Middle School U (MSU) offers students, entering grades 6-9, a fun and safe environment to stay active, build new friendships, learn skills, and develop new interests. Our welcoming and inclusive environment is ideal for students to develop their independence and build supportive relationships. 

Summer 2024 Locations & Dates

June 17 – July 19 | Badger Ridge Middle School | 300 Richard St., Verona

July 22 – August 16 | Shorewood Hills Elementary School | 1105 Shorewood Blvd., Madison

Weekly hours are Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Morning courses run from 9 a.m.-noon and afternoon courses run from 1-4 p.m. Full-day courses run from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Please refer to the Madison and Verona tabs for a list of available courses for this summer. Course descriptions are available on the Programs tab.

  • Students may enroll in morning and afternoon courses during the same week
  • Students attending morning and afternoon courses or a full-day course will have a supervised lunch/break hour from 12-1 p.m. 

Some MSU courses will be held off-site at various vendor locations. Students enrolled in off-site courses will still check-in at MSU prior to being transported to the course location. Transportation is provided by Wisconsin Youth Company trained drivers or by contracted bussing partners. 

Tuition assistance is available to families for all programs.

37 Programs
Open Registration
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Learn how to use 3D-modeling software and imaging equipment as you design and print objects of your own creation. Gain experience in an essential skill for future STEAM success as you practice using technology used to create customizable projects. 

Instructor: Eamon Montgomery

Course Dates:
Jun 24-28
- a.m. course
Jul 15-19
- a.m. course

Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures. Learn the basics of this craft as you follow patterns or design cute creations of your own. Gain a lifelong hobby and enjoy working with your hands to make great gifts and collector items!

Instructor: Nicole Sudhoff

Course Dates:
Aug 12-16
- all day course

Practice focus, patience, and goal setting in a fun, safe, and engaging environment. This course will cover all the basics of stance, notching an arrow, proper grip, techniques for drawing, and variations of aim. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never picked up a bow or if you’re an experienced archer, challenge yourself and try your hand at this awesome activity.  

Instructor: Josh Ludke

Course Dates:
Jun 24-28
- p.m. course
Jul 8-12
- a.m. course

Get out and about and explore parks and trails, and the critters that inhabit them. Walk along the Ice Age Trail, take a trip to Blue Mounds, explore Lake Kegonsa, and hike through the UW Arboretum. Practice basic plant and insect identification skills, and learn about the habitats in which these critters thrive. Use the inspiration around you during these trips to practice photography and watercolor as well! Finally, close out the week with a refreshing trip to the Goodman Pool.

Monday: Ice Age Trail (Entrance located in Madison/Fitchburg)
Tuesday: Blue Mounds State Park
Wednesday: Lake Kegonsa State Park
Thursday: UW Arboretum
Friday: Goodman Pool

Instructor: Josh Ludke

Course Dates:
Jul 15-19
- p.m. course

Prepare yourself for the many responsibilities associated with caring for infants, toddlers, and young children. Learn to make informed decisions regarding the health, safety, and engagement of young children. Put your skills to the test as you work with children at one of our area day camps on the final day. Participants who complete the course satisfactorily and pass an exam will be Red Cross-certified in babysitting and pediatric first aid and CPR.

Instructor: Annissa Fellenze

Course Dates:
Jul 29-Aug 2
- a.m. course

Gain confidence in the world of baking as you learn terminology, understand correct measuring and blending techniques, and learn the proper way to mix ingredients. Learn piping techniques and discover the amazing things you can do with chocolate and sugar. Sculpt fondant and whip up new frosting recipes. Practice classic flavor combinations and get creative with your original creations then show off your skills as you take and fill orders to make and decorate tasty treats.

Instructor: Nicole Sudhoff

Course Dates:
Jul 1-3
- all day course

Mix up fun and gain confidence in the world of baking as you learn terminology, understand correct measuring and blending techniques, and learn the proper way to mix ingredients. Practice time-honored recipes and explore new combinations and ingredients. Practice decoration techniques and make batches to share with other students as you compete for the coveted title of Most Delicious Cookie!

Instructor: Nicole Sudhoff

Course Dates:
Jul 15-19
- all day course

Get ready for unplugged gaming fun. Challenge your mind and enjoy friendly competition. Play old favorites and discover new and unusual games. Learn traditional and not-so-traditional card games while using strategy and your imagination. Participate in a round-robin game tournament or use the uninterrupted time to play longer, more complex versions of your favorite games.

Instructor: Joe Monarski

Course Dates:
Aug 5-9
- a.m. course

Explore the world of six-legged wonders around you as you learn about insects from a graduate student in the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Entomology. Take trips to gardens and nature preserves to practice insect identification, learn about beneficial bugs, and conduct experiments to test the use of predatory insects versus pesticides.

