Hands-On Science Camp

A mother and child explore the California Science Center in masks.
Welcome Back!

Hands-On Science Camp is back and better than ever! In-person camp classes will return for Summer 2022. Pre-K through 8th grade students can 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! 

General Registration Now Open!

Important Dates and Information

Check it out!
View Video
Camp youth participating in hands-on science activities

Get a glimpse of the fun we're planning for Summer 2022!

  • Camp Dates
    Weeklong camps June 13 - August 12, 2022
    No camps the week of July 4
  • Registration Information
    General enrollment now open!
    Cost: Half-Day $200, Full-Day $400
  • Scholarship Information
    Scholarship applications available now!
    Application and Eligibility information
  • Become a Member for early access and discounted pricing
    Member Cost: Half-Day $180, Full Day $360

Enroll Online Here

Plan Your Summer

  • 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 available to purchase for 8-9am and 3:30-5pm. Cost: $100/week for non-members, $90/week for members.
  • Students should select classes based upon their rising grade level (the grade they will enter in Fall 2022).
  • Download a printer-friendly version of the class schedules and descriptions for all grade levels.
Browse 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.

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. You’ll get to visit Tess, our 50-foot body simulator, along with her cartoon pal, Walt!

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 3: June 27-July 1
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:00am
      Me, Myself & I
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-2:30pm
      CHEM-Mystery
  • Week 4: July 11-July 15
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:00am
      CHEM-Mystery
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-2:30pm
      Me, Myself & I
  • Week 5: July 18-22
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:00am
      Me, Myself & I
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-2:30pm
      CHEM-Mystery
  • Week 6: July 25-29
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:00am
      CHEM-Mystery
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-2:30pm
      Me, Myself & I
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 2022. Children must be comfortable with a classroom environment and be able to stay without a parent or guardian for the 2 ½-hour class.

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!

Junior Big Lab Scientist 

Let’s go explore science! Observations, gravity, states of matter, air resistance… What on Earth do these words mean? Learn all this and more as you investigate science using our Big Lab where you can drop things from the Mega Tower, test boats in the Water Works pool, and make balls fly high in the air at the Bernoulli table!

 

Kindergarten Schedule

  • Week 1: June 13-17
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Junior Big Lab Scientist
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Ingenious Engineers
  • Week 2: June 20-24
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Ingenious Engineers
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Junior Big Lab Scientist
  • Week 3: June 27-July 1
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Junior Big Lab Scientist
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Ingenious Engineers
  • Week 4: July 11-July 15
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Ingenious Engineers
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Junior Big Lab Scientist
  • Week 5: July 18-22
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Junior Big Lab Scientist
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Ingenious Engineers
  • Week 6: July 25-29
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Ingenious Engineers
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Junior Big Lab Scientist
  • Week 7: August 1-5
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Junior Big Lab Scientist
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Ingenious Engineers
  • Week 8: August 8-12
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Ingenious Engineers
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Junior Big Lab Scientist
1st & 2nd Grade View Details

1st & 2nd Grade Classes

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!

Enchanted Engineering

Structures, bridges, and things that go. Build them all yourself, let’s GO! Help some of your favorite fairy tale characters solve engineering challenges. Troll broke your bridge? Build a new vehicle to solve the problem. Big Bad Wolf on his way? Create, inspect, and test your structures to make sure they are strong enough to withstand the strongest winds.

Ooze-rageous! (NEW)

Prepare your senses for this adventure as we discover the stinkiest, slimiest and gooey-est things nature has to offer. Create all kinds of sticky, icky, yucky solutions guaranteed to gross out your family and friends. Get ready for an ooze-tastic time!

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 13-17
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      3,2,1, Blast Off!
      Big Lab Scientist
      Enchanted Engineering
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Chemical Chaos
      Ooze-Rageous!
      Wizard Science
  • Week 2: June 20-24
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Chemical Chaos
      Ooze-Rageous!
      Wizard Science
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      3,2,1, Blast Off!
      Big Lab Scientist
      Enchanted Engineering
  • Week 3: June 27-July 1
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      3,2,1, Blast Off!
      Big Lab Scientist
      Enchanted Engineering
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Chemical Chaos
      Ooze-Rageous!
      Wizard Science
  • Week 4: July 11-July 15
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Chemical Chaos
      Ooze-Rageous!
      Wizard Science
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      3,2,1, Blast Off!
      Big Lab Scientist
      Enchanted Engineering
  • Week 5: July 18-22
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      3,2,1, Blast Off!
      Big Lab Scientist
      Enchanted Engineering
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Chemical Chaos
      Ooze-Rageous!
      Wizard Science
  • Week 6: July 25-29
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Chemical Chaos
      Ooze-Rageous!
      Wizard Science
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      3,2,1, Blast Off!
      Big Lab Scientist
      Enchanted Engineering
  • Week 7: August 1-5
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      3,2,1, Blast Off!
      Big Lab Scientist
      Enchanted Engineering
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Chemical Chaos
      Ooze-Rageous!
      Wizard Science
  • Week 8: August 8-12
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Chemical Chaos
      Ooze-Rageous!
      Wizard Science
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      3,2,1, Blast Off!
      Big Lab Scientist
      Enchanted Engineering
3rd & 4th Grade View Details

3rd & 4th Grade Classes

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!

Fantastic Physics

Physics makes the world go around—literally. Learn its secrets using the Big Lab, where you will build and design roller coasters and sailboats. Drop objects from the three-story Mega Tower to investigate gravity’s force. Energy and motion take center stage in this week of “phantastically phun” physics.

