Science Link

animated_volcano As a strategy to prepare students for higher learning through improving and broadening academic accomplishment in science, math, ecology and technology, Science Link will bring quality science/ecology/environmental education and hands-on activities to students in our local after-school programs serving elementary and middle school youth from low-income families as measured by their eligibility to qualify for the National School Lunch Program.

The Science Link Project will serve students from diverse communities identified in low socio-economic areas with a 50% or more student population eligible for the National School Lunch Program. Of those, ten schools in different geographical areas of San Diego County will be selected who have a high percentage of students scoring below 50th percentile in Math and Science.

The Science Link Project is developed to prepare students for higher learning and in response to the lack of comprehensive Science education in schools and inadequate training opportunities for teachers outside of their core subject specialties. According to The California Council on Science and Technology (2010), California's students perform below par for the nation in science: the most recent national assessment of 5th graders showed 50% of California students scored at or below basic proficiency in the subject - only Mississippi had a higher percentage of students below basic proficiency. Little science is taught in California's elementary schools; in one recent survey, 80% of K-6 teachers reported spending 60 minutes or less per week on science; and 16% indicated they spend no time at all on science. Many schools are placing a strong focus on literacy for students and teacher trainings. In San Diego very few elementary teachers have strong science backgrounds or continued science training, and as a result, many students are never exposed to inquiry-based, hands-on science and ecology. The lack of science and math proficiency greatly hinders students' potential to succeed in higher education and fields of study such as technology, engineering and the sciences. The Children's Initiative currently provides training and technical assistance (in the areas of outcome evaluation, curriculum and program development, parent and community involvement, and businesses partnerships) to more than 300 after-school programs serving more than 41,000 children and youth. The Science Link Project will build upon this experience and existing relationships with schools and community partners to support the following measurable outcomes:

  • Increased academic accomplishment in science and math;
  • Increased access to quality science/ecology and environmental enrichment activities;
  • Increased connections among science/ecology and environmental based programs and businesses and after school programs; and
  • Documented satisfaction of parents, teachers, students and program partners with the Science Link Project.

Partially funded by: Nordson Corporation, Beckman Coulter, U.S. Bank and Cubic Corporation.