Some days of this course takes place off-site. Transportation is provided.
Instructor: Victoria Salerno, Emma Terris

Course Dates:
Jul 29-Aug 2
- a.m. course

The city bus is your ticket to a week of adventure. Learn a valuable life skill and gain independence as you decide where you want to go and then navigate your way by learning how to use the city bus system. Plan your day with destinations decided by the group. Options include: disc golf courses, arcades, hiking trails, State Street, museums, and pools. The course fee includes admission fees to all destinations and a Madison Metro city bus pass that you can use for the rest of the summer. Participants may go on a field trip that includes swimming and must be a swim level yellow or green as indicated on the swim and aquatic activity permission form. 

Instructor: Josh Ludke

Course Dates:
Jul 22-26
- all day course
Jul 29-Aug 2
- all day course

Work independently and in teams using basic everyday objects and recycled materials to create whimsical contraptions that can do a simple job. Brainstorm ideas and test different methods as you explore pulleys, levers, wheels, and axles. Then watch these creations come to life as one event triggers another in an amazing spectacle of art and engineering.

Instructor: Jeff Maddock

Course Dates:
Jul 29-Aug 2
- p.m. course

Practice a technique or cuisine each day then put your skills to the test in a daily challenge where you will work in teams to compete against your fellow classmates in a cookoff. Understand and practice how to stretch a dollar as you plan a meal and shop for ingredients. Then navigate the grocery aisles and buy what you need to create a delicious plate of food that shows off your skills, creativity, and understanding of food.

Some of this course takes place off-site. Transportation is provided.
Instructor: TBD

Course Dates:
Jun 24-28
- all day course

Attack a rook, defend your queen, and avoid the checkmate. Discover the game that is an exciting battle of wits. Learn how to move the pieces and problem solve new challenges when playing opponents. Develop strategy from the opening phase right up to the end game. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose; it’s all about how you play the game. Focus your skills, knowledge, and creativity in a different way each game. How will you decide your next move?

Instructor: Joe Monarski

Course Dates:
Aug 5-9
- p.m. course

Comic books, manga, and graphic novels use art, literature, and imagination to transport us on fantastic journeys. Learn how to use words and pictures together to tell a story and create comics of your own. All artists are welcome, advanced skills are not required.

Instructor: Ali Beyer

Course Dates:
Aug 12-16
- p.m. course

Learn and practice culinary basics like knife skills, terminology, and technique. Gain an understanding of different flavor profiles and the dos and don’ts of cooking as you observe multiple demonstrations and then try for yourself. From lasagna to veggie burgers and curries to dumplings, you will follow recipes and cook delicious food staples that you can make again and again.

Instructor: TBD

Course Dates:
Jun 17-21
- all day course

Enjoy a week tailoring behind the scenes as you collaborate with Wisconsin Youth Company’s Theater program to create costumes that will bring the performance to life. Learn basics of sewing and costume design while getting to know the characters and what is required to produce a show for the stage. Use creative problem solving to come up with quick costume changes and add humor through design. Be a part of this theatrical success!

Instructor: Nicole Sudhoff

Course Dates:
Jul 22-26
- p.m. course

Enjoy a week of color and creativity as you explore the dyeing world and options for making art from fabric. Use melted wax to create unique, complex designs and learn various techniques to tie, twist, soak, and color. With access to sewing machines and an instructor to guide you, you’ll have the option of turning your dyed fabric into original and vibrant works of wearable art.

Instructor: Josh Ludke

Course Dates:
Jul 8-12
- p.m. course

Spend one day at Escapology where you will work independently and with teams to defeat puzzle rooms in which you must discover clues, solve problems, and accomplish tasks. Then apply your own creativity to your experiences in the game to create your own set of clues, and puzzles for your peers to solve.

One day of this course takes place off-site. Transportation is provided.
Instructor: Eamon Montgomery

Course Dates:
Jul 1-3
- a.m. course

As an Olympic sport and a time-honored symbol of nobility, the sport of fencing represents one of the most exciting and challenging athletic events. This introduction to the sport will allow you to experience that excitement as well as the tradition and self-discipline that marks fencing as a unique martial art. Necessary equipment and protective clothing is provided.

Instructor: Joe Monarski

Course Dates:
Jul 8-12
- all day course

This enjoyable past time is one of the best ways to spend a summer’s day. Visit some of Madison’s hottest fishing spots, spend time in beautiful natural areas learning about different types of fish, and how to successfully catch and release them. Practice how to cast and use fishing equipment properly. Learn knot tying, fishing safety, and fish identification. Get hooked for a week of angling fun and adventure. Please bring water shoes.

This course takes place off-site. Transportation is provided to all off-site locations.
Instructor: TBD

Course Dates:
Aug 5-9
- a.m. course

Get outside and get dirty as you learn to prepare, plant, and take care of a garden. Learn how to germinate and transplant, identify weeds and pests, and get some tips and tricks to start growing your green thumb.

