Hands-On Science Camp

Youth participating in hands-on erosion program
Member Pre-Sale Opens at 11am!

Get ready for Hands-On Science Camp 2024! We're busy preparing for another amazing summer, and we hope you'll join us. Pre-K through 8th grade students will choose from over 25 classes as they embark on an exciting summer of exploration. Get messy with chemistry, dig deep into earth science, shoot for the stars with space science and much more! Register early to guarantee your spot. We can't wait to do science with you!

Member Pre-Sale Opens
February 21 at 11am!

Important Dates and Information

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Explore buoyancy and balance in the Water Works pool!

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California Science Center educator assists young boy with his wooden stick sculpture
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Nathan Alexander

Design and redesign as you put your engineering skills to the test!

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Young girl with rubber gloves examines a rock sample
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Nathan Alexander

Work like an astronaut, launch rockets, explore space and more!

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A Science Center educator holds a Madagascar hissing cockroach for a young boy to examine
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Nathan Alexander

Get face to face with live animals!

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Two youth examine an object through a microscope
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Leroy Hamilton

Use scientific tools to explore the world around you!

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Explore buoyancy and balance in the Water Works pool!

Image
California Science Center educator assists young boy with his wooden stick sculpture
Image attribution
Nathan Alexander

Design and redesign as you put your engineering skills to the test!

Image
Young girl with rubber gloves examines a rock sample
Image attribution
Nathan Alexander

Work like an astronaut, launch rockets, explore space and more!

Image
A Science Center educator holds a Madagascar hissing cockroach for a young boy to examine
Image attribution
Nathan Alexander

Get face to face with live animals!

Image
Two youth examine an object through a microscope
Image attribution
Leroy Hamilton

Use scientific tools to explore the world around you!

Slider info
  • Camp Dates
    Weeklong camps June 17 - August 9, 2024
    No camps the week of July 4
  • Registration Information
    General Enrollment Opens: February 28 at 11am
    Cost: Half-Day $215, Full Day $430
  • Scholarship Information
    Scholarship application available: February 28
  • Become a Member for early access and discounted pricing*
    Member Pre-Sale opens: February 21 at 11am
    Member Pre-Sale closes: February 27 at 5pm
    Member Cost: Half-Day $200, Full Day $400
    *Membership must be active at the time camp classes begin.

Plan Your Summer

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Camp participants with summer camp logo
  • Classes are available in morning, afternoon, or full-day options. Morning and afternoon classes may be combined to create a full day.
  • Extended Day option is available only for full day attendees. Includes extended hours from 8-9am and 3-5pm. Cost: $110/week for non-members, $100/week for members.
  • Students should select classes based upon their rising grade level (the grade they will enter in Fall 2024).
  • Download printable versions of the class schedules and descriptions for all grade levels.
    All Schedules & Descriptions  Quick View Schedule
2024 Class Options and Schedules by Grade Level
Pre-K (Age 3-5, Parent & Me) View Details

Pre-K Classes

Explore the scientific wonders of the world with your child! Our parent-and-child classes focus on scientific themes with exciting hands-on activities and crafts. Each fee covers one Pre-K child (age 3 to 4)* and one parent or “big buddy” (18 years and older). Additional adults or campers must register separately at the full fee. *Campers must be age 3 by the start of class.

Printable Pre-K Catalog

Me, Myself, and I

Look at yourself from the inside out. Take an adventure through your body and learn all about the parts that make you YOU! Become the subject as you investigate everything from your five senses to the sound of your own heart.

CHEM-Mystery

From the kitchen to the laboratory, reactions happen all around us! Join us as we try to solve different CHEM-mysteries. Find out what chemicals you have to mix to make slime, and explore the states of matter.

Pre-K Schedule

  • Week 1: June 17-21, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:00am
      CHEM-Mystery
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-2:30pm
      Me, Myself & I
  • Week 2: June 24-28, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:00am
      Me, Myself & I
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-2:30pm
      CHEM-Mystery
  • Week 3: July 8-12, 2024
    • No Pre-K Classes
  • Week 4: July 15-19, 2024
    • No Pre-K Classes
  • Week 5: July 22-26, 2024
    • No Pre-K Classes
  • Week 6: July 29-August 2, 2024
    • No Pre-K Classes
  • Week 7: August 5-9, 2024
    • No Pre-K Classes
Kindergarten View Details

Kindergarten Classes

Introduce your child to the exciting world of science with our kindergarten programs! Children will explore and experience science with fun, hands-on activities. All children enrolled in kindergarten programs must be entering kindergarten in fall 2024. Children must be comfortable with a classroom environment and be able to stay without a parent or guardian for the 2 ½-hour class.

