Students gathering on a quadDuke Summer Academy for High School Students provides a stimulating and immersive learning experience that will help you experience what it means to be a global citizen.  Rather than sitting at a desk and simply listening to a lecture while taking notes, you will engage in a variety of interactive assignments designed to build critical skills essential to preparing for the world beyond high school.  You will participate in role playing, discussions, interviews, presentations, debates, or other dynamic educational activities while learning alongside peers from around the world.  Summer Academy meets Monday through Friday for approximately six hours a day for coursework activities.  Additional optional enrichment activities are planned for evenings and weekends. 

In 2020, Duke Summer Academy is offering the all new Global Challenge Academy!  In these courses, you will research a problem facing the world today using multiple lenses: political, economic, social, environmental, scientific, and philosophical/ethical. Be a change agent as you and your peers develop solutions to real world challenges. 

Or, you can select from Duke Summer Academy’s exciting options where you will intensively focus on and enhance your knowledge of one trailblazing topic of interest to you: business, cybersecurity, research, entrepreneurship, leadership, or mathematics.

Term 1 (June 14 – July 3)

Term 2 (July 12 – July 31)

Solving Global Challenges (Term 1 and Term 2)

Think critically, solve problems creatively, and be one of the change-makers of your generation NOW! When you think of our world, what keeps you up at night? Global epidemics? Human trafficking? Climate change? What can be done? Duke Summer Academy is launching a unique new Global Challenges course where you will work with a global network of like-minded peers to solve today’s most pressing issue that immerses you in intensive, multi-faceted analyses of our most pressing global issues and challenges you to design an original action plan to help address the issue. Now more than ever, the problems we are facing require problem-solving that transcends one approach or perspective. They require thinkers like you who can tackle the problems by drawing from a wide range of perspectives and multiple disciplines to fully respond to the problem. 

You and your peers will develop the skills needed to analyze the challenge from political, economic, social, environmental, scientific, and philosophical viewpoints.  When you launch into an interdisciplinary global challenge academy, you will be guided through an in-depth analysis of the many intricacies and perspectives that make each challenge so complex and difficult to solve. Most importantly, you will learn the skills needed to help put new ideas to work and take action on solving these challenges. 

Today’s global challenges are more complex than ever before and require solutions covering multiple perspectives. To be able to tackle these global challenges you need to be able to analyze complex systems and understand the relationships between numerous dynamic components. You need to think critically and solve problems creatively, while expanding your cultural and global fluency. The solving Global Challenges course helps you do exactly that. 

You will learn about the leading methods being used to tackle the challenge, and you will work with a team of your peers to develop an original action plan to contribute to the global solution. At the conclusion of the course, you and your team will present your action plan to a panel of judges. The top teams will receive awards to help you take your vision beyond the academy! 

Global Challenge Academy Structure

  1. Understanding the Global Challenge: In the first week of your academy, you will be guided through a series of activities, group discussions, case studies, and problem solving scenarios to understand your global challenge from each of the interdisciplinary perspectives. 
  2. Analyzing Solutions: The second week of your academy will focus on understanding and analyzing solutions that have already been proposed or enacted to help address the challenge. You will learn what governments, non-profit organizations, companies, and communities are doing to help address the major drivers of the issue and you will explore the results and whether or not they have been successful.
  3. Action Plans: Working in teams, you will use your new analytical, critical thinking, and problem solving skills to propose an action plan to help address the global challenge. You will work with advisors who will help you organize a real-world plan and then your team will present it to a panel of judges. The top three teams will receive awards to help you take your plan beyond the academy and put it into action. 

