Summer Challenge: 5-6th Grade

Summer 2020

July 6th – July 24th

What is Summer Challenge?

Summer Challenge is an academically advanced summer program for children who will have completed the 5th or 6th grade. Summer Challenge provides motivated students with an intensive, hands-on, fun, and educational experience in areas outside of the traditional school curriculum.

The 2020 Challenge program begins on July 6th and ends on July 24th. The program runs for three weeks, five days a week from 9:00 AM to 2:20 PM, on the University of Washington Seattle campus. There is also before-class and after-class care available for an additional charge. Classes are small and instructors are all specialists in their field. Although there are no grades, weekly progress reports are provided.

How to Apply

Registration for Summer Challenge 2020 will begin at 4:00 PM on Sunday, February 9th and end at 5:00 PM, May 22nd. Students must currently be 5th or 6th graders. Because classes fill quickly, students are allowed to indicate their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices during registration. However, students are only accepted into one class. Applicants need to complete the online application and submit appropriate documentation to qualify for admission to the program. Applications are only considered complete after documentation has been submitted.

Pathways to Qualify (only ONE is required):

  • Enrollment in an identified gifted/highly capable program that specifically serves highly capable students. Acceptable documentation is a letter of placement or report card in a gifted program or school.
  • Qualification to participate in a nationally recognized talent search (Johns Hopkins CTY, Davidson Institute, etc.)
  • Participation in the Rainier Scholars program
  • Smarter Balanced (SBAC) scores or other standardized test (ITBS, SSAT, SCAT, CoGAT, ERB) scores in the 80th percentile or above in at least one subject area. For your reference, the minimum SBAC scores for tests taken the spring of 2019 are as follows:
    • 4th Grade test:  ELA 2572, OR Math 2568
    • 5th Grade test:  ELA 2608, OR Math 2605
  • Letter of recommendation from a teacher who can speak to the student’s ability to succeed in the program. Applicants will be prompted to provide a name and e-mail address during registration. The teacher recommendation form is automatically e-mailed to the instructor.
  • Previous enrollment in our Summer Challenge or Saturday Enrichment Program

Documentation must be uploaded to your account. It can be in the form of a screenshot, photo, PDF, or jpeg.

To meet projected enrollment demands, we sometimes offer multiple sections of classes. Please note that if you register for a class that has multiple sections (designated Section A or Section B), if there is no space left in the section you are requesting, we will automatically put you in the other section of the same class. The core content is the same across sections, although teachers may approach it differently based on their areas of expertise.

Applications are accepted on a rolling, first-come first-served basis. Complete applications are processed first. Waiting lists are created for classes that fill. Classes that are under-enrolled may be canceled.

Cost and Financial Aid

Tuition for 2020 is $1,100 with a non-refundable $50 registration fee. There is an additional materials and excursions fee of $75 – $100, depending on the class.

Robinson Center Summer Programs Refund Policy

You may withdraw by written (letter or email) request only. The last day to withdraw and receive a full refund will be May 1st. If you withdraw no later than May 1st, 2020, you will receive a 100% tuition refund minus the $50 non-refundable registration fee. Tuition cannot be refunded after the May 1st deadline. A full refund will be made if the class is canceled by the Robinson Center.

Tuition and Fee Waivers

Tuition and fee waivers may be awarded to families who are eligible for or are receiving free or reduced lunch.

Documentation accepted as evidence of need includes copies of 2018 or 2019 1040-tax forms OR 2019-20 documentation of eligibility for free/reduced lunch. The document/s must be submitted through the ‘Make a Payment’ page of your Robinson Center account. Providing this information will not disadvantage you. If supporting paperwork is not submitted, or if there is a significant discrepancy between the information submitted online and the confirmatory documents, the tuition and fee waiver may be rescinded and/or the student may be removed from the class.

Information supplied to the Robinson Center is intended for internal use only. It is understood that this information will be used only in computing the amount of financial assistance for which the student may qualify, and that it will not be released to any other party.

Please find more information on the federal income eligibility guidelines for free and reduced lunch here.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Kim Lee at


The following is a non-inclusive list of organizations that grant scholarships to students wishing to attend summer programs.

The Assistance League of Seattle provides scholarships for summer enrichment programs available to Seattle Public School children, grades 6th to 11th.

The Washington Association of Educators of the Talented and Gifted awards scholarships to students who plan to attend a summer program at a college or at a similarly challenging summer camp.

Program Schedule

Summer Challenge classes run from 9:00 AM to 2:20 PM Monday through Friday. All students must arrive to assigned classrooms by 9:00 AM, where attendance will be taken by the teaching team. Families must report a student’s absence by e-mailing the teacher at the teacher’s UW e-mail address and copying the Robinson Center at prior to 8:30 AM. There are before-class and after-class programs available for an additional fee.

Class descriptions for 2020 will be posted in mid-January. However, you can see the Summer 2019 class descriptions using the curriculum tab in the left navigation bar or the Classes Offered tab above.

Before-Class Care

For Summer Challenge students, we offer before-class care from 8:15 AM – 9:00 AM. We supervise all students and provide fun activities to keep them engaged. Teaching assistants will escort all children to their registered classes by 9:00 AM. Families may register when they apply for Summer Challenge if they are planning to use this service. The last day to register for the before-class option will be in mid-June. The fee is $50 for the three-week session.

After-Class Care

For Summer Challenge students, we also offer after-class care from 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM. We supervise all students and provide fun activities to keep them engaged. Teaching assistants will escort all children from their class to the site of the after-class program. Families may register when they apply for Summer Challenge if they are planning to use this service. The last day to register for the after-class option will be in mid-June. The fee for after-class care is $150 for the three-week session.

Information for the First Day

Before classes begin, we will send you all of the information you need for the first day of Summer Challenge. You will receive a copy of your class syllabus, a welcome letter from the teacher, a family handbook, and a campus map. Information for the first day of the 2020 session will be emailed in the second half of June.

On the first day of class, your child’s teacher will give a brief introduction to the course and distribute the syllabus. Parents are requested to stay with their child for this course introduction, after which they are invited to attend our parent orientation to the Robinson Center summer programs.

Appeal Process

If a student was not accepted into the program and would like to appeal that decision, parents have a week to submit an appeal. If you wish to appeal, please log into your account, where there is a link to an appeal form. Once the appeal has been completed and submitted, and the required documents uploaded to your account, the admissions team will reconsider your application and, if necessary, forward the appeal to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, which has the final word on all appeals.


If you have any questions, feel free to email us at or call the Robinson Center at 206-543-4160 

Summer Program Events

« January 2020 » loading...
Wed 22

UW Academy Visit Day

January 22 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Fri 24

UW Academy Visit Day

January 24 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Wed 29

UW Academy Visit Day

January 29 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm

Summer News

Registration for Summer 2020 begins in February: Stretch registration opens February 2nd and Summer Challenge registration begins on February 9th. Please note that we have changed the day and time of registration. Both registration dates are Sundays and will open at 4:00 pm. Keep an eye on our Summer Programs web page in January when we will post the 2020 summer classes. We hope you will join us!