CORVALLIS - More than 340 of the brightest young students from the mid-Willamette Valley will descend on Oregon State University from June 21 to July 2 to study everything from bugs and slugs to Spanish, ancient Egypt, photography and chemistry.

These courses for talented and gifted students are sponsored by the "Adventures in Learning" program for students in grades five to seven, and "Explorations" for those in grades three and four.

About 200 of the participants are Corvallis residents, and others come mostly from Salem, Albany, Lebanon, and Philomath. A few students are from more distant points such as California, Colorado and even Korea.

"Adventures in Learning was awesome," said one participant in last year's program. "I wish I could go every week."

The two programs, sponsored by the OSU Summer Session and Precollege Programs and the OSU School of Education, are among the most popular and successful of Oregon's summer study programs for gifted students, said Judy Michael, coordinator of Adventures in Learning.

"The idea with each program is to provide a fun, stimulating learning environment to meet the needs of these students in the company of other capable learners," Michael said. "The young learners can stretch their minds as they explore and investigate topics and areas of knowledge about which they are curious and interested."

The 65 course offerings in the two programs include such topics as art, fashion design, sign language, molecular biology, archeology, web site design, swing dance, chess and opera. Campus tours, special presentations and recreational activities help round out the events.

Courses are taught by area professionals, OSU faculty and other outstanding public educators, Michael said, and draw upon the scientific and technological strengths of the university.

Anyone interested in participation in next year's programs may get more information about qualifications, fees and program structure by contacting Michael at 541-737-1289 for the Adventures in Learning program; or Connie Schultz at 541-737-2670 for the Explorations program.

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Judy Michael, 541-737-1289