summer gifted programs from The Grayson School

Students in grades K-12 are welcome to join us this summer for challenging, imaginative, fun courses and intensive workshops. Both in-person and online courses are led by Grayson faculty, who are trained and experienced in working with gifted students and creating a collaborative and nurturing environment. All courses run Monday through Friday for one week except where noted. Your child will thrive while exploring new areas of interest, building skills, and meeting new friends this summer.

Six weeks of summer gifted programming to choose from:

Week of June 14, 2021

Art Workshop

Instructor: Mr. Leon Williams
Ages 5-8
9:00 am-noon | $295

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

This art workshop summer program is designed to hone the students’ creativity with different mediums. They will be observing the work of famous artists and redesigning their art pieces. Students will also do art challenges using common materials to create sculptures, figurines and new characters, finger puppets, catapults, and more.

summer gifted programs in mathematics

Mathematical Games

Instructor: Mr. Derek Graves
Ages 9-13
12:30 pm-3:30 pm | $295

Location: Online

Some of the most fascinating games and activities that involve math are simple and fun, yet deeply complex if we dig deeper into their mathematical properties. Many of them are one-player games, such as Sudoku and the Taxman game. Others, such as Hakenbush, can be played by multiple players at once. There are even zero-player games, like John Conway’s famous “Game of Life.” In this course, we will explore these and many other mathematical games, investigating their underlying structure, understanding their mathematical properties, and discovering what makes them so engaging. Students will also have the opportunity to invent their own mathematical games and play them with their classmates! Pre-requisite: Algebra or a recommendation from an instructor.

Baking for Beginners

Instructor: Ms. Susan Pedersen
Ages 11-17
12:30 pm-3:30 pm | $249

Location: Online

Every baker starts somewhere; why not start here? This class will provide a hands-on introduction to the art and science of baking as we read recipes, discuss why baking soda and baking powder aren’t the same things, and learn why we really need to preheat the oven, and, of course, make and eat delicious baked goods. No baking experience is necessary to participate. Stand or handheld mixers are preferred but not required. Gluten-free bakers welcome. Note: families will need to purchase approximately $50 in baking supplies for this course.

summer gifted programs in electronics

Learning Electronics with Arduino

Instructor: Mr. Colin Tinsman
Ages 12-17
12:30 pm-3:30 pm | $349

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

Learn the basics of electronics with the help of the Arduino, a small device that allows your code to come alive on a circuit. Participants will learn how to program and control various circuits and spend the week focused on individual projects that may include circuit design, digital electronics, sensors, robotics or more. Limited programming experience is helpful but not mandatory. Students will take home their Arduino at the end of the week. Limited to 6 students.

Week of June 21, 2021

summer camp fairy tales

Fabulous Fairy Tales

Instructor: Ms. Elizabeth Kenepp
Ages 5-8
9:00 am-noon | $295

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

Not all fairy tales tell the same story. Campers will compare and contrast fairy tales as presented in popular Disney films and in literature. We will examine and critique the differences and similarities in the themes and details of the magical, imaginary beings and lands we are all familiar with. These classic tales are a great platform to increase reading comprehension and critical thinking. Must be able to read.

summer camp codebreaking course

Introduction to Code Breaking

Instructor: Ms. Meghan Vetter
Ages 7-10
9:00 am-noon | $295

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

In this interdisciplinary course, you will embark upon a historical and scientific journey of codebreaking. You will read selections of The Code Book: The Secrets Behind Codebreaking (1310L) by Simon Singh. Following the course text, we will decipher the historical importance of encryption and design Python codes to crack encryptions used throughout history. Finally, we will explore an unanswered question, is there an unbreakable code?

summer course in electronics

Learning Electronics with Arduino

Instructor: Mr. Michael Sizer
Ages 9-13
9:00 am-noon | $349

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

Learn the basics of building a circuit on a breadboard and programming an Arduino, a small device that allows your code to come alive on a circuit. Participants will learn how to program and control circuits with LEDs, speakers, motors, and sensors. Program an LCD screen to make custom emojis, create LED light shows, use a motion detector, create a music visualizer, write digital music, control robots, and much more! This camp will teach you the foundational skills needed to make an endless number of electronic systems using the Arduino you will take home at the end of the week. No prior knowledge of coding or circuit building is required. Limited to six students.

