An Independent School • Grades 5-12

Investigative Learning Camp

A STEAM-focused camp for students from any school entering grades 5-8.

Exploration and play lead to serious learning at Lakeside's Investigative Learning Camp. Students entering grades 5-8 from any school split their day between morning academic classes (in science, technology, engineering, writing, and art) and organized afternoon activities.

Campers are taught by dynamic and fun middle-school teachers, and supported by a diverse group of camp counselors who share campers’ passion for learning.

Students can register for one or two sessions. Each session lasts two weeks, and campers immerse themselves in new topics each week.

Session 1: July 6 – July 17, 2020
Session 2: July 20 – July 31, 2020

Tuition: $1,040 per two-week session. Extended care (until 6:00 p.m.) is available at an additional cost. Snacks, camp t-shirts, and camp water bottles are provided. Students should bring their own lunches.

Financial aid is available.


Important Dates for 2020

Feb. 3: Registration opens for Lakeside students, children of Lakeside alumni, and The Downtown School students.

Feb. 10: Registration opens for students not attending Lakeside.

June 1: Registration closes and all payments due.

Financial aid: The program awards financial assistance according to demonstrated family need on a first-come, first-served basis. You may choose to apply for aid during the registration process. Lakeside Families: During the registration process, you may choose to use the financial aid information already on file with Lakeside. 


Tel: 206-440-2700

Registration will open February 10 on this site.

2020 Classes

3D Graphic Design

This interactive class takes campers through the process of creating motion graphics by introducing students to the principles and elements of motion design. Topics include title overlays, motion title sequencing, dynamic backgrounds, and 3D movement. No experience is necessary, simply a creative mind and an interest in media production!

Actor's Toolbox

This class is a fun and interactive introduction to stagecraft. Every day, we will focus on a different aspect of acting: voice, movement, characterization, and ensemble building. We will also play lots of theater games! The week will culminate in a Friday scene performance so students can showcase all they have learned.

Botany Blast

Have you ever wondered what type of tree is in your backyard? Or whether the berries you found on your hike would make a safe and tasty snack? If you want to learn more about the native plants of the Pacific Northwest, this hands-on course is for you! We will explore the Lakeside campus and nearby parks to learn about native plants and develop our species identification skills. Throughout the week, you will use classic botany techniques which could include plant rubbings, specimen pressings, descriptive observation, natural illustration, and watercolor to compile your very own personalized plant identification guide. We will also learn how to safely and responsibly forage so we can concoct a few unique native plant treats such as Douglas fir tip tea, wild berry jam, and even stinging nettle soup! 


Comics & Cartooning

In this week-long course, you will delve into the world of comics, cartoons, and visual storytelling. We will explore a wide variety of illustration styles through various reading selections, including classic comic strips, political cartoons, and excerpts from manga and graphic novels. We will then create our own cartoons and comics, practicing how to express character and emotion by combining words and pictures. No artistic skills are required for this course, though a passion for doodling is strongly encouraged!

CSI: Lakeside

What does it take to solve a crime? Put your skills to the test to see if you can figure out who did it. Learn how to determine the blood type of a blood sample, analyze fingerprints left at the scene, examine hair and fiber samples, learn about DNA, and study bones. Assemble your evidence by the end of the week to identify the culprit.

Data Science (Gr. 7-8)

Have you ever wondered how Amazon figures out what products to show you on their web page? Or how Netflix recommends movies they believe you are likely to see? These questions and many more can be answered by analyzing data. The more data you analyze, the better your answers will be. In this introductory course you will learn the science of interpreting large quantities of data and extracting useful information from it.


Students in this class will learn to present hot-button issues in a concise, clear, persuasive way through mock debates. They will learn how to organize ideas, write speeches, and present a line of reasoning. Have fun getting into friendly yet lively arguments about real-life issues!

Digital Music Production

Ever want to be a DJ? Do you find yourself dreaming up tunes and beats? In this class, you will learn the basics of music production and editing using Audacity, a digital audio workstation. Our week will culminate with a class party (dancing optional), in which we share our musical creations.

Digital World of Mathematics

Are you interested in Math, technology, and games? Here is the course you can experience all three and learn about critical concepts of Geometry and Algebra. You will use GeoGebra to make your favorite cartoon characters and craft other work of arts using Geometry concepts like functions, angles, polygons, transformations, and 2D/3D shapes. You will use Desmos to play games and solve puzzles by investigating and visualizing Algebra concepts. Come experience how fun it is to use technology in the world of Mathematics!

