Hastings College offers summer camp for gifted middle school students

Gifted seventh and eighth grade students have the opportunity to participate in the Hastings College Scholars Academy (HCSA). From Sunday, June 26 to Friday, July 1, 2016, intellectual students have the chance to work in challenging academic classes with mathematics, speech, robotics and science.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for students to interact and learn in a college environment, where they can make new friends and expand their knowledge with our course offerings,” said Dr. Constance Malloy, Director of HCSA and Professor of English at Hastings College. “Working with the instructors through challenges, the students have a chance to test their skills while having fun at the same time!”

Under the supervision of HCSA’s directors and eight college students, scholars have the opportunity to preview college life by staying in the campus residence halls and eating in the dining hall. Registration is available online.

To be eligible to attend, students must:

  • Participate in a gifted program at school,
  • Score at the 95th percentile or above in at least one area on a standardized achievement test such as the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, ACT, SAT, CAT or CTBS,
  • Have one letter of nomination from school official

Registration Deadlines for 2016:

  • April 1 – Early Bird Applications Due ($100 deposit due with application)
  • May 6 – All Applications Due ($100 deposit due with application)
  • May 11 – Program Balance Due

If students apply for the Early Bird Application, there is a $50 discount from the total $550 fee due, which covers tuition, room, board, activities and professional staff and educators. The Nebraska Association for the Gifted has scholarships available for students. The scholarship application is due April 1.

Courses offered to students include:


Math and Art
This course offers an integration of math and art, to better understand mathematics. Students will learn about M.C. Escher and tessellations, the geometry embedded in math, fractals, Fibonacci and the Golden Ratio, the number Phi, polyhedra, perspective drawings, origami, architecture, mandalas and crop circles. The course is taught by Andrea Volf, M.A., 7-8th grade math teacher, Lincoln Public Schools.

Introduction to Computer Science
Students will learn what computer science really is. They will learn basic Web page structure through XHTML and write programs with JavaScript. Mathematical programs will also be covered, including basic input/output, decision structures and looping. By the end of the course, students will have finished their own large programming project. The course is taught by Dr. John Schneider, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, Hastings College.


Through advanced hands-on work, students will design, build and program various types of robots like Lego NXT, VEX and CEENBoT. Students will also build their own Vincent Van Gogh Scribble Robot out of scratch using materials supplied by the instructors. This hands-on work will give students the chance to learn and utilize skills and strategies related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math while incorporating the Engineering Design Process. The course is taught by Anthony Reisdorff and Travis Simpson, STEM educators, Papillon-LaVista Middle School.


Students will learn about human nutrition and the relationship between nutrition and health throughout the life cycle. General wellness and recommendations of current food and nutrition for health promotion will also be covered. The course is taught by Dr. Susan Oliver, Nutrition Instructor, Central Community College.

This course gives students the chance to play with the inheritance of simple and complex genetic traits. They will go through exercises that distinguish genetic makeup from physical appearance, talk about genes, what they are made of and how we know. Students will isolate DNA from their own cells and will use PCR and electrophoresis to determine specific DNA makeup for the ability to taste a certain compound. The course is taught by Dr. Amanda Solem, Associate Professor of Biology, Hastings College.


Through personalized workshops, students will learn how to use their voices to enrich their own communities. They will be taught the basics of oral performance and original speech writing. Students will learn how to find literature, cut pieces into 10 minute performances, develop characters fitting of the literature and write introductions that explain the essence of the program. They will also learn how to choose topics, learn criteria for finding effective research, develop an outline and create a manuscript speech with an informative, persuasive or entertaining focus. Delivery skills and acting skills will also be polished. The course is taught by Dr. Kittie Grace, Professor of Communication Arts and Director of Forensics, and Dr. Austin McDonald, Instructor of Communication Studies and Associate Director of Forensics, Hastings College.

Share this post