Summer Odyssey

Summer Odyssey challenges the intellect, stretches the imagination, and emboldens the talent of every student who attends our unique two-week program. 

Our innovative, STEAM-focused program is designed for students, grades 3–9, from Marin County's public and independent schools.

Summer Odyssey classes are held on our beautiful 80-acre campus in San Rafael, just a few minutes away from HWY 101 and easily accessible via public transportation. 

Summer Odyssey is a two-week camp, where students have the option of either enrolling in a full day (two courses per day) or a half day (once course per day). Each course lasts the entire two weeks, culminating in an Open House event on the last day of camp where the students have the opportunity to present their work to family and friends.  

What I loved most about Summer Odyssey is that we got to make real working robots!" — Finley Robinson, grade 5. 

Summer 2020 Schedule

See what's in store for your children this summer!

Entering grades 3-4
Instructor: Beth Kraft

Join us as we explore the simple beauty of combining art techniques with science phenomena. We’ll explore color, light, and shadows while learning about the physical science properties of each phenomenon. Our gallery of activities will be on display during Open House.

Entering grades 3-4
Instructor: Libby Silvestri

Be a part of the outrageous adventures of the famous explorer, Marco Polo, as we chart our journey east from Venice through places like present-day Turkey, Israel, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Sri Lanka, China, and Japan. A bounty of hands-on projects will enable you to soak in the ancient technologies, arts, foods, languages, and philosophies that made this man's experiences so rich. Discover why The Journals of Marco Polo was one of the most mind-blowing and sought after books of its time.

Entering grades 3-5
Instructor: Beth Kraft

As long as there have been people, there have been stories. We are surrounded by stories every day. Storytelling is an ancient and valuable art that extends around the globe. In this class, students will discover the origin of familiar stories, develop their own storytelling talents, create storytelling guides, and apply storytelling techniques to their own stories that they will perform in front of others.

Through story, students will learn about diverse cultures from around the world and what we share in common with the others. Students will explore using different tones and volume of voice as well as facial expression and body language to bring forth emotion and action into the story.

Entering grades 3-5
Instructor: Brian Nielsen

Design and create simple machines and then infuse technology to make your machine work for you. We will program a micro-controller and wire small motors to our projects. We will finish the Summer Odyssey Engineering and Design class by building a robot that the kids can take home! 

Entering grades 4-5
Instructor: Libby Silvestri

Yes, we will! At the exciting risk of getting marinara sauce in our yarn, we will enjoy the delight and deliciousness of cooking while learning how to crochet! What's on the menu? Thought you'd never ask! Pizza, soup, cookies, salads, salsa, bread to name a few! And while cooking away and because wait time is a key factor for any chef, we will be getting our crafty on with the crocheting fever! Endless possibilities are just beyond this kitchen door!

Entering grades 4-7
Instructor: Eliott Rodgers

Learn to “thaw your voice” while having fun and building self-confidence. Participants will learn the techniques and skills necessary for engaging in public speaking (like a TED talk). We’ll use microphones, with headsets, to “make it real” while creating, and presenting, our improv skits.

Entering grades 4-7
Instructor: Luis A. Santos

Appropriate for learners at all levels of computer knowledge, this project-based class is designed for students who want to express themselves and have fun using computers and digital tools. We will cover the basics of graphic design, page layout and simple animation using the same editing tools graphic design professionals use. Students will work with Adobe Creative Suite software (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash and Premier) to develop their own creative projects.

I really liked my instructor because he was so good at explaining things and helped me learn how to understand Adobe Photoshop in just two weeks." — Jack William, grade 7

Entering grades 4-7
Instructor: Ron Pembleton

How would you like to build and launch a real rocket? From paper airplanes to plastic bottle rockets, you will learn the principles of flight and put them into action. You’ll construct your own solid-fuel rockets from Estes kits and launch them into space. You’ll learn to determine just how high your rocket could go, and the best way to bring it back. This class is always a real blast!

Entering grades 5-8
Instructor: Ron Pembleton

Have you ever wondered how machines work? When you pull on a lever, why does a light turn on? How do gears turn a wheel in a car? Or, have you always wanted to create a wacky contraption like shown on “Wallace and Gromit” episodes? During these two weeks, students will create amazing contraptions that will make a simple task (turning on a light switch) much more complicated and based on scientific principles involving mechanical advantage, work, and energy. Our week one challenges will be to build a complex machine from simple machine parts (like wheels, levers, pulleys and more). Our week two challenge will be to build a machine that takes up an entire room and will be displayed for viewing pleasure during the open house on our final Friday.

