Steam summer workshops for elementary, middle & high school

SALLY RIDE SCIENCE ACADEMY

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF STEM EDUCATION

The Sally Ride Science Academy summer program offers science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) workshops for students entering 3rd-12th grade. During these workshops, students assume the roles of space explorer, marine biologist, computer programmer and more as they immerse themselves in hands-on projects. Top-notch STEAM instructors lead these workshops, serving as both teachers and role models. These summer workshops also incorporate real-life stories of vibrant women conducting research in each field. Their examples inspire students and help make STEAM careers more accessible.

During this trying time, UC San Diego Extension remains committed to helping you achieve your goals. In an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have moved this summer’s Sally Ride Science Academy workshops online. These online STEAM workshops will be conducted through virtual class meetings using the Zoom conferencing system and the learning platform Canvas.

2022 Sally Ride Science Academy Summer Workshop Schedule

Elementary school: 3rd-5th grade
  • AM sessions run 9am-12pm, but the official class runs from 9-11am. 11am-12pm are office hours for students to attend for additional support and resources.
  • PM sessions run 1-4pm, but the official class runs 1-3pm. 3-4pm are office hours for students to attend for additional support and resources.
All times are in Pacific Standard Time.

2022 Sally Ride Science Academy Summer Workshop Descriptions

Elementary School Level Workshops

  • Arts and Relaxation

    Relax and Explore Art Through the Ages

    Feeling the effects of too much schoolwork or screen time? Join us to relax and unwind by exploring the history of art and creating your own art projects using a variety of materials. We will take a look at the roles that art has played throughout history. We will also discuss the purposes of art in the modern world, including relaxation, personal expression and communication. Then students will learn techniques and develop skills needed for various art projects. They will take on independent projects using paper and mixed media. The class will allow students to develop fine tactile skills and to discover leisure activities that can help them reduce stress for years to come.
  • Astrobiology

    Explore Astrobiology and Life in Extreme Environments

    If there is life beyond our planet, what does it look like? Astrobiologists try to answer that question in part by looking at how organisms have evolved to live in the most extreme environments on Earth. We will survey locations on Earth where conditions approach the limits of survival – places like Antarctica’s ancient red waterfall, the deadly Crystal Caves in Mexico and the Challenger Deep. Students will learn about adaptations that allow organisms to live in these harsh environments. They will get an introduction to extremophile microbes such as diatoms, tardigrades and nematodes. We will also look at conditions on some of the potentially habitable planets that astronomers have discovered and consider the potential for past or present life on these planets. Students will design a planet that could sustain life and plan an astrobiology mission to Mars.
  • Being Nemo

    Get a Fisheye View of Life in the Ocean

    Marine biology will come alive as aspiring oceanographers view the world from the perspective of sea creatures great and small and discover how these animals survive in their varied habitats. Students will take on the role of a series of ocean dwellers: a clownfish exploring a coral reef, a leopard shark in shallow waters, a sea star in a tide pool, a gray whale migrating the Pacific and a sea otter in a kelp forest. Class members will experience what these animals see and hear and explore how easy (or difficult) it is for them to live and thrive. To highlight what they have learned, students will create stop-motion videos to share on the last day of class. Being Nemo offers a great way to spark students’ interest in learning more about marine biology.
  • New! Craftronics

    Explore the Basics of Circuits and Electronic Elements to Bring Your Creations to Life

    Students will explore the basics of circuits and electronic elements by using them in various craft projects. These craft projects include building a moving origami swan, fashioning wearable light-up LED bracelets and pins, constructing moving robot bugs, erecting a Play-Doh electronic sculpture and creating paper circuit games and light effects cards. The workshop combines crafting and technology to bring students’ creations to life!
  • Creative Programming Using Scratch

    Create Games with Scratch Block Coding

    Are you a fan of games like Minecraft, Roblox and Animal Crossing? Learn to use block coding in the Scratch programming language to create your own games. As they learn to use Scratch, students will develop their computational thinking skills while exploring their personal interests. We will cover concepts such as sequences, loops, parallelism and events. Students will practice creating interactive games and animated movies using block coding. They will discover that they can be designers and creators instead of just consumers of technology. No prior programming experience is necessary – bring only your imagination.
  • Disney Sing and Stretch

    Learn how Singers and Actors Get Ready for the Spotlight

    Students will dance, sing and act out their favorite songs and scenes from the movies they love! By the end of this program students will know active vocal warm-ups, physical stretches and tongue twisters to help them get ready to perform. Students will be performance based fluent on an arsenal of Disney songs and dance choreography for each. In addition, students will learn to work with scene partners and perform short scenes.
  • New! Fairy Gardens and Botany

