Online Science Discovery Camps

Interactive online camps are available for children entering first grade through high school who want to engage with science but aren’t ready to join us in-person, or who can only participate from home due to distance or other considerations. Online camps start June 7th thru August 6. Campers will enjoy engaging, hands-on science experiences, will have many opportunities to complete projects, will share with each other and also the camp leaders, and will surely have a good time! We will send all the materials directly to you. Each online camp session lasts one or two weeks; some middle and high school sessions are two weeks long. Advance registration is required in order to ensure that materials reach you before the start of camp.

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Financial Aid

Need-based financial aid is still available for middle and high school programs. Please email lhsreg@berkeley.edu for more information.

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Program Descriptions

Slime Investigators ONLINE for Grades 1 – 2

One week ONLINE camp

Have you ever have played with or made slime before? This summer you can become a slime engineer! In this online program, you will have fun with the science of slime making. Together we will learn about properties of matter, and explore how different ingredients can create different kinds of slime. You will practice science skills by observing, asking questions, and investigating. By the end you will be able to put your 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: $165 / Non-Member: $175


Nature Explorers ONLINE for Grades 1 – 2

One week ONLINE camp

Have you ever looked at the ground and wondered, “What lives underground? How can some bugs live underground, and what do they do down there? What do underground bugs eat?” In this online program, you will create your own terrarium habitats and explore the organisms that live there through a mix of observations, read-alouds, and hands-on activities. You will develop your abilities to observe and explore the world around you—learning skills that can later be applied to anything you 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: $175

Pinball Wizards ONLINE for Grades 1 – 2

One week ONLINE camp

Are you ready to become a pinball wizard? In this online program, you will design and build your own non-electronic pinball game. Together, we will investigate how things roll, fly, slide, collide, and more. Each day you will use your ingenuity to design, build, and test creative contraptions using a variety of materials. You will gain a better understanding of force, trajectory, and motion, as well as how to innovate through the engineering design process. 

What You Will Need at Home:

  • Materials that will be delivered directly to your home
  • A large flat surface and a tablecloth to work on
  • A collection of recycled materials for crafting with; it’s best to start collecting now!

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: $175

Roly-poly Investigators ONLINE for Grades 3 – 4

One week ONLINE camp

Turn over any log or rock, and it’s crawling with roly-polies—or rolling with them. Why do they spend so much time in those tight, dark, dirty spaces? In this online program, you will get a chance to observe, ask your own questions, and try to answer them through your investigative work as a roly-poly naturalist. You will receive materials to create your own roly-poly habitat and set up roly-poly investigations. At the end of the week you’ll share with family and friends what you’ve learned about roly-polies and how you used your science investigation skills to figure them out.

What You Will Need at Home:

  • Materials that will be delivered directly to your home
  • Space to keep your roly-poly habitat (about 1 foot by 2 feet)
  • Dirt, and a few leaves, sticks, and rocks you can collect from outside

Member: $250 / Non-Member: $265

June 7 – June 11    11AM-12:30PM - Registration Closed


Quicksand Engineers ONLINE for Grades 3 – 4

One week ONLINE camp

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

Member: $250 / Non-Member: $265

June 14 – June 18    11AM-12:30PM - Registration Closed


Crime Science Detectives ONLINE for Grades 3 – 4

One week ONLINE camp

Do you have what it takes to solve a crime? In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, toilet paper was a hot commodity. A new shipment was delivered to The Lawrence Supermarket Friday night, and on Saturday morning, it was gone before the supermarket opened. Who stole the toilet paper?! Was it Willa, the store manager, who had been there when the shipment arrived? Or perhaps it was Lou, the reliable janitor who is consistently out of supplies?! Or maybe it was Archie, the local artist, who is using toilet paper as their new form of artistic expression? Our criminal would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling kids! As a junior forensic detective, you’ll learn to use fingerprints, chromatography ink analysis, and other clues as evidence to catch this toilet paper thief! 

What You Will Need at Home:

  • Materials that will be delivered directly to your home
  • A flat surface and a large tray, placemat, or tablecloth to work on

Member: $250 / Non-Member: $265

June 21 – June 25   11AM-12:30PM - Sold Out

Earthquake Engineering ONLINE for Grades 5 – 6

One week ONLINE camp

What happens when you build on shaky ground? In this online program, you will explore how to design a structure that can survive an earthquake and related natural disasters. Together we will explore the effects of earthquakes on structures, then design stable structures to test their earthquake preparedness. You will gain a deeper understanding of engineering as well as the causes and effects of earthquakes. 

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 tablecloth to work on

Member: $250 / Non-Member: $265

Life on the Red Planet ONLINE for Grades 5 – 6

One week ONLINE camp

Do you think you could live on another planet? In this online program, you will blast off into cutting-edge science as you investigate ways to survive on Mars! Together we will design and test systems for providing water, oxygen, warmth, and more on a Martian colony. You will gain a deeper understanding of our galaxy and its stars, other planets, spacecraft engineering, and more.

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 tablecloth to work on

Member: $250 / Non-Member: $265

Birds of Prey and Backyard Birdwatching ONLINE for Grades 5 – 6

One week ONLINE Camp

Have you ever wondered what birds are saying to each other? What about why they are hovering, soaring, or diving? Why their beaks and claws have different shapes? In this online program, you will learn to identify birds and do detailed nature journaling, create models to help you investigate ideas, and learn lots about falcons and other birds of prey. Together we will observe and investigate the behaviors and features of these types of birds, while also learning how we can use these observation skills to learn more about birds in our backyards and neighborhood. You will gain bird-watching skills and even get your own pair of binoculars to keep so you can watch birds from your own window or backyard.

What You Will Need at Home:

  • Materials that will be delivered directly to your home

Member: $250 / Non-Member: $265

June 21 – June 25   1:30-3PM - Registration Closed

Building Bridges ONLINE for Grades 7 – 8 – 9

Two week ONLINE camp

The Bay Area is known for its many iconic bridges. In this online program, you 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, you will practice using the engineering design cycle to design, build, and test a variety of bridges. Finally, you will take the role of a lead engineer and develop your own design using the principles you have learned and skills you 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 near an electrical outlet for using the 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) and a towel or blanket to put under a bucket of water
  • Please have at least 4 heavy objects such as textbooks

Member: $850 / Non-Member: $900

Coding for Space Exploration ONLINE for Grades 7 – 8 – 9

Two week ONLINE camp

Have you ever wondered how scientists on Earth can use coding to discover the secrets of space? In this online program, you will learn the basics of block-based programming. Together we will engage in design and engineering practices, including identifying and solving problems. You will build a model space station using a robotics kit and recycled materials, then program your model to do things that real-life space stations do, like responding to light, objects, and motion. 

What You Will Need at Home:

  • Materials that will be delivered directly to your home including a Hummingbird™ Kit valued at $210 that is yours to keep for future use
  • A Windows or Mac computer with a USB-A port to transfer data to the Hummingbird™ Kit. Note that a Chromebook will not work for this program.
  • A collection of recycled materials for crafting with; it’s best to start collecting now!

Member: $940 / Non-Member: $990

June 21 – July 2   10AM-12:30PM - Registration Closed


Storytelling with Data ONLINE for Grades 7 - 8 - 9

One week ONLINE camp

Have you wondered why some groups of people or neighborhoods are more impacted by COVID-19 than others? Or why health hazards are more concentrated in communities of color than in white neighborhoods? In this course, you will learn data science skills in order to analyze air quality, health indicators, housing policies, and other factors that influence the well-being of people in the areas around you. You will also learn how to produce a multimedia data story that calls upon others to join you in environmental and social action.

What You Will Need at Home:

  • Materials that will be delivered directly to your home
  • A laptop or desktop computer and access to stable Internet service

Member: $425 / Non-Member: $450


Programming Robots with Python ONLINE for Grades 10 – 11 – 12

Two week ONLINE camp

Have you ever wondered how scientists on Earth can use coding to discover the secrets of space? In this online Teen Research Program, you will learn the basics of Python programming. Together we will engage in design and engineering practices, and will identify and solve problems. You will build a model space station using a robotics kit and recycled materials, then program your model to do things that real-life space stations do, like responding to light, objects, and motion. You will gain skills and knowledge in astronomy and coding while adding valuable experience to your college application. This program takes place online and is open to teens entering grades 10–12.

