Summer enrichment courses take place three weeks in July and vary each summer.  

Urban Ecology

This three week course will focus on the skills needed to be an urban naturalist and include one week of sessions on organismic biology including dissections of fishes, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

Urban Food Systems 101

Students will explore the role of urban communities in modern food systems, with a focus on small-scale sustainable agriculture. The class will cover diverse topics, from home and community composting programs (worms!), to the reclamation of underutilized spaces for gardening, and the role of honeybees and native pollinators in food production. Prospective students should be willing to get their hands dirty both literally and figuratively as they visit local farms and independently research, design, and maybe even build their own gardens.

The Science of Skincare: Cleansing the Mainstream Myths

In this course, we will focus on the science of skincare and skincare products. This will include the chemistry of one’s own skin and of skincare products. We will learn about “do it yourself” skincare and use the science we learn to make various safe and effective products. Finally, we will analyze the current advertising and marketing models surrounding the skincare industry and think about the myths companies tell in order to sell their products.

Science Explorers

This course is for rising 7th and 8th grade BCSTEP students who get excited about science. Material to be covered will include skills such as scientific measuring, weighing and pipetting as well as activities to master the skills taught. In addition, solving simple science related math problems will be included. Students will get to ask questions and do experiments using real scientific equipment.

DNA Barcoding- Life’s Code

This course will focus on the introductory methodology of DNA sequencing and analysis techniques as well as bioinformatics used by current research scientists. While in the course students will revisit foundational understandings of DNA structure and function as well as practice hands on laboratory exercises used in the extraction, purification, and analysis of DNA.

Aeronautical Engineering

Students will learn the basics of flight and airplane design in gliders and full powered R/C planes which they will design, build and learn to fly. This course will culminate in a field day exercise where students will compete in a pylon race, limbo, and accuracy competitions. The last session will be a longer session to accommodate the field day activities.

Microbiology and other Laboratory Techniques


Material to be covered will include skills such as scientific measuring, weighing and pipetting, staining bacteria, isolating and visualizing DNA, dissecting animal specimens, and detecting if good food are genetically modified. Students will solve simple science-related math problems and will use college-level scientific equipment.

Personal Finance


Personal Finance is designed to give students information and skills they will need post-secondary school. Topics to be covered include: budgeting, financing college tuition and investing (stocks and bonds). This course will also strengthen math literacy through real world problems.


Examination of skills necessary for success in math, critical reading and writing. Students will develop strategies for solving PSAT/SAT math questions and writing an effective essay.