Global Challenge Topics

In the global challenge courses you will join a network of students from around the world who are all motivated to tackle one of the most pressing challenges of our time. You will select one of the Global Challenge topics listed below as your focus: 

TERM 1 (June 14 – July 3) 

  • Plastic Pollution.  Plastics are everywhere.  They cost little to produce, are versatile, and represent everyday convenience. But with plastics piling up on land and in the oceans, how do we address this monumental environmental challenge? How are governments addressing it? What has failed? What is working? What else can be done?
  • Global Epidemics.  Infectious disease – whether it is measles, malaria, ebola, HIV, or something else – is on the rise locally and all across the world. How can we better understand and manage infectious disease from a socio-economic perspective? A political perspective? An environmental perspective? A global health perspective? Where do we find answers – with drugs, with vaccines, with education?
  • Access to Healthcare.  Many people, even in developed nations, do not have access to or the ability to pay for the healthcare they need. How do we as a society deal with this? What are the advantages and disadvantages to the various healthcare models – private, managed, and national? Who ought to pay for healthcare – the individual, the employer, the state, or some national system?  What are the essential features of an effective and efficient healthcare system?  How can healthcare be improved for you, your family, and future generations?

TERM 2 (July 12 – July 31)  

  • Migrant Crisis. Countries all around the world are confronting the challenge of refugees seeking asylum. Some believe that migrants and refugees are not just a challenge, but a crisis of staggering proportion.  What political, environmental, social, and moral factors produce migrants and refugees?  How do we understand the issues that create migrant and refugee populations and what factors ought to guide the responses we make? Why might individuals and governments respond differently?  When individuals and their governments clash over how best to respond, who is right?
  • Climate Change. Whether human-influenced, human-made or something else entirely, the climate is changing. The changes span a wide spectrum and vary according to your locality: warmer and/or colder winters, hotter summers, too much rain, not enough rain, increasingly more violent storms. How are humans impacting the climate, what is the evidence, and what is the controversy? What can and should be done to help prepare for the changes to come, and for the changes that are already here? What can we do to mitigate the risks and to help manage our changing climate?
  • Food and Nutrition. Many people around the world have little access to affordable nutritious food. All over the world, even in prosperous countries, there are regions where people live in “food-deserts” where there simply isn’t good nutritious food available and there are areas that simply don’t produce enough food for the population. Are there food deserts in your cities? How do people living in poverty manage paying for healthy, nutritious food when it is often much more expensive? What are the short-term and the long-term impacts associated with poor nutrition? In this academy we will look at access to nutritious food from a holistic, problem-solving focus and explore how to improve nutritious food options for everyone, but especially for people who lack easy access.

The Global Executive: Leading Business into the Future (Term 1)

The business environment is a challenging space, but is also incredibly exciting and invigorating. Business leaders can experience the highest highs but also weather the lowest of lows. And executives have to do it all while leading a dynamic organization constantly facing new challenges. Being a successful business executive takes a wide array of skills from managing diverse teams to making decisions under imperfect conditions and so many more. New challenges and problems are constantly thrown at the business executive and they need to know how to tackle them at an increasingly dynamic pace. 
Today’s businesses need executives with not only the technical competence to manage business operations, but also the vision to see beyond the day-to-day and the passion to propel a company successfully into an ever-changing future.  Throughout the Global Executive course, you will learn the critical skills to do this and much more. 

The academy is structured into three overarching units: 

  1. The first part of the Global Executive Academy is designed to transform you into an inspirational business leader whom others will follow enthusiastically. You will investigate an array of individual and team-based skills to discover your signature strengths and distinct style of leadership. You will be placed in a series of increasingly complex and dynamic scenarios in which you will learn to use your unique skills and leadership style to unite people and move them forward with a mutual understanding, vision, and passion.
  2. The course then takes an important turn toward executive decision making and management.  You will put the leadership skills you developed into practice by examining complex business scenarios. Each scenario will guide you through the process of developing and refining critical skills to navigate various business challenges. Each scenario will test your business acumen and help you explore the skills needed to make tough decisions as a business executive.
  3. To conclude the academy, you will work in teams to analyze a real-world business scenario for your final project and present a business strategy to solve an actual business challenge as though you were a team of executive consultants brought in to support a C-suite of executives in need of support to turn around their company. Final projects will be presented to a panel of business leaders in a live award ceremony.

