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embARC at UC Berkeley

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Ages: 15-18

Gender: Co-Ed

Type: Overnight/Residential

Physical & Mailing Address:
610 S Henderson Road
King of Prussia, PA US 19406

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embARC is an intensive, four-week summer design academy for high school students held at the College of Environmental Design (CED). Teens explore architecture, urban design and sustainable city planning at our camp through a series of lectures, field trips and design studios. Read More!

Information about embARC at UC Berkeley

embARC summer camp brings together teens from diverse backgrounds to study architecture, urban design and sustainable city planning through a series of workshops, lectures, field trips, and design studios. Participants complete the summer program with a clearer picture of the college experience, a design portfolio for college applications, and much more! With a locally-based project, students will have the opportunity to make first-hand observations of the area through numerous guided site visits, which will help inform the individual design proposals. Additionally, students will learn about the construction process through a hands-on design:build project in CED’s fabrication workshop. Working along trained professionals, students will build a full size structure for the benefit of a local community organization. Students who fulfill the course requirements will receive a letter grade for a 1-unit college course. Residential and commuter options are available.

Q & A with embARC

Q: What makes your camp or program unique?

A: embARC provides an opportunity to: Explore the fields of architecture, urban design and city planning prior to college admissions. Hone and develop professional and leadership skills through advanced coursework. Build an academic design portfolio to use when applying to college. Be immersed in the college culture and experience. Meet peers who have similar interests and work in a team environment. Work alongside design: build professionals and build a full sized structure to benefit the local community.

Q: Describe a typical day in your camp or program.

A: Classes are Monday – Friday from 9am – 4pm. The morning segment consists of lectures and planning workshops. After lunch, students will work with build professionals in our fabrication studio and immerse themselves in design during afternoon studio. Each week will include field trips and site visits throughout the Bay Area.

Q: What type of teenager participates in your camp or program?

A: All students who have completed their sophomore or junior year of high school by July 2014 and who are in good academic standing will be considered for the embARC Summer Design Academy. International students are encouraged to apply to the program. International students must enroll in the five-unit embARC course to receive their I-20 form to apply for a student visa.

Q: Where do your participants come from?

A: embARC welcomes all domestic and international high school students in their sophomore and junior year of high school.

Q: What is the housing like and what can you tell us about the meals?

A: Students living near the UC Berkeley campus may opt to commute to embARC as a day program. For non-local students, it is mandatory that students either secure housing through our campus partner, Polychrome International (DBA Sesame Consulting), or reside with a local guardian, relative or someone officially sanctioned in writing by the student’s parent prior to arrival. The College of Environmental Design partners with Polychrome International (DBA Sesame Consulting) to manage the residential component of the embARC program. The cost of housing covers overnight accommodation in the student dormitories on campus, a 88-point meal plan (approximately 11 prepaid meals per week) in the campus dining halls, supervision at all times (24 hours per day, 7 days per week), weekend excursions off-campus and organized evening activities if students have completed their classroom/studio assignments.

Q: Please describe what teens have to say about your program.

A: "This program guided my first attempts to design, model and draft my perception.... I had found a voice and a spunk within me that I did not know I possessed." - Meixi L., embARC Alumna

Q: Any other information you think teens should know about your program?

A: Students who fulfill the course requirements will receive Berkeley credit for a one-unit course and an official UC Berkeley transcript upon course completion. All classes are held at the College of Environmental Design at Wurster Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. For more FAQ, please visit:

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