Entering grades 6-8
Instructor: Bryan Nielsen

A course for beginning and intermediate film students. We will make 3 films during the two weeks. Students will learn the elements that make up a good film by analyzing the works(rated PG) of Stephen Spielberg, Ron Howard, Penny Marshall, and George Lucas. Students will learn composition and framing, how to capture emotion with a variety of shots, and how to edit their films. The class will end with a mini film festival where students will share their best composition with the rest of the camp.

Entering grades 6-9
Instructor: Jennifer Lipson

Artists work in so many different mediums — how do you decide which one is your favorite? The answer is you have to try them all! For two weeks we will transform the classroom into a vibrant art studio as we explore ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking, and collage. We will look at works by famous artists, fill a sketchbook, learn a variety of artist’s tricks and techniques, and use many different tools and materials as you create your Summer Odyssey art portfolio.

Entering grades 6-9
Instructor: Micah Franks

Join the games renaissance. Strategy has taken a new visage over the last 20 years. Come and practice mathematical planning, probability, and abstract experimentation, while engaging in the social milieu of positive sportsmanship and fun. Follow your imagination into the study of anthropology and history with eurogames like Carcassonne, Settlers of Cataan, Cyclades, and Dominion. Exercise your creative streak with Magic: The Gathering, and Eclipse. Build your own game together with friends, or bring your own favorites to play and analyze.

Entering grades 6-9
Instructor: Eliott Rodgers

Students will participate in a Mock Trial. Each student will assume the role of either judge, attorney, witness, or jury. Each student will learn basic processes of court proceedings: establishing evidence, conducting interviews, making legal arguments, and ensuring a just resolution to each issue examined. Each student will work in a collaborative setting for each element of the actual trial. Students will learn a formal debate procedure used in the courtroom. The last day of class, the jury will decide — guilty or not.

Entering grades 7-9
Instructor: Joe Dines

This course is for all students who want to write creative, engaging screenplays. As part of this hands-on course, students will consider the classic three-act structure; examine what makes dialogue work; develop characters through their actions; and learn how to compress a plot and how to reveal character through images, symbols, and motifs. 

Students will present a completed scene from their screenplay on the final day of class. Note: as part of the class we’ll watch scenes from G-rated to PG-13 movies. Students are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet on which to write and to have a g-mail address prior to the first day of class.

Admissions Process, Tuition and Fees

Students are selected based on academic performance, creativity, talent and a desire to explore and learn. Scholarships and sibling discounts are available. 

Please complete and submit the Summer Odyssey Admissions Packet by Friday, May 29, 2020.

Your child's submission packet should include:

  • The completed application form (link coming soon)
  • A sample of the student's work, such as creative writing, art project, or science experiment. 
  • A teacher recommendation form, completed and sent by the teacher. (link coming soon)
  • A scholarship application (optional) (link coming soon)

Tuition and Fees

Two-week, full-day:  $925 ($890 tuition, plus a $35 non-refundable registration fee). 
Two-week, half-day:  $480 ($445 tuition plus a $35 non-refundable registration fee).

  • 10 percent sibling discount
  • Lunch is available for an additional $100


Funds are available based on financial need. Please submit an Odyssey Program Scholarship Application (link coming soon), along with a $50 non-refundable deposit. 

Application and Payment Deadline

Friday, May 29, 2020  

2020 Summer Program Dates

July 27-August 7, 2020 
Full-day sessions: Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Morning sessions: Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. - noon
Afternoon sessions: Monday-Friday: 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.


All classes take place on the Dominican campus

Frequently Asked Questions

The curriculum builds over the two-week period, so it is not recommended that you attend for only one week. 

All courses are taught by credentialed teachers and/or professionals in their field. 

Unfortunately, the registration fee in non refundable. 

Absolutely! Students participate a twice-daily recess scheduled during morning and afternoon classes. Students enrolled for a full day eat lunch in the campus dining hall. 

A typical lunch includes a main course, such as pasta, along with a salad, fruit, dessert, and drink. We make accommodations for gluten-free requests. All meals are prepared in a nut-free environment.

The Open House is an opportunity for students to share their work completed during the two-week Summer Odyssey program. The Open House is not mandatory, but we do encourage friends and family to attend. 

Program Contact Info.

Odyssey Staff

Mailing Address

Odyssey Programs
50 Acacia Ave.
San Rafael, CA 94901

Contact Us

(415) 485-3255


sports camps

Dominican Athletics Sports Camps

Also offered at Dominican, children ages 6-14 can enroll in sports camps including basketball, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball and multi-sports. Campers train with college-level coaches and Dominican student athletes in the morning, followed by swimming in our gorgeous outdoor pool in the afternoon. Lunch included!

Learn More About Sports Camps