AIM Institute is now accepting registrations for the 2019 Upward Bound Summer Academy, an immersive summer experience for all AIM Upward Bound students who want to explore careers and college in a fun way. The Summer Academy runs from June 10 to July 19 and is free for participants.

Summer Academy continues the intensive education and enrichment that AIM’s Upward Bound students receive throughout the academic year. Mondays through Wednesdays, students will take morning classes in math, lab science, writing, literature, American Sign Language, and technology. Afternoons will involve field trips, presentations, and volunteer work. On Thursdays and Fridays, students will travel to area colleges to tour campuses and get involved in activities such as visiting planetariums and working on a theatre project.

“We’ve planned things that are as engaging and active as possible,” said Tanya Jacha, Project Director of AIM’s Upward Bound program and Summer Academy organizer.

Upward Bound falls under the umbrella of the federal TRIO program, which provides outreach and student services designed to identify and serve people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Specifically, Upward Bound helps students succeed in their precollege performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits through specialized academic instruction, as well as mentoring, counseling, cultural enrichment activities, and work-study programs.

Jacha said AIM has hired teachers with a strong reputation for innovative teaching and a track record of rapport with students.

“We told them, ‘We will give you the funding to do whatever is necessary to make this as outside-of-the-box and exciting as possible,” Jacha said. “It’s pretty much a dream-come-true for every teacher that has ever said, ‘I just don’t have enough money for this.’”

In addition, the Brain Exchange will provide hands-on technology education, such as 3D printing and ozobots. The Brain Exchange, a program of the AIM Institute, offers free tech experiences to youth to ignite curiosity and early interest in technology.

Breakfast and lunch are provided at no cost to participants. Students will also receive free transportation to and from their home schools.

Summer Academy Weekly Overview

Here is an overview of the weeks, their themes, and some of the activities students will engage in during Summer Academy.

Week One: Space. Students will visit the Strategic Air & Space Museum, the Mallory Kountze Planetarium at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and the Mueller Planetarium at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Week Two: Sports. Students will attend a College World Series baseball outing and use their knowledge of statistics to take stats during the game.

Week Three: Public Service. Students will visit a veteran’s home to attend a presentation about service to America; participate in a mock trial at Creighton University Law School; and, with Lutheran Family Services, shop for a refugee family that will be moving to Omaha.

Week Four: Students have the week off for 4th of July.

Week Five: Environment & Animals. Students will go to Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari, visit a wind turbine farm, and participate in a workshop at the Henry Doorly Zoo.

Week Six: Entertainment. Students will tour the Omaha Performing Arts Center and participate in theatre production activities according to their interest (acting, makeup, sound & lighting, and costuming). They will also attend a show at the Rose Theatre and visit the Iowa Western Community College radio station.           

So far, 82 students have signed up for Summer Academy, a higher number than in previous years. Spots are still available. Students should contact their Upward Bound coordinator or director as soon as possible or email Tanya Jacha to register for Summer Academy. The program is open exclusively to students enrolled in AIM’s Upward Bound program.