Summer Outdoor Science Education Programs

Our summer Outdoor Science Education Program (OSEP) consists of a variety of weeklong classes offered June through July for students in grades 1-6, on topics ranging from science and art, to natural history. Courses are taught by experienced outdoor educators and take place at either Valentine Camp or the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab (SNARL). Students who enroll should have a strong interest in science, love being in the outdoors, and be willing to participate in all aspects of these academic classes. Students are expected to behave in an appropriate, respectful, and safe manner. In an effort to allow as many students to enjoy all of our camps, priority will be given to students who have not previously attended specific camps. All classes are geared to next year's grade level. 

Scholarship Information 

We don’t want a family’s financial difficulties to prevent any child from participating in our Outdoor Science Education summer programs. We offer full and partial scholarships for those in need. If your family is facing financial difficulties, we invite you to complete our confidential scholarship application. Scholarship awards are limited, based upon need, available funds and number of qualifying applicants. Applications are reviewed on a case by case basis. Please contact Carole Lester - carole.lester@ucsb.edu, 760-914-3722 for an application and if you have any questions.

To register for a class:

  1. Choose your class
  2. Click on register and fill in the required information
  3. You must register for each class individually
  4. You child will not be confirmed in a class until you receive an email from carole.lester@ucsb.edu
  5. Once confirmed you will receive an email with a link to the payment page.

If you have any problems or concerns please call/text or email Carole at 760-914-3722 or carole.lester@ucsb.edu

English OSEP Schedue of Classes 2021 - pdf

Spanish OSEP Horario de Clases 2021 - pdf

2021 Summer Schedule of Classes

Involving Dissolving | June 28 to July 02 | Grade(s): 3-4 | Valentine Camp
Come see what happens when we mix powders with liquids, play with evaporation, and create crystallized masterpieces. Will everything we mix dissolve? We'll use resources at Valentine, read stories, and create chemical reactions involving dissolving during this week of scientific exploration. Please note, non-toxic materials will be used. REGISTER
Rocks & Dirt! (Dual Language Class) CLASS FULL. REGISTER FOR WAITLIST | June 28 to July 02 | Grade(s): 1 | Valentine Camp
Dual Language Class. Must be proficient in Spanish/English at 1st grade level; admission subject to instructor. Rocks and dirt are all around us, but how much do you know about them? What is dirt made of? Do rocks sink or float? How do we use rocks in everyday life? This week we will have fun creating a science journal to record everything that we learn about rocks, dirt and fossils. Come be a rock hound with us! REGISTER
Budding Botanists | July 05 to July 09 | Grade(s): 3-4 | Valentine Camp
The best way to appreciate Valentine Reserve is out along the trails! Our class will spend part of every day exploring the plant and animal life of Valentine while observing nature up close. These observations will provide inspiration for sketching, scientific illustration, and learning plant identification. We’ll delve into science, as we sketch, learning about plant and animal adaptations, photosynthesis and more! REGISTER
Sifting through Science | July 05 to July 09 | Grade(s): 1 | Valentine Camp
Young children are natural scientists. This week our little scientists will use their senses as they eagerly explore and investigate the environment at Valentine through experiments, stories, games, and nature walks. We will use magnets, sand, water, dirt, rocks, and sift our way trough science. REGISTER
Bones, Beads, and Baskets(Dual Language Class)CAMP IS FULL.REGISTER FOR WAITLIST | July 12 to July 16 | Grade(s): 4-5 | Valentine Camp
DUAL LANGUAGE CLASS: Must be proficient in Spanish/English at 4th grade level; admission subject to instructor. What would it be like to live off the land in a time before Vons? This class will become a small tribe and learn how early people in America hunted and gathered food and medicine, celebrated important events and played games. Students will use and make artifacts modeling Native American ways. REGISTER
Involving Dissolving | July 12 to July 16 | Grade(s): 3-4 | Valentine Camp
Come see what happens when we mix powders with liquids, play with evaporation, and create crystallized masterpieces. Will everything we mix dissolve? We'll use resources at Valentine, read stories, and create chemical reactions involving dissolving during this week of scientific exploration. Please note, non-toxic materials will be used. DUE TO THE DISCOVERY/SURPRISE ASPECT TO THIS CAMP WE DON'T ALLOW STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE MORE THAN ONCE IN THIS CAMP. REGISTER
Hurray for Habitats CAMP IS FULL. REGISTER FOR WAITLIST | July 19 to July 23 | Grade(s): 1-2 | Valentine Camp
Owls, mule deer,rabbits,coyotes, bugs and bees all make their homes at Valentine. We will observe animals or evidence of animals that live in the high desert and/or riparian zones of the Eastern Sierra. As young scientists, we will record our findings and observations on our Habitat Boards. If you like to hike, explore, play games, and do outdoor science activities, then come join this expedition. REGISTER
Painting Nature | July 26 to July 30 | Grade(s): 5-6 | Valentine Camp
Learn basic acrylic painting surrounded by the beauty of Valentine Reserve. Through a series of fun and easy projects and exercises the students will work up to creating a beautiful painting. They will also have lots of time to explore Valentine. REGISTER
Wild Island Adventure | July 26 to July 30 | Grade(s): 4-5 | SNARL
Get ready for a week on the Wild Islands at SNARL. From the water we drink to the oceans that circle the Earth, liquids are everywhere.We will explore the properties of water and the wetlands surrounding the islands by observing the creatures that live there and discovering how liquids do what they do. Come prepared to get wild and wet as you learn all about our most precious resources. REGISTER
Beautiful Bats | August 02 to August 05 | Grade(s): 2-3 | Valentine Camp
Bats are familiar to nearly everyone, yet most people have never seen one up close. Are bats dangerous? Do bats get tangled in your hair? Folktale and fantasy are all part of people's ideas about bats. In this class you will learn the truth about bats is more astonishing than any of the stories about them. REGISTER