So, you think you can count!

Instructor: Mr. Derek Graves
Ages 11-15
12:30 pm-3:30 pm | $295

Location: Online

‘Combinatorics’ is the fancy mathematical word for counting—but not the counting that you may be thinking of. Knowing that one comes after two is indeed important, but the mathematicians who study combinatorics are interested in knowing much more than just which number comes next. They seek to answer and understand questions such as the following: How many unique ways are there to seat n people around a circular table? A seating arrangement is considered unique if and only if it cannot be rotated to obtain another arrangement. In this course, we will explore core ideas and theorems in combinatorics: the Pigeon-hole Principle, permutations, a mathematical sieve, and so much more. We’ll solve famous problems—and some not-so-famous ones, too. If you enjoy a mathematical challenge, this course is definitely for you!

summer camp codebreaking course

Introduction to Codebreaking

Instructor: Ms. Meghan Vetter
Ages 11-15
12:30 pm-3:30 pm | $295

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

In this interdisciplinary course, you will embark upon a historical and scientific journey of codebreaking. You will read selections of The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography by Simon Singh. Following the course text, we will decipher the historical importance of encryption and design Python codes to crack encryptions used throughout history. Finally, we will explore an unanswered question, is there an unbreakable code?

Advanced Baking: Pastry

Instructor: Ms. Susan Pedersen
Ages 11-17
9:00 am-noon | $249

Location: Online

Pastry gets a bad rap in the baking world. It’s fussy and doesn’t always seem worth the time, especially given the wide availability of frozen pastry bases. But what we can achieve with a little extra time and effort, a rolling pin, and some good butter is about as close to magic as you can get without special effects. This class will demystify pastry for students as we venture from pie crust to puff pastry, Danish to pâte à choux. You should have a working knowledge of simple baking techniques to participate. Stand or handheld mixers not required. Gluten-free bakers welcome. Families will need to purchase approximately $50 worth of baking supplies for this course.

En Plein Air

Instructor: Mr. Leon Williams
Ages 12-17
9:00 am-noon | $295

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

We are taking our art class outdoors! Experience drawing and painting outdoors and be a part of the landscape you will create, capturing the light, colors, and movement around you. You will gain a greater understanding of composition, perspective, and realistic landscape drawing from various views on our school campus.

College Application Boot Camp

Instructors: Ms. Meredith Hafer and Dr. Liz Braun
Rising 12th graders
12:30 pm-3:30 pm | $295

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

This individualized course is designed to provide rising seniors with the inspiration and guidance they need to tackle their college applications. Whether they are crafting their personal statements, drafting their supplements, or finalizing their portfolios, students will learn the strategies they need to present an authentic, compelling portrait to college admissions teams.

Week of June 28, 2021

Villainous Villains

Instructor: Ms. Elizabeth Kenepp
Ages 5-8
9:00 am-noon | $295

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

Students will compare and contrast villains throughout Pixar and Disney films. We will engage our critical thinking skills to investigate these villains’ morals and representations and find correlations in the world around us. Campers will create their own villain and story to present to the class at the conclusion of our week together. Must be able to read.

Comic Art

Instructor: Mr. Leon Williams
Ages 9-13
12:30 pm-3:30 pm | $295

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

Our comic art course will build upon the students’ understanding of art fundamentals and composition through creating graphic narratives and storyboarding. Students will be prompted to create and develop their own original characters, stories, and adventures through the comic book style. They will begin the class by focusing on world-building as they create a setting, arc, and background for their character’s story. Students will also organize their ideas on how to combine pictures, captions, and dialogue to tell about a specific event or convey a message. Students should have access to at least one comic book and be familiar with comic book illustration.

