Through our wide variety of Summer Camps, students can explore math, a variety of sciences, history, finance, ecology, and creative expression.

NOTE: Several of our camp sessions have filled. If you would like to be on a wait list for a full camp, please contact our office at (314) 962-5920.

Our six weeks of summer academies programs are subdivided into three two-week sessions for children completing kindergarten through eighth grade. The two-week timeframe is purposefully designed to give students the time necessary to dig deeply into subjects of interest.

Camps include Jr. Science Searchers; Math Marvels & More; Academy Americana; ECO Academy; Ancient Academy; GRC’s Space & Advanced Space Academy; Novel Engineering; Stop Motion Animation; Animal Academy, and two brand-new camps – Creative Writing Academy and Enviro-Academy.

Engaged, hands-on learning is emphasized. Campers also have P.T. (physical training) with activities that also pull from their curriculum, as well as daily recess.

Students do not have to be in their schools’ gifted program to participate. However, there is an application process, and we look at standardized test scores (or a recent report card) as well as a teacher recommendation.

You may download our brochure for complete information or keep reading.

Summer Academies 2024

Summer Academies Days/Times:
Monday – Friday  9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Summer Academies Location:
Wydown Middle School, 6500 Wydown 63105

Summer Academies Tuition & Payment:
Tuition for each 2-week session is $540 for most camps and $550 for Space. Early bird registration (before Jan. 28) is $515 or $525 for Space.

Things to Know
  • Definitely not! All bright and talented students enjoy our programs.

  • No! We do challenge kids academically, but GRC is known for engaging children in hands-on activities and encouraging friendships among like-minded peers. Physical activity and recess are part of every day’s schedule.

  • Yes! Before Care is 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. and costs $95/session. After Care is 3:30 – 5:30 and costs $125/session.

  • A non-refrigerated lunch (with drink) and a willingness to learn and have fun! We strongly discourage electronic devices.

  • Limited tuition aid is available, based on need. Contact the GRC office for more details or download the application.

  • If a camper withdraws before May 10, 2024, fees are refundable except $25 application fee. Between May 10 and June 10, 50% of fees may be refunded. No refunds are made after camp starts on June 10.  Special circumstances, like medical emergencies, will be considered. Payment must be made in full before the first day of camp

  • Every child gets a GRC camp t-shirt (and can buy an extra for $10 if desired).

    Pictures will be taken during Summer Academies, and may be used for promotional purposes. If you do not want your child’s photo used, please contact the office in writing before the start of camp.

“I wish we could do all three sessions because it is the best thing we do all summer.”

Summer Academies Schedule
Summer 2024

Session 1:  June 10 – 21

(No camp on June 19)

  • Math, Marvels & More FULL
    (Entering Grades 1 – 3)
  • Stop Motion Animation FULL
    (Entering Grades 2 – 3)
  • ECO Academy
    (Entering Grades 4 – 9)
  • Animal Academy FULL
    (Entering Grades 4 – 9)
  • Creative Writing Academy FULL
    (Entering Grades 5 – 9)
Session 2:  June 24 – July 5

(No camp on July 4)

  • Jr. Science Searchers – FULL
    (Entering Grade 1)
  • Enviro-Academy FULL
    (Entering Grades 2 – 3)
  • GRC’s Space Academy
    (Entering Grades 2 – 9)
  • Stop Motion Animation FULL
    (Entering Grades 4 – 5)
  • Ancient Academy
    (Entering Grades 4 – 9)
Session 3: July 8 – 19
  • Jr. Science Searchers FULL
    (Entering Grade 1)
  • Academy Americana
    (Entering Grades 2 – 4)
  • GRC’s Space Academy – FULL for entering 4th-9th
    (Entering Grades 2 – 9)
  • Novel Engineering– FULL
    (Entering Grades 2 – 3)
  • Ancient Academy
    (Entering Grades 4 – 9)
“They're very excited! It's the ONE camp they really want to go to every year.”

