Summer camps for gifted students underway

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 18, 2014 — Gifted young students from across the area are keeping their minds in shape over the summer break during camps organized by Drury University’s Center for Gifted Education, in partnership with Springfield Public Schools.

Drury provides a summer experience for gifted students of all ages, from pre-K through the 11th grade. The younger age groups are in camps right now, and the older students’ camps will take place in July. Each summer, more than 700 total students attend these camps.

The current camps (called Summer Pals for ages pre-K through grade 1, and Summer Quest for grades 2 through 5) are taking place from each weekday 8:15 to 11:15 a.m. at Weller Elementary School, 1630 N. Weller Ave. The hands-on, activity-oriented courses feature an array of interesting experiences geared specifically toward gifted students. Summer Quest and Summer Pals give students a chance to interact with peers of similar academic abilities and interests, while encouraging them to use their intellectual and creative sides.

“It gives them a sense of self and a sense of community,” says Mary Potthoff, Director of the Center for Gifted Education at Drury. “And it builds on what they’ve learned in the classroom during the school year, keeping their minds engaged during the summer break.”

Drury has been a national leader in providing education and enrichment programs for academically gifted students more than 30 years. The Drury Center for Gifted Education is the most complete center for gifted education in the state of Missouri, and is one of less than 20 complete gifted education centers in the United States. Visit Drury Gifted Education for more information.

Media are invited to cover the Summer Quest and Summer Pals camps. Some of the more interesting and visually appealing courses include:

Thursday, June 19; I Want To Be A Veterinarian! – A guest speaker will introduce students to therapy dogs and tell students how they can volunteer their time with animals to help others.

Tuesday, June 24 & Friday, June 27; Calling Future Astronauts – Students explore the moon, solar system, black holes and more, as well as the future of NASA’s space exploration programs.

Wednesday, June 25; Magical Science Show – Students use science to perform magic tricks at an open house performance for their parents.

Wednesday, June 25; Polar Bears, Penguins & Seals, Oh My! – Students discover how penguins, seals, walruses, whales and many more Antarctic animals live.

Wednesday, June 25; Dinosaurs Alive! – Students study paleontology. On this day they’ll take a field trip to Riverbluff Cave, which contains findings dated to the Pleistocene in age, the time period that spanned from 1.8 million to 11,000 years ago.

Friday, June 27; Around the World in Eight Days – Students will present all the countries they have “traveled” to and many exciting facts about each.

Opportunities for coverage are available each day of the camps. For more information on these and other opportunities this week and next week, contact Mary Potthoff at (417) 885-8089 or (417) 873-7386.