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Arts and Sciences Summer Exploration Program

The Arts and Sciences Summer Exploration program offers middle and high school students one-week intensive enrichment courses intended to introduce them to new areas of study or allow them to engage in content they may already have an interest in. In-person classes meet from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and are taught by Ohio State faculty, staff, and graduate students. Teaching is active, hands-on and encourages participants to engage with the instructional team and their fellow participants. These courses are not for grade or credit and are designed for self-motivated learners.  

Eligibility is based on a participant’s current grade level for the 2023-2024 school year. Students currently enrolled in 7th and 8th grades are eligible for middle school courses. Students currently enrolled in 9th – 11th grade are eligible for high school courses. 

If you have questions about this program, please contact ExploreASC@osu.edu or call Courtney Price at 614-292-8208. 

The application deadline for Summer 2024 courses has passed. We invite you to sign up for updates to receive information about our programs and be alerted when the when future application windows open.  

2024 Course Offerings

Explorations in Creative Writing

Dates: June 3–7

Eligibility: Middle School (current grade 7-8)

Description: In this course, we will take a deep dive into poetry, fiction, and nonfiction writing! In each genre, we’ll be thinking about what it means to develop our own individual writing voice that’s unique to who we are. During the week, we will experiment with daily writing exercises based off prompts crafted to spark creativity and seek inspiration from reading classic and contemporary literary work, as well as different forms of art, such as music and collage. 

Through this course, participants will hone their writing voice in multiple genres. By the end of the course, each participant will have an impressive portfolio of writing developed in our supportive writing community. 

Prerequisites: Previous experience with the subject matter is not required for this course.

Astronomy as a Gateway to the Data Sciences

Dates: June 3–7

Eligibility: High School (current grade 9-11)

Description: Astronomy has entered the “big data” era, in which huge collections of measurements are analyzed to attack the most challenging problems. In this course, we will explore how even the simplest data – the positions and brightness of stars – can address an active research problem. We will build the components of a data analysis pipeline using the most basic parts of the Python programming language, and use real data to search for young stars that have diffused away from the clusters they were born in. 

This course will explore many aspects of competency in the data sciences. This is a true research project! We do not know the answers in advance but will discover them as part of our course. This course will include small group exploration, interviews, peer teaching, and pair programming. Through this course students will learn basic statistical analysis, and gain experience in several fundamentals in the Python programming language. 


  • Participants should have completed high school algebra or geometry prior to taking this course. 
  • Previous experience with astronomy and programming is not required for this course. 

Specific Course Requirements:

  • Personal laptop and charger
    • Contact ExploreASC@osu.edu if lack of access to a personal computer would limit participation.

Sensational Science: Exploring Human Perception

Dates: June 3–7

Eligibility: High School (current grade 9-11)

Description: Discover the wonders and mysteries of how we perceive the world around us. Participants will explore not only the traditional five senses — sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch — but also examine proprioception, nociception, balance, and the complex neural networks that integrate sensory information. 

Through a dynamic blend of lectures, hands-on experiments, interactive activities, and group discussions, participants will learn the science behind how we perceive our environment and ourselves. This course will enhance critical thinking and scientific inquiry skills through investigations of how our brains interpret sensory information. Going beyond the basics, this course will uncover the fascinating spectrum of sensory and perception disorders. From the challenges of navigating the world with color blindness or anosmia to the extraordinary experiences of synesthesia, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of how diverse the human experience of the world can be. 

Prerequisites: Previous experience with the subject matter is not required for this course. 


Dates: June 10-14

Eligibility: Middle School (current grade 7-8)

Description: This studio-based, hands-on course will be held in the Ohio State Print Shop in Hopkins Hall. Participants will be introduced to a variety of printmaking techniques including screenprinting, relief printing, monoprinting, risography, and bookmaking. Participants will have the option to focus their work through the lens of comics, storytelling, and character design, if they so choose. At the end of the week participants will visit the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library on Ohio State campus, where they will view exhibitions and archives of comics and sequential art. 

Through this course, participants will learn how to operate specialized printing presses, tools, and equipment. Participants will create an original portfolio of printed works on paper and fabric. Participants will have the opportunity to share their prints and acquire works by their fellow participants through a course print exchange.

During this course students will use sharp tools and operate printmaking equipment. Students will be supervised and provided with personal safety training for every technique, but there is an inherent risk of injury.

Prerequisites: Previous studio art experience is not required to successfully participate in this course.

Course Specific Requirements:

  • Close-toe shoes are recommended.
  • Clothing may get art materials on them. Participants should dress accordingly.

Intercultural Competence for Future Global Leaders 

Dates: June 24-28

Eligibility: Middle School (current grade 7-8)

Description: Intercultural competence is conceptualized as a lifelong process that includes the development of the attitudes (respect and valuing of other cultures, openness, curiosity), knowledge (of self, culture, sociolinguistic issues) skills (listen, observe, interpret, analyze, evaluate, and relate), and qualities (adaptability, flexibility, empathy and cultural decentering) in order to behave and communicate effectively and appropriately to achieve one’s goals. 

In this course, participants will learn what it takes to become globally-minded and acquire the skills to navigate in multiple, diverse, global and local networks. Participants will understand the core concepts related to culture and intercultural competence, learn the basics of American Sign Language (ASL), develop cultural self-awareness, and understand the relationship between intercultural competence, citizenship and leadership. 

