During each two-week session students will have the opportunity to select one area of interest. Courses are organized into three tracks. Students can complete a full track or they can select courses between tracks.

Track 1: Medical

Session 1 (June 30-July 13 @ UC Berkeley): Anatomy/Physiology

Throughout the week, scientists will have opportunities to wonder, lead, and explore their curiosities of the human body and it’s systems. Scientists will begin the week investigating the digestive system; understanding how the human body obtains the nutrients required for survival will provide the scientist with a foundation to explore the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems.  Using our bodies and creating models, we will discover how muscles function with the skeleton to make our bodies move and how the systems respond to injuries. Comparative anatomy explorations through the dissection of chicken wings and cow eyes will provide scientists the opportunity to dig deeper into the relationship between the body systems.  Scientists will investigate the nervous system through the five senses and the tricks they can play on us. We will manipulate our taste buds, sniff out smells, identify blind spots, and use touch to investigate the unknown. We will learn the basics of microscopy and view the systems explored on a cellular level.

Session 2 (July 30-July 27 @ UC Berkeley): Cardiology

New in Summer 2019, the Cardiology program offers your budding scientist the opportunity to deepen their understanding of body systems.  It is the perfect bridge between our Anatomy and Physiology course and Neuroanatomy.  Scientists will explore how the function and structure of the heart impact blood circulation and nutrient transport.  In addition, scientist will study the impact of disease on the cardiovascular system.  Scientists will have the opportunity to create models detailing anatomy, engineer a heart, participate in dissections, and make connections to other body systems that will inspire them to want to investigate more!

Session 3 (July 28-August 10 @ UCLA): Neuroanatomy

In this course, students will learn the anatomy and physiology of various systems in the brain and apply what they know to fictitious neurological patients. Specifically, we will focus on the cerebral cortex, various sub-cortical structures, the visual system, somatosensory system, and the motor system in the brain and spinal cord. The culminating event on Friday will be a case-studies test where you will “act” like neurologists to predict where a lesion in the brain or spinal cord is in a person, as well as “acting” like neuroradiologists in order to predict the symptoms and prognosis of patients with particular nervous system lesions.

We will be using a combination of picture- and video-intensive lectures and hands-on activities such as building model systems using Play-doh or Model Magic, dissecting a sheep brain, and engaging in lab activities and demos in order to explore the neuroanatomy of the visual system, somatosensory systems, and the motor systems. Campers will get to research various local labs prior to the Wednesday field trip, which will include touring a neuroimaging facility and a neuroscience lab, guest lectures by the researchers in those labs, and several Q&A sessions. The culminating assessment will be a partner test on Friday where campers get to “diagnose” fictitious patients coming to a neurology clinic as well as predict symptoms of a person based on pictures of their brain or spinal cord “radiographic images.”

Track 2: Writing

Session 1 (June 30-July 13 @ UC Berkeley): Journalism

Days will typically begin with instruction about a specific skill, such as interviewing, followed by practice experiences. In a seminar setting, participants will share, refine and improve their work under the guidance of faculty and peers. Students will produce personality profiles, feature stories, opinions, and reviews. During the week, students will post their work on a blog, where they may also contribute their own thoughts and opinions.

In addition to learning the nuts and bolts of journalism, students will bolster their writing skills through exercises that focus on creating a voice and developing descriptive writing. They will engage in critical thinking by examining articles for elements such as style, bias, and argumentative technique.

Session 2 (July 30-July 27 @ UC Berkeley): Creative Writing

This creative writing summer program encourages students to challenge themselves technically and artistically through guided daily writing workshops, one-on-one instructor evaluations, group editing sessions, and creative presentations of their work.

Students select a major focus area called a Writer’s Block. In each Writer’s Block, they will read classic and contemporary examples of the genre, craft and hone their writing composition, and prepare to present their piece to an audience of readers and listeners. This year’s Writer’s Blocks include:

·      Short Story Seminar

·      Poetry Seminar

·      Nonfiction Seminar

By the program’s conclusion, students will produce and perfect quality pieces suitable for publication in their own literary magazine and professional teen publications.