Business executives today require not only the technical competence to manage business operations, but the vision to see beyond the day-to-day and the passion to propel a company successfully into an ever-changing future. Executives face more and more complex challenges in both external and internal to the company. Throughout the Global Executive academy, we will teach you to be a global executive ready to tackle these challenges.  

By the completion of this academy, you will have gained skills required by every business executive to become the visionary companies need to lead them into a future full of challenges and opportunities! Don’t miss this opportunity to develop your skills in becoming a global business executive!


The Global Guardian: Cybersecurity in the Digital Age (Term 1)

Protecting against global cyber threats in a digital age.

Our world is full of modern wonders that use technology to enhance our lives in amazing ways. From healthcare technologies to communication methods, from vacationing to digital banking, more and more of our lives rely on digital information sharing; however, our increased reliance on these connected technologies also leads to increased opportunities for cyber-attacks that could cripple individual lives, whole companies, or even governments! The Global Guardian introduces you to the dynamic world of cyber-security and trains you on the foundations for creating a secure cyber space for us all and truly defending our modern digital way of life. 

Through this academy students will learn about the many ways criminals try to exploit vulnerabilities from identity theft, to phishing schemes, to denial of service attacks and more. Students will also learn the techniques cyber-security leaders use to thwart these attacks, and will have the chance to test their own skills at defending cyber-space in a digital capture-the-flag tournament. Concluding the academy, students will band together in cyber-security teams and be pitted against others in a timed challenge to see who can both defend their own cyber-vault and break into their opponents to capture their digital flag.

Course requirements:
This is a BASIS-CODING course. Although we will be using computers and you will learn some fundamentals of introductory coding, you are not expected to be fluent in any coding language. Having some experience coding with javascript, python, and HTML will be useful, but is not necessary. Because of this, students should also not expect to learn advanced coding methods through this course, but will rather learn the fundamentals of how cyber-security works, and some of the basic coding structures for the various types of hacks.

Course Structure:

  1. Week one:
    1. Introductions to Cyber-Security – students will learn about the different types of vulnerabilities and be introduced to ways white-hat hackers try to protect against attacks. We will explore some of the largest attacks and learn how they worked and what happened because of them.
  2. Week two:
    1. Scenario defense – students will be guided through several scenarios to learn how cyber security professionals actually protect systems against attacks, and test their hands at a few examples themselves.
  3. Week three:
    1. Digital Capture the Flag Tournament – students will form cyber-defense teams where they will be introduced to a capture-the-flag style game in which teams will try to hack into each other’s systems to capture a digital flag. The academy will conclude with a capture-the-flag tournament with awards for the top teams.

As our world becomes increasingly dependent on a connected infrastructure, our cyber-security is becoming an ever more prevalent concern. Every year we see new stories of major data breaches at companies and attacks on government servers. The need for skilled cyber security professionals has never been greater, and more and more students are being recruited to join the fight at all levels of society. 

Through this academy, students will get their first taste of what it’s like to be at the front-lines of the world’s largest conflict. The skills gained in this academy will position students for future careers at many levels of the cyber-security battle lines, and will introduce you to the fundamentals of coding and computer science required to thwart future attacks. Don’t miss your chance to gain important skills and become a part of this critically exciting opportunity to secure our future.


The Global Researcher (Term 2)

Researchers are the world’s dynamic questioners, investigators, and problem-solvers. They are confronted with complex challenges that they can only solve if they have the skills and knowledge needed, the proposed solutions are approved by their scientific peers, and the accepted solutions are adopted by the people they are trying to help. Through Duke Summer Academy’s Global Researcher, you will gain the fundamental skills required to begin thinking like a researcher and contributing to discovery. Tomorrow's researchers will solve some of the most pressing social and scientific problems. Could one of those researchers be you?