DNA to Disease

Where do diseases come from? How does the first person get them? How do they spread? Get ready to dive into the mysteries of biology and explore some big questions. From molecules to worldwide populations, be prepared to investigate the big-picture and microscopic aspects of biology in a completely hands-on and interactive way.


Drawing is the foundation of all art. During this action-packed week students will learn various techniques and complete a series of drawings and sketches. Skills covered will include drawing from life, value study, and incorporating the elements of design. Students will use a range of media, including pencil, ink, and charcoal. All levels of experience are welcome.

Epic Game Creation 1

Develop your own 3D game in the same engine used to create Fortnite! With Unreal's blueprints visual scripting system, you’ll design and modify complex locations, player characters, and objects. At the end of the class, you’ll be able to share your unique creation with your friends! Learning to build games with Unreal’s visual scripting system imparts high-level programming concepts and game design skills through a fun, accessible medium. Prerequisite: Students should have some basic previous exposure to programming languages (like Scratch or Python). 

Epic Game Creation 2

You’ve created a 3D game in Epic Game Development 1; now it’s time to take it to the next level! Spend some time getting a deeper understanding of what’s possible and how to bring your game closer to that “perfect” game in your imagination. You’ll dig into different aspects of Unreal’s blueprints scripting system with additional feedback and instruction. We'll provide you with opportunities to make the world of your game bigger, more complex, more polished…or all three! Continuing to work on your game allows you to experience what it’s like to keep track of, and focus deeply on, a large coding project. Prerequisite: Epic Game Design 1.


This interactive class takes campers through the process of creating a short film from scratch. The class covers storyboarding, recording, and basic editing. Students will learn the fundamental skills needed to create short films. No experience necessary, simply a creative mind and an interest in media production!

Flash Fiction Writing

Part narrative, part poetry, Flash Fiction (also known as Micro-fiction or Postcard Fiction) is a concise, intense, vivid narrative form. As these compact narratives typically contain fewer than 1000 words--and sometimes as few as six words--flash fiction writers understand that the juiciest, most compelling elements of the story arise from the details not included in the narrative. Over the week, students will read flash fiction written by authors such as Ernest Hemingway and Jamaica Kincaid. Using various examples as models and inspiration, students will create their own flash fiction stories across a variety of genres. 

Fun with Math

Enjoy math? Do you like to play with numbers?  In this class, you will explore many areas of mathematics by solving puzzles and playing games.  Some of these puzzles will be activities you can do on your own – great amusements to keep you enthralled for hours on a rainy day. Most, however, will be interactive, hands-on games that you and your classmates will play together.  Build your math and logic skills while you explore great math puzzles and games, some which have stumped people for generations and others which are completely new inventions.  Join us for some puzzle-solving fun!

Intro to Web Design

Explore the design and structure of web pages with an introduction to HTML, the internet’s fundamental programming language! You'll learn how to arrange content and insert text, images, and links into web pages. As you advance, you'll incorporate CSS to change fonts, add borders and colors, and much more. By the end of the course, you’ll create a web page of your own design as a final project!

Lego Robotics

Work in teams to build and program LEGO Mindstorms robots! Robots will use motors and sensors to drive around the room, navigate obstacles, and compete in a tournament at the end of the week. No prior building or programming experience required.

Mathematical Patterns and Designs

In describing mathematics, Richard Feynman once wrote, “If you want to learn about nature, to appreciate nature, it is necessary to understand the language that she speaks in.” In this course we will unpack some of the visual patterns to be found in mathematics and nature and use these to create two- and three-dimensional artwork. From Celtic Knots to Escher’s famous tessellations we will use patterns and designs to create eye-pleasing artwork as well as explore two- and three-point perspectives to imitate the illusion of the third dimension on paper.  We will turn post-it notes and playing cards into platonic solids and explore the delicate art of origami. We will also look at the Fibonacci Sequence as it applies to the fundamental rules of nature.


Color is such an exciting way to explore one’s creativity! Over the course of this week, students will learn the concepts of color mixing, color theory, and brush techniques. Painting both from observation and from their imaginations, students will explore multiple forms of media and complete a variety of fun projects. All levels of experience are welcome.

Pitch Perfect: Intro to Entrepreneurship

What makes a product fly off the shelf? How do internet “influencers” successfully market products? Why do people love slime videos so much? What is an “elevator pitch”? If you have wondered about the answers to these questions, this is the course for you! Using the design- thinking process, learn to create a product, build a marketing strategy, and pitch it to a panel of judges in a “Shark Tank”-like competition at the end of the week. 


