• June 26 to July 21, 2017
    • Session 1:  June 26 to June 30, 2017
    • Session 2:  July 3 to July 7, 2017 (no classes  July 4th)
    • Session 3:  July  10, to July 14, 2017
    • Session 4:  July 17 to July 21, 2017
  • Morning sessions: 9:00 a.m. to noon
  • Afternoon sessions: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • 1-week courses
  • 3-hour classes
  • $150 per course
  • Classes will be held at Mission Bay High School
  • 858-534-0804 

The Sally Ride Science Junior Academy offers science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) workshops for girls entering 6th-12th grade in 2017-2018. During these workshops, students assume the roles of space explorer, ocean engineer, computer scientist, and more as they immerse themselves in hands-on projects.

Middle & High School Level

NEW! Make Your Own Inflatables: Explore the fascinating world of bubbles!  Discover the intersection of engineering, architecture, art and nature through amazing experiments with bubbles and inflatables.  As inventors and designers we will be building our own unique constructions through the iterative design-to-build process and creating giant inflatables from ordinary plastic bags!  No experience required. NEW! Science of Science Fiction: Join us in blending knowledge with creativity to construct rich, innovative science fiction stories. We explore how classic science fiction works – from literature to film – found their beginnings in scientific thought. Using craft elements of fiction writing, students write their own science fiction stories and, just maybe, influence the science world! No prior experience necessary. NEW! Introduction to Circuits using Makey-Makey: Do electronics and bananas go together?  Absolutely!  Learn how to create fun circuits using Makey-Makey circuit boards that can be expanded and accentuated with everyday items like a banana, tin foil or a bouncy ball.  Science and art will collide as the technology of circuits is used to create art in the form of music, paintings and photographs. New! Virtual Reality with Google Cardboard: Join the Virtual Reality technology movement that simulates experiences (like going on a roller coaster) using Google Cardboard* (a Virtual Reality viewer).  Work in groups to create your own virtual reality interactive tools and games and learn basic concepts of stereoscopy.  Gain experience in C+ programming, 3D modeling and learn how to use the popular UNITY game engine. No prior experience with computer programming or 3D modeling is required. * Google Cardboard:

Middle School Level

Messy Science: Boom, crash, zip, slide! Participate in hands-on learning activities that let you design things, throw things, test things and STOMP on things. Learn about the scientific processes behind volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, permafrost, glaciers and sea level rise while adding your own artistic flair to each design. Music of Earthquakes: Explore the interplay between music and earthquakes.  Work in groups to compose a zany musical representation of a seismogram (a data recording of an earthquake) using musical instruments of your choice -- anything from a simple bell to a floor-matt piano  Use the Audacity audio/visual software to  explore and understand the frequency content of different types of music (rap, hip-hop, soul, contemporary, classical) and different types of earthquake data. Create guitar pick necklaces and other musical crafts to take home.  No prior experience required. Space Out: Buckle your seat belts and get ready for blast off as you plan your own mission to space! Design and build their own miniature spacecraft that will be presented and launched on the last day of class at the “rocket launch" celebration.   Explore our Earth and then expand to other planets, solar systems, and far-away galaxies. Join us to learn about past and current space missions, different kinds of stars, habitable planets, black holes, and even a little relativity. Slimy Sea Creatures: Learn about slimy sea creatures like octopuses, sea stars, sand dollars and moon snails, to name a few. Observe a squid dissection and write your name in squid-ink while learning about anatomical structures of sea creatures. Discover the secret of how octopuses change color and what makes pearls.  Become a marine biologist and investigate what kind of invertebrate you would like to be!  Create artwork to take home using different types of seashells and other materials from Mother Earth. Introduction to Robotics with LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3: Learn basic concepts of robotics and then build robots using the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 kit while using basic flowchart programming to create autonomous robots. Working in groups, compete in science instrument deployment competitions using multiple sensors on the robots.  No prior experience with robotics or programming is required. A Treasure Chest of Experiences - Deep Sea Exploration: A deep sea look into the bizarre creatures that dwell in the abyss and beyond, from the Dumbo Octopus to the newly discovered Ninja Lanternshark. Explorers have the opportunity to virtually pilot an underwater vehicle using the Scripps Institution of Oceanography DEEP XBOX game and learn firsthand about expeditions in the deep sea. From dive suits to landers and submarines, pressure/density relationships are illuminated to show what makes research in these realms so challenging. Learning comes to life as each student creates their own treasure chest multi-media box to bring home their handcrafted creatures inspired from the deep.

