Hundreds of young students from around the Southeast will give up some of their summer free time to learn more about leadership, psychology, polymer science and math at Southern Miss.
They will be taking part in one of three gifted studies programs at USM.
The first, held last week, focused on leadership studies and featured more than 60 students in grades 6-10 from five states.
This week, 128 students in grades 4-8 are taking in-depth studies in a program for academically talented children.
And later this summer, more academically talented students in grades 7-10 will be on the Hattiesburg campus for three weeks of study in subjects like forensic science, polymer science and mathematics.
"It's a really neat time for all the students in all the programs to come together with students with like-minded ideas and abilities," said Dr. Pola C. Jakacki, interim director of the Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies at Southern Miss. "Research proves that (for) gifted students, it is better for them to be with ability-based peers than age-based peers," she said.
Most of these programs have been offered at USM for more than 30 years.
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