Sally Ride Science Junior Academy: Summer STEAM Workshops for Elementary, Middle & High School Students

SALLY RIDE SCIENCE JUNIOR ACADEMY

The Sally Ride Science Junior Academy offers science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) workshops for students entering 4th-12th grade in 2019-2020. During these workshops, students assume the roles of space explorer, ocean engineer, computer scientist, and more as they immerse themselves in hands-on projects. Top-notch STEAM instructors lead these workshops, serving as both teachers and role models. The 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

Summer 2019 schedule coming soon!

2019 Junior Academy Workshop Descriptions

Elementary School Level Workshops

  • New! Cooking with Kids: Edible Science: In this cooking course, students will put their prior knowledge of math to use for measuring and mixing ingredients as they learn the basics of cooking. We will explore recipes from around the world and connect different cultures to different cooking styles. Students will learn about good nutrition and choosing ingredients. Through scientific experiments, students will uncover hidden and harmful ingredients in foods.
  • Introduction to Circuits: Do electronics and bananas go together? Absolutely! In this class, students will learn how to create fun circuits using Makey Makey circuit boards that can be expanded and accentuated with everyday items like a banana, aluminum foil or a bouncy ball. Science and art will collide as students use the technology of circuits to create art in the form of music, paintings and photographs.
  • Messy Discoveries: Boom, crash, zip, slide! In this class, students will participate in hands-on learning activities that let them design things, throw things, test things and stomp on things. They will learn about the scientific processes behind volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, permafrost, glaciers and sea-level rise while adding their own artistic flair to each design.
  • Ready, Set, Create: A Maker Space Lab: Innovators and inventors do a lot of making, tinkering, exploring and pondering. This class is designed to give students an opportunity to practice and learn important concepts through creating. By taking on challenges such as “create a fall-proof skateboard” or “create an all-weather hat,” students will explore art, science and engineering problems using a variety of everyday materials. As a final project, students will present an innovation or invention using a platform similar to the television show “Shark Tank.”
  • Slimy Sea Creatures: Students will learn about slimy sea creatures like octopuses, sea stars, sand dollars and moon snails, to name a few. They will observe a squid dissection and write their names in squid ink while learning about anatomical structures of sea creatures. Students also will discover the secret of how octopuses change color and what makes pearls. They will assume the role of marine biologist and investigate what kind of invertebrate they would like to be! Each student will create artwork to take home using seashells and other materials from Mother Earth.
  • Stop-Motion Animation: Students will discover the basics of stop-motion animation by working in two-person teams to make an animated movie. Teams will use different materials (construction paper, foam, Legos and other props) to create subjects for their movies. Students will start by brainstorming ideas and creating storyboards. Then they will use the kid-friendly Stop Motion Studio app to create frames, add sound and produce a final movie.
  • New! The Science of Flight: In this class, students will explore the science behind flight. By designing and building their own flying structures, students will discover the principles that govern the mechanics of flight. As they conduct their investigations, they will keep a journal outlining their findings from experiments, research and other sources. As a final project, they will combine their new knowledge with creativity to produce an illustrated children’s book.
  • New! Trash to Treasures: Upcycling at its Best: Have you ever wondered how people turn trash into magnificent art pieces or useful products? In this workshop, we will explore different art mediums by converting trash into products of higher quality or greater value than the original materials. Through individual upcycling projects and small-group brainstorming, students will learn to see trash through an entirely different lens.

