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Cool ASU summer programs bring on learning — and fun

high school students in ASU CSI camp

Former police investigator and ASU clinical associate professor Kimberly Kobojek begins a demonstration of splattering blood by putting fake blood on a knife at the ASU Summer CSI Experience on the West campus. In a lighthearted way, the high school students have the opportunity to find out what a "real" CSI does (and doesn't) do. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

February 26, 2016

With summer vacation just a few months away, parents may already have visions of their teenager huddled around the gaming console for hours on end — or worse yet with nothing to do. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Families can turn up the volume of their middle or high schoolers’ summer with an educational adventure at ASU. From the Collegiate Scholars program for high-achieving students to CSI-style forensic science and robotics camps, summer enrichment experiences offer children of all ages a chance to explore, discover and socialize with other bright students from around the state. 

“Summer is often one of the only opportunities a student can delve into an interest area or partake in challenging high-level concept work with like-minded peers,” said Melissa McGurgan, associate director of Access ASU. “Programs like Barrett Summer Scholars and the Collegiate Scholars Academy allow academically talented students to pursue advanced course-work within a higher education environment, providing them with intellectual stimulation and a head-start on college success,” she added.

With more than 30 exciting programs to choose from, parents are sure to find a summer enrichment program that piques their student’s interest.

Here’s a quick look at 10 of the summer programs:

1. Getting scholars on the fast track

While many students dream about someday experiencing college as a Sun Devil, ASU’s Collegiate Scholars Academy allows them to do it while still in high school. This exciting non-residential program presents an opportunity for students to become Sun Devils for five weeks, taking courses for credit, learning how to be successful in college, networking with ASU faculty and staff, exploring campus resources and more — all while engaging with a cohort of high-achieving peers.

Ages: Grades 9-11

When: June 6-July 1 (Monday through Friday)

Where: Tempe, Downtown Phoenix or West campus locations

Cost: $500

Deadline: March 4


Contact: Cece Maez at 480-965-6060 or

2. Live the campus life as a Barrett Scholar

Getting an early taste of college life can be priceless, especially for academically talented seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders. ASU’s Barrett Summer Scholars residential program allows students to experience college firsthand, engage in college-level coursework and participate in a community of like-minded, highly motivated students from across the state. This premier program prepares students for enrollment and success at ASU and Barrett, the Honors College.

Ages: Grades 7-9

When: June 5-17; June 26-July 1

Where: Tempe, Downtown Phoenix, West, Polytechnic campus locations

Cost: $700 for grades 7–8; $1,400 for grade 9

Deadline: March 4


Contact: Cece Maez at 480-965-6060 or

3. What’s better than playing video games? Designing them!

How can parents harness their child’s insatiable desire to play Minecraft and other video games? With ASU’s Game Camps, middle school and high school students will “level up” and create their own. Participants learn intensive game creation, visualization and production, using the latest software, hardware and development tools to create concepts and prototypes for 2-D and 3-D video gaming. Student-to-instructor ratios are very low in game camp — Professor Yoshihiro Kobayashi and one teacher’s assistant for every six students.

Ages: Grades 7-12

When: High schoolers, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. June 6-17 (weekdays); middle schoolers, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. June 20-July 1 (weekdays)

Where: Tempe campus

Cost: $645 (high school); $625 (middle school)

Deadline: May 1


Contact: Lori McLean at 480-965-3199 or

4. Sun Devil Golf Camp

Who will be the next top golfer? Once young golfers learn the fundamentals through the Sun Devil Golf Camp, they’ll be able to hit the links with confidence. Coaches will instruct children ages 8-18 on all facets of golf, including technique, fitness, strategy and course management and what it takes to play golf at a Division 1 level. Day and overnight camps are available.

Ages: Grades 2-12

When: June 19-24

Where: Tempe campus

Cost: $200 (day camp), $1,100 (overnight camp)

Deadline: June 18


Contact: Tiernan McMackin, 480-965-6186,

5. Hack into the world of technology

There’s probably an app for that. And if not, why not make one? ASU’s Ultimate Technology Boot Camp takes budding young hackers into the world of creating mobile apps, developing cutting-edge games, designing and building robots and more. During this residential program at the Polytechnic location, high school students work in teams to learn design, development and content integration for software.

Ages: Grades 9-12

When: June 5-17

Where: Polytechnic campus

Cost: $1,800, includes room and board

Deadline: May 15


Contact: Ashish Amresh at 727-1253 or

6. Summer CSI offers a real-life hit

Young crime-solvers will learn about the latest “real-life” forensic science during ASU’s Summer CSI Experience. It’s a weeklong program at ASU West that gives high school students a choice of forensic areas to study as they engage in exciting group activities.

Ages: Grades 9-12

When: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. July 11-15 and July 18-22

Where: West campus

Cost: $250

Deadline: April 30


Contact: Kimberly Kobojek at 602-543-3913 or

7. Institute channels students' inner Bill Gates

Some kids are just entrepreneurs — when life gives them lemons, they turn them into a lemonade empire. High-achieving high school juniors who want to be tomorrow’s business leaders will enjoy ASU’s Business Scholars Institute, which introduces participants to business career opportunities and top faculty. Students will create business projects, begin networking and learn about the W. P. Carey Leaders Academy and Barrett, the Honors College at ASU.

Ages: Grade 11

When: June 27-July 1

Where: Tempe campus

Cost: $750

Deadline: April 25


Contact: Danna Remillard at 480-965-1930 or

8. Where art meets engineering

ASU’s Digital Culture Summer Institute will challenge both the artistic and technical sides of middle school and high school students. Participants will learn how to produce digital music, create 3-D designs, learn projection mapping and more through a series of short, project-focused modules. Access to state-of-the-art technology such as new MacBooks, professional media software and a fabrication lab make this camp a memorable experience for future creators, artists, entrepreneurs and engineers.

Ages: Grades 7-12

When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. June 6-24 (Monday through Friday)

Where: Tempe campus

Cost: $675 for three weeks, $510 for two weeks, $300 for one week

Deadline: May 31


Contact: Loren Olson at 480-965-9839 or

9. Unleash a student's inner Frank Lloyd Wright

High school seniors can build a towering tomorrow with the Summer Design Primer, an introductory course on the design disciplines of architecture, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture and visual communication design. Features Adobe Creative Suite.

Ages: Grade 12

When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. June 13-July 15

Where: Tempe campus

Cost: $1,500 by May 15; $1,800 from May 15 to June 10

Deadline: May 15


Contact: Nicole Keegan at 480-965-3536 or

10. Don’t forget about fitness this summer

ASU’s enrichment programs foster active minds, but what about active bodies? That’s where Sun Devil Kids’ Camps come in, getting elementary-age children into fitness and fun activities this summer with 10-week-long camps at three ASU locations. Camps feature action-packed sports focusing on physical fitness and sportsmanship, arts and crafts activities, and swimming every day.

Ages: Kindergarten–fifth grade

When: 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. May 30–Aug. 5

Where: West, Tempe and Polytechnic campus

Cost: $125 for Sun Devil Fitness Center members, $145 for non-members

Deadline: West, May 29; Tempe, July 29; Polytechnic, July 30


Contact: West, Ashley Marsh at 602-543-3488 or; Tempe, Tara Yesenski at 480-965-5639 or; Polytechnic, Jeff Vance at 480-727-1313 or

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