Summer Academies Descriptions
Summer 2024

Camps offer new themes and activities each year. For example, students who attended Space Academy last year can come back this summer for all new material! Some students take the “same camp” 3 or 4 years in a row, with fresh curriculum each summer.

Session 1: June 10 – June 21 (no camp on June 19)

  • Can you count without numbers or calculate without place value? Have you ever made and interpreted a Peruvian quipu or added in Babylonian? How would you do math without a zero? Math didn’t just happen; it had to be invented. Match wits with the ancients as we explore number systems from all corners (and time periods) of the globe.

    Snow in the summertime? Fossilized raindrops? Chemical reactions with water? Discover what can creep up the side of a glass, create its own drops, rise above the rim of a glass without spilling, and expand as it freezes. We’ll explore the science in chromatography, surface tension, adhesion, cohesion, and more – all measuring up to FUN!

    Get creative with some of the math and science concepts you’re learning! Design sea monsters for our nautical seascape! Make bubble art. Investigate how famous artists used math. All the while, looking for the answer to the ultimate life question: How do you fit inside a bubble?

    An electrifying two weeks of high-wattage fun! (Students will be divided into age-appropriate groups, with curriculum adjusted accordingly).

  • Directing, storytelling, building, editing, designing! In this high-energy, hands-on camp, you’ll use all these skills to create your own mini movies using stop motion animation and iPads. We’ll start off using LEGOS and then step it up to using Play Dough or actual people. You’ll create characters, props, scenery & sound effects! Add in your own music or voice. We’ll also watch clips of different styles of stop motion animation for inspiration and to see how the pros do it. Explore your creativity while learning technical skills! The grand finale will be a mini film festival to premiere everyone’s creations.

  • Create your own sustainable pop-up business! Look at everyday products and their carbon footprints. How can companies minimize this? What about your own? Handle all the real-world aspects of this camp’s pop-up business: finance, sales, marketing & production. Learn about the effects of your product on the environment. How can we lessen those? What are low-impact ways to create a high-impact product? Examine cash flow and stock distributions (and play the Stock Market Game!). What will your sustainable business model look like? Create a website to advertise and sell your product. Find environmentally friendly ways to package and distribute. Scientific inquiry, advertising art, decision-making skills, financial and mathematical interests—bring any and all of these talents to ECO Academy!

  • This year we’ll be continuing our deep dive into all things animal, with some new twists and turns! From simple questions like what animals we like and why, we’ll look at how petkeeping has evolved over time, and what draws humans to animals – and which ones! Are there safe, sustainable ways to bring nature into your home? You’ll build a pint-size terrarium to keep (as well as explore examples of how to build fish tanks and vivariums). How do our decisions as humans impact the planet and animal life? What could we do differently? Is there a cost if things remain the same? We’ll look at the Association of Zoos & Aquariums sustainable breeding programs: how do we ensure wildlife is here for generations to come? We’ll get out into the environment as well with nature walks and hopefully a field trip or two to Missouri State Parks.

  • WANTED: Book lovers.  Creative writers.  Dig deep into your imagination and experiences to create stories. Learn how to plan out your writing, and develop your characters. Learn about different kinds of poetry and read and create a variety of poems. Participate in a poetry slam to celebrate each camper’s writing. We will also celebrate diversity in literature, investigating authors (and their characters!) from many different backgrounds, abilities, and experiences, using read alouds and multi-media experiences. Learn what led these amazing authors to write and where they get their inspirations. Learn about the importance of a writing community and supporting each other to produce the best writing you can. Put your imagination in print!

Session 2: June 24 – July 5 (no camp on July 4)

  • Don your paleontologist hat for dinosaur explorations! Hatch a dinosaur egg, while considering carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. Explore continental drift. Construct fossils and explore body types and teeth structures of dinosaurs. How did they evolve in the different geologic periods? How did their bodies change from fish-like creatures to a tyrannosaurus rex? What made them all extinct? Then join the ‘safari’ as we locate tropical rainforests on a map. Why is the rainforest important? How do plants, as well as animals like monkeys, bats and frogs, survive? Make your own tropical spice blend. What other rainforest resources do we use every day? Lots of hands-on activities and projects.

