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HATS Summer Courses

Every summer, the Stetson HATS Program offers week-long academic enrichment courses for high achieving and gifted students in kindergarten through 12th grade that encourage students to explore their academic areas of interest in a collegiate setting.

2018 Summer Program Information

  • Classes are held in the Sage Science Center at the University's DeLand campus.
  • All classes will meet Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Tuition for each week-long class is $275.
  • Dates classes will be held are July 9-13, July 16-20 and July 23-27.

If you have any questions about enrollment eligibility, please email

Registration is closed for our Summer Program classes.

If you are interetsted in attending classes in our 2018 HATS Summer Program we still do have a few spaces open. 

Please email us at to check on the availablity of the course you are interested in attending. 

July 9-13 Courses  |  Week 1

NSB – 101 | Aviation | Grades 6-12  (This class is full)

Back by popular demand, HATS again offers a weeklong aviation course on site at the New Smyrna Beach Airport. Students will learn about general aviation, the practical aspect of aeronautics, which includes the principles of flight along with the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft. Think of this as a mini-ground school for student pilots. The class will meet at Epic School of Imagination. All students will receive a voucher for a Discovery Flight offered by Epic Flight Academy. Are you ready to soar?

July 16-20 Courses  |  Week 2

DEL – 101 | Mighty Earth - Forces of Nature | Grades K-1

We live on an ever-changing planet, one that is mighty! Spend the week investigating Earth's fiercest powers including earthquakes, hurricanes, blizzards, tsunamis and more as we explore the science behind them and how these natural systems shape our planet. Join us as we travel around the globe and discover the forces that have kept the Earth on the move since it was formed billions of years ago. Learn how to understand and respect the planet and all its forces of nature!

DEL - 102 | Engineering - Rube Goldberg Machines | Grades 2-3

Rube Goldberg was an American cartoonist, sculptor, author and engineer often referred to as the father of invention for his popular cartoons depicting what we call Rube Goldberg machines: Complicated, deliberately over-engineered contraptions that ultimately perform a very simple task. Join us in this physics and engineering course as we work with the six simple machines: pulley, lever, inclined plane, screw, wedge and the wheel and axle and learn how simple machines create useful devices that we use in our everyday lives. We will be experimenting with many household items, breaking them down and analyzing their components to create complex, wacky and diabolically logical machines that accomplish mundane and trivial tasks. Designing and building are essential to engineering. Are you up for the challenge?

DEL - 103 | Playing Hooky with Tom Sawyer | Grades 4-8

If you know anything at all about Mark Twain's beloved character, Tom Sawyer, you know he played hooky (skipped school) every chance he got. Join us for a week of living The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as we get to know this great American character from the inside out. We will recreate many of his adventures and get to know the real stories behind the fiction. Taught by the founder of HATS and the former director of both the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum and the Mark Twain House & Museum, you'll become an expert by the end of the week. It will be as much fun as whitewashing a fence and one class you won't want to skip.

DEL - 104 | Comic Strip Studio | Grades 4-12

Whether you're a skilled artist or a consummate doodler, you, too, can become a cartoonist. All you need is your imagination. What's your favorite cartoon? Zits? Peanuts? Calvin and Hobbes? This course will introduce you to techniques used by professional cartoonists to bring characters and ideas to life on the Sunday comics page.
We'll supply the materials and instruction; you'll supply the imagination. Taught by the creator of the Mr. Fitz comic strip, you'll enjoy a unique opportunity to learn to cartoon from a professional cartoonist.
*Registration for this course requires students to submit a sample of their drawings and/or characters with the application. Contact for more details.

DEL - 105 | Harry Potter Science | Grades 6-10

Attention all aspiring Magizoologists! Influenced by his mother's breeding of fancy Hippogriffs, Newt Scamander's interest in bizarre magical animals and fabulous beasts began when he was just a seven-year-old wizard. His masterpiece, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, has been an approved textbook at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry since its first publication. Do you hunger to master the marvels, mysteries, and scientific principles of magic? Or… do you long to attend a school similar to Hogwarts or Ilvermorny? If you're nodding yes, yes, yes, then grab your time turner and join us as we travel back and forth across the pond. Wands at the ready to immerse yourself in the magical world of Harry Potter, Newt Scamander, and MACUSA. Discover the scientific principles in classes such as Arithmancy, Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Divination, Potions, Transfiguration, and of course, Care of Magical Creatures. Only the truest of aspiring witches, wizards, and warlocks may enroll. Leave the Muggle world behind and meet your professors at Platform 9 ¾. Is your suitcase Muggleworthy?

