Summer is for Teen Scientists at The Lawrence and on Campus

June 27, 2024

The Lawrence offers many opportunities for teens to do science, develop new skills, have fun, and meet new people, during the summer and beyond. With Summer Camps and Teen Research Programs underway, check out photos and discover a day in the life of a program participant and a summer camp intern.

Teen Research Programs

Teen Research Program participants arrived at the Valley Life Sciences building on campus ready to delve into their respective topics. After introductions, name games, and the co-creation of group agreements for a successful and respectful experience, the teens split into their groups: Bioinspired Design, Artificial Intelligence, Biotech Genetics, and the Science of Social Media.

In Bioinspired Design, the teen scientists learned bioinspired design principles and put them to use by building and testing 3D-printed prosthetic hands. Next door, Biotech Genetics participants were introduced to CRISPr gene editing technology and practiced using a pipette to prepare gel for electrophoresis. Teens in the Artificial Intelligence program explored the field of AI and its applications while learning the basics of coding in Python. In Science of Social Media, students gained knowledge on attitudes and how they are measured and decided on social media and mental health as the topic for their study.

It wasn’t all hard work and studying, as the high schoolers had plenty of time to meet with participants from other programs and discuss what they learned. They relaxed outside and played games while getting to know their fellow participants. The day culminated with the teens splitting into teams for a scavenger hunt exploring UC Berkeley in search of the many bears adorning the campus, and a trivia contest about the university.

Summer Camp Teen Interns

At The Lawrence, just up the hill from campus, a separate group of teens continued their work, delivering an unforgettable summer camp experience for young scientists from first through sixth grade. After drop-off, the day started with an opening circle where the teen interns helped campers settle in and introduce the day’s activities.

Teen interns received extensive training in leading hands-on science activities for our campers. Depending on the age range and topic, the teens showed campers how to construct linkages, design and decorate mock space helmets, make observations about animals and their habitats, or build a mock space rover.

Teen interns also facilitated campers experiencing everything The Lawrence offers, bringing them to the Planetarium, Outdoor Nature Lab, and other hands-on science exhibits. Interns formed bonds with campers, playing games, teaching them, and fostering their curiosity. They also developed a sense of camaraderie with fellow camp teachers as they collaborated to run engaging programs all summer long.

More Opportunities for Teens

In addition to these summer programs, The Lawrence has many opportunities for passionate teens to engage with science and education, and to make a difference in their communities. Teen volunteers facilitate exhibits and activities for museum visitors of all ages, creating a fun and memorable experience for young explorers. The East Bay Academy for Young Scientists (EBAYS) works with teens to develop skills, study pollution and other challenges in their own neighborhoods, and advocate for environmental justice in their communities. Bookmark our Opportunities for Teens page to stay up-to-date on how your teen scientists can get involved!

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