The Global Researcher introduces you to the life an elite researcher through a dynamic series of tours, lectures, and hands-on projects and discussions and helps you discover where your passion for research lies. You will experience the wide range of research being conducted at Duke, a leading private research university, and have a behind the scenes look at Duke’s world-class laboratories and facilities. Hands-on and individualized experiences including labs and experiments allow you to navigate what it’s like to be a true researcher. You will learn how to develop and experimentally question a hypothesis, critically evaluate research outcomes, and develop strategies for translating science into action that will lay the foundation for the researcher’s role as a global citizen. Because research is highly collaborative, you will work in teams to analyze scientific literature and discuss topics such as mentoring, ethics, and funding. There will be regular guest lectures – from faculty, postdocs, as well as undergraduate and graduate students – who will participate in discussions about their research and share their stories about how they became passionate researchers. 

For your final class project, you and your team will develop a research question, generate a hypothesis in response to this question, and formulate rigorous methodologies to test your hypothesis. This process culminates in a research symposium where you and your peers will present your findings to scientists at Duke University and researchers in the field. Embark on a journey this summer to discover your research interests and how you can impact the world as a global researcher!

Examples of Tours Which May be Available:

Augmentality Labs

Durham’s Augmentality Labs boasts 12 virtual reality stations featuring the HTC Vive system.  Ten of these stations are roughly 8’X8’ of walkable space.  The other two are racing simulators with a wheel, pedals, and a racing seat.  Augmentality labs is both a testament to the strides made in virtual reality and a case-study in successful technology entrepreneurism.

Lemur Center

The Duke Lemur Center is the largest sanctuary for prosimian primates in the world, housing over 250 individuals across 21 species. As a living laboratory, it is tasked with advancing science, scholarship, and biological conservation through its interdisciplinary research and promoting a deeper appreciation of biodiversity and an understanding of the power of scientific discovery.

Life Flight

The mission of Duke Life Flight is to provide the highest level of care to patients, families, and communities served by Duke Health through the integration of clinical care, education, and industry leading safety standards in air and ground transport. Duke Life Flight supports Duke Health by delivering specialized care, while facilitating transport for admission; sponsors emergent and critical care educational programs in the referring community; undergirds research efforts around improving patient outcome; and delivers high quality, innovative care.

Morehead Planetarium

Morehead Planetarium is located on the campus of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is one of the oldest and largest planetariums in the United States.  It was used to train astronauts in celestial navigation the Gemini and Apollo programs including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.  Today, Morehead Planetarium boasts a state-of-the-art full dome digital video projection system, the largest in the southeast, proving super-high-definition image resolution, 5.1 surround sound, and a truly immersive experience.

Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility

The Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMIF) is the Pratt School of Engineering’s core facility that enables materials, devices, and integrated systems research at Duke University in a variety of fields that include nanotechnology, biomaterials and biomedical engineering, information sciences, opto-electronics, sensor technology, and renewable energy. The facility consists of 7,000 square feet of clean room fabrication space, and nearly 3,000 square feet of specialized laboratory space for characterization and imaging equipment.

Viventi Lab

The Viventi Lab develops usable devices that are stable, repeatable, and easy to build that can then be shared with researchers to accelerate neuroscientific research and to treat neurological diseases such as epilepsy. This research focuses upon creating flexible electronics to interface with the brain.

Smart Home

The Duke Smart Home Program operates and manages The Home Depot Smart Home as an evolving resource for shaping ideas about sustainable, energy-efficient, and smart living. The program’s goal is to offer a research and education program that seeks to enhance and encourage sustainable and energy-efficient practices.

Hyperbaric Lab

The Duke Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology is the Southeast’s regional referral center for Hyperbaric Medicine. It is a multi-place, critical care-oriented, hyperbaric facility available 24 hours a day. The center faculty is comprised of the physicians and staff of Duke Dive Medicine, a medical practice specializing in the physiology of human exposure to extreme environments. The facility is internationally recognized for its research in the areas of carbon monoxide poisoning, decompression sickness, oxygen toxicity, and the adverse effects of radiation, and is the advisory center for DiveAssure.

