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Summer Academy at UGA makes learning fun for older children

Mini medical school summer camp Rick Waters-h
Dr. Rick Waters helps his team prepare for their final "surgery" on the last day of Mini Medical School. The students are divided into surgical teams and perform mock surgeries on patients made out of Jell-O. Each team builds a patient

Athens, Ga. – Registration for University of Georgia Summer Academy camps for middle and high school students begins Feb. 11.

Offerings this year include a mini medical school, a national security mock council and computer game design, among many other subject areas. Camps are offered in June and July, beginning on Mondays and ending on Fridays.

“Each day is different,” said Rick Waters, a former dentist and founder of the Summer Academy Mini Medical School.

The Mini Medical School camp begins with stitching and wraps up with a mock-surgery Friday afternoon, he said. Throughout the week, students enjoy different activities while exploring career paths in the medical field.

“We’re just trying to let them know that there’s a big need for people who do all of this stuff,” Waters said.

Lucas Jensen, a doctoral student in learning, design and technology in the UGA College of Education, runs the Summer Academy Video Game Design camp where students work in teams to create an idea for a video game.

“What they often find is that it’s a lot easier said than done,” Jensen said. In addition to generating new ideas, students are introduced to the importance of marketing, public relations and app development in the gaming industry.

In the Summer Academy U.S. National Security: Mock Council camp, students are exposed to mock national security information and are assigned roles as decision makers to both manage and solve a number of crises.

Kayce Mobley, a doctoral student in the School of Public and International affairs, runs the camp and teaches undergraduate courses at UGA in national and global security.

“A lot of (the material in the camp) is the same concepts I teach to undergrads,” Mobley said.

Other camps introduce students to fashion design, engineering, sewing, robotics, creative writing, music production, 3D animation and photography, among other things.

All camps are held on the UGA campus. Participants can attend as day campers or stay overnight. For a full list of programs and to register, see