Steam summer workshops for elementary, middle, high school, educators & parents


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.

2023 Sally Ride Science Academy Summer Workshop Schedule

Elementary school: 3rd-5th grade
  • In-Person AM sessions run 9am-12pm. Live-Online AM sessions run 9-11am with office hours from 11am-12pm.
  • In-Person PM sessions run 1-4pm. Live-Online PM sessions run 1-3pm with office hours from 3-4pm.
All times are in Pacific Standard Time.

Supervised Lunch Hour

Students who are participating in both an AM and PM session during a given week are required to enroll in the lunch hours for the sessions they will be attending. It will provide them with a location and supervision for their lunch hour. Lunch is not provided.

Session 1: 6/26/23 – 6/30/23

Class TitleTimeFormat
Being NemoAMLive Online
Introduction to Robotics Using Lego MindstormsAMIn-Person
Trash to TreasuresPMLive Online

Session 3: 7/17/23 – 7/21/23

Session 4: 7/24/23 – 7/28/23

Session 5: 7/31/23 – 8/4/23

Class TitleTimeFormat
Arts and RelaxationPMIn-Person
Exploring Kelp ForestsPMIn-Person
Slimy Sea CreaturesAMIn-Person
The Science of Science FictionAMIn-Person

2023 Sally Ride Science Academy Summer Workshop Descriptions

Elementary School Level Workshops

  • New!A Dose in Pharmacreations

    Apply STEAM skills, such as communication, critical thinking and problem solving, which are essential skills pharmacists must possess to succeed in their careers.

    Learn about the fascinating and impactful profession of pharmacy! In this workshop, participants will be introduced to the STEAM-enriched profession of pharmacy and the important role pharmacists play in keeping the community healthy. Participants will experience unique hands-on activities that provide insight into the types of problems pharmacists encounter and solve daily. Participants will have the opportunity to apply STEAM skills, such as communication, critical thinking and problem solving, which are essential skills pharmacists must possess to succeed in their careers. Each workshop activity is based on a scenario aimed at improving patient health outcomes in everyday life. Before diving into the hands-on activities, participants will receive a brief overview of what pharmacists do and the many career opportunities in pharmacy.
  • Arts and Relaxation

    Feeling frazzled from too much schoolwork or screen time? 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.
  • Being Nemo

    See the world from the perspective of an ocean animal, from a clownfish in a coral reef to a gray whale migrating the Pacific, as you explore how fish and other creatures survive in different marine habitats.

    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.
  • Craftronics

    Explore the basics of circuits and electronic elements by using them in various craft projects.

    Build a moving origami swan, fashion wearable light-up LED bracelets and pins, construct moving robot bugs, erect a Play-Doh electronic sculpture, create paper circuit games and light effects cards. The workshop combines crafting and technology to bring your creations to life. Each student will take home a working electronic craft.
  • Creative Programming using Scratch

    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 interactive games and animated movies.

    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 Style: Act, Sing and Stretch

    Discover how to use active vocal warm-ups, physical stretches and tongue twisters to loosen up before acting out familiar movie scenes and songs.

    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!Exploring Kelp Forests

    Learn about how kelp forests are being threatened and explore simple ways to help conserve them.

    Have you ever wondered what lies beneath the kelp? What animals occupy the rainforests of the sea? In this course we will be exploring the ecosystem of kelp forests and all the unique creatures that call this habitat home. Through hands-on activities and an engaging take-home art project, we will discover all the mysteries kelp forests hold and simple ways that we can help to protect these amazing habitats.
  • Filmmaking

    Tell Your Story Through Filmmaking

    Filmmaking is a powerful vehicle for making sense of our lives and sharing the stories we want to tell. Learn the skills you need, from scripting and storyboarding to editing and audio, to express your point of view through creation of short films. We will start with an introduction to film theory and move on to the basics of video production, including composition, editing and audio. Students will consider the role stories play in our everyday lives and think about the stories they want to tell. Then, working in groups, students will storyboard, script, film and edit their own short films. Group members will switch roles throughout the week to gain exposure to various facets of filmmaking. We will watch rough cuts of each other’s work and offer constructive critiques. In addition to producing their own videos, students will watch and discuss a variety of short films.
  • Introduction to Circuits and Makey-Makey

    Discover how electronic components work by creating wacky circuits linking Makey Makey circuit boards with everyday items like bananas, potatoes or Play-Doh.

