Registration has begun for this summer’s Sally Ride Science Junior Academy, a series of hands-on STEAM workshops that let middle school and high school girls take on the roles of space explorer, oceanographer, videogame designer and more.

The Junior Academy will run from June 26 to July 21. The weeklong workshops are open to all students entering grades 6 through 12, but the emphasis is on engaging girls in STEAM – science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

“The classes incorporate both art and science,” said Dr. Debi Kilb, a seismologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography who is the science outreach director for Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego.

“By interweaving art and science, we can expand our reach,” she added. “We can attract the artists who might not realize they have an uncanny knack for science, and teach the science-minded students the many benefits of multidisciplinary work.”

Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego launched the Junior Academy last summer, with nearly 400 students taking part. Popular workshops will return this summer, including Virtual Reality Programming, Robotics and Space Out!

This summer’s program also introduces many new courses. New offerings include Science of Science Fiction, Ethically Hacking Toys, Culinary Chemistry, Pirate Science and Math of Murals. Click here to see a complete course list and to register.

The Junior Academy will be held at Mission Bay High School in Pacific Beach. Each one-week workshop runs for five days of three-hour sessions. During the weeks of June 26, July 10 and July 17, morning sessions will run from 9 am to noon and afternoon sessions from 1 to 4 pm. There is also an option to sign up for both morning and afternoon sessions and stay for a supervised lunch period. The week of July 3, only one session, from 9 am to 2 pm, will be held, and there will be no class July 4.

Classes are $150 each. Scholarships will be available for students from San Diego Unified School District who receive free or reduced-price lunches.

Sally Ride Science was founded in 2001 by America’s first woman in space, along with four like-minded friends, to inspire young people in science and engineering. Sally Ride Science became part of UC San Diego in 2015.

UC San Diego Extension, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the San Diego Supercomputer Center oversee programs offered by Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego. The three entities helped to develop the Junior Academy curriculum. Experienced STEAM educators lead the workshops.
“A lot of our 2016 students told us our Sally Ride Academy was unique and differed from the other summer camps they attended,” Kilb noted. One thing that sets the Junior Academy apart, she said, is the way the courses are developed.

“We ask our high-level instructors, many who are graduate students or post-docs, what they wished they had learned when they were in middle and high school,” she said. “With that knowledge, we develop the Junior Academy classes to specifically fill in these gaps.”

An official UC San Diego club called Tritons for Sally Ride Science will be helping out with the summer workshops. The group is made up of undergraduate women majoring in science and technology who work to support for Sally Ride Science’s programs.