Students in the San Diego Unified School District can apply for scholarships to attend hands-on STEAM workshops at this summer’s Sally Ride Science Junior Academy.

The 2018 Junior Academy, from June 25 to July 20 at Mission Bay High School, will offer dozens of innovative STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) classes for middle school and high school students. See a course schedule and register here:

The Junior Academy is open to all students entering grades 6 through 12 during the 2018-2019 school year. However, scholarships are reserved for San Diego Unified students. The deadline to apply for scholarships is May 15. Click here to apply: Applicants will be notified of scholarship decisions by June 1.

“Science and technology continue to play a more significant role in our daily lives than ever before,” said Dr. Ed Abeyta, associate dean for community engagement and director of pre-college and career preparation programs for UC San Diego Extension. “We need to make sure all students are literate in science, math and technology so they can make informed decisions about their lives – their health, their communities and our planet.”

Sally Ride Science, cofounded by America’s first women in space to promote diversity in science education, became part of UC San Diego in 2015 and launched the Junior Academy in 2016. Nearly 400 students took part in the academy’s first year and more than 500 participated in the second year. This summer’s enrollment is expected to be around 1,000.

More than 40 percent of students at this year’s academy will receive scholarship assistance. Scholarship sponsors include the Hellman Foundation, Soroptimist International of San Diego, San Diego Gas & Electric, and San Diego Unified.

Each scholarship covers tuition for a STEAM workshop consisting of one week of half-day sessions. The workshops are held during either the morning or the afternoon session. Separate lineups of workshops are offered for middle school students and high school students.

The 2018 Junior Academy also features new multi-week courses that allow high school students to earn college prep credit. Another new feature is an option to enroll students for early drop-off and late pickup.

New one-week workshops cover a wide variety of engaging STEAM topics, including:

  • Astrobiology: Students investigate how life persists in extreme environments on Earth and then explore the potential for life beyond our planet.
  • Android App Design: Students use the MIT App Inventor application to design and code their own apps.
  • Fractal Poetry: Students write poems that mimic fractals – geometric figures in which each part has the same characteristics as the whole.
  • Living Structure – Walking Beasts: Students work together to build a fantastical contraption that walks on its own with no motor or batteries.

Also offered will be popular workshops from past academies, including Introduction to Robotics, Space Out!, Messy Science and Culinary Chemistry.

Junior Academy instructors include graduate students from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, undergraduates from UC San Diego, and local artists and science educators. In addition to teaching the material, the instructors serve as role models.

Sally Ride blasted off aboard space shuttle Challenger on June 18, 1983, to become the first American woman – and, at 32, the youngest American – in space. After retiring from NASA, she became a champion of science education.

In 2001, Ride joined with her partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy, and three other friends to found Sally Ride Science. Their goal was to inspire students, especially girls, to study science and to consider careers in science and engineering. Ride died of pancreatic cancer in 2012.

Since joining UC San Diego, Sally Ride Science has been based at UC San Diego Extension. O’Shaughnessy is executive director of Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego.