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Summer Biology Camp 2017



A-Star Summer Biology Camp is a unique opportunity for interested and talented students to improve their Biology knowledge and skills during summer season. Students are guided and trained by an expert faculty via utilizing national and international competitions in a fun and challenging environment. Lectures are given by A-Star Faculty and other instructors who have participation/training experience in national/international Physics competitions and Olympiads such as USA Biology Olympiads (USABO) and the International Biology Olympiads (IBO).

Orange County


July 5 - July 21, 2017; 15 instructional days, including Saturdays 7/8 and 7/15


University of California, Irvine

Registration and Payment

Please click on the course name below to register:

Residential option is available for students above 12. Younger students will be considered only when they have exceptional math skills and personal maturity.

For further registration-related questions: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fees and Deadlines

Please see the following table for camp tuitions and deadlines:

Day Camp
Early Registration - $150 OFF
April 1 $2,100 $4,050
Regular Registration May 1 $2,250 $4,200
Late Registration - $150 FEE
June 1 $2,400 $4,350

See Refund and Cancellation policy here.


  • $1,250 OFF if the student has participated in A-STAR courses/camps since June 2016 in Bay Area and registers for 2017 Summer Biology Camp as a residential student. May not be combined with other discounts.
  • $250 OFF if the student has participated in A-STAR courses/camps since June 2016 in Bay Area and registers for 2017 Summer Biology Camp as a day camper.
  • $150 OFF if the student has participated in A-STAR courses/camps since June 2016. Registrations must be completed by April 1, 2017. After April 1st, the discount amount will be $75.
  • $150 OFF if the student has one of the following achievements in 2015 or 2016: (1) PiMC 2nd round invitee, (2) AMC 8 distinguished honor roll, (3) MathCounts state finals - in top 25% of individuals, (4) USA(J)MO qualifier, or (5) USACO Platinum contestant.
  • $50 OFF for each child's registration including the first one.
  • $50 OFF if also registered for this year's A-STAR Summer Math or Computer Science Camp.
  • No discounts during late registration period.

Daily Schedule

Typical daily schedule (Monday - Saturday) is as follows:

7:30-8:30 Breakfast (for residential program)
8:30-9:00 Student Drop Off (for day program)
9:00-12:15 Biology Classes
12:15-1:45 Lunch and activities (Lunch will be provided)
1:45-5:00 Biology Classes
5:00-5:30 Student Pick up (for day program)
5:30-7:00 Dinner (for residential program)
7:00-8:00 Indoor/Outdoor Activities (for residential program)
8:30-9:30 Study Hour (for residential program)
10:30 Sleep Time (for residential program)

Day program students must follow the schedule between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Activities: In A-Star programs, activities are carefully selected, and we have the following types of activities that contribute to student improvement:

  • Strategy, board, and math games to improve analytical reasoning, visual perception, and logical deduction skills
  • Math and science-oriented team competitions
  • Outdoor sports and activities to improve the team spirit
  • (Residential Camps only) Educational / entertaining field trips to places such as Universal Studios - Hollywood, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and university campus visits (Caltech, UCLA, etc).
  • (Residential Camps only) Trips are held on Sundays (based on availability for day students, may require extra fee).

Residential Students

Check in/out times for residential students:

  • check-in: July 4, 2017 (Tuesday), 2:00 - 6:00 pm
  • check-out: July 22, 2017 (Saturday), 11:00 am

Housing: On-campus residence hall facilities provide clean and comfortable accommodations in double occupancy rooms with traditional-style hall bathrooms. A weekly linen exchange service is included. UCI's dining commons are located in or near the residence halls and offer an impressive variety of nutritious cuisines for many dietary needs and preferences. For more information about the housing service: http://conferencecenter.uci.edu/event-planning-resources/event-types/summer-conferences/


From Los Angeles International Airport (LAX):

Go to the blue SuperShuttle van stop outside the baggage claim area and tell the driver you need a van to UC Irvine. Use SuperShuttle vans with "Orange Country" written across the top

  • Fare
    • Single: $45 one way
    • Additional passengers (up to 9): $9 per person
  • Pay driver upon arrival
    • Accepts cash or credit card
  • Runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Can make reservation on website

Use Shuttle2LAX. You will find them in Ground Transportation outside of baggage claim area.

  • Fare
    • $20
  • Pay online
  • Runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Can make a reservation on website.

From John Wayne/Orange County Airport: Take a taxi from the airport to UCI. The fare should be about $18.00, plus tip.




Levels and Curriculum

Introductory Level: The Introductory Bio course aims to prepare students with little to only basic high school knowledge of biology to take the USABO Open exam. This training course selects the subjects most topical to the Biology Olympiad exam, but may correlate poorly with standard school curricula.

1. Chemistry of Life

a. Basic Principles of Chemistry

b. Water

c. Carbon

d. Macromolecules

2. Cells and Communication

a. Organelles

b. Cell Communication

c. Cellular Respiration

d. Photosynthesis

3. Genetics

a. Mitosis and Meiosis

b. Mendelian Genetics

c. Chromosomal Inheritance

d. Population Genetics

4. Molecular Biology

a. Gene to Protein

b. Regulation of Gene Expression

c. Genomics

d. Biotechnology and Methods

5. Plants

a. Plant Systematics

b. Plant Growth and Nutrition

c. Plant Reproduction and Life Cycles

d. Plant Hormones

6. Anatomy and Physiology

a. Digestive System

b. Circulatory and Respiratory System

c. Excretory System

d. Immune System

e. Endocrine System

7. Animal Development

a. Reproductive System

b. Animal Development

c. Comparative Anatomy

d. Animal Systematics

8. Neurobiology and Ethology

a. Cellular Neurobiology

b. Whole System Neurobiology

c. Skeletal Muscular System

d. Ethology (Animal Behavior)

9. Ecology

a. Population Ecology

b. Community Ecology

c. Ecosystem Ecology

d. Quantitative Ecology


Advanced Level: A more advanced USABO Prep course aimed at getting students up to the level of national finalists and moving beyond what is traditionally covered in Basic Undergraduate level Biology courses. This will delve into more intricate topics in

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Botany
  • Evolutionary Biology

Students are expected to have at the minimum AP Biology and AP Chemistry knowledge for this level.



Camp Faculty

Kevin Bao


- B.A. Candidate in Integrative Biology at Harvard University
- 3 Time USA Biology Olympiad Finalist (2013; 2014 Bronze Medal; 2015 Silver Medal)
- National Science Olympiad Winner (Champion Team 2014, 2015; Anatomy & Physiology National Winner 2014)



Peter Dun


- B.A. Candidate in Biology and Computer Science at Stanford University
- International Biology Olympiad (2015 Gold, 2016 Gold, 2015- 2nd place worldwide ranking)
- 3 Time USA Biology Olympiad Finalist (2014, 2015, 2016)