Overview of Program(s)

Dr. Ernest E. Just Saturday Science Academy
and Summer Marine Science Program

The program, which began nearly 20 years ago as a one-day excursion to the Bolsa Chica Conservancy, has expanded vertically and horizontally. First moving to a summer program, then adding a year-round component, and more recently adding elementary and high school components.

The 100% FREE program seeks to address the gross underrepresentation of women and minorities in the STEM industry. In addition, it is designed to address the identified barriers of stigma, racial isolation, relatedness, and a sense of belonging.

The program currently serves approximately 100 youth of color annually, provides over 200 hours of face-to-face engagement on various STEM disciplines and topics (physical, earth, and life sciences), and exposes youth to STEM careers and academic tracks. A key theme is “What they see; they can be,” so the program is richly populated with women and minority instructors and field practitioners.

SATURDAY SCIENCE ACADEMY

  • Lessons are hands-on, inquiry-based, and augmented with a field trip providing students with real-world applications. Subject matter includes Aerospace Science, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Human Anatomy, Computer Science, Energy Technology, Transportation, Engineering, and Marine Biology.

SUMMER MARINE SCIENCE CAMP

  • Classroom instruction is led by Marine Science faculty from USC and UCSD/Scripps Institute field trips provide an opportunity to travel aboard a ship and learn about marine exploration. Students perform field exploration activities and learn concepts in math and science.

Lessons are hands-on, inquiry-based, and augmented with a field trip providing students with real-world applications. Subject matter includes Aerospace Science, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Human Anatomy, Computer Science, Energy Technology, Transportation, Engineering, and Marine Biology.

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The Program(s) Impact

  • Over 1,200 students have participated in the program
  • Over 200 hours of instruction each year
  • Over 95,000 total student exposure hours to date
  • Over 30,000 hours of volunteerism confidence in STEM content.
  • Over 15 STEM Topics and Careers covered
  • Over 75% of new participants report experience at least “1” first time
  • Over 90% of participants report increased confidence in STEM content.
  • 100% show increased knowledge of STEM careers, and the utility of STEM studies in real life.

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