Middle School Level Workshops

  • New! Amazing Asteroids: This course will delve into the mysteries of asteroids, and answer such questions as: Was there really a giant asteroid in the time of the dinosaurs, could a giant asteroid come to earth today, what are asteroids made of, etc…Students will create a bunker to live underground in a pretend scenario and survive an asteroid impact. Through hands on activities and art projects, students will explore the mysteries of asteroids.
  • Android App Design: Using MIT's App Inventor, students will learn how to design and build their own gaming or utility apps. Students will get creative as they incorporate fun backgrounds, buttons and interactive features.
  • New! Arctic Mammals: Science, Culture + Art: The high Arctic is home to bizarre and intriguing animals that have had to adapt to living in a constantly shifting icy landscape. This class takes a deep dive into marine mammal ecology by introducing students to bioacoustics, the interpretation of animal noises and underwater soundscapes. Then we will explore Inuit culture, from ancient hunters to modern Inuk female ice divers. Students will also sculpt and paint animals and ice-floe scenes from the ever-changing top of the world.
  • New! Arts, Crafts, and Relaxation: Too much schoolwork and screen time? Not enough hands-on activities? Relax and make stuff! In this class, we will explore arts and crafts throughout history and in various cultures. Students will learn to make crafts with textiles, paper and mixed media. They will develop fine tactile skills and discover leisure activities to help reduce stress.
  • Astrobiology: In this class, we will explore some of the most fascinating places on Earth – places where conditions approach the limits of life. Students will learn about the adaptations that allow organisms to persist in these extreme environments. We will examine how life has evolved in places such as Antarctica’s ancient red waterfall, the deadly crystal caves in Mexico and the Challenger Deep.
  • New! Being Sherlock: The Art of the Mystery & Science: If you like reading mysteries and are intrigued by crime investigation, then this class is for you! We will explore the exciting world of forensics, including DNA evidence, fingerprints and handwriting analysis. Furthermore, we will learn how mystery writers incorporate this information into their books.
  • Culinary Chemistry and Design: In this class on the science of cooking, students will learn that cooking is not just about knowing how to follow a recipe, but ultimately about creative expression. We will experiment to figure out if the old "taste bud map" is real or a myth, and we will learn about food from different cultures. Using a recipe journal, students will jot down established recipes and their own ideas. On the last day, we will assemble a giant masterpiece using vegetables, fruit and cupcakes. For safety reasons, no open flame will be used in this class.
  • Cyanotype - The Original Selfie: Have you ever wondered how scientists, artists and architects created images before digital cameras existed? This class will offer a rare hands-on experience with the chemistry of cyanotypes, the very first photographic images. Students will use historic photo processes to create photo paper and negatives, and even to turn a T-shirt into a photographic surface. We will explore how to use the cyanotype process to produce amazing blue pictures, blueprints and scientific images. Students will also learn about artists using the cyanotype process today.
  • Deep Sea Exploration: Students will gets to know some of the most bizarre creatures that dwell in the abyss, from the Dumbo octopus to the newly discovered ninja lanternshark. Young explorers will learn firsthand about deep-sea expeditions as they pilot an underwater vehicle using the Scripps Institution of Oceanography DEEP Xbox game. We will explore pressure/density relationships to see what makes research in these realms so challenging. Learning will come to life as each student creates a treasure chest multimedia box to take home.
  • New! Electric Vegetables: Students will work together in small groups to create their own vegetable batteries. After learning about how batteries work, students will use hands-on problem-solving techniques to figure out how to assemble components into a working battery and how to measure the voltage created.
  • New! Gemology: This class will introduce students to the study of gems and teach them to identify local and southwestern gems and geodes. We will break open geodes and make art and jewelry using gemstones. We will also look around Mission Bay, a sandy area of former mudflats, for rocks to polish. Through a variety of hands-on activities, we will discover the importance of rocks and gems in our ecosystem and in history, art and traditions.
  • Inflatable Engineering: Engineering, art and nature intersect as students conduct amazing experiments with bubbles and learn how to turn simple bags into pillows and architectural structures! Together we will transform ordinary materials into giant inflatable forts and construct an imaginative public art display.
  • New! Introduction to Python Programming: This course introduces students to computer programming using the Python language. Students will listen to explanations and watch demonstrations as they gain practical experience with basic coding concepts such as calculations, string formatting/manipulation, conditional statements, iteration and abstraction of functions, as well as programming style. For their final project, students will creatively deploy the class materials to develop a simple graphic arcade game.
  • New! Making of a Super Hero: In this interactive class, students will explore the hero’s journey in literature and the real world. Through video clips, presentations, discussions and group work, students will learn about the concept of the hero’s journey as described by mythologist Joseph Campbell. We will look at heroes in literature, TV shows, graphic novels and movies. Students 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.
