SHAFAQNA- The Science Bus is an after-school program in which Stanford students teach elementary school students science through hands-on activities. The program focuses on second- through fifth-graders at East Palo Alto Charter School (EPACS) and welcomes new volunteers.
A mixture of lectures, field trips and events, the lesson plan is completely designed by both graduate and undergraduate students. Lessons cover different subjects each week. For example, in the previous quarter, the curriculum included lessons on acids and bases and Cartesian divers and labs on chromatography and mixing Coke and Mentos.
Josh Eggold, a third-year doctoral student in cancer biology that heads the program, described the importance of one-to-one mentorship with the students.
“In contrast to a one-time event, we see the same students time and time again,” Eggold said. “This provides a wonderful opportunity for our volunteers to get to know the students on a personal basis. These one-on-one relationships are a great foundation for us to have a meaningful impact in the students’ lives.”
EPACS is personally accountable for student success through the program, as per the EPACS mission statement promising “a student-centered, culturally-sensitive learning environment.” The Science Bus aims to help with this exact objective.
“Our goal of encouraging student interest in science is one that closely aligns with the school’s vision, so it’s a great partnership,” Eggold said.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5-6 p.m., lessons are taught to second- and third-graders, and fourth- and fifth-graders, respectively. Eggold invites anyone interested in joining to look at the program’s website sciencebus.wikispaces.com. There is no experience required.