High School Level

Designed for students entering the 9th through 12th grades NEW! Ethically Hacking Toys: In this computer tech class students transform toys into things the manufacturer never intended. Learn how to create fun circuits using Makey Makey circuit boards, and use this knowledge to hack into electronic toys like remote controlled cars, walking dinosaurs, toy pianos, LED panels and more. Students will learn basic circuits concepts and work in teams to modify the functionality of various electronic devices. Students will also create ethical hacking tools to help them accomplish their target objectives for their final project. NEW! Culinary Chemistry & Design: Fun with Flavors: In this science of cooking class, together we learn how cooking is, at its base, not just knowing how to follow a recipe, but ultimately is about creative expression. We experiment to figure out if the old ‘taste bud map’ is real, or a myth, and learn about food from different cultures.  Using a recipe journal students jot down notes, established recipes and their own recipe ideas.  On the last day we create a giant masterpiece (i.e., vegetables, fruit, and cupcakes) decorated and creatively assembled by our culinary crew. The benefits of having an inspired junior chef in the house are priceless.  For safety reasons no open flame will be used in this class. Note: No prior experience is necessary. NEW! Pirate Science: Ahoy! Life as a pirate is rough, rugged and requires scientific ingenuity.  Join us to learn the fundamental suite of traditional nautical arts. Students will learn the elements of celestial navigation, sword fighting, weather prediction, knot tying, ship construction, and sailing. Fostering an appreciation and understanding for both the bravery and ingenuity of traditional sailors as well as the beauty and elegance of modern physical theory. NEW! Game Studio: After identifying their passions and talents -- be it artist, sound engineer and/or programmer, students form collaborative groups or “Game Studios”!  Artists are responsible for developing 3D models, graphics and animations. Sound engineers create audio effects and the programmers integrate these sub-pieces into a final game product.  Tools including Gimp, Audacity and intermediate level C# language and the Unity game engine will be used.  Inherently built into the class is learning the importance of project management, time allocation, and how to establish realistic benchmark goals and timelines. Note: To take this course students must have completed either Introduction to Programming and/or Introduction to 3D Modeling courses or have prior consent from the instructor.  Introduction to Digital 3D Modeling Using Maya: How do you create amazing digital movie environments, realistic looking objects in video games, and cool 3D graphics for TV commercials?  The power of 3D visual effects surrounds us.  Learn how this popular 3D form of art is interspersed in our lives and how 3D modeling can be used beyond the entertainment industry.  Join us to explore 3D computer modeling, animation, texturing, character rigging, animation and rendering using Maya.   Create your own 3D models that will be included in either a course compilation movie or imported into a videogame as a 3D asset.  No prior experience with programming is required. Introduction to Video game Programming with Unity: What better way to learn introductory concepts of computer science than within a video game environment powered by the popular Unity game engine as a visualization tool! Using the C# scripting language, learn code structure and syntax, conditional statements, loops, functions, data structures and write and run simple scripts. After learning how to handle user input, object collision and interface design, create your own simple video game! NEW! Arctic Mammals: Biology, Culture & Art: Learn about mammals that call the Arctic Ocean home, including narwhals, belugas and walrus that thrive in this harsh and ever-changing climate. We eavesdrop on several Arctic ecosystems, learning about "soundscapes," or acoustics, and how sound plays a role in how marine animals communicate. Art brings lessons to life as students take clay sculpting and mixed-media creativity to the next level. Each animal we learn about is sculpted out of clay, and together we create an art display of the Arctic ice-flow ecosystem. NEW! Art of Anatomy: In this class we learn about 11 body systems that work together to keep us alive. We look at the organs in each system that range in size, shape and weight. We explore and learn!  Why is our skin our largest organ?  Are our lungs the only organ that can float on water? And is the size of one of our kidneys about the size of a kidney bean?  To better understand our anatomy and physiology, students create life-size models and artistically construct 3D models to demonstrate some of our body processes. No prior anatomy experience is required. NEW! Math of Murals: Design a mural while simultaneously discovering how to use math to perfect the execution of the final project. Explore how different types of paints adhere to different surface types and 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.  Topics will also include a discussion of funding and grants and how to use technology to enhance designs. All students will participate in creating a sample mural, either individually or in groups. Additional contact information: 858-534-0804 and