# Mindspire Track Out Camps

## for Gifted Middle School Students

Not your everyday track-out camp!

At our camps, students engage deeply with a wide range of topics, in project-based and inquiry-based learning.

Our teachers are highly experienced, gifted individuals in their own right. Most have Ivy-League degrees and many years of teaching and career experience in a wide range of fields. Thus, they are able to make connections across these diverse fields of knowledge.

The four topics of our camps are:

**Advanced Math: **
Every morning starts with a discussion centered around 5 intriguing math problems. We solve these together, listening for various proposed solutions and ways of thinking about the problem. Topics range across the vast range of mathematics. Following our discussion, students work individually, while the teacher guides and facilitates. Then we regroup to discuss the problems and work on one or two more if we have time.

**Debate: **
Next, we delve into our debate topic for the week. We begin the week with a few introductory readings or videos on a topic, such as Free Will vs Determinism, Nature vs Nurture, or Absolute vs Relative Ethics. Students learn about the topic through discussion and research, and we end each week with a more formal debate.

**Science:**
After lunch, we do sciece. We might go outside and engage with the natural world right behind our classroom, using the Project Noah app to actually contribute our findings to the larger scientific community. Or we might do some experiments involving the weekly topic, or engage with the vast world of science in other creative ways.

**STEM + Design:**
At the end of the day, we work on the Stem and/or Design Challenge of the Week. Perhaps we'll see who can design and build a raft that can hold the most pennies, or we might program a robot, or design and build a bridge. Our "mini-makerspace" will engage middle schoolers for hours on end.

Every day is full of exploration, intellectual adventure, open-minded inquiry, and learner-directed projects. Our extraordinary teachers provide students the encouragement and support they need to have genuinely meaningful educational experiences.