The BPIE Summer Program, 2021

The BPIE Summer Program, 2021

Summer Laboratory Program

The Physics Department of the University California Berkeley is pleased to 
introduce a newly developed experimental physics summer program designed specifically for elite STEM undergraduate international scholars seeking training in laboratory science. The Berkeley Physics International Education (BPIE) Summer Laboratory Program will have students perform 5-6 lab modules in mechanics remotely, using specially designed lab kits. The experiments will have an emphasis on experimental design, error minimization, calibration, and data collection. The Berkeley Physics Department is offering this summer program in collaboration with the Study Abroad Foundation (SAF).


BPIE Summer Session 1 

July 25-August 13, 2021:  Mechanics
For Summer 2021 we are offering a single three-week session focusing on Mechanics labs.


Why Berkeley Physics?

The University of California Berkeley is the world’s #1 public university, with 22 Nobel Laureates having called it home.  The Berkeley Physics Department is consistently ranked among the top four worldwide.  The summer program will utilize the lab kits and resources developed by the department in the wake of precautions taken during the pandemic.  These kits are based on the Department’s state of the art undergraduate teaching laboratories and allow students to develop real lab skills without needing to enter the lab space.  The program will also provide opportunities to interact with the Department’s distinguished faculty and to take virtual tours of the research laboratories where cutting-edge physics is being done.


Program Details:

The summer 2021 version of the BPIE Summer Laboratory Program will be a single intensive three-week program Mondays through Fridays.  A typical day in the program includes four hours of guided lab work, four hours of independent lab work, and 4-5 hours of events and opportunities to interact with members of the Berkeley physics community.  In this program, students will have the opportunity develop experimental design, data analysis, and research skills first-hand as they conduct self-directed experiments into springs, oscillations and waves culminating in a capstone project of the student’s own design.  Students will also receive virtual tours of selected research labs on the Berkeley campus and have opportunities to interact with UC Berkeley faculty and current students. 


Who is the Right Candidate?  

The BPIE Summer Laboratory Program for 2021 is ideal for students who want to 1) enhance their experimental skills and academic independence and 2) may be interested in graduate school in physics at some point in the future, and thus want to learn more about the research environment in a top-tier US university.  We recommend that students have at least one year of university-level physics prior to attending the program.  While this program is primarily designed for college and university students, under certain circumstances, including the completion of a year of calculus-based physics, advanced high school students will also be considered.  


The Kits 

In response to the pandemic, in Spring 2020 the Physics Department began development of Lab Kits for our honors lower division laboratory courses (Physics 5BL and 5CL).  The kits are designed to enable students working remotely to perform most of the same experiments as they would have in the lab.  The key piece of equipment is a compact data-gathering device known as the ioLab which wirelessly connects to software via a USB stick.  The ioLab has built-in sensors to measure a range of quantities such as force, acceleration, velocity, displacement, rotation, light, sound, temperature, pressure, magnetic field, and internal voltmeters for electronics experiments. Supplementing the ioLab are a weight set, analog measurement devices, various springs, surfaces for friction experiments, and other materials to allow students to recreate the lab experience at home.  With these kits, participants in the BPIE Summer Laboratory Program will be able to gain valuable lab experience with a focus on experimental design.  The kits will enable participants to design unique and innovative capstone experiments at the conclusion of the program.



Applications for the Berkeley Physics International Education (BPIE) Summer Laboratory Program are open now. Apply here.



Inquiries regarding group enrollment should be directed to: