Entering 10 – 12

Science of Social Media

Have you ever been surprised by someone’s reaction to a meme or an online post? Are you curious what your peers think about current events? In this exciting program, you’ll explore the field of social psychology with Nobel Laureate Saul Perlmutter and learn to conduct your own research. 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, make inferences, and share 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 while adding new strategies to your scientific sense-making toolkit and gaining valuable experience for your college and career pathways. Parents are invited at 3 p.m. on the last day to see and hear teens share their projects and receive their U.C. Berkeley certificate of completion.

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

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

Program Info

Dates: 06/10/2024 – 06/14/2024, Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

Location: Valley Life Sciences Building, UC Berkeley Campus

Food: Lunch is provided. Teens bring a water bottle, hat, and snacks from home

Program Tuition: $1,350 or $1,215 (reduced)

Non-residential with Optional Residential Add-on

Residential Option runs Sunday, June 9, 4:00 p.m. through Friday, June 14, 5:00 p.m. 

Residential add-on includes additional programming, on-campus housing, breakfast, and dinner. 

Residential Tuition: $1,150 or $1,035 (reduced) Limited spots available!

The Lawrence Hall of Science

Seeking Financial Aid? Learn More >
The camp cancelation date has passed. Refunds are no longer available.

A Day in the Life

Your days begin with gathering on campus and signing in to your respective program tracks. From there, you head to your respective lab spaces and form an opening circle to frame the day, including a quick social check-in and content-related invitation to learning. Each day, you get to engage in STEM-related explorations and investigations, sometimes in pairs and sometimes in small groups. You do things such as collecting survey data, discussing the ethics and impact of social media, and engaging in open-ended discussions and social science investigations. You will learn to develop and practice new research skills, learning how to design, run, and analyze a psychology study. Midday, you take time to eat lunch on campus and enjoy some social downtime with peers in your track and other STEM tracks. Afternoons continue investigations and incorporate tours to related labs, museum exhibits, and sites on and off campus. Some days include graduate students or faculty joining you for Q&A and sharing about cutting-edge research happening on or off campus. As the week unfolds, you engage in small-group, self-directed research and/or project-based learning toward presentations on the last day of the program. Your STEM track content wraps up with a closing circle around 3:30 p.m. After that, you gather together for additional unique career pathway programming in mixed groups. This can include a U.C. Berkeley campus tour, a current student panel and Q&A, and other personal or professional development workshops. Programming concludes at 5 p.m. If you opt for the residential track, you will stay on campus for dinner and evening activities— both involving social and college preparedness—and then sleep in the U.C. Berkeley dorms.

Empowering Voices, Crafting Perspectives: Capturing Moments in the Science of Social Media.

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.

Brian Delahunty

Brian Delahunty is a rising third-year undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley studying Cognitive Science and Data Science. He’s fascinated by psychology, sociology, and neuroscience and has worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant to foster undergraduate students’ exploration of topics related to philosophy of science, sociology, and critical thinking.

When he’s not engrossed in his studies or grading papers, you might find him producing indie films, trail running, or lifting weights.