This course takes place off-site. Transportation is provided to all off-site locations.
Instructor: Nicole Sudhoff

Course Dates:
Jul 22-26
- a.m. course

Bring the fantasy world to life with live action roleplaying! This active course combines elements of improvisational acting, pervasive gaming, and cosplay with a lot physical activity and light contact comparable to dodgeball. Create and portray a character, interact with others, and figure out how to solve problems as you act out scenarios, pursue game goals, and do combat with your enemies. On Friday, parents, family, and friends are invited to join in a final battle!

Instructor: Deeplight Larp

Course Dates:
Jun 17-21
- all day course

Madison and the surrounding areas have a wealth of amazing museums just waiting to be explored. Hop in and travel to various spots around the city to take in the culture, art, science and more behind these doors.

Destination options include:

  • Science museum
  • Mustard museum
  • Geology museum
  • Chazen museum
  • Physics museum
  • Historical museum
  • MMSD Planetarium
  • Herbarium museum

Instructor: Josh Harper

Course Dates:
Jul 8-12
- p.m. course

This hands-on course will introduce you to basic principles of chemistry as you safely observe and conduct experiments using simple household materials. Turn an egg into a bouncy ball, make a flower glow in the dark, drop a quarter into a cup of water and pull it back out coated in copper! These crazy chemistry experiments may seem like magic tricks, but they’re also great ways to give your emerging mad scientist a crash course in chemical reactions.

Instructor: Jeff Maddock

Course Dates:
Jul 8-12
- p.m. course

Whether you’re interested in aviation or just like to watch things explode, this course is for you. Throughout the week, you will have the opportunity to build, decorate, and safely test your own models. Learn about some basic science and physics involved in rocketry and participate in fun challenges to build your knowledge.

Instructor: Jeff Maddock

Course Dates:
Jul 15-19
- p.m. course

Take a closer look at the world around you and develop an eye for all things beautiful and bizarre. Explore aesthetic principles as they relate to composition, perspective, space, exposure, light, and color. Alter your pictures digitally and play with your prints to create fun, unique, and thoughtful art pieces.

*Note: Students will need to bring their own camera or cell phone.

Instructor: Eamon Montgomery

Course Dates:
Jul 8-12
- a.m. course

Mold, throw, and sculpt your way through clay. Gain hands-on experience with professional quality pottery wheels and learn pottery wheel throwing techniques from a trained artist. You won’t know what your creativity will bring until you turn on your imagination and spin out something great.

Instructor: Josh Ludke

Course Dates:
Jun 17-21
- all day course

Step into a world where imagination meets technology. Learn how to build a robot and design your own using recycled materials along with gears, circuits, motors, and wheels. Tinker with microcontrollers, delve into the secrets of coding, and discover the wonders of circuitry as you program bots to complete challenges. Enjoy working both in teams and independently to design and innovate as your gain skills for the future.

Instructor: Jeff Maddock

Course Dates:
Jul 22-26
- p.m. course

Check out one of the hottest sports around: rock climbing. This course will cover all the basic skills that are needed to climb safely indoors. You will progress through the week learning knots, belaying skills, climbing technique, and proper stretching for healthy, injury-free exercise. There will be plenty of challenging climbing as well. Upon successful completion of the course, students will become certified Boulders Belayers. 

Transportation is provided each day to Boulders Climbing Gym, 3964 Commercial Ave., Madison.
Instructor: Presented by Boulders Climbing Gym

Course Dates:
Jul 29-Aug 2
- p.m. course

Check out one of the hottest sports around: rock climbing. This course will cover all the basic skills that are needed to climb safely indoors. You will progress through the week learning knots, belaying skills, climbing technique, and proper stretching for healthy, injury-free exercise. There will be plenty of challenging climbing as well. Upon successful completion of the course, students will become certified Boulders Belayers.

Transportation is provided each day to Boulders Climbing Gym, 3964 Commercial Ave., Madison.
Instructor: Presented by Boulders Climbing Gym

Course Dates:
Jul 1-3
- p.m. course

Through a process of structured decision making, students will act out roles within a narrative to contribute to collaborative storytelling and imaginative exploration. If you have enjoyed table-top roleplaying games, this course will help you find new ways to plan adventures, build a character, and play these social group games. Add and enjoy a dramatic flair as you draw upon your creativity and critical thinking skills. You will learn about new resources and tried and true tricks of the trade from an instructor who first started gaming in 1978.

Instructor: JoMonarski

Course Dates:
Jul 22-26
- all day course
Aug 12-16
- all day course

Cover your possessions with original designs that will be the envy of all your friends. Think it, draw it, and stick it. Spend your time making a plethora of creative pieces to share and express yourself through awesome adhesive art!

