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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Super Saturday
  2. Super Summer
  3. Summer Residential

Super Saturday FAQs:

A. My child was not been identified as gifted by his/her school, can he still qualified to come to your program?  To participate in the Super Saturday program a child does not have to have been officially identified as gifted or high ability by his school corporation.  Children who excel in our program have a passion for the topic and are able to perform at high levels within that area. If your child has the majority of the characteristics below, he/she will undoubtedly enjoy participating in Super Saturday:

• A high interest in the topic 
• A desire to learn
• Achievement test scores at or above the 90th percentile in the area of study.
• An IQ score of 120 or above on an intelligence test
• The recommendation of a teacher to participate in a program for high ability student. 

B.  When is Super Saturday?  There are two separate Super Saturday sessions during the school year, one during the fall semester and one during the spring semester. The fall semester session typically meets from the first of October until just before Thanksgiving. The spring semester session usually starts at the end of January and runs through the second week in March.  Super Saturday is 6 weeks long, and classes meet from 9:00 a.m. until noon.

C.  I have heard horror stories about parking on campus, where can I park during Super Saturday?  There is a parking garage on North University Street, right across the street from Beering Hall. Although you need a permit to park there during the week, parking is free on the weekends. If you would rather not cross the street with children, you can take the elevator or stairs to the basement of the garage and take the tunnel which comes out in the basement of Beering where most of the Super Saturday classes are held.

During the fall semester there are times when Super Saturday is in session on a home football game day. Parking for drop off in the morning is not a problem, but things do get quite congested at noon for pick up. On those days we encourage you to bring your child in the morning and spend the time he or she is in class enjoying the campus, or attending our parent meetings.  Purdue Football Schedule

D.  How is my child assigned to a camp counselor?  All students are assigned to a residential counselor in groups of ten or less. Staff members supervise activities and field trips outside the residence hall and are always available to students who choose to stay at the residence hall during afternoon activities. Comet students are not permitted to leave the residence hall without staff supervision. Star and Pulsar students may leave the residence hall only in pairs, after signing out with their counselor. Unless they are with a staff member, students may not go beyond the academic campus and the small shopping areas near the residence hall.

E.  What is there for parents to do while their children are in class?  The first week we have a large parent meeting with information about Super Saturday and a speaker on a topic of interest to parents of gifted children. Each week after that we have parent lounge and a featured speaker. Books for parents of gifted children are also available for you to enjoy. You are welcome to explore Purdue’s campus – the Union is straight out the front door of Beering and the Bug Barn is in Smith Hall just across State Street.

F.  What kinds of activities will my child be doing in the classroom?  The focus of our classes is to have the children engaged in interactive, hands-on activities that challenge them to think at high levels.  Our goal is to have children acting like junior practicing professionals. For instance, if your child is taking a chemistry class, he/she will not be listening to lecture about chemistry, but will be making discoveries while doing things a real chemist would do - although at a junior level.

G.  What if the activities are too hard or too easy for my child?  If your child is struggling in the class because he or she is finds the content too easy (bored) or too hard (overwhelmed), please inform the instructor and/or program coordinator immediately.  We work with our instructors to differentiate the curriculum in an effort to meet the needs of our students.

H.  What qualifications are you looking for in your teachers?  Exceptional teachers are the cornerstone of GERI student programs. We hire certified classroom teachers, professors, pre-service education teachers, graduate students, and experts in their fields to work with GERI students. Qualified applicants will have a passion for working with gifted children, providing them with unique educational and socio-emotional experiences that emphasize critical and creative thinking strategies in order to meet their academic and affective needs. 

I.  Is there financial aid available?  

There are a limited number of partial scholarships available for children who qualify for free and reduced lunch programs in their schools. The application for financial aid is located on both the brochure and the website.  Please submit by the deadline listed in the brochure.

J.  Do any of the programs have pre-requisites or admission requirements?  Only the Summer Residential requires that materials be sent in to the GERI office along with a first-time application. Repeat attendees of GERI student programs never need to re-submit this information. See the section on how to apply for more information about Summer Residential requirements. 

K.  How do I apply to work as a teacher, course assistant, or counselor in GERI student programs?  To apply to work in our student programs, you should complete the appropriate application located on our employment page.  Once you have submitted your application, one of our staff members will contact you to schedule a face-to-face, phone, or Skype interview.  Prior to being hired, qualified applicants must pass the state of Indiana criminal background check.

L.  How do I know if my student is accepted into the program?  Once we have received all of your application materials you will be notified via mail of your acceptance. Keep in mind as the program start date approaches some classes may be filled to capacity and others may be cancelled due to low enrollment.

M.  Who teaches the GERI courses?  GERI instructors come from a variety of backgrounds. Super Saturday and Super Summer teachers include advanced education undergraduates through professional teachers. Summer Residential instructors include advanced graduate students, professional teachers, and college faculty.

