Viking Explorations Gifted and Talented Program

Hiking VictorSummer 2015

Contact Jaki Day for further information.

Viking Explorations are designed to meet the educational needs of gifted and talented children in rising 3rd to 8th grades.  The program is co-sponsored by the Floyd County Schools and Berry College.

Located on the Berry College campus, children will have access to state of the art classrooms and facilities. Daily drop-off and pick-up will be at McAllister Hall, the science building on the Berry College campus.

Faculty teaching the courses are teachers from Berry College Elementary and Middle School and gifted/talented endorsed teachers from the Floyd County Schools.

Dates of the program are July 13-17, 2015

Morning sessions include one class from 8:30-10:00 and a second class from 10:30-12:00.  Students choose two different classes.  There will be a break with a snack from 10:00-10:30.

The tuition is $125 to be paid in online at the time of registration by credit card. No checks will be accepted.

Registration is open May 1 to June 1 for early registration online at Viking Explorations at Berry College.

Late Registration will be open from June 2 to June 27 for $150.  No registration after June 27.

No refunds will be allowed. 

Staff members include faculty from the Berry Charter School of Education, Berry Elementary and Middle School, and Floyd County Schools Gifted and Talented teachers.

Supplies and equipment will be provided and included in the price of the classes.

Snacks will be provided during morning break.  Students are welcome to bring their own snacks as well.

Class Offerings

BOLD Outdoor Leadership (ropes course) Mike King
Chess Masters Lewis Byrne
Hiking through History Lori Frederick & Julie Trejo
Summer at the Improv! Gretchen Dodson
Aquatic Habitats Kami Gillespie
STEM/Science Scott Mears/Julie Bishop
Introduction to Hummingbird Robotics Beth Wardlaw
Georgia on My Mind Margaret Garrett/Chris Rhinehart
SeaPerch Underwater RoboticsLeon Bowers 

Class Descriptions

BOLD Outdoor Leadership: The Berry College Outdoor Leadership course will require the imagination and cooperation of every participant as we build communication skills and team confidence.  The aim of working on low ropes course elements is to maximize the group’s experience in communication and decision making, team effectiveness, group identity, conflict resolution and leadership formation. The week will build in difficulty with a possibility of a high ropes element at the end of the week.  This is an outdoor experiential learning class and requires closed toed tennis shoes.

Chess Masters: This class will take players from piece pushers to strategic thinkers in one of the world’s oldest games. Players will learn opening strategy, defense tactics, common checkmates, and how to anticipate what their opponent will play next.  This five-day “master class” will focus on instruction, practice, actual play, and improving chess prowess, no matter what level the player starts at.  Knowledge of piece movements is preferred. 

Hiking through History: This course will guide you through rich experiences in history by looking through a lens to the past.  Examine primary documents and pictures firsthand in the Berry College Library Archives and the Martha Berry Digital Archives, evaluate secondary sources including biographies of Martha Berry, explore various cool historical sites on campus, and conduct personal interviews to enrich the research experience.  This year's focus will be the history of sports at Berry College.  Go Vikings!

Summer at the Improv!: This course will teach the basic rules of improv, including stage presence, saying “Yes,”  how to move a scene forward, justifying, listening and reacting and making character choices.  Most importantly, students will gain self-confidence, learn to celebrate the quirks that make us all unique and fabulous, build team-work skills, practice critical thinking and have a blast playing a wide variety of improv games. Beginners and previous students are welcome.  There is something to learn for everyone!

STEM/Science: Students will be exploring the use of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). We will learn about design and construction, alternative energy sources, and how to use them. We will also learn about basic engineering and how we can use it to create new ideas for the future.

1. Puff car (Alternative energy sources)

2. Build a tower (engineering basics)

3. Catapult (simple machines)

4. What can you build (recycling old items?)

Introduction to Hummingbird Robotics: Do you like to create projects out of recycled material? How would you like to take those materials, and make them come to life? Now, you can! The Hummingbird Robotics class calls for unique and valuable project based learning. Students using the Hummingbird to learn about programming and computer science, along with basic coding skills need to make the robot do what they would like. It helps foster interest in STEM/STEAM, as well as targeting kinesthetic and visual learners. The Hummingbird kit helps explore students’ creative imaginations. 

Aquatic Habitats: The Aquatic Habitats class is designed to provide students with a highly motivating and unique opportunity to investigate life science.  Each participant will set up an aquarium using live organisms. They will learn about the adaptations and interactions of the organisms within the aquatic habitat, and gain essential understandings of underwater ecosystems.  Throughout the class, students directly investigate the structures and behaviors of each aquatic living thing, discovering how they find food, and safety.  The budding scientist will also soon discover that the mosquito is not just a pest to humans, but a necessary component in an aquatic habitat.

Georgia on My Mind: Come take a trip through Georgia and discover the "Seven Wonders of our State". Students will research the seven wonders of Georgia and plan hands-on projects replicating these sites. Students will learn about interesting facts and details about these locations within the state. Come ready to get creative.

SeaPerch Underwater Robotics:  SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that equips students with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Students will learn about the engineering design process and build a functioning SeaPerch robot. The culminating activity/event would be taking these ROV's for a dive or two around the Berry Campus. More information about the SeaPerch program can be found at