|Dr. David Viar, Edward Galstanyan, Liz Chai-Chang, Dr. Jennifer Krestow
and Albert Yagubyan
Science Outreach Program Receives $20,000 Wells Fargo Grant
Wells Fargo has stepped up to help GCC address the question of how to get children motivated and excited by science. This is an ongoing educational issue in California, as school programs continue to be cut back even as demand for tech professionals rises. Glendale College has a very special program that brings in 5,000 area students per year to visit the Science Center and our state-of-the-art digital planetarium. This program is benefited by a $20,000 educational grant from Wells Fargo.
Children are taken on “An Afternoon with the Stars,” where they visit other planets and fly through space through the 3-D optics of the planetarium’s dome. Teachers are invited to bring their students to the Center for a one-hour planetarium presentation, and this has been a huge draw for 3rd and 5th grade classes since the California science standards prescribed the study of the solar system at those grade levels.
In addition to the planetarium presentation, students engage in a one-hour science activity so that theirs is a two to two-and-a-half hour visit. This program, launched in 2006, includes several activities for the teachers to choose from, and they are all hands-on, with kits provided by the Center, and all aligned with the California science standards. The planetarium presenters are faculty members of the college. The activities are led by the Science Center Director and three retired elementary school master teachers, who also handle all the reservations and the coordination with the schools.
Our data shows that 66 percent of our student visitors are from lower income families and school districts that are in critical need of science resources, which underscores the tremendous opportunity to provide a special incentive for the community’s children to be inspired by science early in their education.
The Foundation is grateful for the efforts of Liz Chai-Chang, one of our Board Members, and Jonathan Weedman, of the Wells Fargo Foundation, for helping us to continue funding, through this generous $20,000 educational grant, this very special program that touches so many young lives.