to the moon and beyond! — for 4th & 5th graders
june 15-26, 2020
to the moon and beyond — for middle school students
July 6-17, 2020
details to be added — the program format will be similar to prior years. for example, please take a look at last year’s information:

Sunsational! — for 3rd-5th Graders
HELD: June 17-28,2019
FEE: $200 (scholarships were available)

sunsational! — for Middle school students
held: July 8-19,2019
FEE: $200 (Scholarships were available)

session details

Each session of Sunsational! covered similar topics.  The curriculum was age appropriate, and the middle school session included more advanced activities in both the classroom and laboratory.

Hands-on activities, in outdoor, classroom and laboratory settings, were designed to engage students’ interest in science and STEM careers.  This included a series of activities related to (1) the sun; (2) the NASA Parker Solar Probe Mission; (3) solar energy; and, (4) STEM careers and training in areas related to solar research and solar energy.  Many of the educational activities were from the NASA Education Program (

Both sessions included a field trip and concluded with student presentation of selected activities to their peers, family members and other adult guests on the last day of the program, followed by lunch.

background information

The African American Ethnic Academy and the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute (BTC Institute), both 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organizations, have collaborated for over 20 years to offer A Celebration of Life, a summer science program for upper elementary and middle school students. Open to all students, an important goal of this partnership is to support underserved students’ interest in the life sciences and provide them with the tools for success in school

In addition to developing knowledge and abilities associated with scientific investigations in field and laboratory settings (e.g. formulating and testing hypotheses, utilizing problem-solving skills, learning and demonstrating correct techniques), students are challenged to develop their communication skills (e.g. through teamwork, journals, presentations to parents and family members). They are also encouraged to express and develop their creativity in numerous ways. Information regarding STEM professionals of color throughout history is shared, and role models of color are key players in program activities.

Couldn’t make it to our summer program this year?

Below are a few activities we did during our elementary and middle-school summer school programs that you can try at home!

Catch a Rainbow

An Outdoor Activity

A rainbow is the result of reflection, refraction, and dispersion of sunlight.


Create an Aurora

An Art Project

An aurora (polar, southern, northern lights) is the result of charged particles from the sun colliding with particles from earth's atmosphere.


Build A Solar Cooker

A Creative Challenge

A solar cooker uses heat from the sun to cook food instead of electricity.

Solar Cooker

Paper Plate Sun

An Art Project

Create a sunny face using your imagination or be inspired by images of the sun taken by the Parker Solar Probe, NASA's first-ever mission to "touch" the Sun.

Sun Plate