Summer Academy 2024

Event: Summer Academy

Grades: 8-11

Location: UW-Madison

Dates: Monday, June 24 through Thursday, June 27, 2024

Registration: Registration will open March 1, 2024 via 4honline 

Cost: The Summer Academy experience fee is $450. Bussing will be offered again in 2024 and will cost $50 round-trip regardless of pick-up/drop-off location.

Questions: Contact Justin Lieck ( or Amber Shanahan ( with any questions.

Summer Academy is the Positive Youth Development Institute’s signature career, leadership, & college readiness conference hosted at UW-Madison. The event focuses on preparing young people (grades 8-11) for higher education in a way that complements formal education prep programs. Summer Academy offers an immersive college experience; participants will experience life in a residence hall, explore campus, and enjoy the unique elements of higher ed that only Madison can offer.

This year’s theme is Charge your Sparks; Summer Academy is committed to helping youth discover their passions by providing the inspiration and charge to keep their battery full! Participants will take a deep dive into a college and/or career focus of their choice through tracks offered by both UW-Madison and Madison College, and will have many opportunities to network with faculty, students, recent graduates, and peers from across the state.

A sampling of this year’s SPARK tracks include:

  • Baking & Decorating
  • Civic Engagement
  • Agriculture & Animal Science
  • Climate Science & Ecosystem Resilience
  • Biological Sciences
  • Automotive
  • Trades
  • Diesel/Ag Equipment Technician
  • Arts
  • Health

Participants will have the opportunity to paddle on Lake Mendota, hike urban trails around Madison, and visit a historic downtown theater to watch our beloved Wisconsin 4-H Drama Company perform. We are excited and proud to welcome Wisconsin 4-H Leadership Council youth leaders as facilitators and hosts of our event. 

The registration fee covers all lodging, meals, track participation, and in-town travel during the event. Statewide bussing to and from the event will be offered for an additional fee. 

For more information, please visit … We can’t wait to see you in Madison!