Watsonville Community Science Workshop
: 120 Second St.City
: The Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop is located within the Community Center at Marinovich Park, 120 Second St. in Watsonville, California.
Our Community Science Workshop is not only an after-school program - it is a unique community resource. Our program complements the science and math education our students get from schools, and allows them to pursue the technical areas of their own interests. Our workshop gives community kids the opportunity to interact together in a rich, stimulating, and safe environment with adults present who care about their development, not only in academics or science, but also as a whole person complete with past and future.
The core of our program is the open-structure, open-door Workshop. After school and on Saturdays, community kids and their families are free to come and construct the projects of their imaginations. While they are here, they experience our exhibits and project models in addition to whatever project they choose to construct. They learn to use tools and a plethora of different materials. Thus, students can learn science, math and engineering from direct experience. They get the opportunity to learn through inquiry, exploration and peer consultation. This competence builds true confidence. All the while, they are subconsciously defining for themselves ?science,? and the definition involves fun and success. All this is markedly different from what most of them get in school.
In addition to the core program, we take our most popular hands-on science projects to eighteen local school sites through our Students Teaching program, in which college and high-school students team up to do the teaching. The SH Cowell Foundation gives us generous support for the Students Teaching Project. Three alternative high schools bring their classes to the Workshop once a week for a formal hands-on science lesson complete with notes and write-up. Several field trips and camping trips each year get students out into the local environment. We work closely with the other environmental education programs of the City of Watsonville. Teachers frequent the Workshop for informal consultations on how to succeed with hands-on lessons for their classes, and we occasionally do mass teacher training as well.
Everything we do employs recycled, reclaimed and scrap objects, so that students are made firmly aware of the value and potential of the materials around them. Conservation principles are conveyed, as well as the presence of science in everyday life: students become aware that science is everywhere, not just in special labs and kits. In addition, this practice keeps our costs low and our Workshop sustainable. We are always in need of donations of interesting junk.Contact info
: Tel: (831) 768-3256
email: cgabrielson AT ci.watsonville.ca.usWeb site
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