Office of the President

July 30, 2018

Learning doesn’t take a summer vacation at the UW

Ana Mari Cauce

For the University of Washington, the summer remains a dynamic and energetic environment. So while the lines are shorter at the coffee shops and dining halls and parking spots a little easier to come by, it’s anything but quiet.

Never miss an update – subscribe to receive e-mail notifications of new posts

Some 20,000 students enroll in summer quarter, making steady progress on their major requirements, or taking a break from the norm, through a course at our Friday Harbor Laboratories, studying abroad, completing an internship, or getting a jump on fluency through an intensive foreign language course. It’s hard to walk across our campuses without running into students and their parents, whether incoming students attending orientations for the Fall, or prospective students touring our campuses for the first time. It’s also a time when we welcome a different sort of learner to our campuses.

The UW is home to dozens of summer camps serving students from 1st grade all the way through high school. We have camps that introduce middle schoolers to coding and engineering, a screenwriting workshop for high school students and explorations of everything from food to drama to outer space for elementary school students. UW Bothell is host to camps that introduce young people to a range of technology skills and UW Tacoma has partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound to offer a free Math-Science-Leadership Program for local underserved students.

The Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering introduces K-12 students to the field though its summer program, DawgBytes

The Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering introduces K-12 students to the field through its summer program, DawgBytes

At the Burke Museum, camps let kids explore natural history and get inspired by scientists, and our Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity hosts Summer Academy, an Upward Bound program that introduces 9th, 10th and 11th graders from several local high schools to life at a university while preparing them for college-level academics. In many cases, these programs offer financial assistance so that any young person in Washington can attend.

Research tells us that “summer loss” – students losing a significant portion of what they learned during the school year over the break – is a major problem and especially so for disadvantaged students. Summer enrichment programs like the ones here at the UW have been shown to combat this loss. As a public university, our mission of service doesn’t end when the last graduate crosses the stage at commencement. In the summers, when we welcome a different mix of students, our beautiful campuses and research centers continue to be vibrant places, full of learning and discovery. At the UW, teaching and learning are a year-round passion.