Enrollment for Summer Accelerator reached a high of 317 students in 2016, including these Early Accelerator middle school participants.
Accelerator, the summer enrichment program that extends NCSSM’s innovation and resources to students across North Carolina and across the globe, continues to grow. The high school progam reached 100 percent capacity this summer, its third season, while Early Accelerator, for middle school students, reached 85 percent capacity in its second year. The breadth and number of courses continues to grow, expanding into more humanities-based topics such as Samurai to Anime: A Study of Japanese Taste.
Jen Hill, summer programs coordinator, noted that the program continues to improve its systems and offerings as it matures. “We offered more afternoon and evening activities, including the development of an escape room used by other programs and break-out boxes that will be used throughout the school year by our students,” Hill says. “We brought wildlife and magic to campus, featured visits from local artists and physicists, and augmented the reality of campus before Pokeman Go was released.” A scheduling app, Sched, allowed students to choose their own adventure while streamlining the coordination work of counselors and student life instructors.
Summer Accelerator employed 11 NCSSM faculty, 7 NCSSM staff, 10 NCSSM alumni, and 10 outside instructors and counselors this past summer for three sessions of Accelerator and three sessions of Early Accelerator. In partnership with ENC STEM, a grant-funded program, Accelerator also provided a week’s programming for 70 students from five underserved school districts in the northeastern North Carolina.