    Get Lost in the Magical Miniature Details of Fairy Gardens

    Get intrigued by tiny enchanted plants and escape to a different world in the magical miniature details of fairy gardens. Students will build their own fairy gardens filled with delicate and delightful details including charming San Diego succulents. In this dreamy and whimsical course, students will sprinkle in botany daily as we create student masterpieces. Students will not only build a personalized fairy garden, but also learn how to propagate succulents in their own backyard gardens.
  • New! Growing Food on Mars

    Explore How Regolith—the Ground Cover of Mars—Can be Used to Grow Food

    To be able to live on Mars, humans need breathable air, clean water, and nutritious food. A manned trip to Mars would require food that was either successfully grown in space or on Mars. In this course, students will explore how regolith—the ground cover of Mars—can be used to grow food. Students will design food experiments on Mars regolith incorporating hydroponics, which is growing edible plants in water instead of soil. In addition, students will use the scientific method to describe their experiments and present their results upon completion.
  • New! Intermediate Website Design Using HTML and CSS

    Design a Website Coded Using HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, GitHub and a Text Editor

    Intermediate website design focuses on front-end web development. Students will design a website coded using HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, GitHub, and a text editor allowing them to attracts their target audience and incorporate different design elements. Students will learn basic HTML, CSS, and website design concepts while identifying how color, font and layout are used for specific purposes in industry, business and personal websites. Upon completing the course, students will have created a live website hosted by GitHub based on the topic of their choice for their final project.
  • Introduction to Circuits Using Makey-Makey

    Understanding electronics is a key to many of the careers of the future

    Get a fun, hands-on introduction to electronic components by creating crazy circuits combining Makey Makey circuit boards with everything from fruits and vegetables to Play-Doh and coins. We will begin by looking at different kinds of circuits and how we use them in everyday life. Students will learn to recognize and use the symbols found in electrical diagrams. They will experiment with switches, conductors and insulators as they build a simple electric motor. Students will also design and build a working game controller out of paper or cardboard. Then they will use Makey Makey circuit boards as a base for a video game project. We will also take a look at careers such as electrical engineering to inspire students to continue with studies in the field.
  • Lights, Camera, Acting!

    Explore Performing Arts at our Acting Boot Camp

    If you dream of making it as an actor, this course is the place to start. This acting boot camp offers an illuminating introduction to the many realms of the performing arts world. Each day, students will tackle a different kind of acting. They will put on their dancing shoes to try out musical theater. They will explore stage acting, including some beginning Shakespeare. They will spend time investigating film and TV acting as well as acting for commercials. In addition, students will find out what a professional audition is like and learn how to do one successfully. The class offers a great way for students intrigued by the performing arts to discover where their strengths and interests lie.
  • New! Messy Discoveries

    Investigate Earth Science with Messy Experiments

    Ready to get messy in the name of science? We will design things, test things, throw things and stomp on things while exploring fascinating phenomena in Earth science. Students will conduct messy and noisy experiments as they investigate glaciers, volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, permafrost, sea level rise and tsunamis. We will make slime-like “flubber” to model glacier movement and create a landscape in a box to simulate the destructive power of earthquakes and tsunamis. Students will also observe lava flow in a volcano fueled by baking soda and vinegar. These and other fun, hands-on experiments provide an engaging introduction to geology, seismology, oceanography and other branches of Earth science.
  • New! Passport to European Art

    Travel Through Europe While Creating Art

    Passport to European Art will take students on a journey traveling through Europe, while creating art and a participating in meaningful learning experience. Students will paint, sculpt, craft musical instruments, piece together mosaics and fabric paintings while learning the history of European artists and art innovation. As students adventure through Italy, Spain, France, Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, they will integrate creativity, engineering, art technique and design in the cultural traditions of Europe.
  • Slime, Ooblek, Soil and Other Suspicious States of Matter

    Explore many of the scientific aspects of non-Newtonian fluids

    Slime, Ooblek, Soil and Other Suspicious States of Matter provides students the opportunity to explore many of the scientific aspects of non-Newtonian fluids ranging from slime to ooblek, to elephant’s toothpaste. Students will kindle a fascination with different formulas while creating models for the fluids behavior at the molecular scale and exploring expressions of the fluid activity on Earth’s surface. At the end of the course, students will walk away with both a collection of strange substance and the tools to model how those substances shape the earth.
  • Slimy Sea Creatures

    Explore the World of Slimy Sea Creatures

    Invertebrates like octopuses, jellyfish and squid have fascinating adaptations for life in their ocean ecosystems. Take on the role of marine biologist as you learn about how slimy sea creatures survive and thrive. Students will observe sea stars, sand dollars and moon snails, to name a few. They will watch a squid dissection while learning about anatomical structures of invertebrates. We will investigate the secret of how octopuses change color and how pearls are made. Students will also consider what kind of invertebrate they would like to be. They will test their knowledge by playing a game that rewards those with the best mastery of vocabulary from the class. Each student will create artwork using seashells and other materials from Mother Earth. Slimy Sea Creatures offers a great way to inspire students to pursue further studies in marine biology.
  • The Making of a Super Hero

