Entering 10 – 12

Science of Social Media and Attitudes

Have you ever been surprised by someone’s reaction to a meme or an online post? Are you curious how your peers think about current events? Well, then, discover the field of social psychology and learn to conduct your own research in this exciting program. We’ll use previous studies about people’s attitudes toward current events as a guide to design a behavioral research study to investigate your own questions about social media. Learn the real-world science skills needed to run the study and analyze our results, interpreting data, making inferences, and sharing ideas along the way. This program will enable you to think more critically about your own social media use and how it influences your communities. You will learn how to use scientific techniques to study what shapes beliefs and feelings, all the while adding new strategies to your scientific sense-making toolkit and gaining valuable experience for your college and career pathways. 

This program is based on a Big Ideas course at UC Berkeley, developed by the Nobel Laureate Saul Perlmutter, who will make a guest appearance.

Two students are working together at a laptop to analyze social media.

Camp Info

Dates: 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m, 06/12/2023 – 06/16/2023

Location: Valley Life Sciences Building, UC Berkeley Campus

Housing (optional): Purchase on-campus housing, breakfast, and dinner for an additional cost of $900. Runs Sunday, June 11 through Friday, June 16. Spots are limited and may sell out.

Food: Lunch is provided.

Program Tuition: $1,150 or $995(reduced)

A Day in the Life

Our days begin with gathering on campus and signing in to our respective tracks. Teens then head to their lab spaces and form an opening circle to frame the day, including a quick social check-in and a themed invitation to learning. They then engage in open-ended discussions and social science investigations in small groups. As the week unfolds, teens will develop and practice new research skills, learning how to design, run, and analyze a psychology study. Midday, teens take time to eat lunch at a campus dining hall and enjoy some social downtime together. Afternoons continue investigations and incorporate tours to related labs, museum exhibits, and sites on and off campus. Alternatively, grad students or faculty may join the group for some Q&A and sharing about cutting-edge research happening on or off campus. Content wraps up with a closing circle around 3:45 p.m., after which the teens gather together again for additional science and engineering career pathway programming in mixed groups. This can include a campus tour, current student panel Q&A, and other personal or professional development workshops. If you are on the commuter track, you head home at 5:30, while residential track teens stay on for dinner and evening activities—both social and college preparedness—and then sleep in the UC Berkeley dorms.

Staff Bio

Emlen Metz, Ph.D. 

Dr. Emlen Metz is a public education specialist at UC Berkeley, currently working with the Nobel Laureate Saul Perlmutter on education related to scientific critical thinking. She received her B.A. in philosophy and psychology from Swarthmore College, then went on to earn a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. There she studied open-mindedness and approaches to belief in both teenagers and adults. She has taught scientific thinking, social psychology, cognitive science, and animal behavior. Dr. Metz is a Bay Area native who graduated from Berkeley High School. In her spare time, she paints friendly creatures and writes fiction.