Exploring UC’s summer offerings (2024)

Credit: Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis

The Egghead Series consists of five site-specific UC Davis art installations that offer a humorous wink at university intellectuals, with the slang term “Egghead” at the core of the joke.

There’s no doubt that the University of California’s education, research and public service mission takes center stage throughout the academic year, but what some might not realize is just how much of that work continues through the summer months, including many activities and events that are open to the public.

Here’s a taste of what’s on offer to the wider world across UC this summer:

UC Berkeley

Blurring the line between art and science, UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science features an exhibit this summer that shows how music is built on scientific and mathematic principles. The exhibition, which runs through the end of November, showcases a variety of instruments and other music-making tools that let visitors uncover the science behind musical melodies, harmonies, beats and more. And, if you are looking to put your newfound music knowledge to the test, check out the UC Berkeley Summer Symphony’s upcoming performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 on Aug. 9.

UC Davis

School’s out and art is in! Head to UC Davis to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Robert Arneson’s iconic Eggheads. A foundational member of the campus’ arts programs, Arneson sculpted the Eggheads at the end of his time as a UC Davis professor. Take a self-guided Egghead tour this summer to explore the unique sculptures found across campus. Hungry for even more art? Drop into the Gorman Museum of Native American Art for “Reflecting Lenses,” a new photography exhibit. For decades, the museum has served as a space dedicated to the creative expression of Native American artists and artists of diverse cultures and histories.

UC Irvine

Exploring UC’s summer offerings (1)

The UC Irvine New Swan Shakespeare Festival is set to hit the stage during July and August. In its 12th year, the festival — operated entirely by anteaters — serves the Southern California community by producing accessible, impactful and meaningful Shakespearean productions each year. Two shows are slated for the upcoming season: the high-seas masterpiece “Twelfth Night, or What You Will” and the rare but riveting “Measure for Measure.”

Each summer, the School of Medicine offers a number of summer programs specifically designed for high schoolers, undergraduates and postbaccalaureate students. Offerings include a career exploration program designed for young women interested in health care careers as well as PRIME Academies, which assist diverse students in preparing for medical school, with a focus on meeting the health care needs of California’s Latino, African, Black and Caribbean communities.


Queer Rhapsody, a vibrant celebration of contemporary LGBTQ+ cinema, is taking place July 19–July 28 at theatres across Los Angeles. Organized by UCLA’s Film and Television Archive, this community-led film series highlights the dynamic landscape of queer film with a focus on narratives of freedom. The series is anchored by five iconic venues across Los Angeles that are committed to serving as a space for the queer community.

UC Merced

Spending a month focused on nothing but math sounds fun, right? According to middle schoolers from the San Joaquin Valley, it is! For the past 19 years, UC Merced's Center for Educational Partnerships (CEP) has been working with Central Valley students to support their academic postsecondary readiness in mathematics and other subjects. Rather than sitting at a desk practicing equations, teachers rely on games, team projects and other kinds of hands-on learning to engage their students.

In collaboration with UC Riverside and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), undergraduate and graduate students will work together to solve real-world bioscience data problems, working alongside LLNL staff in the 2024 Data Science Challenge. This 2-week intensive program, taking place in late summer, boosts students’ STEM skills through hands-on learning and mentorship by LLNL leaders.

UC Riverside

Exploring UC’s summer offerings (2)

Education never stops, including during the summer, from STEM summer camps to library exhibits to academic conferences. In July, the UC Riverside Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering will host camps focused on data science and robotics for high school students. These free summer camps introduce students to engineering and science at a high level, along with careers and employment.

On exhibit at the Tomás Rivera Library throughout the summer is Eaton at the Movies, a celebration of science fiction film and television-related materials from the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy. This exhibit takes up the themes of wonder and terror as it relates to sci-fi film and television and showcases a variety of materials from the Eaton Collection.

Each summer, the Society for Political Methodology holds an annual conference. This year's “Polmeth” meeting — hosted by UC Riverside and taking place July 18–20 — is an opportunity for political science faculty and graduate students to share their research on political methodology.

UC San Diego

This summer, students entering 3rd through 12th grade can participate in the Sally Ride Science Academy at UC San Diego. During the program, students take on the roles of space explorer, marine biologist, computer programmer and more as they immerse themselves in hands-on projects. These summer workshops also incorporate the real-life stories of women who led research in these various fields. Their examples inspire students and help make careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) more accessible.