Printable Kindergarten Catalog

Ingenious Engineers 

Engineer, we have a problem here! Put your problem-solving skills to the test and see which solution works best. Campers will use simple classroom materials to build structures, toys, and other crazy contraptions as they bring their imaginations to life!

Vet Detectives (NEW)

Calling all animal lovers! Join us on an adventure to explore how animals stay healthy.  Help Alex the alligator discover the secrets of caring for his teeth, assist Brenda the bird in getting out of an oily situation, and even perform mockup checkups. It's going to be a turtle-y great time!

 

 

Kindergarten Schedule

  • Week 1: June 17-21, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Vet Detectives
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Ingenious Engineers
  • Week 2: June 24-28, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Ingenious Engineers
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Vet Detectives
  • Week 3: July 8-12, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Vet Detectives
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Ingenious Engineers
  • Week 4: July 15-19, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Ingenious Engineers
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Vet Detectives
  • Week 5: July 22-26, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Vet Detectives
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Ingenious Engineers
  • Week 6: July 29-August 2, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Ingenious Engineers
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Vet Detectives
  • Week 7: August 5-9, 2024
    • No Kindergarten Classes
1st & 2nd Grade View Details

1st & 2nd Grade Classes

Printable 1st & 2nd Grade Catalog

3,2,1, Blast Off!

Experience the thrill of building your own rocket prototypes! Explore distant planets and create your own mini solar system. Discover what it takes to launch your own air-powered rocket!

Big Lab Scientist

Let’s build it, race it, and fly it! Test the limits of your imagination when you have the whole Big Lab to work with. Drop melons from the Mega Tower, sail boats across the Water Works pool, and launch a tennis ball over 100 feet in the air!

Chemical Chaos

Chemistry is everywhere! Learn how chemicals react to make something new as you create cool, slimy, and bubbly reactions. Observe how pigments separate to create a burst of color. Chemistry is not just fun, it’s chaotic!

Science Stew

Get your mixing bowls and oven mitts ready for some culinary creations! Science takes center stage as you discover the connections between cooking and chemistry. Learn about your sense of taste while creating dishes designed to make those taste buds go crazy!

Storybook Engineering

Help some of your favorite storybook characters solve once upon a time engineering challenges. Protect Humpty Dumpty from a great fall, grow your own beanstalk to help Jack get a golden egg and help the Three Little Pigs survive the strongest of winds. This class will be a tale to remember!

Wizard Science

Is it magic or science? You don’t have to take a mysterious train to find out in this wizard academy. Investigate the science behind growing beasts, disappearing water, and much more. Amaze your family and friends in a magic show on the last day of class!

1st & 2nd Grade Schedule

  • Week 1: June 17-21, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Chemical Chaos
      Science Stew
      Wizard Science
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      3, 2, 1, Blast Off!
      Big Lab Scientist
      Storybook Engineering
  • Week 2: June 24-28, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      3, 2, 1, Blast Off!
      Big Lab Scientist
      Storybook Engineering
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Chemical Chaos
      Science Stew
      Wizard Science
  • Week 3: July 8-12, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Chemical Chaos
      Science Stew
      Wizard Science
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      3, 2, 1, Blast Off!
      Big Lab Scientist
      Storybook Engineering
  • Week 4: July 15-19, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      3, 2, 1, Blast Off!
      Big Lab Scientist
      Storybook Engineering
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Chemical Chaos
      Science Stew
      Wizard Science
  • Week 5: July 22-26, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Chemical Chaos
      Science Stew
      Wizard Science
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      3, 2, 1, Blast Off!
      Big Lab Scientist
      Storybook Engineering
  • Week 6: July 29-August 2, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      3, 2, 1, Blast Off!
      Big Lab Scientist
      Storybook Engineering
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Chemical Chaos
      Science Stew
      Wizard Science
  • Week 7: August 5-9, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Science Stew
      Wizard Science
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      3, 2, 1, Blast Off!
      Big Lab Scientist
3rd & 4th Grade View Details

3rd & 4th Grade Classes

Printable 3rd & 4th Grade Catalog

Bio, Bio, Everywhere!

From the plants growing in your homes to the bacteria growing on your hands, you can find life everywhere on Earth! Explore the different branches of biology by dissecting a squid, looking at microorganisms, and making a terrarium. Grow your own cell culture to discover the microscopic organisms that surround us every day. Discover the secrets of life on your journey through the wonders of biology.

Build It!

Put your engineering skills to the test as you use simple classroom materials to build mammoth structures, unique toys, and other crazy contraptions. Find out what it takes to be an engineer as you see the things you imagine appear!

