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Gifted Summer Programs: Day Camps

Gifted Resources

This list of day camp summer programs available to students across the nation. Links to websites are provided so that parents and students may investigate more about an individual program. While the Davidson Institute does not endorse any specific programs, this list includes programs that have been recommended by parents, professionals and young people associated with the Davidson Institute. Each listing includes the program’s location, a short description and a link.

See also:
Gifted Summer Programs: Listed by Topics of Interest
Gifted Summer Programs: Residential


Alabama – Space Camp
Space Camp provides a number of camp options for students of different ages who are interested in space exploration, aviation and aerodynamics.

Arkansas – Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) – Summer Laureate University for Youth
SLUFY is an educational program that provides unique learning experiences for high-ability students to explore and expand their talents and abilities. The program offers a variety of classes taught by a staff that includes graduate students seeking masters degrees in teaching the gifted and talented, certified master teachers, and other experts.

California – Academic Talent Development Program
This program offers challenging summer classes for K-11 students. ATDP courses offer students opportunities to gain in-depth knowledge of the subjects that interest them. Taught by outstanding university, public, and private school instructors, classes are designed to engage students’ hearts as well as their minds. Admission is based on the student’s overall academic profile. Grades, achievement test scores, an essay, and teacher recommendations are all considered.

California – AlphaStar Academy A-Star Program
Offers year-round courses and winter/summer camps in math, computer science and physics for gifted students in Bay Area, California. The program mainly focuses on problem solving skills for 4-12 grade students.

California – Bay Area Writing Project – Young Writers Camps and Teen Writing Camps (Berkeley)
The Bay Area Writing Project sponsors both the annual Young Writers Camps and Teen Writing Camps. Young Wirters Camps offer students entering grades three through nine a unique opportunity to develop their creative abilities and writing talents. The Teen Writing Camps are for incoming ninth through 12th graders. Enrichment opportunities for students who enjoy writing, literature and poetry, both camps are offered on the University of California Berkeley campus.

California – (ATS) California State University at Sacramento – Academic Talent Search
Academic Talent Search (ATS) provides academically challenging, fast-paced courses to highly able and motivated students.

California – Explore
Externships Providing Leadership Opportunities in Research and Education (EXPLORE) Program matches high-potential and gifted high school students with distinguished mentors, hands-on research opportunities, and professional experience in their field of interest.

California – Research Mentorship Program – UC Santa Barbara Summer Sessions
This competitive summer program engages qualified, high-achieving high school students from all over the world in interdisciplinary, hands-on, university-level research. Students will be paired with a mentor (graduate student, postdoc, or faculty) and choose a research project from a long list of disciplines offered by the program each year.

California – Summer Research Academies – UC Santa Barbara Summer Sessions
This dynamic summer experience engages qualified high school students in project-based, directed research in STEM, Humanities, and Social Sciences fields. Students will take a 4-unit university course in which they choose and develop a research topic specific to the track they select, under the direction of an instructor who is conducting active research in that field.

California – Star League
This is a learning center teaching Math, Computer Science, and Physics courses to gifted and highly motivated students during summer/winter camps and fall/spring semesters.

Colorado – Aspen Summer Words
Each participant will be involved in four classes per day plus evening options. Two of the classes are designed to enhance leadership abilities. In addition, students will assist a teacher in the Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) class of their choice.

Colorado – Colorado Math Camp
Colorado Math Camp is for elementary or middle school students who love math, and want to improve their math problem-solving and math-contest abilities. Students can sign up for Math Contest Mini-Camps in with beginner and advanced sessions in July.

Colorado – Summer Enrichment Program (Young Child Program at Northern Colorado)
Each participant will be involved in four classes per day plus evening options. Two of the classes are designed to enhance leadership abilities. In addition, students will assist a teacher in the Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) class of their choice.

Connecticut – Manchester Community College in Connecticut
These programs are offered for students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade. This program is designed for gifted, talented, and high-achieving students will have the opportunity to take a variety of college courses during the first two weeks of August.

Connecticut – Talcott Mountain Science Center Summer Program in Avon
In addition to a school and saturday programs for “intellectually excited” students, the Talcott Mountain Science Center also offers a summer day camp. The summer program theme varies each year.

Connecticut – University of Connecticut Confratute
This program is for educators to take summer classes about gifted and talented education.

Florida – Seacamp
Seacamp is a non-profit, marine science education facility located in the Florida Keys. The organization offers marine science education and summer camp experiences including SCUBA, sailing, board sailing, and arts & crafts to students from 12-17 years of age.

Florida – Stetson University HATS Program
Stetson sponsors a variety of classes for high achieving students that stimulate their unique interests and challenge them in their strongest subject areas.

