SIG at : Courses

At the core of the SIG curriculum are the creative, fun and academically challenging courses that are unique to the program. SIG is committed to fostering the recognition of each student’s unique abilities as well as providing opportunities to explore new interests. We encourage families to choose a course schedule that includes areas of passion and strength, but also allows for the exploration of new interests.

Students take four classes in the four-period day (or two classes for morning/afternoon only students). All campus courses are ninety minutes long and run for 15 sessions during the three-week program (with the exception of the July 4th holiday, where applicable). Courses encompass a wide range of humanities, math, science, arts, recreation, and multi-disciplinary areas.

Students should select a first choice and second choice course, for each class period (one, two, three and four). We ask that students choose alternative courses in case a selected class is at capacity or doesn’t run at one of the sites due to underenrollment for that course. We also encourage students to apply early to increase their chances of getting their first course choice.

Please Note: Not all courses run at all campuses. Students must choose alternative courses in case a selected class is at capacity or is not offered due to under-enrollment. We also encourage students to apply early to increase their chances of getting their first-choice courses. Our final schedule of courses is reflective of the preferences of students enrolled at that campus. Course schedule adjustments by campus occur in April. Students may transfer to another campus if there is space on the alternate campus.

B02Period - 3Chemicals in Action = Chemical Reaction

Did you know the first type of soap was created through a chemical process using animal fat and ashes (known as lye)? How can something so messy make you cleaner? The answer lies in how soap interacts with oil-based grease or grime! The way materials interact is all about chemistry. Chemistry helps us explain things that happen in nature. Chemists are scientists who use all five senses to explore and explain life. Experiment with water, acids, bases, and everyday household items to discover the chemical world in which you live. Participate in experiments to learn more about chemical reactions.

B03Period - 1Numbers: Puzzles, Patterns, and Problem-Solving

Do you like to play with numbers and do math? Come use number games and puzzles to learn about mathematical operations and determine how you can use these operations in your everyday lives. You'll discover different number bases, origins of number systems, and ways to communicate secretly through codes. Find out what fascinates you about math and create new puzzles and number games of your own. Think like a mathematician and use logical reasoning, patterns, and problem-solving skills to master number sense.

B04Period - 2New 2019!Sound Sensations

Can you see sound? How does sound travel and what kinds of things can it travel through? How do animals use sound to move around? Discover answers to these questions and others you have about the science of sound waves. Learn about pitch, volume, and frequency. Observe sound through your eyes, bodies, and ears. Make noise; make music; do experiments; make instruments! Find out what happens when sound becomes harmful noise pollution and create a way to reduce noise pollution in your neighborhood with your newly gained knowledge about the physics of sound.

P07Period - 1New 2019!Be a Graphic Novelist

A graphic novel uses cartoon drawings to help tell a story. Like comic books, graphic novels weave entertaining drawings with a small amount of words to tell a story. The stories could be about fantasy, science fiction, history, fairy tales and myths, or even true stories about science or biographies. In this class you'll be introduced to character building, plot, and setting as you look at various graphic novels. Come strengthen your vocabulary; build your reading confidence; have fun drawing your action pictures and increase your appreciation of storytelling by creating your own graphic novel.

P11Period - 3Sleuthing Like Sherlock: Logic and Facts!

Detectives carefully gather and trace evidence to draw conclusions. Learn how to reason like a detective, gather clues and details, and unlock mysteries. Conduct experiments using detection techniques, such as ink chromatology, finger-print analysis, and use eye-witness interrogation techniques to sharpen your sleuthing skills. Solve "Who Done it?" scenarios in classroom cases to practice and enhance your logical ability to solve mysteries.

P12Period - 2Electricity and Magnetism: A Powerful PairFull, closed to further enrollment

Are you curious about electricity and how it powers our world? Do you wonder where the force of a magnet comes from and how strong it can be in our universe? Here you will explore how the worlds of electricity and magnetism collide to help us perform daily activities. Plug into the world of electromagnetism, a type of physical interaction that occurs between electrically charged particles. Why is an electromagnetic force created when you rub a balloon on your hair? Learn about this force and much more as your curiosity is PULLED toward experiments and activities surrounding electricity and magnetism that CHARGE up our lives. (Technology Fee: $50-Includes a kit.) Student must enroll in this course by April 1, 2019.