  • Math & Material Science: Students will design a mural and discover how to use math to perfect the execution of their final project. They will explore how various paints adhere to different surfaces, and they will become efficient at calculating the needed materials and costs to complete large-scale murals. Together we will investigate obtaining permission and permits for final mural placement. We will also discuss funding and grants, and how to use technology to enhance designs. Students will then work individually or in groups to create sample murals.
  • Messy Discoveries: Boom, crash, zip, slide! In this class, students will participate in hands-on learning activities that let them design things, throw things, test things and stomp on things. They will learn about the scientific processes behind volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, permafrost, glaciers and sea-level rise while adding their own artistic flair to each design.
  • Mysteries of the Human Genome: Why are your eyes brown and mine green? Why is your hair so curly? What does your blood type mean? In this class, we will learn about the basics of DNA and how traits are passed from one generation to the next. We will create mixed-media art pieces to showcase important cell cycles, and we will use fun interactive models to learn about inheritance and variance. Students will play Sherlock Holmes to decode genetic mysteries and then come up with their own gripping short stories showing how murders can be solved using biological techniques.
  • New! Python: Exploring the Web: The Internet is an amazing technology, but have you ever wondered just what happens behind the scenes to make it work? In this class, we will explore the intricacies of the World Wide Web and how it functions by creating all sorts of small applications to communicate over the Internet. In building these applications, students will learn how to use existing network systems to make powerful programs.
  • New!Raspberry Pi Projects: Students will work with the Raspberry Pi Motherboard and computer accessories to build real-world application such as dimmer switches, alarms with camera modules, drum sets and visual games. Students will also learn basic electronics and Python scripting in this class.
  • New! Science of Harry Potter: Students will explore the science and magic of the world of Harry Potter through video clips, presentations, discussions, activities and artwork. Topics include genetics and trait prediction (parseltongue, giants, squibs), acid/base chemistry (Marauder’s Map), fantastic beasts and herbology. Science has never been so magical!
  • Slimy Sea Creatures: Students will learn about slimy sea creatures like octopuses, sea stars, sand dollars and moon snails, to name a few. They will observe a squid dissection and write their names in squid ink while learning about anatomical structures of sea creatures. Students also will discover the secret of how octopuses change color and what makes pearls. They will assume the role of marine biologist and investigate what kind of invertebrate they would like to be! Each student will create artwork to take home using seashells and other materials from Mother Earth.
  • Tiny Houses: In this design class, students will learn about architecture, social responsibility and community as they design and build scale models of their own tiny homes. Student will be introduced to concepts including sustainability, functionality and how to incorporate natural light into a design. Students will also refine their communication skill by presenting their tiny houses to the class. This class is designed for students who have little or no experience with design or construction.
  • Understanding our Earth: Discover the major landforms in America and around the world! This class will explore the theory of plate tectonics and how plates move around Earth's surface to create landforms. Students will learn to read topological maps and find out how geological events affect our environments and the way we live. We will Investigate evolution, geologic time scales and mass extinctions. Through a case study, we will see how human activities change the natural world. We will also look into geo-hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis, and learn how we can best prepare for them.
  • Video Production: In this digital age, videos are far and wide! From viral videos to short films, they tell stories about the world. In this class, students will explore film theory and learn the basics of video production, including composition, editing and audio. In small groups, students will storyboard, script, film and edit their own short films. Students will also watch, examine and discuss a variety of short films.
  • Virtual Reality: This class lets students join the virtual reality technology movement using the Google Cardboard virtual reality viewer. Students will work in groups to create their own virtual reality interactive tools and games and to learn basic concepts of stereoscopy. They will gain experience in C++ programming and 3D modeling, and they will learn how to use the popular Unity game engine. No prior experience with computer programming or 3D modeling is required.
  • New! Wind Power: You have probably seen the huge wind farms that are arising in many parts of the country. But did you know that you can be an active player in the development of this important green technology? In this class, students will learn how the exchange of energy between Earth and the atmosphere leads to the generation of wind. They will explore the reasons why some places are always windy. Then students will harness the power of their new knowledge to engineer machinery that puts wind power to beneficial use.
  • New! Wonderful Waves: In this fun-filled class, students will explore the wonderful world of waves through science experiments, hands-on activities, and arts and crafts. Students will discover the science of waves, currents and tsunamis. They will learn about how light travels and which color of light travels the farthest. We will investigate how sand is formed by waves, and we will use microscopes to examine sand from beaches around the world. Each student will design and create a miniature surfboard from balsa wood to take home.

