Afterschool Science Online

Looking for something to enrich your kids' learning this Fall? Check out our new Afterschool Science Online programs!

Join our expert educators online for up to 8 weeks' worth of hands-on activities and engaging science learning experiences. Like our recent Online Science Discovery Camps, we will ship most of the materials required for each program directly to you, so all participants need to bring is their curiosity. Our program for Pre-K & adult joint learning will only use materials that can be found in your home.

Programs will begin the week of October 19 and will meet weekly for 5 to 8 weeks, depending on the grade level. We have at least one program title available for each grade level: Young Investigators for Pre-K & adult joint learning; Nature Explorers for K–Grade 1; Slime Investigators for grades 2–3; Quicksand Engineers for grades 4–5; Bay Area Bridge Builders for grades 6–8; and Python Coders for Space Exploration, for grades 9–12.

If you have more questions about how our online programs work, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions section.

Program Descriptions

Young Investigators

Have you ever wondered why some things are soft and gooey while others are hard as a rock? As young investigators, participants will find out more about the properties of matter. Together we will notice, wonder, and discover the solid, liquid, gassy, and gooey states of matter. Each program will include play-based, hands-on explorations as participants gain an elementary understanding of the properties of matter, transitions, and basic chemical reactions.

What You Will Need at Home:

  • Materials for each session will be posted and include things you can find in and around your home.

Please note: Limited adult help may be needed to help your children set up for activities before the start of the session.

Member: $125 / Non-Member: $150

Dates

  • Each Tuesday (5 weeks) 10/20/2020 - 11/17/2020 4:00p.m. – 4:45p.m. PDT Registration Closed
  • Each Thursday (5 weeks) 10/22/2020 - 11/19/2020 4:00p.m. – 4:45p.m. PDT Registration Closed

Nature Explorers

Have you ever looked at dirt and wondered, “What’s under there? What does that bug eat? How can some bugs live underground, and what do they do down there?” In this online afterschool program, explorers will create their own terrarium habitats and explore the organisms that live there through a mix of observations, read-alouds, and hands-on activities. Participants will develop their abilities to observe and explore the world around them—learning skills that can later be applied to anything they find interesting.

What You Will Need at Home:

  • Materials that will be delivered directly to your home
  • A large flat surface and a large tray, placemat, or tablecloth to work on
  • Access to outdoors for one cup of soil, sand, weeds, leaves, and insects
  • Small cup of water to keep soil moist

Please note: Limited adult help may be needed to help your children set up for activities before the start of the session.

Member: $165 / Non-Member: $195

Dates

  • Each Tuesday (5 weeks) 10/20/2020 - 11/17/2020 2:45p.m. – 3:45p.m. PDT Registration Closed
  • Each Thursday (5 weeks) 10/22/2020 - 11/19/2020 2:45p.m. – 3:45p.m. PDT Registration Closed

Slime Investigators

You may have played with slime or even made slime before, but have you ever been a slime engineer? In this online afterschool program, participants will have fun with the science of slime making. Through hands-on activities, they will learn about properties of matter, and explore how different ingredients can create different kinds of slime. They will practice science skills by observing, asking questions, and investigating. We'll also put our slime knowledge and skills to work to solve some challenges—can your slime make a bridge, protect a fragile package, or bounce like a ball?

What You Will Need at Home:

  • Materials that will be delivered directly to your home
  • Space to store some items in your refrigerator, a sink for handwashing, and towels for cleanup
  • A large flat surface and a large tray, placemat, or tablecloth to work on

Please note: Limited adult help may be needed to help your children set up for activities before the start of the session.

Member: $195 / Non-Member: $230

Dates

  • Each Tuesday (5 weeks) 10/20/2020 - 11/17/2020 3:00p.m. – 4:15p.m. PDT Registration Closed
  • Each Thursday (5 weeks) 10/22/2020 - 11/19/2020 3:00p.m. – 4:15p.m. PDT Registration Closed

Quicksand Engineering

Do you have what it takes to survive a rescue mission…over quicksand? In this online afterschool program, participants will explore the properties of non-Newtonian fluids and will apply their discoveries to engineering an all-new rescue vehicle—one that can actually travel over quicksand! Throughout the program they will learn about quicksand and practice working with scientific tools and skills. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the design cycle as they design, build, and test out their creations, resulting in both 2D and 3D concepts for their new vehicle.

