An Independent School • Grades 5-12

Investigative Learning Camp

Classes are designed for campers entering grades 5 – 8 and are open to students from any school.

Exploration and play lead to serious learning at Lakeside's Investigative Learning Camp. Students entering grades 5-8 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 8 – July 19, 2019
Session 2: July 22 – August 2, 2019

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.

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. 

2019 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.

App Lab

Students discover the creative process of designing and coding their very own apps with App Lab. No programming experience needed to learn this block based coding platform. Students will quickly learn how to code with JavaScript to create small applications that live on the web. Through the creation of an original app, students will explore fundamental computer science concepts such as conditional statements, event handling, and effective user interface and design principles. Don’t just use an app, create one!

Computer Game Creation

Students in this course will get a peek into the world of game development. Through building classic arcade-style games in the vein of Super Mario or Space Invaders, students will explore fundamental game design and logic principles. No experience required!

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!


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.


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.


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!

Gene Jam

Do you look just like the rest of your family or very different? Have you ever wondered why people have the traits that they do? Take an active role in learning about DNA and genetics in this hands-on course. Throughout the week students will explore what genes do and how they work. By the end of the week students will apply their knowledge to create the genome of their own fictional creature.

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 Mysteries

In this course we will reach for the infinite and zoom into the infinitesimal.  We will examine why the numerical landscape is filled with odd and irrational characters and what makes them unique. We will ask questions about prime numbers and use them to reach for unsolved mathematical mysteries.  We will examine turbulent history of numbers and see how they evolved to the form they take today, all while exploring some of the fundamental questions of mathematics such as: How far away is infinity?  What is the smallest number?  How many numbers are there?  Where does pi come from?

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.

Medical Mysteries

Are you interested in health, medicine, or physiology?  If so, this is the class for you!  Throughout the week, you will do hands-on investigations focusing on different body systems.  Each day you get to explore different organs, conduct labs to see how they work, attempt to build working models, and put your problem-solving skills to the test to diagnose patients with mystery ailments.  Get ready to grab your clipboard and put on your doctor's coat!  

Real-World Math

“When will we use this?”  Have you ever wondered why you need to know the math you learn in school?  In this class, we will explore some of the fascinating and important ways real people use math in their professions.  We will learn how mathematicians model real-life situations, looking at everything from climate change to wildlife population management to map-making to earthquake preparation.  Learn how the Greeks used math to figure out the circumference of the earth over 2000 years ago, or figure out where Sound Transit should locate their stations to best serve the most people.  At the same time, we will see how everyone, even people who don’t use math in their jobs, rely on math for everything from cooking to money-management. 


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.


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

Python is a popular programming language used for various purposes, such as data analysis and building apps and games. Its relative simplicity makes it a great language for beginners in coding. In this course, students learn the basics of Python with both drag and drop and line-based coding. Awesome animations, video games and graphic art all come together with this diverse programming language and the easy to interface. Ultimately, the course aims to expose students to the joys of coding and enhance their computational thinking.

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 ...? 


If you can dream it, you can make it! Students will explore the world of sculpture through clay, paper, wire and felt. Students will have fun while learning different sculpture techniques and mediums. They will create a variety of 3D art projects such as reliefs, animals, food, vessels, and more! 

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!

Java for 7th & 8th Graders

Java is a premier programming language in the industry today, used in everything from data centers to game consoles to cell phones. An intensive introduction to Java, this course spans both morning class blocks for the entire two-week session of camp. Through building classic arcade-style games like Space Invaders and Flappy Bird, students will learn how to implement features such as player control, collision detection, and scoring. Towards the end of the course, students design and program their own unique game. They will leave this class with the foundation needed to succeed in future programming classes. 

2019 Activities

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!

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.


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.


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

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.