STEAM Academy


STEAM Academy Students building a chain reaction machine

The STEAM Team Summer Academy provides quality educational programming for middle school and high school students. Over the course of a week students are engaged in hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Student participants engage their creativity, enhance their approach to problem solving, and develop communication and critical thinking skills.

The daily activities include discussions around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, designing and building complex chain reaction machines, exploring mathematical concepts through folding, team building through fitness activities, arts, sciences, and goal setting in preparation for transition to high school, college and career.

The Academy begins with a pre-Academy orientation for students and their families on Sunday, and culminates with the Youth and Community conference on the Saturday following the week of activities. The Academy is a collaboration of faculty from the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

How many marbles can we get in there?

Students creating a story through theater.

  Dates and Times:

Summer Academy:
  Monday, August 6 – Friday, August  10, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Lunch & snacks will be provided daily.

  Pre-orientation for students and families:
  Sunday, August 5 , 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

  Youth and Community STEAM Conference and student presentations:
  Saturday, August 11, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

  Location: University of San Diego Campus, 5998 Alcala Park, San   Diego, CA 92110





Summer Academy
During the week-long experience students will:


  • Explore mathematical concepts and engineering design principles;
  • Design and build complex chain reaction machines, robotic devices, and structures using folding techniques;
  • Engage their curiosity to ask and explore their own questions;
  • Develop critical mathematics skills and understanding;
  • Create their own works of art.
  • Participate in fun character and team-building through fitness and theatre activities;
  • Learn about people and careers in STEAM, highlighting the experiences of women and minorities in the STEAM fields;
  • Engage in daily personal and academic goal-setting sessions;
  • Learn how to use the middle and high school years to prepare for college and careers.

Enrolled students will learn from University of San Diego faculty, students and alumni from the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, and the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering.

STEAM Academy students folding

The academy will begin with a 2-hour pre-camp meeting and campus tour on Sunday for the students and their parents. The pre-camp meeting will include a discussion of the expectations for the week and an

Huge origami regular icosahedron. What an accomplishment!

opportunity for the students to meet and participate in their first team-building activities together.




Learner Outcomes

  • Apply engineering design principles and develop increased engineering confidence, interest and knowledge;
  • Apply critical mathematics skills and develop increased mathematics confidence, interest and knowledge;
  • Improve problem solving, communications and critical thinking skills;
  • Improve leadership and goal-setting skills;
  • Recognize how to use the middle and high school years wisely to prepare for college and careers;
  • Increase exposure to the university/college campus and faculty and students;
  • Recognize that failure is a natural, worthwhile part of the learning process and develop perseverance;
  • Develop the Common Core Mathematical Practices and the Next Generation Science Standards Engineering Practices.

Professors Spencer, Myers and Dalrymple


Program Directors: The STEAM Team Summer Academy is run by a team of three University of San Diego Faculty- Odesma Dalrymple, Perla Myers, and Joi Spencer. Dalrymple, Myers and Spencer are accomplished educators with expertise in STEAM instruction across the K-16 pipeline. In addition to providing the conceptual development of the STEAM Team Summer Academy, they serve as lead instructors for the engineering and mathematics learning experiences at the camp. Dalrymple, Myers, and Spencer coordinate all aspects of the Academy including the selection, hiring and supervision of instructors and student-assistants, and the coordination of the camp schedule and activities.



Course Fee: $375.00. A 10% discount is available for USD Employees. Space is limited.

To register for this camp, please fill out the two forms (form1 and form2), sign them, and mail them with your check to:

STEAM Team Academy
Mathematics Department
University of San Diego
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110

For enrollment questions, contact Perla Myers

STEAM Academy Students building their first chain reaction machine

Learn More: If you have questions regarding this summer program, please contact Joi Spencer, Odesma Dalrymple, or Perla Myers

The S(TEAM)2 Summer Academy is a collaboration of University of San Diego faculty from the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, and the College of Arts and Sciences (Department of Mathematics).