Summer Learning Adventures

Dream big and succeed with personalized hands-on learning programs

Heighten your summer experience with enriching courses that will bring subject matter interests and hobbies to life. Let this be the summer of self-exploration, unearthing career paths, and enhancing life skills. Utilize these inspiring and academically challenging courses to get ahead, build a stellar college resume showcasing academic-based extracurricular activities, or just have fun!

Halstrom Academy is offering 5 innovative summer courses that focus on hands-on experiential learning, providing students the opportunity to:

  • Earn credit with UC a-g approved courses that count toward graduation requirements
  • Get ahead and earn a full year of high school course credit in just 10 weeks
  • Create a personal portfolio to showcase your work in college applications or just for fun
  • Adventure outside the classroom to learn and apply concepts in real-world settings
  • Learn in small groups and create lifelong friendships
Exploratory Science


Natural science does not live within walls, and neither does our most popular summer course. Exploratory Science brings the classroom outside so that you can experience the world of science in its hands-on, organic form. You will Learn, Explore, and Connect with nature in a way no other class can offer and earn a full year worth of science or elective credits in the process. You will help grow an organic garden, understand your role in protecting the environment, and see lessons taught in the classroom come alive while exploring tide pools, wildlife sanctuaries, and local ecosystems.

Experience the fields of natural science in a hands-on, outdoor learning environment focusing on our evolving role in environmental conservation and sustainability.

This is ideal for students interested in science, the environment, STEM careers, or just exploring the world around them. This course is taught in two 5-week blocks for a total of 10 weeks.

  • Grow your own plot of an organic garden
  • Embark on 8 outdoor learning adventures to local ecosystems
  • Learn about local plants, animals, and geology
  • Explore tide pools, ponds, and estuaries
  • Become an expert birder
  • Understand the laws that affect our environment
  • Interact within a small peer group
  • Connect yourself to the world around you


This intensive robotics course will take you from the basic elements of design and programming to building competition ready robots from the ground up in just 10 weeks. Learn how to design, program, and engineer a robot that will compete against others in obstacle courses, skill challenges, and competition games. Using world-class VEX EDR Robotics kits and the industry-leading CAD software, you will work in teams to design, program, and build robots that can navigate challenges, move and manipulate objects, and compete in the world’s largest and fastest growing robotics competition for middle and high school.

This class is ideal for students new to the world of engineering, yet will challenge students with any level of experience. Classes are taught in two - 5 week blocks for a total of 10 weeks. This course is UC a-g approved and counts as a full year of science or elective credit.

Robotics is perfect for students who thrive in a hands-on, interactive, team based learning environment and want to experience technology, design, and engineering through creative problem solving challenges and competitions.

  • Build robots using LEGO Mindstorm EV3
  • Program movement and decision making
  • Construct and program a SumoBot for competition
  • Engineer a color-activated Robo-Dragster
  • Design and build the VEX EDR Clawbot
  • Use Autodesk Inventor to model and design unique robotic parts
  • Control your robot through obstacle courses and skill challenges
  • Compete head-to-head with other robotics teams
Digital Scholars: Media & Composition


Take your passion for expressing yourself through social media to the next level! Gain the skills needed to communicate what you see, feel, hear, and experience in everyday life by sharing your thoughts and opinions through the use of a blog and other broadcasting platforms.

Learn to use the principles of excellent online writing pieces and web-based communication techniques to become a recognized 21st century scholar. Learn how to create captivating blogs, share content safely via YouTube and other broadcasting platforms, create opinion pieces for publication, and explore the power of digital communication to express your ideas and share your voice with the world.

Students who are eager to share their thoughts and opinions in a safe online space will create a portfolio of writing and digital broadcasting designs that can be used for college applications or simply to showcase their growing skill set in this 5-10 week course.

  • Build your own blog and learn to write for online audiences
  • Become a skilled “Google-r” to find accurate information online and cite properly... an essential tool for college readiness
  • Explore social media/online influencing and advertising
  • Connect, chat and evaluate with peers in safe, online discussion forums
  • Learn the essentials of small video/broadcasting productions
  • Experiment with live streaming and gaining an audience (using hashtags and search engine optimization coding)
  • Get your voice, ideas, opinions and talents heard
Contemporary Photography


Produce exciting photography that can be shared with family, friends, and on social media by understanding the principles of vivid photography unique to your style. Take better photos that have purpose and technical artistry through the most available technology, your Smartphone.

Learn to display depth, emotion, and the story behind the image. This course places students at the center of their subjects with weekly outdoor learning adventures that allow students to photograph local wonders, people in their community, and learn how to conceptualize the world through their personal Smartphone lens.

Over this 5 to 10 week course, students will create a personal portfolio and showcase their work at a photo gallery event that will display their talents to family, friends and the community.

  • Gain the skills needed to take exceptional photos
  • Create your own photography brand
  • Experiment with: portrait, nature & landscape, architectural, and surreal photography to show off your unique perspective of your community
  • Become a street photography expert and capture the human condition
  • Learn to photograph with cultural context and allow others to react to your work
  • Examine the work of the most successful Instagram enthusiasts
  • Edit photos like a professional
College Compass


This summer, navigate the challenging college admissions process and work with a private college-counseling specialist who will help you apply and be admitted to the college of your choice. While your classmates are stressing about senior year, you will get ahead with your applications completed, personal statements written, and your prospective colleges chosen.

This is an ideal course to help parents sort through the maze of college admissions with a personal coach for your child. This course will require students to step back and think about their unique strengths, areas of interest, and how to prepare for their future.

For students who want to get ahead on the 4-year college or university application process, this 5-week course will provide highly customized, one-to-one sessions guiding them through the college admission process based on their specific needs.

  • Create a personalized college admission plan
  • Take full advantage of Naviance, enabling self-discovery, career exploration, academic planning, and college preparation
  • Narrow down your choices for a college major
  • Review SAT/ACT testing requirements and accessible prep materials
  • Develop compelling college personal statements and supplemental essays
  • Finalize your college list and complete your application requirements
  • Receive guidance in obtaining strong letters of recommendation

Summer Learning Adventures