Astronomy at UC San Diego

Explore the universe, utilize high tech telescopes, and write a scientific paper

Located on the campus of UC San Diego

Program Highlights

Enjoy a mix of daytime and nighttime activities to perform data collection and data interpretation.
Perform a research project on the Double Star system, a pair of closely-spaced stars that usually appear as a single star.
Work in groups to construct a scientific paper with the possibility of publishing the work via the platform.
Get a private tour of the universe at a planetarium as well as unique access to specialized detail imaging equipment.
teens with telescope

Residential Price: $4,498 USD

Extended Commuter Price: $3,398 USD

Commuter Price: $2,798 USD


Late July: July 26–August 7, 2020


UC San Diego
San Diego, CA

Course Overview

Are you fascinated by the stars? The universe is vast and mysterious and this passion can turn into a lifelong career. This summer program for high school students provides hands-on training in astronomical research, with opportunities to learn from professionals in the fields of astronomy and physics and work with state-of-the-art observational equipment.

Excursions may include optical labs, observatories or a tour of multiple galaxies at San Diego City College Planetarium.

Meet your instructor

Instructor and Curriculum Developer

John Brodney Fitzgerald, MS.

Brodney Fitzgerald

John Brodney Fitzgerald has over 17 years of experience in the field of education. Currently, he is an astronomy instructor at Grossmont College and San DIego City College where he lectures on astronomical object motions, the history of astronomy, telescopes, planets and their physical characteristics, light and electromagnetic radiation, as well as stars and their characteristics. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he has published numerous conference papers. He holds a Master’s degree in Astronomy from San Diego State University.

Topics you'll explore

Hands-On Learning

Students will research "double stars", a pair of stars that appear close to each other as viewed from Earth, and determine if the two stars were really born at the same time or if they just appear in the same area. Beyond astronomical research, students will go through the process of constructing and presenting a scientific paper with the opportunity to publish it online. Scientific papers are critical to the evolution of modern science, where the original research is shared and the work of one scientist builds upon that of others.

teens with telescope

Career Exploration

Astronomers work in industries as diverse as defense, aerospace, data science and engineering. That’s because the foundation of astronomy involves math, physics, communication and analytical skills. To further the students interest in astronomy, they will be given access to the Boyce-Astro platform to use during and after the Summer Springboard program. The platform focuses on sharing astronomy through education and research via remote technologies.


Get started today

Summer Springboard Pre-College Summer Program