What You Will Need at Home:

  • Materials that will be delivered directly to your home including a Hummingbird™ Kit valued at $210 that is yours to keep for future use
  • A Windows or Mac computer with a USB-A port to transfer data to the Hummingbird™ Kit. Note that a Chromebook will not work for this program.
  • A collection of recycled materials for crafting with; it’s best to start collecting now!

Member: $940 / Non-Member: $990

June 21 – June 25    2-4:30PM

Registration Closed


Bioinspired Prosthetics ONLINE for Grades 10 – 11 – 12

One week ONLINE camp

How can scientists and engineers use ideas from nature to solve real-world challenges? In this Teen Research Program, you will experience firsthand the excitement of how the natural world sparks innovation in the fields of biology and engineering. Together we will explore medical splints, mold your own finger splint, investigate the science that enables geckos to defy gravity, and even engineer your own design application to build better prosthetics using principles of bioinspired design. You will gain skills and knowledge about bio-inspired engineering and design while adding valuable experience to your college application.

What You Will Need at Home:

  • Materials that will be delivered directly to your home

Member: $425 / Non-Member: $450

July 12 - 16 10AM-12:30PM

Registration Closed


The Art and Science of Persuasion ONLINE for Grades 10 – 11 – 12

One week ONLINE camp

How do people make a case for their ideas and opinions and communicate them to others effectively? In this online Teen Research Program, you will develop this skill! It comes in handy when you’re debating political points with peers, persuading teachers and your parents, and especially explaining concepts in areas of STEM. Together we will explore a series of fun, puzzle-like activities, and you will learn how to turn your thinking into a convincing argument that others can understand. We will ‘reveal the Matrix’ where the free-associative-thinking overlaps with the linear logical threads of proofing, relevant to geometry, mathematics, and other fields of science. At the end of the week, you will be able to design and showcase your own proof on a subject of your choice. Join us this summer and gain a practical life and science skill that will propel your STEM learning career further and better prepare you for college. This program takes place online and is open to teens entering grades 10–12.

What You Will Need at Home:

  • Materials that will be delivered directly to your home

Member: $425 / Non-Member: $450

July 19 – July 23 10AM-12:30PM

Registration Closed


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

General Q&A

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-to-camper ratio, serious science, hands-on fun, and engagement with other participants. 

A: The online instructors are museum educators from The Lawrence, assisted by seasonal hires. We maintain a low staff ratio of 1:6, which facilitates ample engagement with participants. 

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

Materials Q&A

A: 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 one week before your program, please contact us, and we will work with you to remedy the situation.

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 remedy the situation. 

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

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

Registration Q&A

A:

  1. To register for Online Camps and Classes, go to our Registration page.
    • If you purchased our Online Summer Discovery Camps or After School Science Online classes in 2020, 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 address associated with your membership and click on “Reset Password.” If you don’t remember the email address you gave us when you joined, please email lhsreg@berkeley.edu and we will let you know the email address associated with your account. Please do not create a new account!
    • If you are not a Member and have not purchased anything from us in the past 12 months, please create a new account.
    • If you would like to purchase a membership, please go here.
  2. During the registration process we will ask for the email address that you will use to log in to a REGISTERED ZOOM ACCOUNT, which is required in order for your child to participate in our classes. We will use this same email address for communicating with you about Online Camps and Classes. 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.

A:

  1. All programs are nonrefundable 3 weeks before the start of camp. If you cancel before that time, you will receive a full refund. 
  2. You may transfer to another session (if space is available) if we receive your request in writing 3 weeks before your camp start date. 
  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.

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.

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

To purchase or renew a membership, please go here

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

Zoom Q&A

A: For those unfamiliar with Zoom, the following link may be helpful:

https://zoom.us/docs/en-us/covid19.html

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.

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 lhsreg@berkeley.edu and we will send another email with the Zoom link information.

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

Registration Policies

Online Science Discovery Camps Registration Information