    Explore the Hero’s Journey in Literature and the Real World

    Joseph Campbell was an American writer focused on mythology. His writings spanned the entire spectrum of human experience through which he based his life philosophy on “follow your bliss.” Based on Campbell’s works, students will explore the hero’s journey in literature and the real world. Through video clips, presentations, discussions and group work, participants will learn about the concept of the hero’s journey as described by Campbell. Students will then look at heroes in literature, TV shows, graphic novels and movies. Subsequently, they will learn the attributes of a hero, identify their own “super powers,” and explore how science, technology, psychology and medicine contribute to today’s heroes.
  • New!The Making of a Super Hero (in Spanish!)

    Explore the Hero’s Journey in Literature and the Real World

    Joseph Campbell was an American writer focused on mythology. His writings spanned the entire spectrum of human experience through which he based his life philosophy on “follow your bliss.” Based on Campbell’s works, students will explore the hero’s journey in literature and the real world. Through video clips, presentations, discussions and group work, participants will learn about the concept of the hero’s journey as described by Campbell. Students will then look at heroes in literature, TV shows, graphic novels and movies. Subsequently, they will learn the attributes of a hero, identify their own “super powers,” and explore how science, technology, psychology and medicine contribute to today’s heroes.
  • The Science of Science Fiction

    Blend Knowledge with Wreativity to Construct Innovative Science Fiction Stories

    One of the reasons the scientific community has made such incredible leaps and bounds is due to the impact that scientific fiction has had on motivating real-life scientific exploration and research. In this course, students will blend knowledge with creativity to construct rich, innovative science fiction stories. Throughout the course, students will explore how many classic science fiction works – from literature to film – found their beginnings in scientific thought. Then, using the craft elements of fiction writing, students will write their own science fiction stories and influence the scientific world!
  • Tiny Houses

    Design and Build a Tiny-House Model

    The tiny-house movement is sweeping the country! Explore how and why people are building houses that require a fraction of the space of a traditional home, and then create a model of your own tiny-house design. Students will learn about architecture, social responsibility and community as they envision and design their own tiny houses. They will use recycled and found materials to build scale models of their houses. We will explore concepts including sustainability, functionality and how to incorporate natural light into a house design. Students will practice math skills as they scale their models and workforce skills as they complete their projects within time constraints. To refine their communication skills, students will present their tiny houses to the class. The course offers an inspiring introduction for students interested in architecture and sustainable design.
  • New!Tiny Houses (In Spanish!)

    Design and Build a Tiny-House Model

    The tiny-house movement is sweeping the country! Explore how and why people are building houses that require a fraction of the space of a traditional home, and then create a model of your own tiny-house design. Students will learn about architecture, social responsibility and community as they envision and design their own tiny houses. They will use recycled and found materials to build scale models of their houses. We will explore concepts including sustainability, functionality and how to incorporate natural light into a house design. Students will practice math skills as they scale their models and workforce skills as they complete their projects within time constraints. To refine their communication skills, students will present their tiny houses to the class. The course offers an inspiring introduction for students interested in architecture and sustainable design.
  • Trash to Treasures

    Turn Trash into Treasures with Upcycling

    We all know it’s important to recycle so we can slow the flow of trash into overstuffed landfills. Now discover how to put a creative spin on recycling by upcycling trash – turning it into treasures such as art pieces or useful objects. We will explore how trash can be transformed using different techniques and art mediums. But first students will consider how much waste they produce and talk about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling in their daily lives. They will learn the difference between recycling and upcycling and then brainstorm ways to create artistic, useful and valuable products from discarded objects. As they work on upcycling projects, students will be encouraged to take creative risks and cultivate imagination, persistence and collaboration. The class will help students appreciate that they have an important role to play in protecting our planet.
  • Virtual Exploration and Design for a Sustainable World

    Use Virtual Exploration to Inspire Sustainable Design

    Get a global introduction to sustainable design by using Google Maps and Google Earth as tools for virtual exploration. Analyze sites of past settlements and come up with your own design for a sustainable dwelling or community of the future. Students will gain a deeper understanding of geography, world history and sustainable design as they explore world regions. We will examine historical sites and consider why those sites were successful. After analyzing several case studies, students will learn basic concepts of sustainable design and then sketch a house of the future for a specific site using their new perspective. They will present their sustainable designs to classmates and explain their justifications for specific elements. The class is aimed at students interested in maps, geography, history, natural environments, and sustainable architecture and design.

Sally Ride Science Academy parent student handbook

2022 Parent Student Handbook


2022 Sally Ride Science Academy Scholarship Application

*Submission deadline for consideration is June 24, 2022. Limited to one scholarship for one workshop per student.


2022 Sally Ride Science Academy Authorization Form


BOOKS BY SALLY & TAM