Have you ever wanted to make your own greeting cards or wall art? Have fun exploring the many ways to create art through printmaking! Students will learn a variety of printmaking methods, including: stencils, reductive, additive, draw-through, and linocut.

Programming in Python

Create unique animations and video games with Python, a widely used general-purpose programming language! You'll start off with drag and drop lines of code, then get into editing individual lines as you learn to make projects your own. Each class introduces a new skill or concept with a new program to create. At the end of the class, you'll create a final program of your own design!


Science Fiction Writing

Do you have an interest in other worlds and technologies? Do you enjoy fiction that makes you ponder, "What if ...?" In this course, students will read works of science fiction and fantasy to understand how the two genres differ and where they overlap. Using these texts as models, students will create a fantastical realm, develop the characters that inhabit these unique worlds, and consider plot lines that invite the reader on an adventure propelled by the question: What if ...? 

Short Story Writing

Neil Gaiman wrote that short stories are “journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.” In this class, learn how to write an impactful short story using techniques established by well-known authors. Over the course of the week, you will read several short stories and write one of your own!

Thinking like a Mathematician

You may think of a professional mathematician as a pensive individual seated at their desk or standing over a board covered in complex mathematical symbols. In reality, everyone can think like a mathematician, as long as they are open to conjecture, exploration, ambiguity, and the formation of new ideas and connections.  Thinking like a Mathematician revisits elementary mathematical ideas through a new lens, not as formulas to remember but as naturally occurring truths which are all around us in the world.  This inquiry-based course will explore puzzling pictures, perplexing patterns, and powerful propositions. Come join us for some mathematical fun and discovery!

Wildlife Detectives

Which bird is waking you up before your alarm every morning? Whose tracks are in the mud? Who made those odd scrape marks on the tree- was it an elk rubbing the velvet from its antlers, a bear taking care of a bothersome itch, or a banana slug snacking on some lichen? During this course you will learn how wildlife biologists use investigative techniques to determine who was there and what they were doing-- even if the animals themselves are nowhere in sight! We’ll build field journals throughout the week and use our skills to challenge each other in solving wildlife mysteries. You’ll even sculpt and take home to-scale replicas of your favorite animals’ scat! By the end of this course, a stroll through a seemingly quiet and mundane forest will never feel the same. 

World Passport

Being “geographically literate” not only sounds cool and important but it is also a growing need in our globally connected world. Through a series of fun, hands-on activities, kids will learn more about physical features of planet Earth, developing cartography skills as they draft their own fantasy maps. Choosing a region of the world, they will learn political features such as countries and capitals, coming away with highly transferable and engaging study skills using technology, mnemonics, and games.

2020 Activities

Field Sports

Run off your post-lunch energy by playing field sports! With a focus on fun and teamwork, our activity leaders will organize and coach a different game every day. Games may include: dodge ball, kick ball, soccer, and capture-the-flag.

International Cooking

Through chef demonstrations and hands-on cooking, you’ll learn a variety of cooking skills. We will discuss basic cooking methods and tips, ingredient selection, and plating techniques. Around the world you will go, having fun while learning to cook the fresh, exciting flavors of Asia; iconic cuisines of the Americas; and the aromatic flavors found throughout the Mediterranean. Our cooking boot camp will culminate in a friendly group “top chef” competition on the final day of our journey!



Spend your afternoon playing with equipment from the Makerspace! You will use building materials such as craft sticks, corks, cardboard, dowels, hot glue and duct tape to engineer structures for friendly competitions. Projects may include designing a dream bedroom, building a dancing robot, or personalizing a stuffed animal. Each week will focus on different projects, so you are encouraged to sign up for multiple weeks.

Musical Theater

Come play with us as we learn and stage songs from classic musicals! We’ll work on healthy singing technique, as well as basic acting and staging. There will be opportunities to audition for solos and smaller ensembles for students for that are interested. At the end of the two weeks we’ll put on a camp-wide performance! No previous singing experience is required.

Textile Arts

This hands-on activity will introduce participants to the basics of knitting and other textile arts such as embroidery, macramé, and weaving. After exploring different art forms and materials, participants will create their very own projects to take home. We will also explore how different cultures throughout history have used these art forms in unique ways. All experiences levels and skill sets are welcome (including beginners with no previous experience!).  


Have an “om-mazing” time learning basic yoga poses, improving balance and flexibility, and practicing mindfulness in this fun-filled afternoon activity!