  • A brand new camp! This year, we’ll look at how trees communicate? What exactly do birds feed their hatchlings? In what ways do trees support birds? Discover the answers to these and other questions about our feathered friends and arboreal neighbors. We’ll also create our own GRC herbarium specimens, make urban bird nests, and chart which birds frequent our camp bird feeder. Be prepared to spend some time outside every morning and find out how we all can support the trees and birds in our sub/urban environment and why it is important to us humans to make sure that the birds and the trees survive and thrive.

  • How does one build the world’s largest empire? Raid, subjugate and collect taxes, of course! Campers will investigate the rise of Mongol leader Ghengis Khan, as he united nomadic tribes and conquered large swaths of Asia and China. What sort of battle strategies were used? Build a shield or saddle! Create a war banner. The (in)famous battle game from last summer will return as countries fight for domination. We’ll look at daily life, build a yurt, and put on a play! (No camp on July 4.)

  • When we think of space exploration, we often think of names like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. But what invaluable contributions to space science do less well-known people make? We’ll take a look at trailblazing black women like Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – the women of Hidden Figures. Who will be on the launch pad for Artemis – the U.S.’s most diverse crew ever? Did you know that NASA plans to send the first woman and the first person of color to the moon? Design your own space suit or structures for the Artemis crews to survive on the moon. And of course, it wouldn’t be Space Academy without creating/coding some LEGO robots, and building/launching model rockets! (Students will be divided into smaller groups by grade, and curriculum adjusted accordingly. Advanced Space Academy will be for students entering grades 7 – 9 in Fall 2024.)

  • We’ll cover the basics of stop motion animation techniques and then dive deeper into directing, storytelling, building, editing, and designing! There will be daily challenges to learn different techniques to incorporate into one final film complete with a full story, dialogue, main characters, etc. The grand finale will be a mini film festival to premiere everyone’s creations. If you were in the younger class last summer, come back and build on your skills, learn more advanced techniques, and create more complex movies! And if you weren’t, we’ll quickly get you caught up and making movies.

Session 3: July 8 – 19

  • Plunge into the mysteries of the ocean. Meet sea animals, large and small, friendly and dangerous. How do their babies live? Make edible aquariums. How is a coral reef like a giant apartment building? Clean up a mini oil spill and find out how we can protect the ocean. Then explore the sun, moon, planets and stars! Create a replica of the surface of the moon. Look at its sea, volcanoes and Apollo landings, and build your own miniature ‘moon rover.’ How far can you jump on the moon? Calculate your weight on other planets. Harness the energy of the sun in your solar oven to roast toasty marshmallows.

  • Grab your gear, whittle down your stock, and get ready: We’re heading west! Use an authentic packing list from the 1800s, and pack your own “Conestoga wagon.” What games will you play on the trail? Will you make it to Oregon or die of dysentery? What if you already lived out west? What was your life and culture like? From trailblazing to homesteading, experience pioneer living and make butter, toys, quilts, and crafts. Be part of the Gold Rush: Will you strike it rich? Explore the diaries of pioneers like Lewis and Clark and their guide, Sacagawea. Will their journals give us clues as we try modern-day geocaching? Explore fables and legends of the 1800s and examine the consequences of America’s westward expansion. Seek your fortune on the frontier!

  • Stories & Structures! Dialogue & Design! Plans & Plots! Like to read? Like to build? In this high-touch, hands-on camp you’ll read a broad range of texts and identify problems that characters face. You’ll brainstorm solutions based on the character’s needs and constraints of the text. Then work with your team to design and build realistic solutions for the characters to use. But you’re not finished! Test your solution, then refine it to make it even better! Collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking are key elements. Problem solve with your favorite characters in this “novel” summer camp! Did you take this last summer? Come on back – we’ll have new stories and some new materials to work with. (Novel Engineering is an approach originally developed by Tufts University to teach students the engineering process and link it to problems to fix, all through engaging literature.)

