Sycamore Announces Virtual Summer Camp Options

Melissa Branigan
Summer is always a special time at Sycamore School.  During the summer months, students have the opportunity to try new things, learn new ideas, enrich themselves, challenge themselves, and create bonds with others. Though this summer will look very different from summers past, Sycamore School remains committed to offering a variety of worthwhile options that provide challenge, enrichment, and fun.  And so, it is with this commitment in mind that we used our knowledge of gifted students and survey data collected from our parent population to guide us in preparing a list of virtual summer programming options.

We know that gifted students have an insatiable, intellectual curiosity. They are critical thinkers and independent workers. They have varied skills, hobbies, and interests. They enjoy challenges and solving problems. They are highly energetic, creative, and they love to have fun. Sycamore’s virtual summer programming options offer a variety of experiences that speak to the needs of gifted students, as well as address what many parents are looking for during this unique and uncertain time.

The following is a summary list of our virtual summer camps and classes:
  • Elementary Problem Solving with Mr. Cox
  • Fun with Math Fact Fluency with Mrs. Fulwider
  • Math Mania 1:  Creative Problem Solving with Mrs. Cox
  • Math Mania 2:  Algebraic Skills with Mrs.  Cox
  • Course 2 Math Prep with Mr. Cox
  • Sophie, Katherine, and Karen: Women in STEM Who Changed the World with Mrs. Cox
  • Pre-AP World History with Mr. Young
  • Summer Reading Club with Mrs. Clawson
  • Writers’ Workshop - Summer Course with Mrs.Clawson
  • Creative Writing - Fantasy and Dystopia with Mrs. Corcoran
  • Poetry Writing and Analysis with Mrs. Corcoran
  • Write a Screenplay with Mrs. Corcoran
  • Art Exploration Extravaganza with Mrs. Sweigart
  • Virtual Piano Lessons with Mr. Peace
  • Camp Eagles’ Nest with Mrs. Ilnicki
  • Virtual Painting through MyArt
  • Chess Camp with Mr. Dean
  • Chinese Cooking with Ms. Claire Wang
  • Pottery Wheel Fusion STEM and Art in Clay through Ripple Mobile Arts
  • Crafting with Ms. Courtney Lickliter
To access descriptions of classes and pricing information for Sycamore’s virtual summer program offerings, click HERE.

Allowing students the ability to interact with familiar instructors, friends, and classmates was an integral part of our decision to offer virtual summer programming. We understood that the comfort and reassurance of familiar faces would greatly benefit our students as we go through the summer months. Because of this, we sought out instructors who felt comfortable with offering online content and who were familiar to our students and families.  We couldn’t be more excited about the instructors involved in our virtual summer program and the content they will share with our students. Registration for any and all camps and classes will be handled directly with the instructors via the contact information listed within the description.  The instructors will communicate directly with you concerning details of classes, supplies needed, supply pick-up options (if applicable), and how they would like to receive payment. 

The support our families receive through Sycamore School is second to none. We know that this is something that is unique and greatly benefits our students.  However, for gifted students around the world that may not have as much support surrounding them, there have been many amazing companies and universities that have stepped up to provide gifted education to the masses this summer. Though these lack the personal connection of seeing a familiar instructor, classmate, or friend, these groups are experts in providing online gifted education and enrichment and may be great options for your gifted student.  The following list includes other opportunities we would like to highlight as options that provide online enrichment and challenge for gifted learners: 
  • As Mr. T often says, Art of Problem Solving is the gold standard of online gifted education.  They have many online classes and have added camps for this summer.  As well, they have some great free tools as well:  https://artofproblemsolving.com/
  • Beast Academy is Art of Problem Solving’s program for lower school students.  They have released an online version of their popular problem books that complements the normal experience.  It is a highly recommended online program:  https://beastacademy.com/
  • Sycamore has competed in Noetic Learning’s math competition for years and more recently students have interacted with their online learning programs during the school year.  They have three different summer problem solving programs students can participate in:  https://www.noetic-learning.com/
  • Like Art of Problem Solving, brilliant.org is for older students, but has put together some great online learning modules in math, science, and computer science.  The nice thing about brilliant is you pay a monthly fee and have access to all of their self-paced classes.  This allows students a lot of flexibility of what they want to learn that day:  https://brilliant.org
Finally, we would like to highlight the sense of community that is prevalent throughout Sycamore. During these uncertain times, we have loved seeing parents and families support and encourage one another, share ideas with one another, and offer assistance to anyone who may need it. We would love to see this continue!  If you would like to share ideas for activities, camps, or classes that you think would be worthwhile for other families in our community, please click HERE and complete this online form. The activities can be virtual, outdoor or active experiences (keeping in mind social distancing protocols), or a combination of both (like geocaching or Pokemon Go!). We are all in this together, so let’s share ideas and support each other as we navigate the summer months. We plan on writing additional blog posts throughout the summer to share this information.

We appreciate all of the feedback and support we have received over the last two weeks.  Please know that you and your family are important to us. As the summer progresses, new virtual summer options may be offered.  If new options are added, we will update the virtual summer programming list online and notify everyone of the updates.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. We are here for you! 

Melissa Branigan, Director of Extended Programs
Trent Tormoehlen, Sycamore Academy Coordinator
Dusty Burwell, Quest Summer Camp Coordinator
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Indiana’s Only Accredited, Private, Independent Preschool - 8th Grade School for Gifted Students