What You Will Need at Home:

  • Materials that will be delivered directly to your home
  • A collection of recycled materials for crafting with; it’s best to start collecting now!
  • A large flat surface and a large tray, placemat, or tablecloth to work on
  • Access to a sink for handwashing and towels for cleanup
  • Medium sized bowl

Member: $195 / Non-Member: $230

Dates

  • Each Tuesday (5 weeks) 10/20/2020 - 11/17/2020 3:00p.m. – 4:15p.m. PDT Registration Closed
  • Each Thursday (5 weeks) 10/22/2020 - 11/19/2020 3:00p.m. – 4:15p.m. PDT Registration Closed

Bay Area Bridge Builders

The Bay Area is known for its many iconic bridges. In this online afterschool program, participants will learn about different types of bridges, including truss bridges like the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge and suspension bridges like the Golden Gate Bridge. Using provided materials, participants will practice using the engineering design cycle to design, build, and test a variety of bridges. Finally, participants will take the role of a lead engineer and develop their own design using the principles they have learned and skills they have gained.

What You Will Need at Home:

  • Materials that will be delivered directly to your home
  • A large flat surface with newspaper or covering to work on while using the glue gun
  • Access to electricity for a hot glue gun
  • Access to water and a safe place to test bridges, using a bucket of water that can hang from a 50 cm bridge placed between two tables or chairs (bucket provided by The Lawrence)
  • Please have at least 4 heavy objects such as textbooks
  • Towel or blanket to put under a bucket of water

Member: $390 / Non-Member: $460

Dates

  • Each Tuesday (8 weeks) 10/20/2020 - 12/15/2020 3:15p.m. – 4:45p.m. PDT Registration Closed
  • Each Thursday (8 weeks) 10/22/2020 - 12/17/2020 3:15p.m. – 4:45p.m. PDT Registration Closed

Coding for Space Exploration

Have you ever wondered how scientists on Earth can use coding to discover the secrets of space? In this online afterschool program, participants will learn the basics of Python programming. They will build a model space station using a robotics kit and recycled materials, then power their model to do things that real-life space stations do, like responding to light, objects, and motion. Along the way, they will engage in science and engineering practices as they identify and solve problems.

What You Will Need at Home:

  • Materials that will be delivered directly to your home
  • A Windows or Mac computer with a USB-A port to transfer data to the robotics kit
  • A collection of recycled materials for crafting with; it’s best to start collecting now!

Member: $480 / Non-Member: $565

Dates

  • Each Wednesday (8 weeks) 10/21/2020 - 12/16/2020 3:00p.m. – 5:00p.m. PDT Registration Closed

Here are a few important things you should know:

Programs take place online, so you will need a computer or laptop with a working video camera, stable Internet, and Zoom. The University of California now requires all participants in a UC program to sign in to a Zoom account. You may use your existing Zoom account, or you can set up a free account here.

Prices include all materials, which will be shipped directly to you. A package from The Lawrence will arrive via UPS a week in advance of the start date. A limited number of items that you typically have at home will be required and noted for specific programs. Adult support may be needed for setup, and some materials must be gathered under adult supervision as they may be hazardous to younger siblings.

You will be invited to a 15-minute online orientation with both staff and all registered participants before the start date.

The University of California is committed to providing an electronic environment that is accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities. Contact the Registration Office at least 7 days before the start of the program if you need to arrange accommodations.

Please see our FAQ section for more information on our Afterschool Science Online programs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does the online program look like? How is it different than in-person programs?

A: Our online programs bring many of the key elements of in-person instruction to the virtual learning world: staff engagement, attention, a low staff ratio, serious science, hands-on fun, and engagement with other participants.

Q: Who are the online instructors?

A: The online instructors are museum educators from The Lawrence. We maintain a low staff ratio of 1:6, which encourages engagement from participants.

Q: My child’s needs are unique. How do I communicate that with the staff in advance?

A: If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Joanna, Director of Camp and Youth Programs, at lhscamps@berkeley.edu.

Q: The program starts next week. What should I do if we still have not received the material box from the Lawrence?

A: Make sure your shipping address is the same as the one you entered when completing registration. Our shipping timeline ensures that the materials box should arrive by 1 week (7 days) before your program. If you have not received materials by the end of the day 1 week before your program, please contact us and we will work with you to remedy the situation.