Advanced Baking: Yeast

Instructor: Ms. Susan Pedersen
Ages 11-17
9:00 am-noon | $249

Location: Online

Nearly everyone has a quarantine bread baking story. Find out why making bread is so satisfying and write your own during this weeklong intensive in which we’ll explore the mysteries of yeast, fermentation, kneading, proofing, and baking and turn out truly exquisite loaves. You should have a working knowledge of simple baking techniques to participate. Stand mixers are required. This course is not suitable for gluten-free bakers. Families will need to purchase approximately $50 of baking supplies before the course begins.

Forensic Science Investigations

Instructor: Mr. Michael Sizer
Ages 12-17
12:30 pm-3:30pm | $325

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

Participants will be introduced to the world of forensic science and will take a behind-the-scenes look at criminal investigations and uncover a series of “who done it” combining chemistry and biological current forensic techniques. Using molecular biology, campers will examine DNA and blood left behind at the crime scene to ID the culprit. Participants will learn how to perform DNA fingerprinting, test for blood types, lift fingerprints, identify unknown substances, test for the presence of drugs, perform a dissection, and more! Campers will learn the importance of collecting evidence that will help prove a person’s guilt or innocence and test their skills by solving mock crimes. A basic understanding of molecular biology and chemistry is recommended. A passion for science is required!

Character Creation and Development

Instructors: Ms. Ally O’Rourke-Barrett and Ms. Kayla McFalls
Ages 12-17
12:30 pm-3:30 pm | $295

Location: Online

Characters are an essential part of what makes up creative work. In the course, you will learn how to come up with the concept for a character, give them a strong design that reflects who they are, and learn other details to show their personality and growth during a story. These are creative techniques for generating ideas, which can be applied to any medium. Whether you work with comics, short stories, novels, scriptwriting, or any other medium, you can apply the lessons from this course to your work. This course can help a beginner start on their first character, or give experienced creators more advanced tools to use in their work. All skill levels can benefit from taking this course.

Big Picture Environmental Solutions

Instructor: Mr. Nico Farrell
Ages 12-17
12:30 pm-3:30 pm | $295

Location: Online

Big challenges require big solutions, and there are plenty of big problems to solve right now, from a shifting climate and habitat loss to economic incentives that make it hard to preserve ecosystems. So, let’s think big! This course will introduce some big solutions, and will heartily invite you to share your own. We’ll try to figure out which ideas can work, which ones don’t work yet but might in the future, and which ones have big drawbacks – but could be good anyway! What if humanity used resources from space? How can we arrange society? What if our cities were much bigger, or much smaller, or powered by nuclear energy? Can we build bridges for wildlife over highways that cut through forests? (some enterprising places have tried this, including several U.S. states and Canada!) Can we power cars with solar panels? (Well, it depends on what you mean.) Can we bring back species that are extinct in the wild? All your big ideas are at home here.

Week of July 12, 2021

summer gifted programming

Percy Jackson Mythology: Fact and Fiction

Instructor: Ms. Elizabeth Kenepp
Ages 7-10
9:00 am-noon | $295

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

We will read and discuss passages from the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan and compare these modern-day hero adventures with mythological antecedents. We will discuss the idea of oral history versus written history and the evolution of a true story into an incredible legend throughout time. This will be a fun way to build reading comprehension, language, history, and critical thinking skills.

Imagination Engineering

Instructor: Mr. Leon Williams
Ages 7-10
12:30 pm-3:30 pm | $295

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

Children who love art and engineering will love building with LEGO and other 3-D construction materials to design and create their own universe, build marble tracks, mazes, and more. Who knows what your child will invent as they channel their inner Rube Goldberg!  Children will be inside and outside in our playspace for both engineering projects as well as daily free and guided play. Please note: a group field trip to The Gravity Vault in Radnor on Wednesday, June 24 will require permission slips in order for your child to participate.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever?

