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High School BSA Offerings 2024

High School Academies (Open to 9th– 12th grade students) 

Get a jump on college readiness by attending our accelerated, college prep academies!  

Learn technical and laboratory skills that will give you the experience of working in a university science laboratory. These workshops will introduce you to university research, lab techniques, and data analysis! Your student’s college resume will surely stand out! 


Eligibility:  Students entering 9th grade in Fall 2024 and students graduating 12th grade in Spring 2024 are eligible to attend!  

Get your start in Tech! Drones, Plan a Mission and Code! 

Cost: $60 

Available Seats: 24 

June 17th & 18th, 2024 

FLY CITRIS inspires students to take flight! High school students can build tech skills and prepare for cool jobs in agriculture, security, and natural resources. This 2-day workshop focuses on flying drones through several methods: flying with controls, programming a mission, and doing tricks in a sequence by coding in Python. By the end of the workshop, pilots will have new spatial thinking skills, data processing of images and video, and use engineering to solve problems all while having fun. No prior experience is needed. 


This academy was developed by UC Merced’s, Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS). For more information on CITRIS, visit their website at  

Data Science for Nature and Conservation 

Cost: $90 

Available Seats: 24 

July 8th – July 10th, 2024 

When the environment changes, organisms can either move, adapt, or die out. We’ll analyze ecological and climatic data using the open-source program R to explore how species’ geographic ranges shifted as climate changed in the past, and what might happen to them with future climate change. 


This academy was developed by Dr. Jessica Blois who is a Professor of Life and Environmental Sciences at UC Merced. To read more about the research conducted by Dr. Blois, visit her website at

Thinking Big by Getting Small 

Cost: $60 

Available Seats: 24 

July 11th – July 12th, 2024 

Through the investigation of nanoparticles, students will learn valuable research skills and techniques in Chemistry and Physics. This is a two-day academy. In this STEM academy, students will learn some of the introductory chemistry and physics underlying nanoparticle synthesis, structure, and properties. Students will participate in hands-on syntheses of two types of nanoparticles, gold nanoparticles and carbon quantum dots. Students will use miniature, portable spectrometers to study these nanoparticles' light-absorbing and light-emitting properties. Students will explore the abilities of these nanoparticles to optically sense ions dissolved in water. This is a great academy for students to gain college laboratory skills! 


This academy was developed by founding faculty member, Dr. Anne Kelley, Professor of Chemistry at UC Merced. To read more about the research conducted by Dr. Kelley, click HERE.  

Friend or Foes- Microbial Interactions All Around Us 

Cost: $45 

Available Seats: 24 

July 15th – July 17th, 2024 (3-day academy)  or July 29th - July 31st, 2024 (3-day Academy)

Did you know that there are more microbes on Earth than there are stars in the universe? In this 3-day workshop, students will learn about bacteria that live all around us and the association they form with other organisms. As microbiologists in training, students will use microscopes to get an in-depth view of different types of bacteria, learn how to cultivate bacterial organisms and engineer a fluorescent bacterium.  


This academy was developed by UC Merced’s, Institute for Symbiosis, Training, and Education in the face of a Changing Climate (INSITE). To learn more about INSITE visit their website at  


*Special Note: This academy is offered twice. Please only register for this academy once.  

** The reduced registration rate is made possible by the generous contribution from the Institute for Symbiosis, Training, and Education in the face of a Changing Climate (INSITE). 

Measuring things which are very fast or very small... like light waves!  

Cost: $150 

Available Seats: 24 

July 15th – July 19th, 2024 

Light travels very very fast, while an individual light wave is very very small. So, how do we measure these things in a lab? In this STEM Academy, you will learn to use some basic physics lab equipment like function generators, oscilloscopes, and lasers. We will then conduct our own measurements of the physical properties of light and sound and see how close we can get to the true values. Put your skills to the test in this interactive academy! 


This academy is developed by Dr. Dustin Kleckner, Assistant Professor of Physics. To learn more about Dr. Kleckner’s research, visit his website HERE.  

Programming the Universe: Investigation of Dark Matter 

Cost: $150 

Available Seats: 24 

July 22nd - July 26th,  2024 

Join us for a week-long academy learning the basics of Python programming to investigate the mysteries of dark matter and the universe. Students will use Jupyter Notebooks to visualize dark matter and perform simulations. No prior programming knowledge or astronomy knowledge is required.  


This academy was developed by Dr. Anna Nierenberg, Assistant Professor of Physics. To read more about the research conducted by Dr. Nierenberg, visit her website at