2021 Middle School Summer Challenge Courses

Program Details



The Middle School Summer Challenge remote schedule is a busy one! Students are supervised throughout the day by instructors and program staff as they explore new ideas and collaborate with their peers. All remote learning will be organized via Canvas. Classes meet virtually in the morning from 9:00am to 12:00pm and students will be provided activities to complete at home in between classes. For students who would like extra engagement, or need assistance or additional instruction, optional afternoon classes for Discovering Creativity and STEM Challenge are also available to attend.

9:00-9:50am: Discovering Creativity 

10:00-10:50am: Leading with a Purpose

11:00-11:50am: STEM Challenge

12:00-12:30pm: Break for Lunch 

12:35-1:15pm: Optional extended time for Discovering Creativity

1:20-2:00pm: Optional extended time for STEM Challenge

Middle School Summer Challenge courses are designed to expand on students' current knowledge and challenge them to explore further topics that interest them. All of our courses are taught by WashU affiliated instructors, which includes faculty, graduate students, post docs and adjuncts. See below for links to our instructor bios. Courses include lectures, interactive activities, and discussions. Students will be provided all course materials and any special supplies if needed for the program. We recommend students have a notebook, pens or pencils, index cards, and highlighters. There will be pre-program activities and readings that students will be asked to complete to prepare for the program.

Each course will focus on a specific set of skills which will be explored differently by each grade level. A student can come back every summer throughout middle school and experience new curriculum and build on their previous summer. Students do not have to begin the program as 5th graders; they can start the program at any point in their middle school years. 

Fall Programming

We are looking forward to welcoming 2021 Middle School Summer Challenge students to campus in the fall to meet in-person and engage in the classroom with our instructors. We are working on details for this fall programming and will share information with students and parents as soon as possible.

Certificate of Completion

Students are evaluated based on interaction with peers, engagement during activities, and work produced. Students who have met the expectations of the program will receive a certificate of completion. 

Middle School Summer Challenge is a noncredit program. Grades are not issued for courses.


Discovering Creativity

Students will learn the tools and techniques to develop their artistic voice. Through various games, exercises and writing prompts, students will build self confidence, develop creativity, and gain valuable skills in public speaking and writing. 



Meet the Instructor

Leading with Purpose

How can someone take action in their community, school, or the world? How do leaders stand-up for social change? These are just some of the questions explored by students in our Leading with Purpose course. Students will participate in various games and exercises designed to mine issues of social (in)justice, while developing their confidence in problem solving and group collaboration. 



Meet the instructor

STEM Challenge

Students will research, analyze, and discover the vast connections between the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Students will apply their new STEM knowledge and develop communication, critical thinking and strategy skills as they work together to come up with solutions to a series of daily challenges. No specific math experience is required. Students will explore basic theoretical concepts of algebra, geometry, and statistics in the course.


Meet the Instructor

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