Instructor: Ms. Meghan Vetter
Ages 9-13
9:00 am-noon | $295

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

Together we will quest to gather information amateur bakers have been needing to know for centuries. Does the butter really need to be room temperature? Can’t I save time and mix all the ingredients in the same bowl? Is sifting really necessary? We will bake chocolate chip cookies and determine the dos and don’ts of baking. Plus, we’ll get to sample (and share) some pretty tasty treats throughout the week.

summer gifted programming

Forensic Science Investigations

Instructor: Mr. Michael Sizer
Ages 12-17
9:00 am-noon | $325

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

Participants will be introduced to the world of forensic science and will take a behind-the-scenes look at criminal investigations and uncover a series of “who done it” combining chemistry and biological current forensic techniques. Using molecular biology, campers will examine DNA and blood left behind at the crime scene to ID the culprit. Participants will learn how to perform DNA fingerprinting, test for blood types, lift fingerprints, identify unknown substances, test for the presence of drugs, perform a dissection, and more! Campers will learn the importance of collecting evidence that will help prove a person’s guilt or innocence and test their skills by solving mock crimes. A basic understanding of molecular biology and chemistry is recommended. A passion for science is required!

Do-it-Yourself Week

Instructor: Ms. Mary Lyon
Ages 12-17
12:30 pm-3:30 pm | $295

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

This week students practice their DIY skills! During this camp, students will be guided through several DIY projects with tons of room for creative expression! Each day students participate with real materials, real tools, and real chances at upcycling materials as they bring their ideas to life. Students must conduct themselves in a safe and responsible manner.

Venturing Club

Instructor: Mr. Jake Noonan
Ages 14-17
12:30 pm-3:30 pm | $325

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

Venture outdoors this week with short hikes and trail building, tracking, and foraging in the woods on our campus. We’ll take the field to play commandos: capture the flag, and spend a morning rock climbing at Gravity Vault Radnor (permission slip required). You’ll learn outdoor etiquette, fire building and safety, and even do some outdoor cooking.

Week of July 19, 2021

summer camp fairy tales

Fabulous Fairy Tales

Instructor: Ms. Elizabeth Kenepp
Ages 5-8
9:00 am-noon | $295

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

Not all fairy tales tell the same story. Campers will compare and contrast fairy tales as presented in popular Disney films and in literature. We will examine and critique the differences and similarities in the themes and details of the magical, imaginary beings and lands we are all familiar with. These classic tales are a great platform to increase reading comprehension and critical thinking. Must be able to read.

Percy Jackson Mythology: Fact and Fiction

Instructor: Ms. Elizabeth Kenepp
Ages 7-10
12:30 pm-3:30 pm | $295

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

We will read and discuss passages from the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan and compare these modern-day hero adventures with mythological antecedents. We will discuss the idea of oral history versus written history and the evolution of a true story into an incredible legend throughout time. This will be a fun way to build reading comprehension, language, history, and critical thinking skills.

Being gifted all the time has as many facets as a mosaic

Animal Illustration

Instructor: Mr. Leon Williams
Ages 9-13
9:00 am-noon | $295

Location: Online

Does your child have an affinity for drawing animals? We will spend the week illustrating different species from various habitats and environments around the world. We will also get creative with Animorphs, animal-human role reversal drawings, and new animal hybrids, plus a bit of cartooning this summer – all online from your home. Students are asked to have pictures, photos, or printouts of their favorite animals or pets for reference to draw. Pre-requisites: an understanding of basic drawing.

Thinking Scientifically: Beautifully Disagreeing and/or Messily Collaborating

Instructor: Mr. Nico Farrell
Ages 12-17
12:30 pm-3:30 pm | $295

Location: Online

What DOES it mean to think scientifically? Do you think it’s about being evidence-based? Being consistent with established theories? Making testable predictions? How do you prioritize multiple goals? We’ll look at what happens when a new model explains nature more simply, but makes slightly less accurate predictions (as with very early heliocentric models of the solar system), and when experiments suggest a theory is mainly right, but the magnitude is off (as with early tests of Einstein’s theories of relativity). These questions are important not just for scientists but for everyone navigating this world who might be unsure what “follow the science” means in reality. How do we make decisions in areas of genuine scientific uncertainty, and how do we tell when there’s truly a scientific consensus? We’ll have lively discussions as we look at examples of how scientists, philosophers, and students discover and improve upon systems of scientific thought in the past and present.