N.  How are courses chosen for each session?  Every year we strive to have a balance between courses that are popular and courses that reach all students’ interests. Courses are chosen based on instructor proposals, content area coverage, and past enrollment. Every session we introduce a few new courses that we think will be interesting to our students.

O.  How can I help a child whose family has demonstrated financial need attend GERI programs?  If you have the resources and are interested in helping a child participate in our student programs there is an opportunity to do so at here.


Super Summer FAQs:

A.  What time is pick-up and drop-off?


Drop off 7:45 – 8:30 AM


8:30 AM – 12:00 PM


Three 30 min. periods will occur between 11:30 AM and 1:00PM


12:30 - 3:30 PM

Enrichment activities period (optional)             

3:30 – 5:00 PM

Community of Talents*

Will vary according to age group

Pick up

5:00 – 5:30 PM

*Community of Talents: During this time, students work with counselors to understand and appreciate their strengths and the strengths of others. Collaboration, communication, and thinking skills are emphasized using simulations and scenarios to help them understand how “together, we can make a difference in the world.”

B. Do students need to bring a lunch?  Yes, students should bring a lunch, and it will be stored in a refrigerator until lunch time.

C. Do students need to bring a snack?  Yes, a healthy snack should be sent with your child daily.

D. Do I need to submit eligibility document with the application?  No, we do not require eligibility documentation to be mailed to us for the Super Summer program; however, to be successful in our high level courses we recommend that students meet 2 or more of the following criteria:

  • The ability to succeed in a course that is 2 grade levels above the child’s actual grade level
  • A high interest in the areas in which the session is offered
  • A desire to learn
  • Scores at or above the 90th percentile on an achievement test
  • A score of 120 or above on an intelligence test
  • Acceptance to a school corporation gifted program
  • The recommendation of a teacher to participate in a program for high-ability students

Summer Residential FAQs:  

A.  How do I know if my student belongs in Comet, Star, or Pulsar?  

Your child should enroll in the same grade level that they just completed the past school year. For example, if your child just completed 8th grade this past school year, then he/she should enroll in the Star program for 7th/8th graders. The Summer Residential program does not make exceptions for program eligibility based on student age.

B.  What is a typical day like in the Summer Residential program?  Daily schedules are available online at the following link (click here). For more specific questions, please contact the Summer Residential Coordinator (Jennifer Pearce, pearcej@purdue.edu).

C. What do students do outside of class?  Students have structured activity time in the afternoon and evenings with access to a variety of board games, pool, ping-pong, and sports equipment in addition to Purdue computer labs.

D.  What are the Star and Pulsar field trips?  The field trip destinations vary each year. In the past, Star and Pulsar students have visited museums and zoos in Chicago and Indianapolis as well as participated in the high-ropes team building courses on the Purdue campus.  

E. Who will be supervising / taking care of my child?  GERI has three different levels of staff member that look out for your student. Every child is placed in a similarly-aged counseling group of ten or less. This group has its own live-in counselor that stays on the residence hall floor with your student. These people are often undergraduate education majors, but also include Summer Residential instructors and professional teachers. Supervising these counselors is an experienced head counselor who also lives in the hall. All of these people report to the Summer Residential coordinator who ultimately reports to a student program director. In all, we maintain a small student to staff ratio and take student fun ad safety very seriously.

F.  What if my child gets hurt?  The Purdue University Student Health center is located about six blocks from the residence hall and about four blocks from the main academic building. All students are covered by partial medical insurance in case they scrape a knee or become ill. The Purdue Police and Fire Department are also located between two and four blocks from where the students sleep every night. On average, only about one student gets sick to the point of missing out on any activities or classes every other year.

G.  What if my child comes to the program but just doesn’t fit in?  Every year on the first few days of camp, a large number of students call their parents because either the classes are too hard or they feel out of place socially. Despite the large number of student that make this call, none have ever left the camp and we like to think that all students find that they do belong at the program. Because many of your students have never had the experience of working with such intelligent peers before, it can be frightening. It will take a few days, but most likely they will love camp!

H.  Who do I contact in an emergency or if my child just isn’t answering his/her phone?  Both the head counselor and the program coordinator have cell phones on them 24hrs a day. There are also numbers for the GERI residence hall office and for the GERI main academic office. If you urgently need to speak with your student, you should call the head counselor’s cell phone. Otherwise, parents can leave messages for their student on the GERI main number (765-494-7243). And yes, many parents call us and have us make the student call home. Our students just have that much fun!

I.  Will my child leave the Purdue campus for any reason?  Star and Pulsar students both go on a single large field trip. The location of the field trip changes each year. For this trip, students are transported in motor coaches by professional drivers. The only other time a student might leave campus is on a smaller class field trip near the Purdue campus. You can always check with the GERI staff to find out what your student’s teacher is planning with this regard.

Super Saturday