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    Joined: May 2006
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    We've had experience with CITY/CBK, CTY and TIP. Please note that each year these programs evolve so some info is old. Oldest DS says his hardest summer was CITY/CBK 3 weeks in Denver when they used to offer 2 courses. Now CBK 3 wk program is held at Colorado School of Mines in Golden and many of the courses sound very high-tech (whereas they were more varied at the Denver campus). I do not doubt the challenge level at School of Mines. My two youngest DS's have done the one-wk program for 4th-6th graders and enjoyed them, but for all the effort of getting them there and back, one week is too short.

    One DS took CTY's Stanford program for 5th and 6th graders and loved it (he's the hardest to please and to challenge). Highly recommended. We've also done JHU CAA (Santa Cruz)- second DS's favorite program to date. He did CTY JHU campus which was his most challenging to date. One DS did CTY's oceanography in Hawaii and enjoyed it thoroughly. One did CTY's F&M campus and enjoyed it.

    Oldest did Duke TIP East Campus and loved the course, though he said it wasn't as hard as CITY/CBK. Second did Duke TIP Davidson and said it wasn't as good as JHU CAA.

    Summary: for folks who are not close, I'd wait to do a 3 wk program (CTY over CITY/CBK for younger students). After that, it's a toss up and I encourage the kids to pick a course that they're passionate about or that's outside their area of knowledge (so they learn something new). I also try to pick a campus that would be on our college tour (Duke, Davidson, Stanford, etc.) and move into pre-college programs sophomore or junior year.

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    Bassetlover - I only know one person who did the Institutes program, and that was several years ago. I think it is a little less intense, and may bring in some kids who otherwise wouldn't qualify for the summer programs - there are no hard cutoff scores like the Center/Academy programs. They are also shorter in length from what I see- 2 weeks vs. 3 weeks for Center/Academy. The Institutes offers some interesting locations, too.

    I think the difficulty varies with the individual class, not the program (CTY vs TIP specifically). My D's roommate at TIP took a writing class and spent her free time socializing, while D studied for the tests that were given almost every other day. To me, it comes down to location and specific classes that interest my kids.

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    Originally Posted by Cricket2
    She's extremely knowledgable about this specific area (I've learned a lot from being around her!), so she wants more than the typical fare for bright kids of her age who might not have studied the topic as much.

    She really liked the instructor, but just didn't feel like she learned a lot that she didn't already know.
    I think one has to watch out for this problem in kids with specific interests. LOG and where in that age group a child falls also make a big difference. If a child is on the higher end due to LOG or age, and has a specific area of interest, I would steer them to explore a different area that they are less experienced in.

    My son loves CTY summer programs, not so much for the academics, but for the social experience. I think he put more effort into learning to swing glowsticks than he did into the classroom experiences. I was delighted to see him working so hard at glowsticking and being willing to persevere even though it hurts when you miss. He knows plenty of kids that wouldn't like CTY because it isn't academic enough. It really is more of a pretext of an academic experience so that kids can get together for a social experience. From his point of view.

    Hope that helps,
    Grinity


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    My D15 has the opposite concern from the original poster. She wants a HARD summer program (went to Davidson THINK last summer, so that is her benchmark smile ). 2 college courses in 3 weeks is what they do at THINK. She has heard from friends that CTY is not as rigorous (what is?!?), so said she does not want to go even though they offer some classes more in her specific area of interest (biology). Mind you, she has not been to CTY, just strictly word of mouth.

    Last edited by intparent; 01/05/11 09:36 AM.
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    Originally Posted by intparent
    My D15 has the opposite concern from the original poster. She wants a HARD summer program (went to Davidson THINK last summer, so that is her benchmark smile ). 2 college courses in 3 weeks is what they do at THINK. She has heard from friends that CTY is not as rigorous (what is?!?), so said she does not want to go even though they offer some classes more in her specific area of interest (biology). Mind you, she has not been to CTY, just strictly word of mouth.
    I tend to think that your DD is absolutely correct, and she is old for CTY, and high LOG for CTY, so shouldn't go in an area where she is strong,(biology) probably not at all unless she wants to explore her weakest area and is only going to enjoy the social aspect.
    It amazes me how well that teen-social-information-network works.
    Smiles,
    Grinity


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    At that age, I would think a pre-college program would be more appropriate, although I don't have any experience with those yet.
    Or how about an internship - maybe NIH?

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    Yes, but she is deeply disappointed that there are no science offerings at THINK this year. All of the other research programs we can find in biology require them to be rising seniors, except one that now has lost its state funding and is not happening frown The THINK application is sitting on the counter, due next week. She is probably going to go back to THINK and take classes that are not as interesting to her, and just do some self study bio work this summer.

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    Originally Posted by cym
    We've had experience with CITY/CBK, CTY and TIP.....

    Thanks, Cym, for sharing your DCs experiences in a compact way. These will definitely be helpful as we look beyond CTY in the future.

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    Originally Posted by intparent
    My D15 has the opposite concern from the original poster. She wants a HARD summer program (went to Davidson THINK last summer, so that is her benchmark smile ). 2 college courses in 3 weeks is what they do at THINK. She has heard from friends that CTY is not as rigorous (what is?!?), so said she does not want to go even though they offer some classes more in her specific area of interest (biology). Mind you, she has not been to CTY, just strictly word of mouth.

    In honesty, though, if DD could work from home and take an extremely challenging course, she would *love* it. It's the other kids that form their own "she's dumb" or "she is too slow" thoughts that scare her.
    Having said that, THINK was her first choice, and it's the hardest summer program. She had heard from others (on cogito, etc) that it's less social and more intense work, so the people aren't judgmental. (not to mention that DD is *not* a social or a camp person, so all she really is going for is to learn) However, they had to offer a speech course, along with 2 other duds in the same time slot. ("I was so excited when I saw anthropology.. but then I saw three courses I *really* didn't want to take as my other option")
    From what she's heard (from kids probably in a lower scoring range, mind you), CTY/TIP can be *very* difficult. I guess those claims have to be looked at with more scrutiny, now that I've heard from you that they aren't very hard.

    Last edited by Bassetlover; 01/05/11 07:06 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Bassetlover
    From what she's heard (from kids probably in a lower scoring range, mind you), CTY/TIP can be *very* difficult. I guess those claims have to be looked at with more scrutiny, now that I've heard from you that they aren't very hard.

    CTY doesn't give grades or homework. There is no 'working on your own after class.' The kids are expected to focus during the many hours devoted to classroom and then go play with each other after. Most of the teachers seem kind of 'wow these are amazing kids' and more likely to just appreciate them where they are than to push them to the next level - just my vibe. I think of it as 'wonderland for PG plus ADD kids' who like to play with big ideas but don't want to be pushed to their next level of growth during the summer. DS did a regular 'debate camp' right before his first CTY and it was much much harder because they expected the kids to work. CTY is more like the mamma who presents the toddler with a tray full of delicious healthy food and lets the baby choose what appeals, and how much. Both are needed.

    For the High LOG 2E kids or the ones who are recovering from enforced underachievement or the ones who cope with regular school by developing oddball interests and taking them to the nth degree, CTY is a blessing.

    I hope that helps,
    Grinity


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