P14Period - 4New 2019!Funky Fungi

Do you like to eat mushrooms? How about yeast bread? If so, did you know you were eating fungi?  Not exactly a plant or an animal, fungi are important living organisms that have a classification all on their own. In this class, you'll learn how fungi grow and feed, and explore the many roles fungi play in our soil, in our kitchens, in our bodies, and even in industry. Fungi provide us with penicillin and other antibiotics, mushrooms and other foods, methods of pest control, and are ideal organisms for scientific research. Today, entrepreneurs are also finding creative ways to use fungi, such as producing sustainable packaging to reduce the need for Styrofoam™, and making biodegradable building materials. Come do your own fungi experiments and consider future uses for this fascinating kingdom of organisms. Find out if the fascinating world of mycology (the study of fungi) excites you. Get into the fungus among us!

P13Period - 3New 2019!From Superheroes to Superhumans

Superheroes continue to be a popular source of entertainment for people of all ages. But, did you know that technology is now making it possible for humans to enhance their bodies in their quest to have superhuman abilities? For example, battery-powered jet packs can help you run like The Flash, and handheld paddles can allow people to climb walls like Spider-Man. Come learn about additional technologies that are being researched and produced to help humans do things they could never do in the past. Develop your own superhero power and design a technological enhancement to increase your power to help you face challenges in your life.

E15Period - 1Speaking of Winning…What's Your Point?

Are you tired of losing arguments? What can help you win an argument? Come improve your communication, argumentation, and reasoning skills by engaging in debate and public speaking simulations in topics of interest and controversy. Build your confidence as you communicate, model leadership, and address peer groups. Learn the basics of crafting an argument, preparing a speech, and debating an opponent to communicate your message within a public forum.

E16Period - 2New 2019!Be Wise—Philosophize!

What makes an action right or wrong? What is more important, to be happy or to do the right thing? What does it mean to be human? If you ever think about big questions like these, you might be a budding philosopher. Philosophy is the study of knowledge, how we think, what we value, and how we are. That's a lot to think about! In this class you will engage in observing, considering, and discussing the world around you. Come pose your own big questions, increase your reasoning and logic skills, and gain an understanding of some of the great philosophical thinkers who have shaped our society and our world.

E17Period - 1New 2019!Creative Math Problem Solving Strategies

Do you know what's more important than finding the correct answer to a math problem? It's identifying the strategy that helped you solve the math problem! Develop your math problem solving ability by using mathematical reasoning strategies, creativity, and originality to arrive at clever solutions.  Critique the limitations of math problem solving strategies, while inventing new ones. Investigate logic problems, games, and math puzzles to stretch and challenge your math expertise. Unleash the math whiz within you!

E18Period - 4New 2019!Getting the Pulse on Cardiology

Did you know that the heart beats more than 2 billion times over an average lifetime to circulate blood throughout your body? What an amazing muscle! Come learn about the anatomy of the heart and how structures such as values, ventricles, arteries, veins, and blood vessels support the body's hardest-working organ. Investigate the flow of blood through the heart and explore solutions for heart disease. What factors can strengthen the health of your heart? Get a pulse on the inner workings of the heart and get involved in a heart concern that matters to you.

E19Period - 3New 2019!Ocean Crisis: Let's Clean Up Our Act!

Marine scientists estimate that over 5 trillion pieces of plastic currently litter the oceans due to humans dumping 8 million tons of plastic into the sea each year. That's 52 times the estimated number of stars in the Milky Way! Those whirlpools of junk, while killing off millions of ocean creatures, could soon cover half the planet's surface. Plastics give off chemicals that have negative effects on our health. Plastic-infected fish end on our dinner plates. What's to be done? Solutions include overhauling waste systems to keep plastics out of the seas, dredging plastic junk out of rivers and oceans, and no longer producing plastics, along with other innovative solutions. Cleaning up our oceans is a critical and highly complex problem. Come research the issues and current cleanup efforts and propose your own solutions.

E20Period - 4Code, Create, and Animate: Game Design 101

Have you ever wondered how the computer games you play are created? Learn the basics of computer programming for games through online applications designed to help students explore and create a computer game of their own. Learn to solve coding puzzles and use critical thinking skills to solve new challenges and missions using Scratch™. Put your imagination to work while creating a one-of-a-kind web game to share with your friends and family! (Scratch™ is developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab.) must bring a laptop and have access to an email account to participate in this course. Minimum laptop requirements:(1) A Windows 7 or later, ChromeOS, Mac OS Yosemite 10.10 or later, or Linux computer; (2) a version of Adobe Flash Player released on or after June 15, 2016; (3) a relatively recent web browser: one of the latest two versions of Chrome (Windows, ChromeOS, Mac or Linux), Firefox (Windows or Mac only), Safari (Mac only), Edge (Windows only), or Internet Explorer 11 (Windows only). If your computer doesn’t meet these requirements, you can try downloading and installing Scratch 1.4, which you can still use to share projects to the Scratch 2.0 website. For more information, please email Admissions at

