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Pre-College Programs in the Physical Sciences


San Diego Math Circle provides an opportunity for eager mathematics students in grades 5-12 to explore challenging areas of mathematics.

San Diego Honors Math Contest and Honors Statistics Contest encourage students in grades 9-12 to strive for individual and team awards.

UC and CSU Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project helps mathematics teachers prepare students for further study in mathematics by identifying the strengths and weaknesses in critical areas of students' math skills and understanding.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Academic Connections Research Scholars gives high school students the opportunity to work under the mentorship of a faculty member in a chemistry, biochemistry, biology or nanotechnology lab during the summer.

BioChemCoRe is an intensive, research-centered summer program for high school and undergraduate students interested in molecular modeling and computational chemistry.

Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment (CAICE) outreach programs help students of all ages learn science through environmental measurements.

Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology is an intensive introduction to electrochemically nanostructured silicon.


American Association of University Women Tech Trek is a week-long summer camp to encourage girls entering the 8th grade to aspire to careers in math, science and computer technology.

Beach Physics provides interactive, beach-themed multimedia resources for middle and high school students to improve their proficiency in physics.

Young Physicists Program brings San Diego middle and high school students together with physics graduate students and faculty to learn about physics though laboratories and interactive demonstrations.

Other Pre-College Programs and Resources

COSMOS, the California Summer School in Math and Science, provides a 4-week residential experience at UCSD for high achieving high school students. Clusters of courses are taught by UC researchers.

Expanding Your Horizons is an annual one-day conference to excite 6th to 10th grade girls about science, mathematics and engineering.

San Diego Science Alliance provides a listing of local K-12 science, mathematics and engineering resources for educators, students and professionals who would like to get involved.

Science Buddies has a directory of summer science camps in California and across the United States and provides help with science fair projects.

AAAS K-12 Science Lessons and Tools

National Science Digital Library

A Scientist's Curiosity Cabinet

Local High School Students Learn to Produce Biodiesel

Algae See video on Innovate 8 CBS.

Beach Physics Pop-up Science Lab

LevMagnetRead the story in ThisWeek@UCSD.  See video on Innovate 8 CBS.

Chemistry Undergraduates Launch Learning Tool

ChemorphesisChemorphesis teaches key chemical concepts using a comic-book format. See description in Chemical and Engineering News or visit the Chemorphesis site.

Multimedia Resources

bacterianucleusLesson plans and materials at Research Explorations.

Video Feature

PeroxideSensorUCSD-TV explores Nanoscience.

Basic principles underlying current research


Tiger Math. Special effects in movies may seem like art, but, beneath the surface, science and mathematics are hard at work.

cellVirtual cell.  Models are not simply replicas; they make it possible to test hypotheses of how things work. Simulating a living cell down to atomic detail is a big data challenge, and relies on collaborations between chemists, experimental biologists and data scientists.

galaxyGalaxy formation.  Simulations may be of very small things, such as cells, or very large things, such as galaxies. In both cases, scientists are using models to understand something that is difficult to observe directly.


Chemical bonds. Graphene, graphite and diamond have completely different properties, but are all made of pure carbon. The arrangement of atoms within a molecule determines the molecule's properties.