Illinois 4-H is proud to offer this hi-fidelity college exploratory experience on the University of Illinois campus. Participants attend academy sessions led by university professors and enjoy a variety of engaging activities that provide a taste of just how cool college life can be. Imagine getting to work alongside university professors while you’re still in HIGH SCHOOL! Imagine getting to hang out on a college campus. Imagine spending five days with kids your age from all across Illinois. That’s what happens at Illini Summer Academies, so stop imagining it and just do it! This program offers teens the opportunity to explore the University of Illinois campus and many degree programs and careers. Illini Summer Academies is supported through the Illinois 4-H Foundation and intended to serve youth living in Illinois. A limited number of registration slots are available to youth living outside Illinois.
- Check in runs from 4 to 6 PM Sunday, June 24. Check-out runs 8 to 11 AM Thursday, June 28.
- The conference is open to youth who have completed eighth grade by June and will be at least 14 by Sept. 1, 2018
- You’ll stay in Bousfield Hall, 1214 South First Street, Champaign
- Your cost varies depending on which Academy you choose from the list below. Payment by credit card is required at the time of registration.
- Youth paying for the full amount of their fee should CLICK HERE to register.
- Current 4-H members whose counties are covering all or a portion of their fee should contact their Extension office before completing the online registration.
- Youth requesting a scholarship from the State 4-H office should CLICK HERE to register. Do not use the register button on this page. See additional details below.
- Registration closes May 15, but popular Academies will fill up before the end of registration.
Cancellations must be requested in writing to @ illinois4H@illinois.edu. Requests received before April 1 will receive a full refund. Requests received from April 1 to May 1 will receive a 50% refund. No refunds will be permitted after May 1.
CLICK HERE to download the required forms for this conference and return by May 22.
The Illinois 4-H Foundation and its donors support the conference and provide a limited number of Trail Blazers Scholarship for each Academy in order to make college exploratory experiences accessible to all youth. Preference is given to youth who are under-represented in certain career fields and who may find the cost of attendance to exploratory programs a significant challenge.
TO APPLY & REGISTER FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP, CLICK HERE. Do not register through the button on the right.
This scholarship is available to scholars who meet one or more of the following criteria:
- The participant is a member of a group that is under-represented in the industry of their chosen academy such as women who are under-represented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields and men who are under-represented in Human Development fields
- The participant would be the first among their immediate family members to earn a degree from a 4-year college or university
- The participant can demonstrate financial need based on household income and the number of members in the household.
Choose from these Academies
All academies feature project-based learning where youth are either conducting experiments, making something, or discovering some aspect of the world few people ever get to see. It wouldn't be college without lots of time for socializing, meeting new friends, and exploring campus. There are 17 different subjects to explore.
- Cost: $450
- Special Note: No repeat attendees from 2017. Participants must have completed Algebra.
- How do aircraft fly and spacecraft orbit? That question and others will be addressed in this hands-on Aerospace Engineering session. We will conduct experiments in rocket propulsion, flight mechanics, and fluid dynamics. You'll have the opportunity to design a spacecraft with a mission to Mars and explore your creativity in our "What Would MacGyver Do?" challenge.
Agricultural Communication: Telling Stories about Ag & the Environment
- Cost: $250
- Are you interested in writing, editing, photography? Learn how to apply these skills to tell stories about food, agriculture, and the environment! Join Agricultural Communications for an interactive and hands-on academy filled with discovery and fun! You will learn how to gather data, write and edit a story, take and edit photos to support the story, and publish your story online. We will also show you how drones are used in the agriculture industry and how they are employed to create videos for social media and advertising.
- Cost: $330
- Learn about many different types of animals, from production livestock to wildlife to companion animals. Students will have many hands on experiences, labs, and on-farm time.
- Cost: $235
Are you curious about humanity and culture? Do you sometimes wonder why different people act, look, and think in the ways that they do? Anthropologists are interested in the kinds of questions that concern what it means to be human. In this class, students will engage through hands-on experience with some of the ways in which anthropologists study and analyze human biology and behavior. Students will look at sex differences using skeletal remains, learn the relationship between DNA and physical traits, explore how archaeologists interpret the past using artifacts, and consider individual and cultural differences through ethnographic research.