Research Writing Intensive (2 Weeks)

Instructor: Ms. Susan Pedersen
Ages 14-17
12:30 pm-3:30 pm | $589

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

The prospect of writing a research paper strikes fear in many a high school student’s bones. Questions abound–How do I find reliable sources? What’s a thesis statement? Do I have to have so many supporting paragraphs? Why do I need a bibliography?–and answers always seem like they were written by a robot. In reality, the process can be very rewarding, if not always straightforward. In this two-week intensive, we’ll take a short paper from research through to final draft so students can approach their future assignments with confidence!

Week of July 26, 2021

Percy Jackson Mythology: Fact and Fiction

Instructor: Ms. Elizabeth Kenepp
Ages 7-10
9:00 am-noon | $295

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

We will read and discuss passages from the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan and compare these modern-day hero adventures with mythological antecedents. We will discuss the idea of oral history versus written history and the evolution of a true story into an incredible legend throughout time. This will be a fun way to build reading comprehension, language, history, and critical thinking skills.

summer course in electronics

Learning Electronics with Arduino

Instructor: Mr. Michael Sizer
Ages 9-13
12:30 pm – 3:30 pm | $349

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

Learn the basics of building a circuit on a breadboard and programming an Arduino, a small device that allows your code to come alive on a circuit. Participants will learn how to program and control circuits with LEDs, speakers, motors, and sensors. Program an LCD screen to make custom emojis, create LED light shows, use a motion detector, create a music visualizer, write digital music, control robots, and much more! This camp will teach you the foundational skills needed to make an endless number of electronic systems using the Arduino you will take home at the end of the week. No prior knowledge of coding or circuit building is required. Limited to six students.

Visual Concepts and Conceptual Art

Instructor: Mr. Leon Williams
Ages 11-17
12:30 pm-3:30 pm | $295

Location: The Grayson School, Radnor, PA

American conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth defines his work as “an enquiry into the foundations of the concept ‘art’.” Challenge your creative thinking this summer by effectively realizing new avenues of expression through your own art. We’ll brainstorm thoughts and ideas and develop both a narrative and symbolic representation of your concept that may humor, delight, or confuse the viewer, but will also leave them thinking.

The (Not=So-Secret) Secrets of Polling and Statistics

Instructor: Mr. Nico Farrell
Ages 12-17
12:30 pm-3:30 pm | $295

Location: Online

How can you tell when a statistic about “what people think” is worth paying attention to? How can you design surveys for the “gold standard” of reliability, and how can you spot when they’re designed to mislead you? Can you really use the statistical “Benford’s law” to detect fraudulent elections? (Not quite, but you can use it to detect all sorts of other fake data.) We’ll dive into this strange and fascinating world of trying to find out the truth about what people think, how they vote, and what this tells us about the good and bad ways we can interpret and use statistics in our everyday lives. Some familiarity with basic statistical concepts like the bell curve and margin of error is recommended.

For in-person participants:

  • No snacks are provided. You are encouraged to pack 1-2 snacks as needed. There are limited options available in our vending machine. Each student should also have a water bottle as our drinking fountains are currently set for bottle fill only. Please be mindful that we are a nut-free school.
  • Everyone will spend some time outdoors and ask that students arrive with sunscreen applied and wearing closed-toe sandals or shoes; please pack sunscreen for reapplication during the day if you are attending a primarily outdoor session.
  • Any student new to Grayson must provide a completed liability waiver, media release, and sunscreen form before your session begins. Documents can be downloaded at the links with signed copies returned to Jessica Curtiss. A  Field Trip Permission Slip is also required for participants in Venturing Club the week of July 12.

For online participants:

  • Zoom links for all classes will be sent in advance of your class session, along with a list of necessary materials and information.
  • Before your session begins, any student new to Grayson must provide a completed liability waiver and media release form. Documents can be downloaded at the links with signed copies returned to Jessica Curtiss by the beginning of your session.

We are here to help!

Please reach out to Jessica Curtiss with questions on any aspect of our summer program or to inquire about financial aid.