Let No Future Scientist Be Left Behind!

With the slogan "Let no future scientist be left behind!" and a course description that invites students to "join in a mish-mash of destruct and reconstruct," Spectrum of Science Foundation promotes the spell-binding side of science to school-age children.

"Students today are looking for challenges," remarks AmyBeth Ogden, co-founder and marketing director for the Danville-based nonprofit. "Our interdisciplinary curriculum incorporates more than just 'science.' It encourages questioning, independent thinking, and self-discovery."

Ogden and her mother, known affectionately as "Mrs. O.," have been running science enrichment classes and summer camps for pre-schoolers to fifth-graders for the past several years. Their enthusiasm for the work is easy to catch. Their fun-based science programs instill confidence and turn learning into play.

"We designed our lessons to stimulate youngsters to express their own originality and to motivate them to see their world in a totally new way," Ogden explains. "Projects, experiments, and activities are creative, entertaining, and imaginative. Our aim is to create a passion for science while expanding their minds!"

Summer camps this year include four themed sessions at Pleasanton's Walnut Grove Elementary School; two sessions at Hacienda's Carden West; and a series of one-hour classes for three- to four-year-olds on Monday afternoons, also at Carden West.

Targeted to first- through third-graders, the Walnut Grove camps run from 8:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Monday to Thursday.

The first, PASSPORT TO SCIENCE, starts on June 21. Ogden describes the program as "a flurry of non-stop science without boundaries." The general science labs span biology, chemistry, and physics as students explore the ancient continent Pangea, snap circuits, and delve into "fluid concoctions and effervescent chemistry."

The second session is entitled PHYSICS AND FUN, from June 28 to July 2. Students learn principles of elementary physics as they use recycled materials to build and take apart simple machines. "Make it move or light up!" Ogden urges. "Experiment, test, and try!"

The topic for the third camp, starting July 5, is SEA AND SPACE SCIENCE CAPERS. Natural phenomena from the sea floor to the outer regions of space will spark the imagination of junior scientists as they look at the universe in new ways.

The last session, SCIENCE RETURNS WITHOUT BOUNDARIES, is a reprise of projects from the 2009-2010 after-school program. It starts on July 12. Topics include the bony skeletal frame, the solar system, dinosaurs, and shark surveillance.

Expanded to include first- through fifth-graders, the first two camps repeat at Carden West, beginning on August 2 and August 9, respectively. They run Monday to Friday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Carden West is also hosting a series of one-hour Spectrum of Science classes for three- to four-year-olds on Mondays from 2:40 to 3:40 p.m. The weekly topics, from June 21 on, are: Bubble Exploration, T-Shirt Science, Dinosaurs, Horses, Alligators, Bug Cars, UV Detection, Space Exploration, and Aquariums in a Bottle.

For registration and additional information, visit www.spectrumofscience.com or call Ogden at (925) 820-2415.

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