Rocket Factory (NEW)

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.

Survival Science

Imagine this--you’re stranded in the wilderness with no food and water. Where will you sleep? What will you eat? How will you live? Learn fun practical skills to survive, whether you find yourself in the cold, barren forest or on a tropical deserted island!

3rd & 4th Grade Schedule

  • Week 1: June 13-17
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Bio, Bio, Everywhere!
      Fantastic Physics
      Rocket Factory
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Build It!
      Chemical Connection
      Survival Science
  • Week 2: June 20-24
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Build It!
      Chemical Connection
      Survival Science
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Bio, Bio, Everywhere!
      Fantastic Physics
      Rocket Factory
  • Week 3: June 27-July 1
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Bio, Bio, Everywhere!
      Fantastic Physics
      Rocket Factory
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Build It!
      Chemical Connection
      Survival Science
  • Week 4: July 11-July 15
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Build It!
      Chemical Connection
      Survival Science
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Bio, Bio, Everywhere!
      Fantastic Physics
      Rocket Factory
  • Week 5: July 18-22
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Bio, Bio, Everywhere!
      Fantastic Physics
      Rocket Factory
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Build It!
      Chemical Connection
      Survival Science
  • Week 6: July 25-29
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Build It!
      Chemical Connection
      Survival Science
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Bio, Bio, Everywhere!
      Fantastic Physics
      Rocket Factory
  • Week 7: August 1-5
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Bio, Bio, Everywhere!
      Fantastic Physics
      Rocket Factory
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Build It!
      Chemical Connection
      Survival Science
  • Week 8: August 8-12
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Build It!
      Chemical Connection
      Survival Science
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Bio, Bio, Everywhere!
      Fantastic Physics
      Rocket Factory
5th & 6th Grade View Details

5th & 6th Grade Classes

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!

Extreme Park

Extreme Park needs you to take its attractions to the extreme! Stretch your ingenuity to the max while working with batteries, hydraulics, magnets and more. Push your rides to the limits by making them bigger, faster, steeper, and more extreme. It's going to be an awesome week of engineering.

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.

Skate Science (FULL DAY)

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

5th & 6th Grade Schedule

  • Week 1: June 13-17
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Chemical Meltdown
      Extreme Park
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Bountiful Biology
      Rockin' Robots
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Eclectic Engineering
  • Week 2: June 20-24
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Bountiful Biology
      Rockin' Robots
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Chemical Meltdown
      Extreme Park
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Skate Science
  • Week 3: June 27-July 1
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Chemical Meltdown
      Extreme Park
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Bountiful Biology
      Rockin' Robots
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Eclectic Engineering
  • Week 4: July 11-July 15
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Bountiful Biology
      Rockin' Robots
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Chemical Meltdown
      Extreme Park
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Skate Science
  • Week 5: July 18-22
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Chemical Meltdown
      Extreme Park
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Bountiful Biology
      Rockin' Robots
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Eclectic Engineering
  • Week 6: July 25-29
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Bountiful Biology
      Rockin' Robots
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Chemical Meltdown
      Extreme Park
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Skate Science
  • Week 7: August 1-5
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Chemical Meltdown
      Extreme Park
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Bountiful Biology
      Rockin' Robots
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Eclectic Engineering
  • Week 8: August 8-12
    • Morning Session 9:00am-11:30am
      Bountiful Biology
      Rockin' Robots
    • Afternoon Session 12:30pm-3:00pm
      Chemical Meltdown
      Extreme Park
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Skate Science
7th & 8th Grade View Details

7th & 8th Grade Classes

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!

Lights! Camera! Science! (FULL DAY)

Dive into the world of photography and learn the science behind the lens. Create a pinhole camera to learn how cameras take in light. Dissect film and bend light with lasers, lenses, and mirrors. Don't forget the flash!

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.

Roving the RED Planet (FULL DAY)

Calling all scientists! Delve into the world of design and be part of a team that lands a rover on an uncharted planet. Plan and execute a mission to Mars. Explore the problems faced by NASA scientists and astronauts trying to create a livable world far from our planet. Discover the similarities and differences between Mars and Earth. This class was created in conjunction with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

7th & 8th Grade Schedule

  • Week 1: June 13-17
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Lights! Camera! Science!
      Radical Reactions
  • Week 2: June 20-24
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      a-MAZE-ing Robots
      Roving the Red Planet
  • Week 3: June 27-July 1
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Biolo-Gee Whiz
      Lights! Camera! Science!
  • Week 4: July 11-July 15
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Radical Reactions
      Roving the Red Planet
  • Week 5: July 18-22
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      a-MAZE-ing Robots
      Lights! Camera! Science!
  • Week 6: July 25-29
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Biolo-Gee Whiz
      Roving the Red Planet
  • Week 7: August 1-5
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      Lights! Camera! Science!
      Radical Reactions
  • Week 8: August 8-12
    • Full Day Session 9:00am-3:00pm
      a-MAZE-ing Robots
      Roving the Red Planet

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. 

A masked parent holds their kid, who is also wearing a mask
Stay Safe with Us

Your child's safety is important to you, and that means it is important to us! The California Science Center has consistently followed and enforced pandemic-related public health guidelines, and this will remain a top priority this summer. We know things can change quickly, and we will update our policies to reflect state, county and local guidelines to ensure we have the safest summer possible.

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 demonstrated financial need, and for the first time ever, eligible participants in all grades can apply for either half or full-day funding. Learn more about eligibility and applications.