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WATCH: ASMSA to host summer camp

by John Anderson | April 7, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.
Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts recently announced its summer camp program, “Rising Sophomores Across Arkansas.” - Photo by John Anderson of The Sentinel-Record

Ninth-graders who are part of the Class of 2024 and Arkansas residents are eligible to participate in a summer program hosted by the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts.

The program -- "Rising Sophomores Across Arkansas" -- will be held June 27 through July 2 and, according to Director Corey Alderdice, it will be beneficial not only for students' learning but for the school's future enrollment.

"We certainly felt the missing piece last summer by not being able to hold camps in person. That opportunity for enrichment over the summer is not only a great learning opportunity for students, but it's also an important point of entry to our admissions pipeline each year, where some families may be hesitant about what a 10-month ASMSA experience looks like," Alderdice said.

"Spending one week on campus, not only with our incredibly talented faculty but also living and learning alongside other students from across the state who are equally excited about these subjects, is a really great starting point for what it's like to be a part of this community of learning," he said.

One of the reasons why ASMSA offers summer programs is because of its dual mission not only to offer the residential experience during the academic year but through a variety of programming to expand learning opportunities across the state.

The program will offer the following four topics: Studio Art Camp; Biomedical Sciences Summer Institute; Entrepreneurship and Innovation Bootcamp; and Computer Science Camp.

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During Studio Art Camp, students will build their portfolios and learn more about the arts.

Students who participate in the Biomedical Sciences Summer Institute will tackle topics such as forensic crime scene analysis and microbial biochemical identification tests in a hands-on environment.

"For years, Arkansas has helped to underwrite summer programs for talented young people, and to be able to offer authentic research experiences in biomedical topics is a really great way to help students begin to envision themselves not just as students but as emerging scholars," Alderdice said.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Bootcamp will explore the topics of principles of design thinking, rapid product development, identifying product/market fit, and business model development.

During Computer Science Camp, students will have the opportunity to work with ASMSA instructors "on projects spanning robotics, computer graphics, animation, cybersecurity, and embedded systems," according to a news release.

"With the state's continued interest in computer science, it's encouraging to see how young people are getting a first introduction to the subject," Alderdice said.

"Even in that one week, on-campus, faculty are really able to dive into a lot of different and novel topics and really help students push the boundaries on what computer science can be; more than just writing simple lines of code," he said.

A benefit for students of participating in the summer camp programs is the chance to be around other intellectually curious peers from across the state. The camps are residential in nature, so they are not limited just to students in Hot Springs or even central Arkansas.

The camps will allow ASMSA to provide outreach to young people in communities where they don't have access to quality programming and community organizations that students in Hot Springs have throughout the summer, the release said.

Selection for all camps is competitive. The deadline for applications is Friday, but applications will be accepted until all spots are filled.

For the application process, students must submit biographic and school information; answers to two short essay questions; a transcript with unweighted GPA; any standardized test scores such as ACT-ASPIRE, PLAN, PSAT, ACT, SAT, etc.; and a brief recommendation from a teacher, counselor, or principal.

For more information and to begin the application process, visit


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