J26Period - 1Algebra: Finding the X Factor

Have you ever had to adjust a cooking recipe to accommodate more guests than what the recipe was written for? When you proportionally changed the ingredients to match the servings, you were using algebra! Algebra is everywhere and used all around us. It's the foundational branch of math that explores fundamental mathematical concepts used in advanced level mathematics. Come reason with equations and inequalities, model and graph linear functions, and solve systems using polynomials and quadratic functions. Investigate real-world applications and apply your mathematical expertise to real-world problems. Prerequisite: Pre-Algebra; Student will need a standard calculator for the course (calculator feature on a mobile device is sufficient).

J29Period - 2New 2019!3, 2, 1…Blast Off Into Rocketry!Full, closed to further enrollment

Did you know that rockets are the oldest type of engines? They were originally invented by the Chinese around year 1200. Come learn about the scientific principles of aerodynamics, center of gravity, point of balance, apogee, drag, and thrust and apply them to rocket launch experiments using household chemicals. Use geometry and math problem solving strategies to calculate altitude and speed and build a parachute recovery system for your model rocket kit launches. Take your rocketry expertise to new heights as you use rocket engineering principles to propose solutions for the future of space exploration and aeronautical technology. (Material Fee: $50-Includes rocket kit.) Student will need a standard calculator (calculator feature on a mobile device is sufficient) and a laptop to participate in this course. Minimum laptop requirements:(1) a Windows 7 or later or Mac OS Yosemite 10.10; Chromebook or tablet computers are compatible. For more information, please email Admissions at Student must enroll by April 1, 2019.

J30Period - 4Engineering in Action

Ever wonder how chemical, mechanical, electrical, and civil engineers solve real world problems? Come learn basic engineering principles surrounding the stability of structures, buoyancy, heat phenomena, and electricity. Perhaps you will use your interest in scientific and mathematical principles to design towns, factories, toys, and other products that will enhance your life in the future, or maybe you will pursue one of the many great career opportunities that abound in engineering!

J32Period - 3New 2019!Cloning: Copycat Science

Dolly, the first mammal successfully cloned from an adult cell, brought science fiction to reality. Twenty-three years later, how has the miracle of Dolly advanced its heritage? The answer lies in the controversial applications of cloning technology in areas such as farming, medical science, pharmaceutical companies, and more. Explore how the science of cloning can offer solutions for human diseases through stem-cell research. Debate the legalities and ethics of cloning and the impact it has on challenges we face in society. What role can cloning, genetic modification, and genetic engineering play in solving global challenges? Propose your solution to challenging problems. Attain the previously unimaginable one gene at a time!

AR35Period - 4Theater Play(ages 5-8 only)

In this drama class, you will enjoy an introduction to the fantasy world created in the theater.  Examine various aspects of theater production, including taking on an acting role, analyzing a scene, designing a set, and performing for others.  Focus will be given to thinking on your feet, creating a stage presence and projecting a character.  Those who enjoy music and dance can incorporate these talents, as well. Demonstrate how theatrical you can be in front of a SIG audience! (Ages 5-8 only)

AR39Period - 2New 2019!Teamwork is the Goal! Full, closed to further enrollment (ages 9-12 only)

Are you looking for a fun outlet that helps you build confidence, good sportsmanship, and provides the exercise you need to be healthy? Look no further. Team games and activities can provide all these benefits and more. Use strategy and teamwork to make recreation enjoyable. Participate in your own field day events such as jump rope relays and obstacle courses, as well as various teambuilding activities. Enjoy working together with your peers, stimulate your mind and body in tackling the team challenge of the day. The ability to work well as a team can lead to success in business and personal aspects of life, so join in!

Academic Performance / Evaluations

The goals and expectations of the Summer Institute for the Gifted program are specifically designed and geared toward providing a richness of environment, accompanied by enhanced opportunities for learning. Parents receive a final Student Performance Review (SPR) that assesses personal accomplishments and attainment of goals. This report is available online shortly after the program ends and can be sent to the student’s school, with parental permission. A letter indicating successful student participation in, and completion of, the Summer Institute for the Gifted program also can be sent to the student’s school, if parents so indicate.

SIG Programs Provide...

Dynamic and innovative approaches for supplementing the education of our world's most gifted and talented students, ensuring that they receive the individual attention they require.

Select and go directly to
a specific program page.