  • With both a total and an annular eclipse of the sun this year (what’s the difference anyway?), we’ll focus on the sun and the moon this summer. We’ll dive deep into types of eclipses and orbits and build eclipse models. We’ll also learn about umbral cones, paths of totality, when eclipses occur and what syzygy means! We’ll examine sunspots and the surprising effects of solar activity here on Earth. Recreate a retroreflector experiment left on the moon by Apollo 11 astronauts, which has taught us that the moon is slowly moving away from the earth. We’ll take a look at eclipse stories from different cultures. And of course, it wouldn’t be Space Academy without creating/coding some LEGO robots, and building/launching model rockets! (Students will be divided into smaller groups by grade, and curriculum adjusted accordingly. Advanced Space Academy will be for students entering grades 7 – 9 in Fall 2024.)

  • Ghengis Khan died in 1227, but the Mongolian Empire he started creating lived on. From a period of unity to one of separate empires, what did the Mongol world look like post-Khan? How did his successors rule and fight? What role did horses play? What are the lasting achievements of the Mongols? And are they remembered as heroes or villains? The battle game will continue and we’ll add in a trade and expansion game. Choose your own Mongol adventure with “Obey Me or Die.” And we’ll celebrate the session’s close with a Mongolian feast!

Young girl outside at Summer Academies
“Every day on the car ride home and during dinner, the kids would talk about all the interesting things they learned about at camp that day. It has certainly been an enriching and fun experience for them. They are already asking about next summer!”

Summer Academies 2024 Registration

GRC members have priority registration through January 19 (non-members may register now and your applications will be processed in order after January 19). You also have the option to become a member when you register.

Early bird registration discounts will run through January 28.

Laura Falk, M.Ed.

Executive Director

Laura brings more than 25 years of experience in the education and nonprofit sectors. Laura has worked in public and independent schools for almost 20 years, as well as nine years in nonprofit organizations. She has bachelors degrees in English and Theatre from Vanderbilt University and her masters in education from Southern Oregon University.

“As someone involved in education and organizations serving youth for my entire professional career, I particularly understand the importance of programs that address the needs and challenges of bright and talented children, as well as for their parents and teachers.”

She goes on to say, “Both my sons greatly enjoyed Equations competitions, and my younger son also participated in Creative Convention, Saturday Learning Labs, and Summer Academies. So I have seen—both as a parent and an educator—what a powerful presence GRC provides to bright and gifted students in the community..”

Outside of work, Laura can be found hiking, quilting, reading and doing word puzzles.

Megan Barr

Office Manager

Megan provides the delightful voice on the phone when someone calls GRC. She’s also a whiz with spreadsheets and databases and keeps the logistics side of the office humming. Her previous experience includes work as a technology trainer and administrative assistant at NESI, and the UMSL Computer Education and Training Center. Outside of work, Megan is a writer, crafter, and keeper of two wonderful cats, Loki and Freya.

Megan Barr

Marla Dell


Marla is GRC’s keeper of all things financial since 1995. Marla also provides the institutional knowledge in our tiny office, as she’s been involved with GRC since her son was a participant. Marla won the Gifted Association of Missouri 2001 Parent Award for her contributions to gifted education in Missouri. Marla can also often be found volunteering at her church, gardening, and playing with her new kitten Bubba.

Gifted Resource Council blue star

Stock Gifts

Contact your financial advisor and provide the information below to ensure a quick and accurate transfer of funds:

  • GRC’s broker: First Clearing Corp., Wells Fargo Advisors
  • D.T.C. #: 0141
  • Account #: 5580-7980
  • Account Name: Gifted Resource Council
  • Contact Name: Ray Palmer
  • Phone: 636-530-3401

Notify GRC of your intent to make a gift of stock, with the following information to Laura Falk, Executive Director, at 314.962-5920 or

  • Donor’s name
  • Name of the stock being transferred
  • Number of shares transferred
  • Transaction date
  • Name of your financial advisor or bank handling the transfer