Prerequisites: Previous experience with the subject matter is not required for this course. 

Course Specific Requirements: 

  • Personal laptop and charger
    • Contact ExploreASC@osu.edu if lack of access to a personal computer would limit participation.

Application and deadline

The 2024 Arts and Sciences Summer Exploration Program application will remain open through May 15. Space in each course is limited, so individual courses may fill before the May 15 deadline. 

If a participant requires an accommodation such as interpretation to participate in this program, please contact the program at ExploreASC@osu.edu or 614-292-8208. Requests should be made as soon as possible. Requests made two weeks before the first day of a course will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date. 

We invite you to sign up for updates to receive information about our programs and be alerted when the when future application windows open.  

Costs and aid

The program fee for the Arts and Sciences Summer Exploration 2024 program is $550 per one-week course, which includes all course materials and activities, lunch, and snacks.

Limited need-based financial assistance may be available in the form of partial support. Financial assistance can be requested on the program application.

Payment deadlines

Applicants have one week to accept their offer of admission to the program and pay the program fee. All payments must be made through the applicant portal. Once an offer is accepted and payment made, the parent or legal guardian must submit emergency contact and medical information, as well as signed Policy Acknowledgement and Consent forms no later than May 27, 2024.  

Refund Policy

The Arts and Sciences Summer Exploration Program recognizes that sometimes plans change. Participants may request a refund of the program fee by emailing ExploreASC@osu.edu according to the following schedule:

  • On or before May 1, 2024: 100% of program fee paid
  • May 2 – May 15, 2024: 50% of program fee paid
  • On or after May 16, 2024: No refund of program fee paid

Program Details

While plans for each course may differ slightly, the daily schedule follows this general model:

  • Drop off 8:15 - 8:45 a.m.
  • Morning session 9:00 - 11:30 a.m.
  • Travel to lunch 11:30 - 11:45 a.m.
  • Lunch at Traditions 11:45 - 12:45 p.m. 
  • Travel time 12:30 - 12:45 p.m. 
  • On campus activity 12:45 – 1:45 p.m.
  • Afternoon session 2:00-3:45 p.m.
  • Travel to pick-up location 3:45 - 4 p.m.
  • Pick up 4:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Participants will always be escorted between pick-up/drop-off, their assigned classroom, the dining hall, and the on-campus activity by program staff. Additional information about the program will be emailed to participants and families, as needed, closer to the start of the program. 

Lunch will be provided daily at the Traditions at Scott dining hall and will be supervised by program staff. Traditions provides a wide variety of food options that meet the most common dietary needs and restrictions, including halal, gluten-free and vegetarian. However, kosher dining is not supported during summer term. 


The pick-up and drop-off location for students is the corner of Annie and John Glenn Avenue and Millikin Road, outside of the PAES building (see maps below). Please drop your child off from the eastbound lane of Annie and John Glenn Avenue. The drop-off/pick-up location will be marked with a sign and program staff will be present to check your child in and out of the program. 

If you are using a navigation system for directions, enter the following address: 305 Annie and John Glenn Avenue, Columbus, Ohio, 43210.

Please do not park in the drop-off/pick-up lane. If you need to park, or your child is driving themselves to and from the program, the closest surface lot parking is at the Ohio Stadium. The closest garage parking is Tuttle Garage. You can learn more about parking at Ohio State, including hourly rates, on the CampusParc website

Map of Ohio State campus, with route for drop-off and pick-up of summer program students highlighted.

The image above shows the ideal route to the drop off and pick up location. The image below shows the drop off and pick up lane from the street view. 

Photo of the drop off and pick up location.

For those riding COTA, the closest bus stop to the drop-off/pick-up location is N. High Street & E. 15th Avenue. See the COTA website for more information. 


The first day of the program will kick-off with a brief orientation session. At 8:45 a.m. program staff will walk the students to the orientation location. At the orientation, students will receive a program t-shirt and lanyard, the program staff will be introduced, and the daily schedule will be reviewed. After orientation, students will be escorted to their classrooms and the morning session will begin.  

What to Wear

Participants should wear comfortable clothing appropriate for the classroom, as well as for a range of temperatures. For most courses, participants will spend most of the day inside air-conditioned classrooms. However, we will be walking between the drop-off/pick-up location, classrooms, campus locations and the dining hall. Dressing in layers and wearing comfortable walking shoes is recommended. Any course specific requirements are listed in the course description. 

Friday What to Wear

Each Friday on the last day of classes, we will take pictures of each class cohort. We encourage participants to wear their Arts & Sciences Summer Exploration t-shirt on Friday for this event!

Daily Packing List

  • Cell phone and charger (optional)
  • Personal academic supplies, such as pens/pencils, notebook, and backpack. 
    • Any special academic materials needed for courses beyond this basic list will be provided by the program.
  • Snacks and water: Participants should bring a refillable water bottle every day. While the program will provide an afternoon snack, participants are allowed to bring their own snacks. However, we request that, for the safety of participants with nut allergies, no snacks containing nuts be brought to the program.
  • Personal medications in their original labeled containers (if taken during the day)
  • Sunscreen and umbrella or rain jacket (optional)

The documents linked below are samples of the required program forms. Once an applicant accepts their offer of admission, the parent or legal guardian will receive an email from DocuSign with links to these forms. Forms must be reviewed and signed by May 27, 2024.