship awards will be mailed by May 30.

Interactive Parent Seminars

July 11, 12 & 13 and July 18, 19 & 20
Threshold offers Parent Seminars featuring interactive presentations based on current research and topics in the field of gifted education. Parent Seminars are open to adult family members of gifted children and other interested persons. These seminars meet in Abilene Hall at Hardin-Simmons University from 9:45-10:45 a.m. on select days of both sessions. The fee is $5 per family for all sessions and may be included with your tuition check or with your online registration. Class descriptions will be provided on the first day of Threshold.

Family Celebrations

Friday, July 13 and Friday, July 20
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 from 11:50 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. for K-5 students coming in the morning only, 3:40-4:00 p.m. for K-5 students coming in the afternoon only, and 3:00-4:00 p.m. for students coming all day to Threshold 6-10.

Testing Information

  • Individual intelligence testing services are offered through HSU. The fee is $70.00 and the screening takes approximately one hour.
  • To schedule testing, please email the following information to
    Student name, age, birthdate
    Parent (s) or Guardian(s) name, address, phone number, and email
  • Testing needs to be completed by June 30.

Qualification Procedures

  • Once a student attends Threshold, provided it was not on a conditional basis, it is not necessary to re-demonstrate qualification.
  • New students must possess demonstrated intellectual ability and/or potential at the 90th percentile or above. YOU MUST ATTACH A COPY OF CURRENT TEST DATA (e.g., IQ or Ability tests) FROM WITHIN THE PAST TWO SCHOOL YEARS. STAAR test data and achievement test scores are NOT applicable.
  • New students who are currently enrolled in a school G/T program automatically qualify for Threshold.
  • Students enrolled in pre-AP classes who were not previously identified GT will need to present qualifying ability test scores.
  • Please submit student scores from an ability test at the 90th percentile or above or documentation of student’s enrollment in a G/T program by May 31.

Graduate Studies in Gifted Education

Hardin-Simmons University’s Irvin School of Education offers graduate courses toward gifted certification and/or master’s degree. Threshold serves as a practicum experience for the Masters of Education in Gifted Education at Hardin-Simmons University. Contact Dr. Mary Christopher at for more information about Hardin-Simmons University graduate programs in education.