A Taste of A.T.O.M. Science Club

Participating in A.T.O.M. Science Club, your child will experience a unique blend of:

  • exploring scientific concepts during club meetings,
  • reinforcing these concepts in real-life adventures on our field trips,
  • and learning to think confidently and analyze situations scientifically.

Science club members meet once a week for one and a half hours during the academic year between September and May. Science club summer campers meet from 9 a.m. through 3 p.m. for week-long camps June through September.

Weekly Meetings

Weekly meetings combine hands-on activities, interactive discussions, and occasional special guests who speak about the current topic.

  • Beginning club members (of any age) receive a solid foundation in chemistry and physics. Any student between the ages of five and 18 who is new to A.T.O.M. Science Club gets a grounding in the science of the atom and in how energy and matter interact with each other, starting with the very smallest units of matter.
  • Continuing club members (second year) build on the foundation they established in the first year.
  • Advanced club members (years three and beyond) will directly apply the chemistry and physics they learned in their first two years with the club through an in-depth exploration of a special assigned topic (see outline of an advanced science club’s year-long study of neurology). This project integrates studies of additional disciplines that build upon students’ foundational learning from the first two years.

This year, advanced students will explore The Human Mission to Mars by studying Mars, examining plans for the first human missions, and using actual visualization and analysis tools from NASA. Students will study: 1) how to get there (rocketry), 2) how to characterize the surface of Mars using NASA’s Mars Trek portal (geology, topography) 3) how to sample the planet’s surface (robotics), 4) whether Mars might have supported life in the past, or even today (biology), and 5) how to keep the astronauts alive and well both on Mars and during transit (physiology, psychology, and architecture).

The solid foundation students build in the first two years gives them the ability and confidence to apply the fundamentals to any area of real-world science.

Special Events and Field Trips

Special events may involve guests coming to share their specialized knowledge with club members. In the past, for example, a guest from UC Berkeley’s Nuclear Engineering Department spoke on quantum mechanics. Parents are invited to attend as well.

Throughout the year, I plan a number of field trips that help bring to life and complement the topics we cover in club meetings. Please see the field trips page for more details.

Summer Camps

A.T.O.M. Science Club offers week-long summer camps beginning in June and continuing through August or early September. Many of the topics are similar to what we cover during club meetings, but the week-long format allows us to explore them in much greater detail. Camp sessions have covered topics like

  • Studying the human body, focusing on the brain and other organs
  • How our bodies will react in outer space
  • Special adventure to NASA Ames to tour the model of the International Space Station and see what happened to frog eggs that were hatched in outer space

Schedule and Pricing

Please contact me for information on pricing and schedule.

Do you want to start your own club? I will come to your location for a minimum of eight members.