UC San Francisco

Later this summer, the Bayfront Medical Building, a new UCSF clinical facility on the Mission Bay campus, will hold its official ribbon cutting ceremony. The new five-story, 182,800-square-foot clinical building will include an ambulatory surgery center, same-day care, adult primary and secondary multi-specialty clinics and a pharmacy. The Bayfront Medical Building is critical to supporting UCSF Health operations and to serving growing patient demand, including an increasing need for outpatient surgery.

UC Santa Barbara

Exploring UC’s summer offerings (3)

The UC Santa Barbara campus will be bustling with activity this summer. Each year, the UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures organization presents more than a hundred public events, with this summer featuring Sun, Surf and Cinema: FREE Summer Films taking place most Friday nights between July 5–Aug. 23.

High school students from all over the world will engage in interdisciplinary, hands-on, university-level research through the UC Santa Barbara Research Mentorship Program. Students work alongside a university mentor and choose a research project from a variety of disciplines. They learn about research techniques, gain insight into professional research-based opportunities and refine their academic goals over the course of the six-week program.

The 2024 Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp takes place July 15–19 at UC Santa Barbara’s Recreation Center. The camp is free to all participants thanks to the Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation and provides recreational and competitive opportunities for youth athletes and young adults ages 6–21 who use a wheelchair, or could use a wheelchair, to participate in sports and recreation.

UC Santa Cruz

There’s plenty happening on the UC Santa Cruz campus this summer, with events and opportunities spanning a wide range of interests. Want to learn about women workers’ role in the development of Disneyland? “The Women Who Made Early Disneyland: Artists, Entertainers and Guest Relations,” by Cindy Mediavilla and Kelsey Knox, UC Santa Cruz university archivist, seeks to reclaim women’s place in the early history of Disneyland. The two authors will be on campus July 23 for a book talk.

Interested in live music and astronomy? Then you might want to consider Music of the Spheres, the annual series at the historic Lick Observatory, which brings world-renowned musicians and astronomers to the Mount Hamilton summit for live music, science lectures and viewing through the Nickel 1-m Reflector and Lick 36" Refractor telescopes. Events are held on select Saturday evenings in June, July and August.

Looking to buy locally grown organic vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers? Look no further than the UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology Farmstand, which is open every Thursday through Sept. 26.

UC’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Each summer, UC’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) hosts the California 4-H State Leadership Conference. From July 25-28, students from across the state will come together to learn and practice leadership skills. For younger participants, programming will focus on developing strong relationships with each other as they engage in workshops, hear from dynamic speakers and explore campus life at UC Davis. Older participants will focus on advanced leadership development with industry professionals and attend workshops to enhance their skills as they prepare for college and the workforce.

UC ANR is the 4-H parent organization in California, promoting hands-on, experiential learning for youth ages 5-19. UC’s 4-H programs are delivered locally through county-based University of California Cooperative Extension offices.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Exploring UC’s summer offerings (4)

On July 26, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory celebrates the culmination of the lab's internship and training programs at the 2024 Berkeley Lab High School Summer Graduation and Symposium. More than 100 students, representing teams from the Quantum Computing, Mathematics and Physics Camp (QCaMP), Berkeley Lab Director’s Apprenticeship Program (BLDAP) and the Experiences in Research Programs (EinR) will be lauded for their achievements.

QCaMP is a four-week primer on computing fundamentals, where students learn hands-on about quantum physics and apply their skills to solving computing problems in new ways. BLDAP is a six-week training program that introduces students to a STEM network, python coding and data science. Students are invited to join post-summer workshops to build on their new skills and dive deeper into additional STEM areas throughout the year. Finally, EinR is a six-week internship program that matches high school students with a Berkeley Lab mentor to focus on a specific project for the duration of their internships.

About the authors:

Victoria Davila will graduate from UCLA in September 2024. Last spring, she participated in the UC Washington Center (UCDC) program where she interned in UC’s Office of Federal Governmental Relations.

Andrea Garcia graduated from UC Irvine in spring 2024. Prior to graduation, she participated in the UC Center Sacramento program where she interned in UC’s Office of State Governmental Relations.

Jennifer Riekes graduated from UC Irvine in spring 2024. Prior to graduation, she participated in the UC Washington Center (UCDC) program where she interned in UC’s Office of Federal Governmental Relations.

Exploring UC’s summer offerings (2024)


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