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BHSU’s Summer Exploration Institute encourages creativity and critical thinking skills

 Dr. Curtis Card, associate vice president of Academic Affairs, speaks with students during last year's Summer Exploration Institute. This year's academic institute will be held June 16-20 for ages 11-16 and July 7-11 for ages 7-10.

For the fourth year in a row, Black Hills State University is offering an opportunity for local elementary through high school students to explore the world around them.

BHSU education students and recent graduates will serve as instructors for the annual Summer Exploration Institute which is designed to encourage creative and critical thinking skills in the familiar context of living in the Black Hills. Students will explore the past and predict the future, examine challenging problems to solve, and explain their perspective on things they see and don’t see. Through discussions, hands-on activities and field trips, participants will view the Black Hills through a new perspective.

There will be two sessions for the academic institute. The first is offered June 16 – 20 and is for ages 11 – 16. The registration is $60. The second is July 7 – 11 for ages 7 – 10 with a $40 registration fee. The fees cover all materials, an SEI t-shirt and transportation from BHSU to the exploration sites.  There will be an open house for each group the Monday before the sessions begin.

"Our topics this year include coding, astronomy, a Renaissance Fair, architecture, superheroes, the origins of language, train games and many more,” according to Dr. Mary Jones, assistant professor in education and director of the Summer Exploration Institute. “We are very excited to expand the June group to a full day of challenges. We look forward to seeing everyone."

BHSU will also be offering a photography boot camp and an EcoExplorers Day Camp which will focus on sustainability. For more information or to sign up for any of the academic summer camps go to or contact Hasina Ahmad at 605.642.6427 or

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