Q: How will know if all the materials have arrived?

A: When you open the materials box, please review its enclosed packing list to make sure that all the contents are present. If something is missing or arrives broken, please let us know by the Monday before your program and we will work with you to ensure you have what you need.

Q: How do I go about collecting the items that are not shipped in the materials box from the Lawrence?

A: Please refer to the corresponding program description, as each program is different.

Q: Will my child need help handling the materials?

A: While all programs are designed to be age-appropriate, some programs may require limited help from an adult to check the packing list and to help set up materials. Please note that children younger than the age range of the program should never handle program materials. Parents are required to be onsite while children are participating in the program. If you still have questions regarding program materials, please email lhscamps@berkeley.edu.

Q: How do I register for this program?

A:

  1. To register for Afterschool Science Online, go to our Registration page.
    • If you purchased our Online Summer Discovery Camps this year, you already have an account. Use the email associated with your account and the password you created.
    • If you are a Member and this is the first time you have logged into our new system, use the email associated with your membership and click on “Reset Password.” If you don’t remember the email you gave us when you joined, please email lhsreg@berkeley.edu and we will let you know the email you gave us. Please do not create a new account!
    • If you are not a Member and have not purchased anything from us this year, please create a new account.
  2. During the registration process we will ask for the email address that will be used to login to a REGISTERED ZOOM ACCOUNT, which is required in order to participate in our classes. We will use this same email address for communicating with you about Afterschool Science Online. This must be the email address of a Parent/Guardian/Adult, and not of the participant (child). We will not communicate with minors directly. Note: UC Berkeley now requires all participants in a program to sign in to a Zoom account. You may use your existing Zoom account or you can set up a free account here.
  3. During the registration process, we will ask for an address to be used for shipping the class materials. It does not need to be the same as the address on your account. Please make sure the address you provide is where you want the materials shipped.
  4. If you have any questions related to program registration, please email: lhsreg@berkeley.edu.

Q: Can I cancel or transfer a program I am already registered for?

A:

  1. All programs are nonrefundable after October 5 at 5:00 p.m. If you cancel before that time, you will receive a refund of fees minus a $25 administrative fee.
  2. You may transfer to another session before October 5 at 5:00 p.m. if space is available. Transfers will incur a $25 transfer fee.
  3. If you are unable to attend the program after the cancellation deadline, the materials are yours to keep, but unfortunately there will be no refund.

Q: Can more than one participant sit at the computer?

A: Each participant must be registered, paid for, and signed off with waivers even if at a single site. We welcome multiple participants per household, and each registrant will receive their own materials kit.

Q: I am a Member of The Lawrence, so why am I not seeing the Member’s price?

A: If you have a current membership, please be sure to log in using the email associated with your membership. If you are not sure which email address is affiliated with your membership or if your membership is current, please email us at lhsreg@berkeley.edu

To purchase or renew a membership, please go here.

Q: What if I have other questions related to registering for programs that are not addressed here?

A: If you still have any other questions related to registration, please email: lhsreg@berkeley.edu

Q: What is Zoom and how does it work?

A: For those unfamiliar with Zoom, the following links may be helpful:
https://zoom.us/docs/en-us/covid19.html
https://berkeley.service-now.com/kb_view.do?sysparm_article=KB0012906
Please remember to use the email address you provided during registration to log onto Zoom. Our programs also require the use of a password for extra security. If you have any other issues, please send us an email (lhscamps@berkeley.edu) and we will be happy to help.

Q: I have not received any of my Zoom link information for programs.

A: Make sure you are checking the same email account you used to register. Also check your spam folder. If you still can't find the information, send us an email at lhscamps@berkeley.edu and we will send another email with the Zoom link information.

Q: Do we use the same link that we used for the "meet & greet" last week? Also, can we get the correct Zoom link for today?

A: There will be only one link for the entire program. Please email lhscamps@berkeley.edu if you are having trouble with the link, including program details: name of child, program day, hour, and title.

Q: Do we use the same link that we used for the "meet & greet" last week? Also, can we get the correct Zoom link for today?

A: There will be only one link for the entire program. Please email lhscamps@berkeley.edu if you are having trouble with the link, including program details: name of child, program day, hour, and title.