UCSB’s School for Scientific Thought will begin its second year soon, with 100 local high school students learning about “hot topics” in science and engineering.

The series of free Saturday mini-courses, which begins Sept. 25, is offered by the California NanoSystems Institute and supported by the National Science Foundation.

The innovative educational program exposes students in grades 10 through 12 to concepts in science beyond the typical high school curriculum, with topics ranging from nanotechnology to Einstein’s theory of relativity. Instructors are UCSB scientists and engineers engaged in doctoral research who want to share their enthusiasm for science and their expertise in research.

“Instructors will not be teaching normal lecture classes,” said David Boy, program coordinator for the School for Scientific Thought. “In many courses, the students will experience hands-on learning, including a session called ‘What Are Radio Waves, Really?’ in which students will build their own radios. And in ‘Molecules in Motion,’ students will run simulations on supercomputers.”

Applications for this session are due Wednesday, Sept. 15, with classes starting Sept. 25. Classes are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Saturdays. Lunch will be served to participants at the end of each class. The program is designed so that there will be no homework or examinations for the students.

Early registration for the popular program is recommended. Click here to apply online.

Another session is scheduled for the winter quarter. The winter courses will focus on neuroscience, physics, ecology and robotics.

Click here for program information. QuickTime course videos, instructor information and registration materials are available at the site.

For more information, call 805.893.8527 or e-mail sst@cnsi.ucsb.edu.