Registration Opens Nov. 16 for 2020 Challenge Program

by Public Relations | Nov 11, 2019

LATROBE, PA – Registration for the 2020 edition of Saint Vincent College’s popular Challenge Program, a STEM-based academic summer program for students from pre-k to grade 12, will open on Saturday, Nov. 16, with a special Black Friday discount offered to those who register before Dec. 1.

The theme for the 2020 Challenge Program is “Galactic Mission 2020,” and interested participants can choose from a variety of “Macro Force” overnight program immersions for grades 5-12, high school overnight immersion programs for grades 9-12 and middle school overnight programs for grades 5-8. Additionally, younger children can participate in the “Micro Tots” program for preschool and kindergarten-aged students and “Micro Force” day program for grades 1-4. 

The Macro Force programs are scheduled for June 28 to July 3, 2020. The Micro Tots day program is offered from June 29 to July 3, from 9 a.m. – noon, while the Micro Force day program is being offered on the same days, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

All Macro Force overnight students are housed in the Rooney Hall residence hall, while on-campus meals are provided to both the day and overnight attendees by Parkhurst Dining Service.

The Macro Force overnight program, open to students entering grades 5-12, offers the opportunity to choose two immersion experiences to participate in throughout the week, a three-hour morning and a three-hour afternoon experience that culminates with a final project, event or challenge. Some immersions will be on campus and others in the local area off campus. Course instructors will encourage full participation, collaboration and authentic learning, while offering project-based experiences to encourage students to deepen their understanding. Evenings will be full of planned fun and entertainment, with campers staying in the Rooney Hall residence hall on the Saint Vincent campus.

The Micro Force program allows students in grades 1-4 the opportunity to participate in academically and creatively theme-based experiences, led by certified elementary teachers. These interactive courses happen in a half-day offering. During the other half of the day, the children will be involved in an immersion experience, with guest presenters, planned events and group opportunities. A counselor will remain all day with the group of children to help them throughout their experience, while students will be provided with lunch and a snack each day. 

Preschool and kindergarten students are invited to take part in the half-day Micro Tots program (9 a.m.–noon), which will feature multiple learning experiences with galactic missions incorporated throughout. Students will be provided a snack each day, while each class is taught by a certified teacher and counselors will be on hand. Students will participate in activities and lessons both inside and outside. 

All Challenge Program instructors are certified students who are either Saint Vincent College alumni or current graduate students. All program counselors are undergraduate majors in the College’s Department of Education training to become teachers. Counselors and instructors undergo thorough training to ensure the enjoyment and safety of the children.

The Challenge Program has been held at Saint Vincent College since 1982 and is currently under the leadership of Dr. Kathleen Beining, assistant professor of education and director of early and middle-grade education at SVC. The program regularly attracts students from across the U.S., with recent participants hailing from Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware, New York, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, Illinois, New Mexico, Colorado and Mexico.

Complete information on the 2020 SVC Challenge Program, including pricing and immersion course offerings, can be found at

Parents of children who wish to attend and who may have a special need or concern are asked to contact Beining at or 724-805-2981. In the past, the program has been able to address a variety of concerns to enable many students to attend.



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