High School Level Workshops

  • New! Advanced Robotic Programming with Java Script: This class gives students a serious introduction to robotics, automation and the challenges of programming in the physical world. We will use the Dexter robotic arm from Haddington Dynamics for demos and for testing student programs and end effectors. The class will use JavaScript as the primary language because it has wide applications and is the language of choice for the robotic arm.
  • New! Arctic Mammals: Science, Culture + Art: The high Arctic is home to bizarre and intriguing animals that have had to adapt to living in a constantly shifting icy landscape. This class takes a deep dive into marine mammal ecology by introducing students to bioacoustics, the interpretation of animal noises and underwater soundscapes. Then we will explore Inuit culture, from ancient hunters to modern Inuk female ice divers. Students will also sculpt and paint animals and ice-floe scenes from the ever-changing top of the world.
  • Astrobiology: In this class, we will explore some of the most fascinating places on Earth – places where conditions approach the limits of life. Students will learn about the adaptations that allow organisms to persist in these extreme environments. We will examine how life has evolved in places such as Antarctica’s ancient red waterfall, the deadly crystal caves in Mexico and the Challenger Deep.
  • Cyanotype - The Original Selfie: Have you ever wondered how scientists, artists and architects created images before digital cameras existed? This class will offer a rare hands-on experience with the chemistry of cyanotypes, the very first photographic images. Students will use historic photo processes to create photo paper and negatives, and even to turn a T-shirt into a photographic surface. We will explore how to use the cyanotype process to produce amazing blue pictures, blueprints and scientific images. Students will also learn about artists using the cyanotype process today.
  • Graphic Design using Photoshop and Illustrator: This class focuses on designing logos, business cards and postcards. Students will learn how to edit photos and use special effects (fire effect, gradient, cropping and more) in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. We will investigate logo design concepts and work in teams to identify how designers use color, font and sketches to engage a target audience. For their final project, students will create a branding package with a logo design, business card layout and postcard design for a real or made-up company. This class is designed for students with little or no experience with digital design.
  • New! Introduction to Python Programming: This course introduces students to computer programming using the Python language. Students will listen to explanations and watch demonstrations as they gain practical experience with basic coding concepts such as calculations, string formatting/manipulation, conditional statements, iteration and abstraction of functions, as well as programming style. For their final project, students will creatively deploy the class materials to develop a simple graphic arcade game.
  • Magic of Making Movies This class analyzes what makes movies “magical.” What is it that allows viewers to invest in the struggles of fictional characters? While looking at the mechanics of making a movie, students will use what they have learned about the stages of filmmaking and storytelling as they collaborate to produce their own movie addressing a problem in today’s world.
  • Passport to the Pacific: This course will introduce students to Python programming and the basics of computer science. Students will learn how to program in the Python language, and they will become familiar with common computer science practices, such as variables, looping, and condition statements, that can be applied to other programming languages. This class is designed to be more fun than informative, so most of our time will be spent incorporating what we learn to build simple games in Python and diving into how computer games work. Student will have a chance to make their own versions of common games, adding in features they like.
  • New! Program Your Future: Computer Science Onboarding Lab: Students will be introduced to the power of programming using three different software development techniques. By actively engaging with hands on the keyboard, they will learn the basics of the HTML, Android and Swift programming languages. These powerful languages drive the application development of most mobile devices and the Internet of Things! Students will be exposed to current tools used in modern software development such as a source code repository, task management and team communication applications. A variety of code editors will be covered during each of the language sections. The basics of each language will cover programming concepts such as variable assignment, looping, animation and view layout. Students will give a brief presentation of a problem in the world they would like to fix and how they might do that with software.
  • New! Python: Exploring the Web: The Internet is an amazing technology, but have you ever wondered just what happens behind the scenes to make it work? In this class, we will explore the intricacies of the World Wide Web and how it functions by creating all sorts of small applications to communicate over the Internet. In building these applications, students will learn how to use existing network systems to make powerful programs..