Session 3 (July 28-August 10 @ UCLA): Academic Writing & Research

Students from even the best high schools are not always ready for the demands of university scholarship. Our goal is to prepare high school students to succeed in college by giving them experience with academic projects similar to those found in college classes in a dynamic, supportive and supervised environment. Our experienced instructors introduce students to college level writing and take them through the process of conceiving and developing a research report. Instructors will challenge students to move beyond simply regurgitating facts in their essays and will encourage them to use advanced methods of comparison and contrast, argumentation, and rhetorical analysis. Each student will write several drafts of an original research paper, as well as complete a number of shorter writing assignments. Our first-rate instructional staff of academic professionals will guide students with one-on-one feedback, lectures and class work. Over the course of the 14-day program, students will:

·      Author a well-reasoned paper that evidences organized argumentation and implements a theoretical framework

·      Create a convincing academic presentation and defend their work before friends and faculty


Track 3: College Preparation

Session 1 (June 30-July 13 @ UC Berkeley): SAT Preparation

SAT Prep at Summer Focus Enrichment is an opportunity to learn the skills needed for success on the SAT, including essay writing techniques, grammar skills, advanced math, and critical reading. Our experienced instructors employ the exclusive and time-tested Test Scholars SAT curriculum, which familiarizes students with all aspects of the new SAT exam. Our focus is to provide students with test-taking strategies and reasoning skills, rather than training students to rely primarily on tricks. Test Scholars students have historically scored average increases of nearly 200 points! College Admission Prep Camp is uniquely equipped to maximize SAT scores because our curriculum utilizes College Board materials. Rather than try to mimic the College Board's questions, the program purchases all exams directly from the test maker. Students receive practice workbooks and exams, and a set of Test Scholars exclusive flash cards—800 of the most important SAT vocabulary words, plus 250 math flash cards for review of important formulas and techniques. Overall, campers receive 40 hours of supervised SAT prep. This is double what most competing programs offer and will undoubtedly ready students for this monumentally important examination.

Session 2 (July 30-July 27 @ UC Berkeley): College Admissions Essays

The Personal Statement is a student's chance to show that he/she is more than a test score or grade point average. It is a significant platform for demonstrating clarity, character and unquantifiable qualifications for college admittance. To this end, College Admission Prep Camp offers every student hours of one-on-one consulting with expert writing instructors during a daily block dedicated solely to honing each student's work. From the conception of an essay topic to the final revised piece, the writing program teaches students how to write the kind of college essay that will present them in the best light during the college admission process. Students learn to express the self-awareness, imagination, and curiosity that will make them attractive candidates to selective colleges. By the end of the program, each student will have written about a meaningful personal topic that is ready, or nearly ready, for submission with his or her college application.

 Session 3 (July 28-August 10 @ UCLA): Public Speaking

Designed to help students build confidence in their public speaking skills, Public Speaking at Summer Focus Enrichment trains students in public speaking, logic and rhetoric through an interactive and dynamic curriculum that encourages incremental progress through ongoing practice and exercise. Over the course of the program, students will participate in two main courses: Debate and Persuasive Speaking.


Learn the art of verbal combat! Students will learn how to construct persuasive positions, defend against and attack each other’s arguments, and cross-examine effectively. Students will debate a variety of age- and experience-appropriate topics, form teams, and pit themselves against their co-campers. Past debate topics have included: school uniforms (elementary school), pre-emptive strike policy (middle school), and the legal drinking age (high school).

Persuasive Speaking

This useful activity teaches students to craft and deliver convincing speeches. Students start by performing a number of pre-written speeches in order to learn delivery, timing, and intonation. When students display comfort with delivery, they will begin to construct speeches based on their interests. Students learn to choose topics, establish captivating introductions, organize speech content, and deliver compelling conclusions! The focus is on speaking in a natural voice, with few or no notes, rather than writing an essay and merely reading it out loud, the form of "public speaking" taught by most teachers. All students end the week by presenting a speech in front of a large group of fellow campers.