Technology & Innovation Workshop in the Silicon Valley,

DATES & TUITION: July 22 – July 30, 2018, $5,390

Join a diverse group of students, instructors, and National Geographic experts at the University of California, Berkeley—our base for exploring Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Settle into our dormitory and get to know your group during a campus tour. For more information, click here.

Throughout the program we will explore three core themes: Technology for Social Change, Computer Coding and Software Design, and Unleashing Creativity. National Geographic experts will join the group to deliver keynote presentations about their innovative work, and to participate in an activity related to their areas of expertise. Each day begins with a lively, discussion-based seminar followed by a hands-on workshop or field project to further examine and apply what we’ve learned. Innovation labs at local universities, start-ups, and tech companies will serve as our classroom as we explore how technology is propelling us into the future.

Explore the intersection of science and global problem-solving at area research institutes. Visit Stanford’s Center for Ocean Solutions, which is developing new DNA technology that can identify the flora and fauna inhabiting a vast marine ecosystem by analyzing a single drop of sample water. Learn about the Foldscope, an affordable and lightweight origami microscope designed by National Geographic Emerging Explorer Manu Prakash that can be readily distributed to aspiring scientists across the globe; then experiment with this tool in the field, collecting data that can be used for local research projects. Delve into biotechnology during a visit to the laboratories of Shannon Turley, one of the Bay Area’s top cancer immunologists. Learn about the latest revelations in cancer research and drug development, and hear from a diverse group of scientists on how they are using advanced technologies in genomics, protein chemistry, computational biology, and more to change the future of medicine.

Get a firsthand look at the inner workings of small startups in the Bay Area during a visit to Rainforest Connection, run by software engineer and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Topher White. While volunteering in Borneo, Topher hatched an idea to convert old cell phones into monitoring devices for illegal logging and poaching. Hack one of the donated phones and reprogram it with help from Topher’s team. Then, join an experienced climber in scaling a tree in a nearby forest, and practice installing the converted tracking device. We’ll also visit the Berkeley lab of National Geographic Explorer David Lang, creator of the OpenROV—an affordable underwater drone designed to enhance our collective understanding of the underwater world.

Visit the headquarters of Google for a behind-the-scenes look at this powerhouse of digital technology. Tour the campus and learn the latest on the company’s ambitious projects, like self-driving cars. Then attend a tech talk by a team of Google Education engineers who are developing software that allows students to virtually explore the globe alongside National Geographic explorers via the new Google Earth Voyager platform. Meet designers specializing in digital mapping, and create an interactive map for a mobile phone.

Throughout the week, learn the building blocks of computer programming from coding wizards and unlock the secrets of creating your own app. Then, collaborate with a Stanford creativity coach to generate ideas for innovation, and use what you have learned during the program to develop your own solutions to an issue that motivates you.

Take breaks from seminars to explore the San Francisco Bay Area. Wander the world-class Exploratorium on the San Francisco waterfront, cruise the bay for a unique view of the Golden Gate Bridge, hike through soaring redwood forests, or lay back and enjoy the spectacular beaches along California’s golden coast.

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