Companion Animal Nutrition & Pet Food Manufacturing (NEW in 2018)
- Cost: $370
- We want the best possible nutrition for our pets. Learn the basic concepts about dog and cat nutrition in this hands-on laboratory experience for evaluating pet food.
Electrical & Computer Engineering
- Cost: $445
- Get an introduction to robotics, circuits, biomedical imaging, semiconductors/nano-technology, optics/photonics, and power/energy through interactive lessons, projects, and demonstrations in cutting-edge research labs. Lessons introduce how:
- to design and conduct experiments.
- to use control theory to make machines do what we want.
- the power grid operates.
- basic circuits and optical elements work.
- In this hands-on Academy, we’ll troubleshooting an experiment, ride a Segway, use a multimeter, and work with lasers. We introduce ECE Illinois’ great history of innovation. During the afternoon project time, students learn how to solder, make a functional circuit (FM transmitter), and test it with a radio receiver.
Exploring Human Development & Family Studies
- Cost: $255
- Can science help you learn more about yourself? Can it help you grow as a person? YES! This academy introduces you to the scientific study of youth and families. Learn more about your relationships with friends and parents. What about romantic relationships? Can science tell you anything about what you will argue about most or how you can cope with stress? As part of this academy, you will meet current U of I students in HDFS, discover more about yourself, and learn about careers focused on working with other people. There’s a lot to discover!
Grand Challenge is Family Studies
- Cost: $255
- Special Note: must have completed 10th grade by Academy time
- Many of society’s problems are rooted in the challenges that families experience stress, conflict, violence, discrimination, and other adversities. U of I family scientists are at the forefront of understanding and finding solutions to these challenges. In this academy, you will explore these issues and use scientific tools to understand their causes and consequences. As part of this academy, you will work with current U of I students in HDFS to examine prevention and intervention methods for solving these problems and identify the next steps for improving the health, well-being, and lives of children, youth, and families.
Game Design: Digital Art, Storytelling & Fabrication (NEW IN 2018)
- Cost: $320
- Special Note: Participants should know basic computer operation. Guidelines are available online at http://cucfablab.org/programs-and-services/workshops/participant-prerequ...
- Dive into the CU Community Fab Lab to learn how game design works. This camp introduces participants to:
- rapid fabrication tools in the lab for board game design,
- game-driven cultural production with cosplay and costuming
- using videogames like Minecraft, Spore and RPG Maker VX as narrative and mechanic design and as well as learning tools for enabling computational thinking strategies.
- By the end of the camp scholars will have created a modified board game prototype, made game-related fan art, and coded the beginning of a functional RPG (story-based) computer game.
Honey Bees & Beekeeping
- Cost: $295
- Learn the parts of a hive and how to put one together. You will put on suits and veils and join a beekeeper to see how the bees work in the hive to make more bees, store food and survive the winter. You will learn how to help the honey bees be healthy. The bees are critical for pollinating some of our specialty crops and helping us have a good food supply. You can learn some best management practices to preserve and add to their foraging habitats. Learn how to help them so they can continue to help us.
Advanced Microbiology (NEW IN 2018)
- Cost: $320
- Special note: Open to youth who have completed a PRIOR Molecular and Cellular Biology Illini Academies course.
- More details to come!