Duke Cancer Institute

Duke Cancer Institute is a highly innovative and collaborative integrated care facility where patients are receiving top care as they undergo cancer treatment. The Institute does ground-breaking research on how to cure and treat all types of cancers and offers patients the opportunity to engage in these treatments by entering in more than 1,000 clinical studies.

Duke Campus Farm

Duke Campus Farm was founded in 2010 as a student program and has grown into a thriving farm producing thousands of pounds of produce annually. As a living laboratory that is utilized by many of Duke’s departments, it is tasked with catalyzing positive change in the ways we grow, eat, and think about food.



The Global Technology Entrepreneur (Term 2)

Join the global community of technology entrepreneurs and revolutionize your life!

Technology has rapidly become the global economic driver of the 21st century, and the tools to launch technology-based companies are becoming increasingly accessible. Facebook was launched from a Harvard dorm room. Apple Inc. was launched from a Palo Alto garage. It is no longer necessary to have millions of dollars of infrastructure to create a thriving technology company. All you need is the right mindset, a good idea, and the entrepreneurial skill-set to make it succeed.
For students, being an entrepreneur can be a life-changing experience. Whether you decide to move forward on your own business or decide to take your new-found skills elsewhere, learning the entrepreneurial skill-set will have a profound impact on your future. Today’s young entrepreneurs have the freedom to pursue their own passions in ways previous generations never thought would be possible. Support networks around the globe offer resources and opportunities to help kick-start innovative businesses, and Duke University Summer Academy’s Tech Entrepreneur provides high school students with a unique launch-pad into this community of young change-makers. 

Through the Technology Entrepreneur Academy, you will not only learn the critical business, marketing, and communication skills that are necessary to create a successful entrepreneurial venture, you will also complete your own technology-based business project to test your skills in a hands-on pitch competition. 

You will learn how to identify the challenges, understand the marketplace, and develop the skills needed to turn an innovative technology idea into a global brand, but what you do with those skills will be up to you. Will you make the commitment to becoming the next great young entrepreneur? The Technology Entrepreneur Academy will put you on the path, but the desire and drive to change the world must be your own.  

The concepts you will learn in this course have been refined through years of study, research, and practical use by leading entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley. This course helps participants identify and practice the critical skills required to be a successful technology-based entrepreneur.

Course Structure:

Week 1

  • Entrepreneurial basics
  • Defining your business

Week 2

  • Developing the product
  • Understanding the market
  • Creating a plan

Week 3

  • Communicating the value
  • Pitching the company

In the first week, you will learn about the complexities in structuring a startup enterprise using the Business Model Canvas as our guide.  In week two, you will dive into the details of understanding your market, your customers, and your business partners that are needed to make your products thrive.  In the third week, you will learn from leading entrepreneurs how to refine your business plan, product marketing, and presentations. 

Throughout the program, you will be introduced to Duke’s young entrepreneur community through visits to local businesses and guidance from mentors at the “Bullpen,” Duke University’s own incubator program for young entrepreneurs. You will also learn from seasoned professionals around the globe through virtual interviews and presentations.

Finally, to conclude the program, you will have the opportunity to pitch your technology startup for awards and recognition in the Technology Entrepreneur Pitch Competition to help move your project forward beyond the bounds of the academy.

So, are you ready to test your hand at creating the next big technology app? Are you up for taking the plunge into the exciting world of entrepreneurship? If so, apply soon to Duke University’s Technology Entrepreneur Academy!


The Global Leader: Diplomacy in the 21st Century (Term 2)

The world is changing at an unprecedented rate. New technologies proliferate and, with this, the world is becoming increasingly interconnected. While such developments yield undeniable benefits and exciting possibilities, they often give rise to challenging local and global problems. Now more than ever, the world needs leaders and diplomats to develop innovative and transformative solutions to today’s most pressing issues. The task of leadership demands self-awareness, emotional regulation, creativity, knowledge, and interpersonal skills for working on a team that transcends cultural boundaries.  The Global Leader course is an immersive experience in which you discover the world of diplomacy, the framework within which individuals interact in international relations 

Integrating the best research and insights from the worlds of political science, psychology, education, behavioral economics, and business, the Global Leader will provide you with the tools and experiences to discover and develop your leadership potential by turning ideas into actions.  As you explore the dynamic world of international relations, you will apply the interpersonal skills that are key to effective leadership. Working with peers from around the world, you will engage in real diplomacy though simulations of international conflict resolution and cooperation, and gain an understanding of how to ensure your skills translate across cultural boundaries. 

