All San Diego Youth Science programs are developed and taught by our team of science educators to enhance science during the school day in a way that inspires scientific thinking about the world through hands-on, student-driven experimentation and engagement in the process of science. One of the ways we strive to accomplish this mission is by looking at current scientific phenomena and areas of scientific discovery each year, often partnering with researchers and industry, to bring in authentic science experiences for our students and classroom teachers. All SDYS programs are custom, focusing on place-based learning, and developed to best fit the needs of our particular populations of students.
What SDYS Sessions Look Like
Each session of San Diego Youth Science involves our science educators bringing all science materials and supplies to each partnering school and engaging in the SDYS science curriculum with one classroom of students at a time. The SDYS model includes the classroom teacher as a partner, learning and engaging in science alongside their students. We understand classroom teachers know their students best and can be amazing partners to bridge gaps around content. SDYS also offers itself as a resource around both science and the NGSS to our partnering teachers.
The customizable nature of our SDYS makes program implementation diverse, to best fit the needs and science goals of each partnering school. In some partnering schools, SDYS educators have enhanced science across all tK-5th grade classrooms once every month for the last eight years. this continuity in science education can be incredibly impactful on not only student content learning but also understanding the process of science. Other schools have begun more with SDYS enhancing science within a grade band, then increasing to other grades each year.
What Sets SDYS Apart
designed to align with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and grade-level adapted for tK-8th grade
research utilized from such institutions as Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego Natural History Museum, NASA, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Saildrone, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Mammal Foundation, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association
SDYS's custom curricula span all fields of science, with student experimentation and process learning at the foundation of all programming developed. The open-ended nature of NGSS allows topics to be explored from diverse angles. Each year SDYS works to develop new custom, NGSS-aligned programs to make science relevant. A few examples include:
Kelp Forest Habitat and Resource Management - Through partnering with the local San Diego fishing community, SDYS brought living kelp forest animals into classrooms. Students explored energy flow in this ocean habitat, working with live rock crabs, urchins, lobsters, sea stars, and snails to examine adaptations and determine the harvest size of organisms managed as fishery resources.
Rocket Engineering and the Role of Space Weather and Debris - After interviewing an engineer from Space X, this program was designed to provide student research teams the opportunity to experience the importance of prototype failure as they built and launched their own air-compressed rockets. In this process, students explored the forces involved in rocketry, as well as the unforeseen factors, including space weather and space debris that increasingly influence space science.
San Diego Fossil Mystery - Student research teams delve into San Diego's diverse fossil record to uncover the dynamic nature of Earth's geologic and climatic history. As students collaborate in a fossil dig they work to discover, sort, record, identify, and create hypotheses as to how the authentic marine fossils they find were originally found in East San Diego.