Community Science Workshops


Our Community Science Workshops (CSW)s exist to enrich the educational experience of students and their communities through providing opportunities of hands-on science exploration.

 WHAT DO WE DO?
The Community Science Workshop “CSW” provides hands-on tinkering  with Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) in ways that foster curiosity, creativity, perseverance, and critical thinking.  We provide a series of engaging, grade-level appropriate hands-on science experiences for students with the following characteristics:
  • TK – 12 grade hands-on science lessons & engineering challenges
  • Instructors come to school 1 – 2 times per week, teaching 3 – 6 classes per day depending on student body, students receive CSW lessons 1 – 4 times per month
  • CSW lessons are aligned to NGSS Science and Engineering Practices, NGSS Earth and Human Activity, Crosscutting Concepts and Common Core 21st Century Learning Skills; Collaboration, Communication and Critical Thinking and Creativity

IS OUR PROGRAM ALIGNED TO NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards)?

Yes – CSW content is centered on specific “themes” with grade-level appropriate activities and objectives. All lessons incorporate basic science process skills of observing, investigating and analyzing data as well as incorporating NGSS Practices, and/or Crosscutting Concepts and/or Disciplinary Core Ideas. Unlike the Disciplinary Core Ideas which are specific to each grade level, Science Practices are core focuses across all grade levels, as is Engineering Design. Our lessons nurture creativity, inventiveness and engagement and provide an unconventional approach to student science education.

SCOPE
We offer both in-school and out-of-school programs in order to increase access to hands-on science exploration for suburban students and their communities.
  • In-school
    • Standards aligned, hands-on lessons and enrichment for teachers and their students
    • Opt-in tinkering sessions for students or clubs
  • Out-of-school
    • Guided project based learning / tinkering and making sessions for students, existing programs or clubs
    • Community building events – materials and guidance for hands-on science projects for coworkers, friends and/or families
    • Science nights – activity or interactive showcase booth for all ages at community events
Dedicated workshop space For sites with dedicated space for a science workshop, one might find things like a wind tube, magnet displays, a bubble table, fossils, rocks and minerals, an LCD digital microscope, nature blocks, anatomy models, circuit board components, a water table, a ‘Make It’ station and a ‘Take Apart’ table, project models, and well stocked cupboards full of experiment aides, tools and recycled or up-cycled consumables to create with.
As-needed or program based workshop space – For sites that don’t have a permanent space to dedicate, we just need a room large enough to accommodate your group and some work space. We’ll bring in tools and materials to complete a project or tinkering activity.
We’re continually working on enhancing the learning opportunities for all kinds of learners and to create an inviting atmosphere that fosters excitement and wonder.
HISTORY:
The philosophy of “learning through discovery” is inspired by the Exploratorium Teacher Institute. Activities and lesson structure are inspired by the Community Science Workshop “CSW” Network. Many of our state’s students are unable to visit CSWs or attend the Bay Area’s several innovative science museums. Community Science Workshops are places that provide local access to hands-on opportunities for students to discover science and technology through interest and inquiry. Our CSW program was created by Ellen Concepcion, who took the Community Science Workshop model to an old science classroom and set it up with materials, tools and exhibits that foster curiosity and open ended exploration.  Our CSW programs are now at four different school sites and growing.