2024 Middle School Summer Challenge Program Details

Program Schedule

The Middle School Summer Challenge schedule is a busy one! Students are supervised throughout the day by instructors and program staff as they explore WashU and collaborate with their peers.

  • 9:00am: Student drop-off
  • 9:15am-10:30am: Discovering Creativity Course
  • 10:30-10:45am: Break
  • 10:45am-12:00pm: Bear Challenge
  • 12:00-12:45pm: Lunch 
  • 12:45-2:00pm: STEM Challenge
  • 2:00-2:15pm: Break
  • 2:15-3:30pm: Leading with Purpose Workshop
  • 3:30pm: Student pick-up

Courses and Activities

Middle School Summer Challenge courses and activities are designed to expand on students' current knowledge and challenge them to explore further topics that interest them. All of our activities are led by WashU affiliates. Courses include lectures, readings, interactive activities, and discussions. Students will be provided all materials and supplies for the program.

Each course focuses on a specific set of skills. 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 participate in the program at any point in their middle school years. Because we have students that return every summer, courses and activities are updated each year to create new experiences for all students.

Discovering Creativity Course

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. 

STEM Challenge Course

Students will research, analyze, and discover the vast connections between the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Students will apply their new knowledge and develop communication, critical thinking and strategy skills as they work together to come up with solutions to a series of various challenges. No specific math or science experience is required. 

Bear Challenges

Bear Challenges are a series of activities designed for students to be creative, practice group collaboration, and get to know their peers...and win some free WashU swag! Puzzle relays, trivia, cup stacking challenges are just a few of the fun activities we play during these sessions. 

Leading with Purpose Workshop

How can someone inspire action in their community, school, or the world? What skills does a leader need to be successful? What makes an effective leader? These are just some of the questions explored by students in our interactive and collaborative Leading with Purpose workshop. Students will reflect on their own leadership style and gain strategies to improve specific skills. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this a summer camp?

While we do provide staff supervision as well as fun, interactive experiences, this is a pre-college program not a summer camp. Students must apply and be admitted. Students are expected to be engaged participants, complete activities, and will receive an evaluation at the end of the program.

Can a student miss part of the program due to other commitments?

We strongly encourage students to commit to the full length of the program and to schedule other commitments when the program is not in session. Missing any part of the program can impact the student's experience. 

When will I get my admission decision?

Admission decisions are released within 7-10 business days of receipt of the application and completed teacher recommendation.

Ready to apply?

Please note that as of January 10, 2024, both sessions of our 2024 Middle School Summer Challenge are full and we are no longer accepting applications for the wait list.