Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023

Whether you’re a student seeking an opportunity to explore exciting topics as part of a summer camp or you’re wanting to take selected online courses for credit during summer break to get ahead, the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts is offering two free programs to meet those needs this year.

Summer at ASMSA is a weeklong summer camp held on the ASMSA campus in Hot Springs for motivated rising sophomores. Participants will spend the week with like-minded peers and learn in a fun and challenging atmosphere. All camp activities — including tuition, housing, meals and class supplies — are free. This year’s camps will run Sunday, July 10 through Saturday, July 16.

ASMSA’s Summer Acceleration Academy is for any Arkansas high school student seeking to take prerequisite coursework for more challenging STEM and AP courses at their home school. The courses are for any rising ninth- through 12th-grade student in the state of Arkansas. The courses are offered 100 percent online and will include live instruction as well as homework and tasks that need to completed outside of class time. The eight-week courses are taught by ASMSA instructors for full high school credit. Courses being offered in Summer 2022 include geometry, trigonometry, computer science and economics.

Summer at ASMSA

Summer at ASMSA will feature five topics from which prospective campers may choose. This year’s camp topics are:

• Studio Art Camp is an activities-based initiative to help grow students’ excitement about the arts while building their portfolios. Students will engage in different process including observational drawing, collage, painting, photography and more.

• Biomedical Sciences Summer Institute is made possible through an AEGIS grant from the Arkansas Department of Education. The camp will introduce participants to a fascinating range of topics and allow them to gain hands-on experience in molecular biology laboratory techniques. Students will isolate their own DNA, collect and assess environmental bacteria for antibiotic resistance, learning about the fascinating aspects of protein structure and mutations, and transform bacteria to make them glow in the dark.

• Research in the Park is based on one of ASMSA’s unique capstone courses. Students will work with protected federal resources alongside park rangers and ASMSA’s Dr. Lindsey Waddell, a geosciences and chemistry instructor. Students who apply to attend this camp should have a strong interest in cultural and environmental sciences and enjoy being outdoors as well as within a lab.

• Computer Science Camp presents the many faces of computer science through hands-on experiences in a variety of programming contexts. Work with ASMSA instructors on projects spanning robotics, computer graphics, animation, cyber security and embedded systems. The camp concludes with a half-day digital Capture the Flag hackathon activity.

• Japanese Language Summer Intensive is made possible through an AEGIS grant from the Arkansas Department of Education. Participants will learn the basics of Japanese language and culture. They will learn how to introduce themselves, count yen and more while exploring some of the cultural norms and unique aspects of Japanese society.

Students must be members of the Class of 2025 from Arkansas. The application process includes answering two short essay questions, submitting a transcript with unweighted GPA, submitting any available standardized test scores and a brief recommendation from a teacher, counselor or principal. Application deadline is April 1. For more information and to apply, visit

Summer Acceleration Academy

ASMSA’s Summer Acceleration Academy will provide free online learning in STEM disciplines that work to eliminate opportunity gaps that exist for students in districts across the state which limit their pathways to advanced science and math coursework.

Courses will include geometry, trigonometry, economics and computer science and serve about 125 students. Students will earn full high school credit for the courses and be better positioned to take advantage of advanced opportunities later in high school such as Advanced Placement courses while also increasing their readiness for college and access to STEM-based careers.

The academy is funded through a grant from the Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, Arkansas State University and the Arkansas Out of School Network.

Courses will take place over an eight-week period from Monday, June 6 through Friday, July 29. Classes will meet for approximately half the day via live online instruction. Students may take only one course in the Summer Acceleration Academy.

For more information including prerequisites and to apply for the Summer Acceleration Academy, visit