July 23-27 Courses | Week 3

DEL - 221 | Animal Planet | Grades K-1

How many different animals inhabit the earth? Let's take a trip around the world as you become a junior zoologist and learn about the animals that share this amazing planet with us. How are animals classified into different groups based on their characteristics? What special adaptations do animals have that help them survive? How do animals utilize what is in the habitat to build their homes? Do animals communicate with each other using language? Which animals are endangered, and what can we do to help ensure their survival? Learn the answers to these questions and more as we explore the animal kingdom and their different natural environments.

DEL - 222 | Time Travels - Ancient Civilizations | Grades 2-3

Are you ready to go on a time-traveling adventure as we take a journey back thousands of years to the age of the ancient civilizations? Ever wonder what it would be like to go on an archaeological expedition? Join us to embark on an adventure into five ancient civilizations - Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, China and Rome. We will dig for cuneiform tablets and decipher what is carved on the stone, discover the astrology behind the zodiac and learn its importance in the Chinese calendar, conduct a burial for a pharaoh and uncover the numeric secrets behind the pyramids, participate in an Olympic competition, and much more. We will be incorporating mathematical principles and science into our adventures every step of the way. So, get ready to fasten your seatbelts, because we have an exciting journey ahead of us!

DEL - 223 | Flash Fiction | Grades 4-12

This fiction-writing seminar will explore the principles of good storytelling, specific writing techniques, including moment-by-moment narration, dialogue and description. Students will create and share short fiction using feedback from both peers and the instructor. Taught by the author of Writing Extraordinary Essays and Teaching Students to Make Writing Visual and Vivid, this course will help you find the fun in real writing again. The week will culminate with a finished novella that will be published and distributed to all participants.
*Registration for this course requires students to submit a writing sample with the application. Contact for more details.

DEL - 224 | Ten Item Tales – Grow Your Own Play | Grades 4-10

To write truly effective theatre, you must immerse yourself in the medium. From creating characters, dialogue, and plots to set changes and stage directions, participants will begin the experience by using creative writing techniques to develop a story based on a collection of ten random items. The elements of drama, improvisation, and creativity will be highlighted as we turn the narratives into scripts to be performed as skits. Join us to experience the thrill of taking a journey of imagination that ends in a culminating showcase and 3-D presentation.
(Please note: Students must be willing to write and perform on stage.)

DEL - 225 | Forensic Science | Grades 5-9

221B Baker Street, London. An address may have heard of but only a handful would dare to visit. Will you be one of the few? Welcome to the private domain of the renowned and revered consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes. Following years of negotiation, pleading, and imploring, Mr. Holmes has graciously agreed to open the doors of 221B Baker Street to those who truly wish to learn some of his methods in solving London’s most notorious crimes. Come and explore the science behind Fingerprinting, Blood Spatter Analysis, and Crime Scene Processing. You may think you know how to apply scientific observation, forensic science, and logical reasoning to solve a mystery. In all likelihood, you haven’t a clue. Or do you?

DEL - 226 | Diving Deep into Marine Biology | Grades 8-12

Do you love spending time in the ocean? Are you interested in dolphins, whales, sharks, or other sea creatures? Marine biology is the science of saltwater and everything that lives, moves, and filters through it. From estuaries to coral reefs and deep oceans to the open seas, this huge body of saltwater covers about seventy percent of our planet's surface and contains many different marine ecosystems. Life within it is more diverse than life on land. Join us as we discover the organisms, plants, and animals that live in oceans or saltwater environments; uncover some of the major environmental threats facing the oceans; explore the anatomy of several sea creatures with hands-on dissections; and understand the importance of the marine ecosystem and how you can make a difference for our environment. Are you ready to dive deep?