Middle schoolers eye academic, career options

Shattered glass

Sam Reeves, a senior in materials science, applies pliers to a sheet of glass in a shattering "cool science" demonstration for middle schoolers. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Approximately 260 sixth, seventh and eighth graders from 31 schools around the state were on campus March 28 to get their hands on new technologies and explore potential academic and career paths.

The students were participating in the Investigation Series, an annual event sponsored by ISU's Precollegiate Programs for Talented and Gifted (OPPTAG) office.  All ISU colleges participate in the conference, which is designed to expose students to careers in math, science, computer technology and creative arts.

OPPTAG has been providing programs for talented students for 26 years. Staff currently are gearing up for popular summer offerings.

Summer programs

Applications for the following programs are due in early spring.

  • CY-TAG: A residential, three-week program which offers fast-paced courses in which students (grades 8-11) strive to complete the equivalent of one year of high school coursework or one semester of college level material.
  • Explorations: A residential, one-week program that offers a variety of courses to challenge exceptional students in grades 8-10. Three consecutive weeks of courses are offered, and students can elect to participate in more than one week.
  • Adventures: A nonresidential day program for exceptional learners in grades 3-7.