The Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) Program was the original outreach program run by City of Hope for students in Duarte Unified School District. STEP has replaced SEPA as the outreach program for students, and these specific programs are no longer available. However, there are other programs being run by STEP for high school students, which are open to students from more districts.
SEPA K-8 Classroom Visits And Field Trips
From 2012-2017, SEPA scientists conducted classroom visits and field trips for 2nd, 5th, and 8th grade students from the Duarte Unified School District. The goal of the program was to provide engaging presentations and activities that would increase students’ interest in science.
SEPA scientists visited 2nd and 5th grade classrooms and 2nd, 5th, and 8th grade students participated in field trips to City of Hope’s campus. Through this program, 2nd grade students learned about DNA, genetic inheritance, and what it means to be a scientist. 5th grade students participated in hands-on activities related to the human body during their field trip, and modeled disease spread during their classroom visit lesson. Similarly, 8th grade students participated in hands-on experiments focused on solving “medical mysteries” in order to diagnose 4 mock patients.
Girls Only STEM!
(GO STEM!) Club
The GO STEM! Club began in 2015 as a way to engage girls in STEM, to maintain their interest in STEM, provide a comfortable space for girls to explore STEM, and to encourage girls to take STEM courses and consider STEM careers.
The program gave girls from 3rd to 5th grade in a Duarte elementary school the opportunity to meet after school twice a month to learn more about science and participate in engaging science activities. Sessions usually involved a short lecture on the main topics and several related hands-on experiments.
Looking forward, STEP is working to revive and expand this program. We hope to have meetings not just in Duarte, but also in Azusa, Monrovia, and El Monte. We also are planning on working with the Azusa Pacific University chapter of Boundless Brilliance so that APU science majors can serve as mentors and teachers in the Azusa school district. STEP is also working to establish partnerships with other local colleges to recruit female scientists and college students to serve as mentors and teachers for GO STEM!.
Zooming In On Biology Camp
From 2015-2018, we offered the Zooming in on Biology Summer Camp for rising 4th-5th grade students. This camp provided students with the opportunity to conduct science experiments, learn basic laboratory techniques, practice critical thinking, and work in a real laboratory setting.
During the camp, students learned about a pond ecosystem by exploring ecology as a whole, food webs, water and water safety, animals’ adaptations to their environment, cell biology and microorganisms, and DNA.
Students also worked in small groups to design, research, and carry out their own unique research project, which they presented to the group and their families on the last day of camp.