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Desert Sun Science Center

The Desert Sun School no longer operates as a college preparatory boarding school.  It has been renamed the Desert Sun Science Center -- home to Astrocamp.

For the most part, the Desert Sun campus remains the same as most alumni would remember it. Some buildings are vacant and the dormitories and several other buildings have been renamed.  A few classrooms have been transformed into space ship replicas and science learning centers. Science equipment and astronomy murals can be seen around the campus. An indoor swimming pool has been added as an annex to the gymnasium and the outdoor swimming pool has been shut down.  Horse stables no longer exist -- a mountain climbing rope course has been erected in its place.  The lodge is mostly unchanged and still serves as a dining hall.  Below are some pictures of the campus -- shot between 1998 and 2004.  Chick on the small images to see larger ones:


Upper Back of Anderson.jpg (120386 bytes)

Gymnasium.jpg (77250 bytes)

The Lodge Exterior.jpg (121994 bytes)


The Lodge Interior.jpg (102740 bytes)


lodge_roof.jpg (66144 bytes)

lodge_burns1.jpg (65306 bytes)

lodge_burns2.jpg (51876 bytes)

fireplace.jpg (62063 bytes)

Tahquitz peak 1.jpg (68941 bytes)

From Lodge deck.jpg (131594 bytes)

(The Desert Sun School alumni web site in not affiliated with Guided Discoveries, Inc., the Desert Sun Science Center or Astrocamp)

The Desert Sun School currently operates under the name Desert Sun Science Center. The campus hosts school programs, summer camps, special retreats, and youth conferences. The Desert Sun Science Center is operated by a nonprofit organization called Guided Discoveries, which also operates the Catalina Island Marine Institute and owns a number of California properties.

(The Desert Sun School alumni web site in not affiliated with Guided Discoveries, Inc., the Desert Sun Science Center or Astrocamp)

The Desert Sun Science Center is the home of Astrocamp, a physical and earth sciences program with an emphasis on astronomy and the exploration of the universe. Students in grades 4 through 12 learn about the mysteries of the heavens through hands-on experiments and study. Kids also have access to a variety of high-powered telescopes, video telescopes and giant binoculars. Students are bused in with chaperones from both private and public schools.  For more information on Astrocamp, see the following Los Angeles Times newspaper articles:

Elementary Discoveries
May 16, 1993

Lost in Space
March 26, 1998

(The Desert Sun School alumni web site in not affiliated with Guided Discoveries, Inc., the Desert Sun Science Center or Astrocamp)

A few years before DSS/TEPPS closed its doors in the Fall of 1990, the school had formed an alliance with the Idyllwild Arts Academy (formerly the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, ISOMATA).  Idyllwild Arts Academy students attended classes and received academic diplomas at TEPPS while attending art and music classes at the Arts Academy.  When DSS/TEPPS shut down, some TEPPS students transferred to the Arts Academy, which had established its own academic program just one year before TEPPS closed.  Two years later, the Idyllwild Arts Academy's academic program was officially accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.  For more information on the Idyllwild Arts Academy's accreditation, see the following Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper article that also references the Elliott-Pope closure:

Arts academy goes forward while crisis hits education
November 1, 1992 

The Idyllwild Arts Academy still operates as an accredited boarding school for the arts.  The school offers a college preparatory program emphasizing fine and performing arts for students in grades 8-12 and post-graduates, as well as a summer program.  Majors include creative writing, dance, interdisciplinary arts, music, theatre, video, film or multimedia.  The Academy admits students on the basis of auditions or portfolios, as well as their academic records, teacher references, and the ability to succeed in an intensive arts environment.

Last Updated: 06/12/03
Copyright © 1998 David Gotfredson