Immersive new programs added to Pacific Summer High School Institute

student stands at 3D printer

A cutting-edge course in mobile robotics, a Spanish language course tailored to health care and a creative writing program are some of the diverse new offerings available in the Pacific Summer High School Institute as it returns for a second year.

The summer institute is a pre-college program that enables rising ninth through 12th graders to live and learn on Pacific’s Stockton Campus. Students enroll in one of the more than 50 programs offered during the two-week institute. Two sessions are available in 2023: June 5 to 17 and June 20 to July 1.

One of the newest courses developed by the School of Engineering and Computer Science introduces students to the technology behind mobile robotics, which can be seen everywhere from vacuum-cleaning robots to self-driving cars. 

High schoolers will learn the basic electronics and programming used to control how robots move and sense where to go. 

“This type of technology is being used everywhere,” said Assistant Professor Don Lee, who will lead the program. “Companies are constantly working to advance the technology and find new applications for its use. Learning these fundamental skills will give students a leg up if they are interested in pursuing a career in robotic technologies, automation and, possibly, applied artificial intelligence.”

High schoolers considering a career in health care can learn basic conversation skills in Spanish to communicate with future patients more effectively in the “Spanish for the Health Professions” course.

Students will learn vocabulary tailored to conversations in health care, such as asking how a patient is feeling, diagnosing injuries and educating patients about special diets. Skits and partner conversations will be used to create an engaging learning environment. 

High schoolers with a passion for creative writing will learn new techniques to enhance their storytelling in the “Creative Writing and Storytelling” course. Working in teams, students will design a final project to share using digital and multimedia tools.  

To accommodate high demand for "Future Dentists" offered by the renowned Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, 10 seats have been added to the sellout program. An additional session also is now available for the "Future Pharmacists" camp taught by faculty with the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy. See what the experience was like for students in the 2022 institute.

The new programs join popular courses offered during the inaugural institute, such as Coding Camp.

“This gives them a sneak peek of what computer science is, because the very first thing we do in computer science is teach them to how to write code,” said Assistant Professor of Practice Houman Kamran Habibkhani. “That’s the main advantage, but regardless of what a student decides to study, almost every discipline requires you to know a little bit of coding, so they can put this on their resume.” 

A variety of athletics camps also are available, allowing high schoolers to enhance their skills in swimming, tennis, golf, water polo, chess and more. 

Once students have wrapped up classes for the day, they are free to explore the campus and take part in planned activities or just relax in hammocks and play games on the DeRosa University Center lawn. Housing is provided in on-campus residence halls with food served at the DeRosa Center Marketplace. 

Registration is open now. A $300 discount is available to alumni, employees, families of incoming students and families with multiple participants and a number of regional school districts are covering the cost of tuition for their students. 

Virtual question and answer sessions take place every Wednesday at 6 p.m. with Program Director and Chemistry Professor Balint Sztaray to learn more.