    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.
  • Introduction to Robotics Using Lego Mindstorms

    Learn the basics of robotics & build battle bots with Lego Mindstorms.

    Students will build robots using Lego Mindstorms kit and in the process explore various sensors (light, ultrasonic etc.) and motor actions. Students will also learn how to code their robots to do various actions and build a app joystick for their battle bot. Robotics involve mathematics and physics concepts which will also be explored throughout the course.
  • Messy Discoveries

    Ready to get messy in the name of science? We will design things, test things, throw things and stomp on things while exploring volcanoes, earthquakes, glaciers and other 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.
  • Photovoices

    Learn how photos are powerful tools for saying something about the world around you.

    Photography can be a powerful tool for giving voice to the voiceless and shedding light on local concerns from local perspectives. That said, photovoice combines photography, dialogue, photo exhibits, and social action to address issues you care about. In this course, students will learn how to identify community issues and how to use photography to tell a story about those issues and to also inform others. Students will discuss numerous case studies of photovoice projects from around the world to begin thinking about communities and possible actions for social change.
  • New!Rewriting the Scientific World

    Choose your own scientific interests, whether that is a particular animal/organism, habitat, science concept or finding or conservation effort, to create new forms and styles of writing.

    This course will utilize a combination of in-class reading/writing, self-guided research, class discussion, interactive lecture, writing workshop, and the visual arts. We will begin the class by looking at forms of writing that strayed away from creative writing conventions, such as nonsense literature. Then, students will choose their own scientific interests, whether that is a particular animal/organism, habitat, or conservation effort. After gathering this information, students will use this information to take apart traditional story form, poetry, and diction/syntax to create their own writing structure. Along the way, students will share their findings and progress with each other through discussion and workshop.
  • 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
  • Space Out!

    Explore stars, galaxies, and habitable planets as you plan your own space mission and then design and build a miniature spacecraft.

    The lure of space exploration offers a powerful way to ignite students’ interest in science, technology and engineering. This class guides students on a tour of our solar system and beyond, and then lets them plan their own mission to a distant destination. We will start by exploring our own planet and considering what we can observe about Earth from space. We will survey other planets in our solar system and discuss what we need to know about a planet before we go there. Students will learn about “galaxies far, far away” and get a sense of just how vast distances in space are. They will consider what we know about Earth-like planets around other Suns and imagine what form life might take there. Inspired by what they learn, students will plan their own exploratory mission to another planet and create a model of a spacecraft that could take them there. The class provides a base of knowledge to build on as students move ahead with studies in astronomy, Earth science, engineering and more.
  • The Making of a Super Hero

    Superheroes have shaped past and modern day culture as fictional characters with superhuman powers. Learn about the concept of the hero’s journey by looking at literature, TV shows, graphic novels, and movies. Attribute a hero’s identify and super powers and explore how science, technology, psychology and medicine contribute to today’s heroes.

    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

    Science fiction has had an impactful influence on the science world. Explore how many classic science fiction works found their beginnings in scientific thought.

    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!
  • Trash to Treasures

    Put a creative spin on recycling by discovering “upcycling” – turning trash into treasures such as artworks and useful objects

    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

    Get a global introduction to sustainable design by using Google Maps and Google Earth as tools for virtual exploration. Analyze sites of past civilizations and create your own design for a sustainable dwelling 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

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2023 Sally Ride Science Academy Scholarship Application

*Submission deadline for consideration is June 24, 2023. Limited to one scholarship for one workshop per student.

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2023 Sally Ride Science Academy Authorization Form

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