Illinois – Columbia College – Summer Arts Camp
Classes offered include media, performing and fine arts for students entering grades 2-10.

Illinois – Northwestern University Center for Talent Development
Through their Leapfrog, Apogee, Spectrum and Equinox course series, this program serves outstanding students from PreK through grade 12, facilitating high achievement, self-confidence and a love of learning among all participants. Programs are available for students who wish to be residents or commuters. Program sessions last one to three weeks, and students can apply for one, two or three sessions, depending on the program.

Indiana – (GERI) Gifted Education Resource Institute: Summer Youth Programs
The Summer Residential Programs sponsored by the Gifted Education Resource Institute offer “accelerated and enriched learning experiences in mathematics, science, the humanities, and the arts” for academically talented youth. Enrichment programs for ages 4 through 4th grade, as well as residential summer camps for students in grades 5-12 are available. The program also presents the opportunity for students to interact and establish lasting friendships with cognitive peers.

Massachusetts – Boston Museum of Science – Explore It Summer Camp
The Boston Museum of Science offers hands-on, minds-on science learning and fun during six one-week sessions.

Massachusetts – College Gate & College Academy
This program provides students in grades K-8th the opportunity to participate in project-based learning activities. Camps are broken up by age group.

Michigan – (ACE) Academics Camps of Excellence at Calvin College
ACE offers summer camps for gifted middle school students in math, science, literature, computer science, and economics.

Missouri – Gifted Resource Council Summer Academies
The Gifted Resource Council’s Summer Academies offer a variety of two-week academic day camps in the St. Louis area. Choose from six Summer Academies focused on history, science, business/entrepreneurship and mathematics. These full-day sessions are for students completing kindergarten through eighth grade. Participants may attend two, four or all six weeks. Before/after care is available.

Missouri – Mathematics Education for Gifted Secondary School Students (MEGSSS)
The MEGSSS Summer MathJam program offers math challenge and enrichment for math-talented students in the 90th percentile. Financial aid is available. Project MEGSSS bridges the gap between elementary and high school mathematics for mathematically talented middle school students. Coursework is offered to MEGSSS-qualified students for up to 3 years, including summer programming, which also serves as excellent enrichment for students unable to commit to an after-school program.

Missouri – College for Kids
Summer program for gifted and talented children. Courses are designed to challenge and advance general skills already possessed by the student.

Missouri – Students and Teachers as Research Scientists (STARS)
Students and Teachers As Research Scientists (STARS) is a program that introduces both rising high school juniors and seniors and teachers to the various aspects of the scientific enterprise.

New Jersey – Primoris Academy Summer Enrichment Program
Primoris Academy has created a wide variety of fun-filled and intellectually stimulating programs for preschoolers through seniors in high school. The programs are broken into four 2-week sessions and by age. Choose only one session, all four, or something in between. Each day also has the choice of full or half-day enrollment.

New Jersey – The Gifted Child Society – Summer Super Stars Camp STEAM Day Camp
This summer program is for gifted child(ren) in preschool, elementary school, and middle school. The summer day camp offers academic mornings with explorations of true Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics, plus recreational afternoons filled with swimming and fun activities. TGCS offers full- and half-day options for preschool campers and special curricula and experiences for middle school campers who will be bridging to high school in the fall.

New York – Challenge Camp
Challenge Camp offers summer enrichment learning opportunities for bright and curious children ages 4 to 15. Located in Hartsdale, Westchester County, Challenge Camp is accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA) and offers over 100 STEM and Arts courses. These courses range from 3D printing to architecture to chess to cooking to magic to Minecraft to model rocketry to robotics to theater to video production and many options in between. The Afternoon Challenge includes enrichment and sports options to encourage students to challenge both their mind and body. Bus transportation, early drop-off / extended day options are available.

New York – Long Island University Center for Gifted Youth
The Long Island University Center for Gifted Youth conducts a four-week, non-residential summer program for gifted children, which offers students a unique combination of academic and recreational activities within a university setting.

New York – Roswell Park Cancer Institute
This program offers students the ability to do summer scientific research at America’s Cancer Research Center.

New York – Usdan Summer Camps
Usdan’s 1,700 young musicians, dancers, artists, writers and actors establish lifelong friendships with those who share their passion for creative exploration. Usdan offers you a world class faculty and an incredible campus.

North Carolina – Coast Trek
Join MarineQuest to travel back in time to the age of giant prehistoric sharks and discover how North Carolina’s coast has changed over the years. While time traveling through their coastal habitats back to the future, Trekkies will use the tools of oceanography, meteorology and paleontology to experience first-hand how hurricanes and other forces of nature have created the coastline that we see today. The program is for students ages 10-12; participants must have completed 4th grade and turn 10 by May 1st. Residential and commuter programs are available.

