With a special focus on science, this year’s ND Talent Search Summer Academy theme was “Defying Gravity.” Students explored basic physics experiments with Dr. Micha Kilburn of ND Physics by creating their own bouncy balls (among other things). To apply what they learned, scholars also served as teachers by leading primary students through physics experiments. Students also received hands-on experimentation via the daily operations of the South Bend Regional Airport. Rising 9th graders, Dimitri Hairston and Ryan Nilli were the winners of the paper airplane contest with the farthest distance plane design of 77 feet and the longest time in air design with 3.2 seconds. “It was really cool to see my plane fly. It was awesome to see something you actually built work,” said Hairston. To add a unique twist on this year’s theme, some scholars had the opportunity to overcome fears, while others unleashed their inner thrill-seeker during a visit to the Rum Village Aerial Park where students zip-lined and completed obstacle courses among the treetops of the park. “I was afraid and was not going to do it, but now I am going to have my mom bring me back. It was really fun,” stated Cam’Ron Upshaw, a rising 8th grader. The Talent Search Summer Academy concluded with a visit to the Adler Planetarium and DePaul University located in Chicago.