A+ Summer Middle School
A+ Summer Middle School immerses rising 6th, 7th and 8th grade students in an environment that encourages advanced thinking, creative problem solving, and a lifelong love of learning. For six days, students will explore their potential as inventors, detectives, and strategists. Interdisciplinary classes will strengthen students’ talents in reading, writing, math, and science, while pushing them to employ these skills in new and imaginative ways.
Every morning students will participate in a tournament of minds to get them warmed up for the day. They will complete brain benders, physical challenges, and trust exercises that will require students to demonstrate critical thinking and teamwork.
Students spend the rest of their day in a major track. A+ Middle School attendees will select one of two tracks: Future Studies or Mystery Summer.
Track 1: Future Studies (Offered at Stanford)
What will the world look like in 100 years? 1,000 years? Will it be a perfect place with a harmonious society, or will it be a barren landscape, rife with corruption? For forward thinking students ready to build their vision of a new world, the Future Studies track is an opportunity to think creatively and practically about today’s dilemmas and tomorrow’s possibilities.
In this track, students will invent useful objects for the future. They will learn how to think like an inventor, draw up a project proposal, and test and modify their inventions. From homes to chores, participants will update common objects and tasks to make them future-friendly. Moreover, students will learn about significant inventors in history, and they may even have the opportunity to meet with contemporary inventors!
Students will also read notable “authors of the future”, such as HG Wells, Ray Bradbury, and Mary Shelly, while asking the central question, what does a vision of the future have to do with the present? Students will learn advanced principles of effective storytelling, as they build their own out-of-this world settings, round and extraordinary characters, and clear, original narratives.
Track 2: Mystery Summer (Offered at Stanford, UCLA, UC Berkeley and Georgetown)
Conspiracies! Crime! Murder! Theft! In the Mysteries track, students will become gumshoe readers and first-rate sleuths. They will learn to identify fallacies of reasoning, distinguish between evidence and inference, and detect clues and hints. Students will read mystery masters, such as Edgar Allen Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in addition to more contemporary writers of detective fiction.
Students will also learn the basics of crime scene forensics in a class that employs deductive logic as a way to piece together evidence to identify a culprit. In one week, students will learn about code breaking, fingerprinting, blood examination, and ink and handwriting analysis. Armed with a detective’s most significant tools- the skillful power to pose leading questions, the principles of deductive thinking, and the ability to magnify deceptively insignificant details, students will break codes, take prints, and analyze the evidence in order to solve a final camp-wide mystery.
From the perfect crime to the clue that unravels the entire plot, writing a detective story is one of the best exercises for young writers because it requires thoughtful plot development and meticulous story mapping. With the help of topnotch writing instructors, students will author their own slice of detective fiction for fellow students to solve in a final reading that will have everyone trying to figure out “Who Dunnit?”
A+ Middle School is designed for students who are already excelling in school. While there is no minimum GPA requirement for the program, students who are already achieving a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) will be best prepared for success in the A+ program.
We recommend that returning A+ Middle campers select a different track if they wish to limit curriculum overlap.
"[The staff members] were practically perfect in every way... This was my first sleepover camp and I loved it." –Kenza Farington, A+ Middle School Camper
"Mysteries was amazing. I loved it! I would do it again next year. The activities are sooo fun." –Hyunji Do, A+ Middle School Camper
“The staff was excellent. I was surprised by the qualifications of each staff member. They were really friendly and professional.” –Gigi Wilson-Butler, Repeat A+ Middle School Parent
"It is a great experience for all ages to stay at a college and learn about different things and meet cool people!" –A+ Middle School Camper
“The staff was exceptional- each and every one...bright, enthusiastic, upbeat and their love of children was obvious” –Joanne Alex, A+ Middle School Parent
A+ Summer Middle School - Staff Profiles
Staff are typically subject matter experts and experienced teachers. Staff assignments vary by program and all staff are held to the highest possible standards. Some of our recent staff members for this program include:
Vickie Obenchain has been teaching for Education Unlimited for the past 7 summers, teaching at both the Sallie Ride program and also the A+ Middle School program. She has two degrees in Environmental Science, a Bachelors of Science from Elon University in North Carolina, and a Masters from Montclair State University in New Jersey. While she...
Eva Gordon holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University, and will be graduating in August with her M.A. in English Literature from Saint Louis University, Madrid Campus. She has taught ESL at the high school level and academic writing to students from all around the world, from Saudi Arabia to Guatemala to London. She is co-author...
Diana Khoi Nguyen has poems appearing or forthcoming in Poetry, American Poetry Review, PEN America, The Iowa Review, Denver Quarterly, and Gulf Coast, among others. She received an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University, and has received awards, scholarships, and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, Key West Literary...
We will continue to add additional staff members as enrollment and availability dictate. Details are posted on additional staff members as they are confirmed.
* Tentative and Subject to Change
|Jul 9th - Jul 14th||6th - 8th||Berkeley Camp Location: UC Berkeley||$1,870.00 – $2,495.00|
|Jul 16th - Jul 21st||6th - 8th||Georgetown University||$1,870.00 – $2,495.00|
|Jul 23rd - Jul 28th||6th - 8th||Los Angeles Camp Location: UCLA||$1,870.00 – $2,495.00|
|Aug 6th - Aug 11th||6th - 8th||Stanford University||$1,870.00 – $2,495.00|