The Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) Program was the original outreach program run by City of Hope for students in grade K-8 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 middle school students.
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.
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.
Jr. Medical Investigators Camp
From 2015-2018, City of Hope offered the Jr. Medical Investigators Summer Camp for rising 6th-8th grade students. This camp provided students with the opportunity to conduct science experiments, learn basic laboratory techniques, practice critical thinking, and explore the state-of-the-art core facilities at City of Hope.
During the camp, students were introduced a patient with a “mysterious” disease and throughout the course of the camp they diagnosed the patient through a variety of tests and activities. Each day they were given a new symptom, learned about related tests and diseases, and participated in hands-on activities.