Chemical Connection

Ever wonder what would happen if you mix two substances together? Find out in this fun (if not exactly tidy!) class as you test various ingredients to create cool chemical reactions. You’ll even make your own tie-dye shirt!

Rocket Factory

Ready for lift off in 3…2…Houston we have a problem! Join us as we try to figure out what challenges NASA scientists face when trying to launch a rocket to space. Conduct your own experiments and trajectory tests, and experience the fun of launching your own engine-powered rocket on the last day.

Rockin’ Robots

How does a robot work? What are some ways robots can help us? Roll your way into robotics and take an introductory course to answer these questions and much more. Make different kinds of robots that can lift, push, and even create artistic masterpieces. Dive into the world of coding and learn to code a robot that can recognize different colors and navigate its way through a maze.

Science Cook-Off (NEW)

Ready? Set? Cook! Mix different flavors, using science to overcome daily challenges in our cooking labs. Learn how your taste buds communicate with your brain, experiment with heat to change flavor, discover the secret to making the perfect pasta, and much more. Take what you learn and compete with yourself to create a Franken-science cookie. Your creations are not just fun, but also delicious!

3rd & 4th Grade Schedule

  • Week 1: June 17-21, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Bio, Bio, Everywhere!
      Build It!
      Rockin' Robots
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Chemical Connection
      Rocket Factory
      Science Cook-Off
  • Week 2: June 24-28, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Chemical Connection
      Rocket Factory
      Science Cook-Off
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Bio, Bio, Everywhere!
      Build It!
      Rockin' Robots
  • Week 3: July 8-12, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Bio, Bio, Everywhere!
      Build It!
      Rockin' Robots
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Chemical Connection
      Rocket Factory
      Science Cook-Off
  • Week 4: July 15-19, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Chemical Connection
      Rocket Factory
      Science Cook-Off
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Bio, Bio, Everywhere!
      Build It!
      Rockin' Robots
  • Week 5: July 22-26, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Bio, Bio, Everywhere!
      Build It!
      Rockin' Robots
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Chemical Connection
      Rocket Factory
      Science Cook-Off
  • Week 6: July 29-August 2, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Chemical Connection
      Rocket Factory
      Science Cook-Off
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pmBio, Bio, Everywhere!
      Build It!
      Rockin' Robots
  • Week 7: August 5-9, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Bio, Bio, Everywhere!
      Rockin' Robots
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Chemical Connection
      Rocket Factory
5th & 6th Grade View Details

5th & 6th Grade Classes

Printable 5th & 6th Grade Catalog

All Cooked Up!

Do you love science AND cooking? Add a pinch of chemistry and a dash of science in this fun culinary class. Learn about molecular gastronomy, the newest frontier in culinary arts and science. Watch food transform from typical to unexpected forms using scientific laboratory techniques. And don’t forget to eat your experiments!

Bountiful Biology

BIOLOGY. It grows on you! Find out what organisms require to exist. Explore human and animal anatomy through animal dissections. Visit our Cell Theater to see how single-celled organisms survive and grow. See the world from a new perspective!

Chemical Meltdown

Watch science in action through a chemical reaction! Test different reactants to uncover how chemical reactions work. Discover the difference between a physical reaction and a chemical reaction. Get ready to get messy and have a chemical meltdown!

Eclectic Engineering (FULL DAY)

How do we make a robot arm move? What makes structures strong enough to withstand earthquakes? Answer these questions and more while drafting new designs and perfecting problem-solving skills. Draw on multiple sciences as you develop the skills to construct the future!

Propulsion Lab

Step into our Rocket Propulsion Laboratory and engineer your very own rocket. Test designs, fuel choices, payload weights, and more to find the perfect combination. Ignite your engines on the last day of class and watch your creation fly over 215 feet in the air. It IS rocket science!

Skate Science (FULL DAY)

Carve out time this summer to explore the mechanics of skating. Put your “goofy foot” forward as you dissect ollies, vert skating, and all the other physics of fun on wheels. We’ll highlight engineering as you design, build, and decorate your own customized skateboard that will be yours to keep.

