Middle School Summer Experience

  • Creating & Collaborating

    Students in grades 6-8 will be immersed in a collaborative, enriching experience over a six-week period at seven school sites across the city. Campers will use design-thinking strategies to solve real-world problems in the areas of aviation, eSports, food science, medicine, robotics, or 3D modeling depending on the school site. Students will gain experience as a researcher, designer, entrepreneur, and communicator.

    The Columbus City Schools curriculum team and teachers have partnered with the PAST Foundation to create the Design Thinking Enrichment Experience (DTE2) for middle school students this summer. The PAST Foundation partners with educators to design and research new and innovative programs that deliver rigorous and relevant educational experiences to students.

    Each of the ten school sites will be dedicated to a different design challenge area. Students are encouraged to register for the school site that most interests them.

    Design Challenge Areas:


    Students will design solutions to a problem related to aviation.

    Cyber Security

    Students will explore the six domains of cybersecurity, including general skills, cryptography, web exploitation, binary exploitation, cyber forensics, and secure access.


    Students will explore the business side of eSports -- organized video game competitions for profit -- including determining content, marketing, and research and development.

    Fashion in STEM

    Students will work collaboratively to brainstorm, design, and create while exploring the various aspect sof the fashion world.

    Food Science

    Students will study problems in relation to food shortages/insecurities, as well as safety and sanitation in urban areas.


    Students will design solutions to problems with a medical or health-related theme.


    Students will navigate a problem and provide solutions that involve the use of robotics, creating machines that can replicate and substitute human action.

    3D Modeling

    Students will explore a problem and use computer-assisted 3D printing software to design prototypes.

    Middle School Enrichment Extensions

    The Physics of Flight - grades 6-8 (1 session, 2 weeks)
    Citizen Science:  Career Exploration - grades 6-8 (1 session, 2 weeks)
    Art Exploration - grades 6-8 (3 sessions, 2 weeks each)
    Ecology - grades 6-8 (1 session, 2 weeks)
    Survivors Camp (based on Hatchet) - grades 6-8 (3 sessions, 2 weeks each)

    *HS and MS Program dates are listed on the online application.

    *Enrolled students will be transported to and from Spruce Run via the Fort Hayes Career Center during the Summer Experience hours of operation (Middle School: Monday-Thursday from 8am-1pm and High School: Monday-Friday 8am-12:30pm).


    The Middle School Summer Experience program is open to all students currently in grades 6-8. Students must attend Columbus City Schools or reside in the Columbus City School District boundaries. Students who reside outside of the District are not eligible to enroll in the program. 

    All CCS Summer Experiences are inclusive of English language learners and students with disabilities.

    Program Placement

    Students who register for one of the Middle School Summer Experience programs will be placed in the program of the grade level they completed for the 2020-21 school year. For example, if your child is completing sixth grade, they will be placed in the sixth grade summer program.

    Dates and Times

    The Middle School Summer Experience program will run Monday through Thursday for six weeks from June 14 through July 22. Daily programming will start at 8:00 a.m. and end at 1:00 p.m. Transportation will be provided at 1:00 p.m. to home (designated bus stop). Students who are not riding the bus must be picked up by 1:15 p.m.

    School Sites

    The Middle School Summer Experience program is offered at ten regional school sites across the city. Students may attend the Summer Experience program site of their choice, regardless of where they attend during the school year.


    The Middle School Summer Experience program is free to all students enrolled in Columbus City Schools or residing in the Columbus City School District boundaries.

    Breakfast and Lunch

    All campers will receive free breakfast and lunch, provided by the City of Columbus Recreation and Parks, each day. All meals must be consumed on-site; food is not allowed to leave the school site. Breakfast will be served at 8:00 a.m. Lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m.


    Daily attendance is required in order for your child to benefit from the Summer Experience programs. Every effort should be made to get your child to school, or the bus stop, on time. Please call your Summer Experience site before 8:15 a.m. if your child is going to be absent.


    Students are expected to follow all rules and regulations of Columbus City Schools. Discipline issues will be handled as specified in the Columbus City Schools’ Guide to Student Success.


    The Middle School Summer Experience program ends at 1:00 p.m. Students will be bused home (designated bus stop) at 1:00 p.m. Students who are not riding the bus must be picked up by 1:15 p.m.


    Students may attend the Summer Experience program site of their choice. Transportation will be provided by the Columbus City Schools Transportation Department from designated bus stop locations for each Summer Experience school site. Specific pick-up and drop-off locations will be communicated during the online registration process.


    Student registration can be completed through the Infinite Campus Parent Portal.

    Spruce Run (6-8th Graders)

    Ecology: An In-Depth Study of Lynn Cherry’s Fictional Picture Books

    One 2-week session: June 14-June 24 (Limit 15 students)

    Here’s a summer trip for your middle school student where they do not need a passport or any spending money. Instead students will travel the world through picture books. Located on 50 acres of picturesque land near Hoover Reservoir, your child will learn about ecology and environmental issues first-hand at the Spruce Run Nature Center. This trip is free. Breakfast and lunch are provided along with transportation to Spruce Run. Let your child escape the city this summer to learn and explore.

    Citizen Science: Career Exploration

    One 2-week session: June 28-July 8 (Limit 15 students) 

    Students will work side by side with different nature based professionals, collecting data and adding to our Spruce Run Biodiversity catalog.

    The Physics of Flight: A STEM Experience

    Discover today’s Orville and Wilbur Wright at this two-week session: July 12-July 22 (Limit 15 students) 

    With 50 acres of land, student will observe lots of birds in flight. They will also figure out how heavy airplane stay in the air. At this Spruce Run Nature Center camp, students will study flight then design their own flying machine. 

    Art Exploration Camp

    Students will leave their mark on world at this free Art Exploration Camp. Three 2-week sessions: June 14-June 24; June 28-July 8; and July 12-July 22 (Limit 15 students)

    Art Exploration Camp will offer 3 different 2 weeks sessions. During camp students will be exposed to different art techniques and work on both individual and group projects, while exploring nature. At the end of camp students will install their group art project at Spruce Run.

    "Survivor” Camp

    Three 2-week sessions: June 14-June 24; June 28-July 8; and July 12-July 22 (Limit 15 students) 

    Ever wonder what it would be like to survive in the wild? Together we will read “Hatchet” by Gary Paulson, and dig deep into the passages of this novel, journal thoughts and work on your own survival skills.

    NOTE: Transportation for middle and high school students will be provided. Buses will leave from Ft. Hayes at 7:30 a.m. and arrive at Spruce Run Nature Center at 8:00 a.m. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Middle school students will return at 1:00 p.m. and high school students at 12:30 p.m. to Ft. Hayes.

Middle School Informational Flyer

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School Sites


    Dominion Middle School
    100 E Arcadia Ave, 43202

    Medina Middle School
    1425 Huy Rd, 43224


    South 7-12 High School
    1160 Ann Street, 43206


    Berwick Alternative K-8 School
    2655 Scottwood Road, 43209

    Columbus City Preparatory School for Girls
    1390 Bryden Rd, 43205

    Columbus Africentric Early College
    3223 Allegheny Avenue, 43209 


    Hilltonia Middle School
    2345 West Mound Street, 43204

    Wedgewood Middle School
    3800 Briggs Rd, 43228 


    Champion Middle School
    284 N. 22 Street, 43203

    Fort Hayes 
    546 Jack Gibbs Blvd, 43215