The scope of the program was to address different advanced topics with a hands-on focus, such as natural sciences, robotics, computing science and the scientific method, besides encouraging the artistic development of the students. We proposed three periods during July and August 2018 with up to 60 K12 students divided in two groups per period. Each period consisted of 5 consecutive days of activities on the UC Merced campus, from 9 am to 2:30 pm, including an interactive campus tour, and more than 10 different hand-on workshops. The ratio K12 student:instructor was 5:1 or better. In providing these workshops in one intense five-day week, we aimed to retain students more easily.
To spark in the students more interest, we designed activities in which they needed to fulfil a task in order to get a medal. With enough medals, they received honorary titles such as “Nature’s Mystery Master” or “Ruler of Machines”. They had field journals and will write down everything they do, as scientists do. By the end of the day, using their field journal, they wrote an online journal where they will add texts, pictures, drawings, or whatever content they imagine.