Instructor: Nicole Sudhoff

Course Dates:
Jun 24-28
- p.m. course

Get ready for unplugged gaming fun. Challenge your mind and activate your imagination as you enjoy friendly competition. Play old favorites and discover new games while uncovering new strategies and helpful gaming tips. Learn traditional and not-so-traditional card games while using strategy and creativity. Participate in a round-robin game tournament or use the uninterrupted time to play longer, more complex versions of your favorite games.

Instructor: Joe Monarski

Course Dates:
Jul 15-19
- all day course

Calling all water lovers, this week is for you! Students will enjoy a week filled with swimming and kayaking, plus a visit to the beautiful Devil’s Lake State Park, UW Arboretum, Goodman Pool, and Noah’s Ark waterpark!

Destinations include:

  • Marshall Boats
  • UW Arboretum
  • Goodman Pool
  • Devil’s Lake State Park
  • Noah’s Ark Waterpark
  • Wyalusing State Park

This course takes place off-site. Transportation is provided each day.
Instructor: Wander Wisconsin Adventure Trip Leaders

Course Dates:
Jun 24-28
- all day course

Whether you’ve been painting since you were 2 years old, or have never touched a brush, this watercolor painting course will help you learn the tools, techniques, skills, and strategies to create original abstracts, quirky cartoons, or realistic watercolor paintings. Enjoy learning a lifelong skill that will help you practice mindfulness and enjoy the simplicity of creating.

Instructor: Ali Beyer

Course Dates:
Aug 12-16
- a.m. course

This week at MSU, Wander Wisconsin staff return for a week where we’re going wild for animals! Students will visit the Milwaukee Zoo, International Crane Foundation, and canoe at Crystal Lake. We’ll also spend days exploring the great outdoors with trips to Rocky Arbor State Park, Tower Hill State Park, and Peck’s Farm Market.

Destinations include:

  • Milwaukee Zoo
  • Rocky Arbor State Park
  • International Crane Foundation
  • Tower Hill State Park
  • Peck’s Farm Market
  • Crystal Lake Campground (Canoeing)

This course takes place off-site. Transportation is provided each day.
Instructor: Wander Wisconsin Adventure Trip Leaders

Course Dates:
Aug 5-9
- all day course

Get an introduction to a life-long hobby and skill as you learn fundamentals of woodcarving, efficient grips, and cutting techniques. Draw and cut your own designs while you practice chip carving, low relief carving, and 3D carving. Then add to your pieces or design new works with various woodburning tools.

Instructor: Josh Ludke

Course Dates:
Jul 15-19
- a.m. course
Dates Morning Courses
9 a.m. - Noon
All-Day Courses
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Afternoon Courses
1 – 4 p.m.
Jul 22-26
  • Gardening
  • Bus Stops Here
  • Roleplaying Games (RPG)
  • Costume Design
  • Robot Challenge - Madison
Jul 29-Aug 2
  • Babysitter Training
  • Bug Out
  • Bus Stops Here
  • Chain Reaction Contraptions - Madison
  • Rock Climbing - Madison
Aug 5-9
  • Board & Card Games
  • Fishing - Madison
  • Wisconsin Gone Wild
  • Chess - Madison
Aug 12-16
  • Watercolor Painting
  • Amigurumi
  • Roleplaying Games (RPG)
  • Comic Drawing
Dates Morning Courses
9 a.m. - Noon
All-Day Courses
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Afternoon Courses
1 – 4 p.m.
Jun 17-21
  • Cooking Basics
  • Larping
  • Pottery & Ceramics
Jun 24-28
  • 3D Printing
  • Chef's Budget Challenge
  • Water Lovers
  • Archery
  • Sticker Making
Jul 1-3
  • Escape Rooms
  • Baking Cakes & Cupcakes
  • Rock Climbing - Verona
Jul 8-12
  • Archery
  • Photography
  • Fencing
  • Dyeing Arts
  • Mad for Museums
  • Mad Science
Jul 15-19
  • 3D Printing
  • Woodcarving and Woodburning
  • Baking Cookies
  • Strategy Games
  • Art in Your Backyard
  • Model Rockets

Fees are course dependent, please refer to specific course descriptions in the Programs tab for course fees.  Tuition assistance is available to families for all programs.

Weekly Deposits  |  Deposits are applied toward weekly fees and are non-refundable and
non-transferable. If you need support paying  deposits, please contact us at info@wisconsinyouthcompany.org.

  • $25 per student for half-day courses
  • $50 per student for full-day courses

Remaining Fees  |  Remaining weekly fee (less deposit) is due by the end of the business day Monday (5 p.m.) five business days prior to the start of program.

Schedule Changes | Families may add or drop courses any time until the end of the business day on Friday (5 p.m.) six business days prior to the requested week. Added courses are dependent on space availability. All deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable when courses are dropped.

2024 Payment Calendar