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What we do
The Salinas Community Science Workshop puts the tools of science into kids’ hands. Many kids in the Alisal community don't have opportunities to access tools, materials or a shop environment in which to use them. Most schools can't offer this either and much science teaching today is devoid of a connection to the hands-on realities of the real world.
At the Workshop kids are free to use tools and build the projects of their imaginations with a wide range of materials. Common projects are woodworking, bicycle repair and modification, basic electronic circuits with hobby motors, lights and speakers, and magnetic toys.
Exhibits and specimens are also on display for students to observe and learn from on their own initiative. Garden boxes, planters and microscopes complete a rich environment in which to explore and discover.
SCSW was formally established in May 2021 after years of pilot programs in Alisal. The Salinas Union High School District provides our space at El Sausal Middle School. Currently, we are open with afterschool programming for students at El Sausal Middle School and school-day programming for surrounding elementary schools.
In January we will open to families and students of the local community during out-of-school times. It is our vision to expand and serve all kids and families of Alisal and then greater North Monterey County.
The SCSW is a member of the Global Alliance of Community Science Workshops and a gets non-profit status through Community Initiatives. SCSW founder and director Curt Gabrielson has decades of experience doing informal science education with underserved communities in California and internationally. He founded and directed the Watsonville CSW for 11 years and has also worked in the Greenfield and San Francisco CSWs. He has a degree in physics from MIT and has published several books on hands-on science education.
What we need:
The SCSW is currently in need of supplies and materials as well as funding for both staff and intern positions. Thousands of kids throughout north Monterey County need access to Workshop programs, and the more staff members and materials we have, the more kids we can serve.
Our core program, afterschool drop-in, is also our most difficult to find funding for. We plan to use funds received through this campaign to solidify and amplify this program. All support you give will go toward making more opportunities for more kids to put Tools in their Hands and explore the world with science.
One more thing: SCSW will soon be seeking a co-director to expand and grow our programs. Please notify any potential candidates you may know!
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