About the Course

On Being Human

How do we know the sky is blue? Why do we assume the sun will rise in the morning? Our sense of “knowing” is biological, psychological, and philosophical, and it is at the heart of much of our creativity. This sampler gives students an opportunity to explore these different elements of knowing in three different contexts.

The sampler will be designed with three cohorts of 7th and 8th grade students using the following courses as a basis:

Math: Paradoxes and Infinities

In our complex world, how do we determine what is valid or invalid? In this course, we’ll explore conundrums and analyze a range of mathematical and philosophical paradoxes, including the notion of “apparent validity” and propositional logic. We’ll also discuss the very nature of being by contemplating the Ship of Theseus and other logic puzzles. Through these investigations, you’ll begin to develop more nuanced problem-solving skills, an enriched mathematical vocabulary, and insight into some of the most perplexing questions ever posed.

In this course, students will learn how to:

  • Define a paradox
  • Construct and rigorously examine paradoxes and open-ended problems
  • Construct inductive proofs using propositional logic
  • Explain and justify the difficulties of classical philosophical problems
Science: Anatomy and Physiology

The human body is endlessly fascinating. In this course, we’ll survey the body with a focus on how it is organized up to the entire human organism and down to the cellular level. In a dissection lab, we’ll explore how the muscular and skeletal systems are interrelated, while learning about possible dysfunction and disease.

In this course, students will learn how to:

  • Model the interrelatedness of two systems working to maintain homeostasis in the human body
  • Articulate each level of organization of the body (cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems) to show that structure dictates the function in the muscular and skeletal systems 
  • Select, review, and report on a disease or dysfunction that can impact the muscular skeletal system, including its causes and how it contrasts to a properly functioning system
  • Demonstrate awareness of skills and tools necessary to complete a scientific dissection
Writing: Crafting the Essay

How do the things we read and write help us understand ourselves and the world better? In this course, we’ll closely read works of fiction and nonfiction and learn how to incorporate effective techniques into our own writing. We will complete short writing exercises and compose and revise an original descriptive essay. Along the way, we'll will develop observational skills and learn to use appropriate sensory, factual, and informational details to write scenes.

In this course, students will learn how to:

  • Closely read works of fiction and nonfiction
  • Describe how descriptive details engage and create a textured world for readers
  • Define diction, denotation, and connotation, and explain how they’re used to create nuance in writing
  • Examine how authors employ syntax to create meaning, and translate these foundations to their own writing
  • Revise their writing for precision of meaning
  • Provide constructive feedback to peers in a writers’ workshop setting

Summer Dates & Locations

Registration deadline:

Session One

Ursinus College
Collegeville, Pennsylvania
Residential cost: $6,599
Commuter cost: $5,799
Additional fees: $50

Session Two

Ursinus College
Collegeville, Pennsylvania
Residential cost: $6,599
Commuter cost: $5,799
Additional fees: $50

Testing and Prerequisites

  Math Verbal
Required Level Not required Not required
Check your eligibility using existing test scores If you do not have existing test scores:

Students must achieve qualifying scores on an advanced assessment to be eligible for CTY programs. If you don’t have qualifying scores, you have several different testing options. We’ll help you find the right option for your situation.

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Cost and Financial Aid

  • Tuition
    • Varies
  • Application fee
    • Nonrefundable Application Fee - $50 (Waived for financial aid applicants)
    • Nonrefundable International Fee - $250 (outside US only)

Financial Aid

We have concluded our financial aid application review process for 2024 On-Campus Programs. We encourage those who may need assistance in the future to apply for aid as early as possible.

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Technical Requirements

Students must bring a tablet with a keyboard, laptop computer, or Chromebook for use during the session. A smartphone will not be sufficient.