Pennsylvania – The Grayson School (Philadelphia, PA)
The Grayson School is a non-profit, independent private school for gifted students in the greater Philadelphia area. The goal of the school is to provide an individual learning experience for every child, tailored to their advanced educational needs.

Tennessee – Vanderbilt Program for Talented Youth – SAVY (Grades K-6) – Summer Academy at Vanderbilt for the Young (Nashville, TN)
Each summer, rising 1st-7th grade students take part in a variety of advanced courses taught by content experts. Weekly sessions are available for all grades in the months of June and July.

Texas – Summer Wonders
Summer Wonders is a nonresidential, full or half-day program that allows students to explore diverse subjects in a challenging, creative environment through an integrative, hands-on, non-traditional approach.

Virginia – Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies (BCWS)
The purpose of the camp is to nurture in children and teens a respect and sensitivity to the natural world through greater knowledge of self and nature.

Virginia – Summer Regional Governor’s Schools
Twenty Summer Regional Governor’s Schools are available throughout the state. Most often, groups of school divisions design these programs to meet the needs of their local gifted elementary and middle school students, providing opportunities in the arts, sciences and humanities. The schools are typically housed at a public school or on the campus of a college, community college, or university. The lengths of programs vary, with some lasting a week or less while others may last four or more weeks. Most students return to their homes at the end of each day’s activities.

Washington – Robinson Center for Young Scholars at the University of Washington – Summer Programs
The Robinson Center for Young Scholars at the University of Washington offers summer academic programs. All classes are offered on the UW-Seattle campus, and provide challenging and fun summer experiences for academically talented students.

Wisconsin – Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth
There is a variety of residential as well as online summer programs offered for students who have taken and passed specific tests and are of a specific age.

Various Locations – American Academy of Medicine & Surgery (CA & HI)
The Cardiothoracic Surgical Skills Internship is a two week course of study for High School and Pre-Med students to initiate the steps towards mastering basic and advanced cardiothoracic surgery. Students will progress from basic surgical skills to completing advanced cardiothoracic procedures normally performed at an attending level.

Various Locations – Camp Invention
Camp Invention is a weeklong summer enrichment day program offered at your local elementary school.

Various Locations – Emagination Computer Camps (GA, IL, MA, PA)
This camp offers typical fun camp activities with a touch of technology. Students learn computer animation, web design, digital photography, Lego robotics and much more.

Various Locations – Explo
At EXPLO, young people unwind complexity through personalized, playful, and inquisitive project-based learning developed collaboratively with partners in industry—here, students make big-picture discoveries about the world, the future, and their place in it; they ignite their passions and consider what kind of life they want to live, questions they want to wrestle with, collaborations they want to build. From Pulitzer Prize winners to state Supreme Court justices, EXPLO faculty are excited to engage young minds. EXPLO alumni go on to be Forbes 30 under 30 awardees, Inventors of the Year, Rhodes and Fulbright Scholars, filmmakers, authors, and more.

Various Locations – Exploration Summer Programs
Exploration Summer Programs is an academic summer enrichment program where young people can expand their horizons, try something new, and learn in a pressure-free environment.

Various Locations – iD Tech CampsiD Coding & Engineering AcademyiD Game Design & Development Academy
This organization allows students to explore a top campus and make friends while mastering new tech skills and joining a community of more than 275,000 alumni. At iD Tech Camps, students ages 7-17 can learn to code, build websites, design video games, experience virtual reality, mod Minecraft, engineer robots, model and print 3D characters, and more! iD Tech also offers early-education STEM programs, all-girls tech camps, teen-only academies, and an online learning platform.

Various Locations – iMACS Hi-Tech Summer Camp (FL, NC)
This camp offers talented children a unique opportunity to explore and expand their intellectual world. Campers are immersed in academic pursuits such as playing strategic logic games, designing and building electronic devices and programming computers. Campers may either attend a full day program (grades 3 – 10) or individual one to two hour classes (grades 1 – 12).

Various Locations – National Computer Camps (CT, GA, NY, OH)
This program offers both residential and non-residential options in curriculum that covers topics from video game design to computer languages and web page design.

Various Locations – Science Adventures
This program’s week-long science day camps and programs are offered throughout the summer in casual indoor or outdoor settings.

Various Locations – Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG)
This program provides instruction in several dozen courses during its regular academic schedule and engages students in recreational activities every day. Numerous humanities, mathematics, sciences, and multidisciplinary courses are offered. In 2019, SIG day programs will be offered in the following states: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.

For more summer program opportunities, visit Cogito’s Summer Programs Database.

If you know of any other summer programs for gifted students, please email the information, including a link to the program’s website, to


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