Molecular & Cellular Biology
- Cost: $320
- Special Note: No repeats from 2017
- Do you sometimes wonder how living things work, what is a cell and how it functions, or what are genes and what do they do? By asking these questions, you are inquiring about the fundamental cellular processes that are at work in every one of us… and starting on the same path as researchers in Biological Sciences and Medicine. Join the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology to fulfill your curiosity and start exploring the marvelous complexities and inner workings of the cell. Participants will manipulate cells and their building blocks using modern research laboratory techniques while learning about the latest scientific discoveries that allow MCB researchers to discover answers to the above questions. Participants will also have the opportunity to tour a research laboratory and meet the scientists. We will spend time working on:
- The effects of UV light on a bacterial population
- How to insert a gene of interest into a population of bacteria
- How to extract their own DNA
- Blood Typing
- PCR and DNA Typing
- The physiology of the circulatory system
- The eukaryotic cell
- Enzyme Biochemistry
Plant Biology: Exploring Life Beneath Our Feet (NEW IN 2018)
- Cost: $220
- Did you know that a handful of soil contains a few billion bacteria? Though we can’t see them, these bacteria have an enormous impact on our lives. Their breathing releases greenhouse gases to the air to contribute to global climate change. Some can draw nitrogen from the air and feed it to our crops to help them grow. Others can transform chemical species from one form to another to reduce the potential for water pollution caused by fertilizer added to agricultural fields. We will spend time outdoors and in the laboratory performing experiments to observe the activity of these soil bacteria. Through these hands-on experiences, including soil sampling in the field, performing DNA extractions, and running specialized scientific instruments, you will learn about the different roles soil bacteria can play in your life. Ready to get your hands dirty with us!
Theater: African Dance
- Cost: $285
Umfundalai is a contemporary African dance technique that draws its movement vocabulary from dance traditions throughout the continent of Africa and its diaspora. Taught by Umfundalai's only male dance master, Kemal Nance, the class offers an introduction to contemporary movement practices that emerged from the Black Arts Movement of the late 1960s.
Theater: Fashion Design
- Cost: $285
- Youth will create an original theatre piece incorporating writing, movement, some technical design and other talents the youth bring to the table! Fashion Design: This class will introduce you to what it means to be a costume designer and you'll work on basic drawing and painting skills for a final rendering.
- Cost: $335
- Special Note: Must have completed 10th grade by Academy time
- Are you interested in animals, medicine, and science? Do you like helping people? Do you like unraveling mysteries? Do you like real challenges? If you answered yes to these questions, then the wide world of veterinary medicine just may be for you. Veterinarians have a strong interest and ability in science. They enjoy working with people as well as with animals. See what veterinary school is like while you learn about the different aspects of veterinary medicine. Participants in the veterinary medicine Academy will learn about the science of veterinary medicine, anatomy, immunology, bacteriology, parasitology, wildlife medicine, large and small animal medicine, and more. Participants will participate in clinical equine rounds, streak and read bacteriology slides, learn about veterinary specialty fields such as dentistry, ophthalmology, and forensic pathology, and so much more.
Work Hard/Play Hard: Careers in Health Sciences, Sports & Wellness (NEW IN 2018)
- Cost: $220
- Are you interested in health and wellness? Does a career as a doctor, physical therapist, athletic trainer, nurse, dentist, audiologist, speech pathologist, sport marketer, park supervisor or event/tourism planner intrigue you? If so, this is the academy for you! You will learn about exciting health careers and research in the areas of community health; kinesiology; speech and hearing sciences; interdisciplinary health sciences; and recreation, sport and tourism. You’ll participate in cutting edge research laboratories and technology, administer CPR, apply a tourniquet, talki with Illinois graduates, develop leadership skills, visit innovative campus sites, and work with the Illini service dogs.
Cancellations & Refunds must be sent in writing to us @ illinois4H@illinois.edu. Requests received before April 1 will receive a full refund. Requests received from April 1 to May 1 will receive a 50% refund. No refunds will be permitted after May 1.
We offer the Trail Blazers Scholarship to make college exploratory experiences accessible to all youth by encouraging participation of scholars who are under-represented in certain career fields and who may find the cost of attendance to exploratory programs a significant challenge. TO APPLY: CLICK HERE and REGISTER. Do not register through the button on the right.
This scholarship is available to scholars who meet one or more of the following criteria:
- The scholar is a member of a group that is under-represented in the industry of their chosen academy such as women who are under-represented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields and men who are under-represented in Human development fields
- The scholar would be the first among their immediate family members to earn a degree from a 4yr college or university
- The scholar can demonstrate financial need based on household income and the number of members in the household.