May 1: Deadline for Summer Institute for Gifted

March 9, 2012


Summer may be a time when many students leave the university, but campus remains abuzz with DDCE programs for scholars of all ages. The Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG), co-sponsored by the DDCE, allows intellectually advanced students ages 6-17 to pack three weeks of intensive learning into their vacations.

Applications are now being accepted for two 2012 Summer Institute for the Gifted Programs: a residential program offered for students ages 9 to 17 (July 8-28) and a day program for students ages 5-8 (July 9-27).

SIG kids

Former UT Elementary School students Christopher Soremekun and Sage Walton had the opportunity to experience the SIG residential program during the summer of 2011.

For rising sixth graders Christopher Soremekun and Sage Walton, both from UT Elementary School, the 2011 SIG offered a fast-paced learning environment in which they could unleash their imaginative minds. “Every single period, it feels like a day has passed,” said Soremekun. “What I’m really amazed about is that they can find how to put a day’s worth of learning into one hour.”

In an atmosphere that is like college for more reasons than the on-campus location, the students are given independence, write their own objectives at the beginning of each course, and design individual final projects. On the syllabus are courses such as “Laugh Tracks” (a history of comedy), “Gaming through the Centuries,” script-writing, and digital photography. In “Spying, Secrets, Surveillance and Science,” Soremekun designed a gender-swapping persona whose secret weapon was bullet-proof bubble gum for his final project.

The students are graded based on how well their projects fulfill their objectives. “I was told that if you reach your objective by the end of the course, then it’s probably a guarantee to pass,” said Soremekun. “But you have to have challenging objectives,” he quickly added.

Walton had difficulty deciding whether SIG counted as school or not. Although she went to classes, had to complete projects, and got grades, she concluded: “Here it’s not like school because you just get to do all these cool things that wouldn’t really happen in school.”

The application deadline for U.S. students is May 1, 2012. The deadline for international students is April 15, 2012. UT faculty and staff get 5 percent discount off the program fee. For more information, call (866) 303-4744, or to find out more about the program, including fees and how to apply visit: For general questions please contact: Sherry Reddick, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, 512.232.4713,

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