Throughout this course, you will not simply be learning a discrete set of skills; you will experience a personal transformation and emerge from this course brimming with self-confidence and changed in profound ways. The Global Leader will enhance your self-awareness, communication skills, team work and emotional intelligence – the qualities that distinguish the most effective leaders. Whether working with visual media, social media campaigns, or public speaking, you will be empowered not just to understand your world but to transform it.


The Global Mathematician (Term 2)

Want to predict the future? Learn how with mathematics!

Certain mathematical skills can turn you into modern-age magicians able to predict the future … using data not crystal balls! All that’s needed is to know the magic behind the numbers. The Global Mathematician at Duke University takes students through a 3-week mathematical adventure in which they learn how to use mathematics to model real-world scenarios, analyze complex data-sets, and predict future trends. To conclude the academy, students will complete their own project using real-world data to analyze future risks and make recommendations to respond to these challenges. Participants who successfully complete their capstone project presentations will be automatically qualified for The Modeling the Future Challenge - a national math modeling and predictive analysis competition for high school students! Learn more about the competition here.

Mathematics truly is a universal language, and now in the digital age, with technology becoming an ever present part of our lives, access to data and the ability to analyze it is becoming more and more important in all aspect of society. Non-profit organizations need to know how their projects are impacting their communities, governments need to know how their policies are changing life for their constituents, and companies need to know how their products are being received by their customers.

The future is full of risks, but through mathematical modeling and data analytics, skilled mathematicians can predict what will happen in the future and help organizations navigate around potentially damaging outcomes. These skills are becoming ever more important to all types of organizations. Careers such as being an actuary or a data scientist are consistently ranked among the top sought-after, and top paid professions.

During the three-week academy at Duke University, you will explore how actuaries, data scientists, and business leaders use math to predict the future. You will gain important skills in analyzing large data sets and creating mathematical models to help project future trends based on the available data. Through a series of increasingly complex and difficult real-world scenarios, you will be guided through the process of understanding how to use math to create real predictions about what will happen in the future, and will understand how to use those predictions to help their future careers and to help change the world!

The academy is designed in a three-part structure:

Part 1: Mathematical Basics of Predicting the Future. You will be led through a series of scenarios highlighting the fundamental mathematical concepts needed to predict the future. Concepts are taught through real-world scenarios introducing you to mathematical modeling, logic, statistics, and probability functions to help you analyze data and project trends. Be prepared to enter the Modeling the Future Challenge! 

Part 2: Understanding Risks – more complex real-world scenarios will be presented to help you explore how data analysis, probability, and trend projections can help you understand risks for your company or organization. You will use advanced mathematical modeling and data analytics to identify risks and learn to make recommendations based on that analysis.

Part 3: Capstone Project – you will develop and refine your projects using real-world data to help an organization, business, or government of your choice identify and manage future risks. You will make recommendations based on your mathematical analysis on how to navigate around future risks and create the best possible outcomes for your chosen organization. At the conclusion of the academy, you will present your capstone project to a panel of mathematicians and organizational leaders who will recognize the top teams with prizes for their capstone research.

This academy approaches mathematics in a way not commonly found in education. It takes mathematics in an applied setting, and focuses specifically on how mathematics and data analysis can help us understand the world and predict change. By participating in this academy you will gain a better understanding of the world around you and will learn how to use real data and mathematics to make the best decisions for yourself and the companies or organizations you work with. You won’t want to miss out on this great opportunity to learn how to predict your future!