Welcome to Project Crystal Code! During this virtual program, you are invited to help UC Irvine, Crystal Cove State Park, and Crystal Cove Conservancy study the best way to restore Moro Canyon.  Project Crystal Code participants will learn about the real-life challenges we face in protecting Moro Canyon and how we can use technology to address them as you investigate scientific questions, design a computer model, explore how to code an environmental sensor, analyze data, and finally create a recommendation for Crystal Cove State Park.

The program, designed to address Next Generation Science Standards for middle school, addresses concepts such as decomposition, modeling, coding, and how we can use science ideas to protect our wild places.  It is divided into twelve sessions, which consist of 60-90 minutes of investigations, including an optional Explore at Home extension.

How to Join

Program materials are available below.  You are welcome to work through them at your own pace!

If you are a teacher and would like to run Project Crystal Code through your own online learning platform, please complete this survey and let us know!  Teacher resources are available here.


Program Overview


Session 1: Welcome to Moro Canyon


Session 2:  Moro Canyon’s Changing Landscape


Session 3: Introduction to Our Research Project


Session 4: Investigating Decomposition


Session 5: Designing a Model


Session 6: Making a Hypothesis & Designing the Experiment


Session 7: Building Circuits


Session 8: Learning to Code


Session 9: Coding a Soil Moisture Sensor


Session 10: Collecting & Recording Data


Session 11: Analyzing Data


Session 12: Making a Recommendation

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