5th & 6th Grade Schedule

  • Week 1: June 17-21, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      All Cooked Up
      Chemical Meltdown
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Bountiful Biology
      Propulsion Lab
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Eclectic Engineering
  • Week 2: June 24-28, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Bountiful Biology
      Propulsion Lab
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      All Cooked Up
      Chemical Meltdown
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Skate Science
  • Week 3: July 8-12, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      All Cooked Up
      Chemical Meltdown
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Bountiful Biology
      Propulsion Lab
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Eclectic Engineering
  • Week 4: July 15-19, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Bountiful Biology
      Propulsion Lab
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      All Cooked Up
      Chemical Meltdown
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Skate Science
  • Week 5: July 22-26, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      All Cooked Up
      Chemical Meltdown
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Bountiful Biology
      Propulsion Lab
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Eclectic Engineering
  • Week 6: July 29-August 2, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Bountiful Biology
      Propulsion Lab
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      All Cooked Up
      Chemical Meltdown
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Skate Science
  • Week 7: August 5-9, 2024
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      All Cooked Up
      Chemical Meltdown
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Bountiful Biology
      Propulsion Lab
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Eclectic Engineering
7th & 8th Grade View Details

7th & 8th Grade Classes

Printable 7th & 8th Grade Catalog

a-MAZE-ing Robots (FULL DAY)

Design and build an independent robot that can navigate its way through a maze. Watch as your robots perform a dance you choreograph just for them. Now if you could only teach them to clean your room!

Biolo-Gee Whiz (FULL DAY)

What does your brain really look like? How does your circulatory system work? Find the answers to these questions and more as you explore human anatomy. Delve into the medical industry and learn how various organs function by dissecting fetal pigs. By the end of the week, you will earn your M.D. certificate--Museum Doctor, that is!

Marine Adventures (FULL DAY)

Become a marine biologist at the California Science Center. Experience marine life firsthand with behind-the-scenes tours and special experiences with our aquatic staff. Explore our 188,000 gallon kelp tank, experiment with water quality testing, dissect marine animals, and much more.

Radical Reactions (FULL DAY)

Take chemistry to a whole new level! Be a chemist and experiment with elephant toothpaste, freeze fruit in liquid nitrogen, and discover the chemistry used in rocket engines by creating your own combustion reactions.

Living in Space (FULL DAY) (NEW)

Find out what it takes to live and work in space! Camp astronauts will discover the difficulties of living beyond the atmosphere as they explore weightlessness, solve engineering challenges, and work together to navigate the dangers of other planets. Dive into the depths of our solar system to find out if you can survive the harsh conditions of living in space.

7th & 8th Grade Schedule

  • Week 1: June 17-21, 2024
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Living in Space
      Marine Adventures
      Radical Reactions
  • Week 2: June 24-28, 2024
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      a-MAZE-ing Robots
      Biologee Whiz
      Living in Space
  • Week 3: July 8-12, 2024
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Living in Space
      Marine Adventures
      Radical Reactions
  • Week 4: July 15-19, 2024
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      a-MAZE-ing Robots
      Biologee Whiz
      Living in Space
  • Week 5: July 22-26, 2024
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Radical Reactions
      Marine Adventures
  • Week 6: July 29-August 2, 2024
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      a-MAZE-ing Robots
      Biologee Whiz
  • Week 7: August 5-9, 2024
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Radical Reactions
      Marine Adventures

About Hands-On Science Camp

A beach ball floats over a tube as a diverse set of campers experiment with air
Image attribution
Leroy Hamilton
Explore with Us

Let your child’s curiosity shine! Exciting explorations, delightful discoveries and wild wonders await this summer at the California Science Center’s Hands-On Science Camp. With a variety of weeklong day camps on half or full-day schedules, you can customize the perfect experience for your camper’s specific interests. 

Science Center educator assisting young girl with activity
Learn with Us

Hands-on, minds-on! Curious young minds will engage in exploration-based activities led by a staff of trained educators with backgrounds in science and/or education and working professionals from a variety of science fields. Inquiry-driven classes will capture your child’s attention and inspire critical thinking with research-based educational techniques. Campers will learn by doing science as they mix, launch, dig, dissect, observe, explore and so much more! 

Young kids wearing Hands-On Science Camp shirts sitting in row posing for photo
Image attribution
Leroy Hamilton
Build Community with Us

Students need each other now more than ever! The need for socialization and in-person interaction has become crucially important for today's youth. Hands-On Science Camp is designed to create a safe learning community for your budding scientist. Campers will make friends and build skills in teamwork, perseverance and critical thinking through investigation and collaboration with peers. 

Young kids wait in line to fly their kites near a large fan while at Hands-On Science Camp
Image attribution
Nathan Alexander
Scholarships Available!

The California Science Center is proudly committed to offering all learners the opportunity to enrich their lives and understand the world through science. We strive to make Hands-On Science Camp accessible to as many students as possible. Scholarships are available based on financial need. Eligible participants in all grades can apply for either half or full-day funding. Learn more about eligibility and applications.

Scholarship applications will be accepted beginning February 28, 2024.