  • Rube Goldberg Engineering: From gadgets to gravity to spinning wheels, this is the class for engineering imagination. Working in teams, students will build interactive structures where a simple push starts a chain reaction of pulleys, dominoes and so much more. These crazy systems, initially the idea of the cartoonist Rube Goldberg, began as a parody of the modern world. Now they’re just fun. We will engineer this art into life with a few machines of our own, intentionally wasting time and energy in the pursuit of “simple” solutions.
  • New! SAT Prep: Pre/Post Test and 16 Hours of Instruction: UC San Diego is offering an exclusive SAT® Prep course. This innovative and sophisticated course is designed for the student whose busy lifestyle demands efficient prep in a short time. Our team will help you score higher on the SAT® with exclusive test-taking tactics specifically designed to increase your score. Learn strategies and techniques based on actual test data geared toward your strengths and weaknesses. By the end of this intensive course, students will be able to test confidently. The class features 16 hours of instruction from experienced instructors, three full practice tests with analysis of results, small classes and additional tutoring as needed.
  • New! Space Tango: Quest Institute: The Quest for Space Heat Starter Kit lets students explore the science of heating and cooling by building and programming three experiments in radiation, convection and conduction. Students will build and customize the hardware for each experiment using heating bulbs and resistors, temperature sensors, mounts, wires and screws. Then students will program and customize the experiments in the Arduino environment and C programming language. Finally, students will run their experiment configurations on the International Space Station and analyze the data to see how different types of heat transfer affect heating and cooling in microgravity.
  • Stress Basics and Stress Busters: American teens are facing a stress crisis. Public health officials report a surge in the number of young people seeking help for anxiety. The class addresses this crisis by guiding students to an understanding of the latest scientific research about how chronic stress affects the body. The course also introduces students to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to help them develop strategies for managing stress and restoring health and balance. Woosah!
  • Video Production: In this digital age, videos are far and wide! From viral videos to short films, they tell stories about the world. In this class, students will explore film theory and learn the basics of video production, including composition, editing and audio. In small groups, students will storyboard, script, film and edit their own short films. Students will also watch, examine and discuss a variety of short films.
  • Virtual Reality: This class lets students join the virtual reality technology movement using the Google Cardboard virtual reality viewer. Students will work in groups to create their own virtual reality interactive tools and games and to learn basic concepts of stereoscopy. They will gain experience in C++ programming and 3D modeling, and they will learn how to use the popular Unity game engine. No prior experience with computer programming or 3D modeling is required.
  • New! Walking Beasts: It walks as if possessed by a mind of its own – no motor, no gas, no battery, just a series of lurching dance steps along the boundaries of imagination and reality. What is it? The contraption we will design and build in this class is called a Walking Beast. The class incorporates engineering, wind power, gravity, frictional rotation and structural integrity. Together we will explore how artistic creativity can drive scientific design and vice versa.
  • New! Wind Power: You have probably seen the huge wind farms that are arising in many parts of the country. But did you know that you can be an active player in the development of this important green technology? In this class, students will learn how the exchange of energy between Earth and the atmosphere leads to the generation of wind. They will explore the reasons why some places are always windy. Then students will harness the power of their new knowledge to engineer machinery that puts wind power to beneficial use.

Adult/Parent Level Workshops

New! A Parent’s Guide to Success in Science Education: How to Planet:

This series of workshops is designed for parents of students enrolled in the Sally Ride Science Junior Academy and affiliated programs. Grounded in research and best practices, “A Parent’s Guide to Success” offers a variety of resources and strategies that parents can use with children and young adults to bolster engagement and achievement in the sciences and beyond. Topics include:

  1. Brain Basics: the art and science of learning
  2. Making Connections: socio-emotional needs and behavioral supports
  3. The Roadmap: enhancing organization and study skills
  4. Inspired and Dedicated: cultivating creativity and commitment
  5. When the Going Gets Tough: building resilience and growth mindset
  6. Head in the Cloud, Feet on the Ground: technology use
  7. Next Generation: 21st Century Science Education
  8. Building Bridges: effective school/home communication

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