Science is Elementary brings exciting hands-on science experiments and engineering projects to 3500 low income kids in Silicon Valley. Our students come from families without resources to send them to science camps or even go to museums. Our program increases knowledge of, and positive attitudes to, science: our students are 45% more likely to want to continue their science studies in middle school (compared to peers) and 50% more likely to want to work in a STEM field.
Achievement gaps between underrepresented minorities and whites in STEM fields begin in kindergarten and persist at least until 8th grade. At the same time, teachers spend less time on science than they did (2010 vs 1998) and report that they are ill prepared to teach science, and don't have enough resources to do so (WestEd 2013). Consequently, only 44% of California principals believe it is likely that a student would receive high-quality science instruction in his or her school.
Our staff are scientists who are also experienced teachers. Our volunteer scientists & engineers facilitate experiments & serve as mentors. We create a comprehensive curriculum. Results: our students are 20% more likely to say that science is fun, 50% more likely to say that they are good at science, and 45% more likely to want to study more compared to students who have not participated in our program. Our students increase their science knowledge by 60-80% every year.
Scientific thinking skills are crucial in our increasingly technological society. Students will become adults who can formulate questions, understand data, and argue from evidence. They will communicate effectively with their doctors, and collaborate with their colleagues. Additionally, STEM jobs offer higher pay and the opportunity for students to significantly increase their opportunities.