High School Experimental Physics Research Academy at Penn, reviews?

In summary, when looking for a summer program for your 9th grader interested in modern physics, it is important to consider his age and overall readiness for a program geared towards older students. While the Penn Experimental Physics Research Academy is a highly recommended program, it is also important to research alternative options and involve your son in the decision-making process. Finding a balance between academic challenge and fun is key in finding the right program.
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I have a 9th grader who is really excited about modern physics and we're looking for a summer program where he can learn (and have fun learning) at the appropriate level. Most of the summer physics programs we've found are only open to current 11th or 12th graders. The Penn Experimental Physics Research Academy is one we've found that is actually open to 9th graders, and it sounds great - but it is very, VERY expensive and no financial aid is offered for non-residents. I was wondering if anyone had feedback about this camp? My son is in calculus this year and mathematically ready for work at a higher level, but he's also just a kid and likes to have fun and experiment with stuff - ideally we could find a camp with both. He did a camp for "gifted kids" last summer but it just didn't get very deep into the science or math - and while he had fun, he didn't learn anything. We're willing to pay for a great hands-on learning experience with expert instruction, but just want to know more about it before we make that investment.
 
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  • #2


Hello,

I am a scientist and I can understand your concern about finding a summer program for your 9th grader that is both educational and fun. The Penn Experimental Physics Research Academy does sound like a great program for students interested in modern physics. However, as you mentioned, it is quite expensive and offers no financial aid for non-residents. I have not personally attended this program, but I can offer some general advice and considerations when choosing a summer program for your son.

First, it is great that your son is interested in modern physics and is mathematically ready for higher level work. However, it is important to also consider his age and overall readiness for a program that may be geared towards older students. While he may be academically prepared, it is important to ensure that he will also be able to handle the social and emotional aspects of the program. This includes living away from home, interacting with older students, and managing a rigorous academic schedule.

In addition, it is important to research the program and its instructors. Look for reviews or testimonials from past participants to get a sense of the quality of instruction and the overall experience. You can also reach out to the program coordinators and ask for more information or to speak with past participants.

It is also worth considering alternative options such as local science camps or workshops that may be more affordable and cater to a younger age group. These programs may not be as specialized in modern physics, but they can still offer hands-on learning experiences and opportunities for your son to explore his interests.

Overall, it is important to find a balance between a program that is academically challenging and also allows for fun and experimentation. I would recommend involving your son in the decision-making process and discussing his preferences and goals for the summer. That way, you can find a program that is a good fit for both his academic and personal development.

I hope this helps and I wish you and your son the best in finding a summer program that meets your needs and expectations. Good luck!
 

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