2022 Grants Challenge

EE Just Youth Science Program

Expand current elementary and middle school out-of-school program to add a comprehensive high school component. Current program has provided eight months of exposure to a wide range STEAM subjects for elementary and middle school students of color for over 10 years. Our objective is to establish an elementary to college pipeline of out-of-school STEAM instruction and exposure. These funds will be used to plan, build, and execute that comprehensive out-of-school STEAM program for high school boys and girls of color.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

K-12 STEAM Education

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA

West LA

South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

In the past several decades, fewer young people, both minority and non-minority have chosen to start on the pathway to science or engineering careers. As the demand for young people prepared to work in America’s high technology industries has increased, the pool of prepared young people has decreased. This erosion of technological capacity significantly impacts our nation’s ability to remain competitive and economically viable. Of particular concern are women and minorities, who have traditionally been significantly underrepresented in STEM disciplines, especially non-Asian minorities. The disparity of representation is particularly alarming given the demographic changes occurring in the United States. According to the US Census Bureau, by the year 2050, underrepresented minority groups will constitute nearly 50% of the US college-aged population. These numbers emphasize the need to allocate resources to expand the pool of qualified STEM prepared students to women and minorities.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Our current E. E. Just Youth Science Program exposes students to a wide range of STEAM topics through two separate programs - the Saturday Science Academy and the Summer Marine Science Camp. The Saturday Science Academy annually consists of two Saturday sessions per month from January thru July. The first Saturday generally is classroom instruction where the students receive classroom instruction on a designated STEAM topic. On the second Saturday, the students typically have a field trip to a science related field location to expand and deepen their classroom learning with real-world experience. The annual program consists of seven STEAM subjects drawn from a master program curriculum. Class instruction is provided by a combination of professors from colleges and STEAM companies across Los Angeles. The Summer Marine Science Camp is conducted over three consecutive weekends in August and includes five venues across Southern California with the third weekend consisting of a 3-day, 2- night stay in college dormitories at Catalina Island includes. Our proposed high school track will be consistent with our current program except that the curriculum will provide more extended exposure to three to four topics. For example, one STEAM topic for two to three consecutive Saturdays for more in-depth treatment with a single field trip for each topic. The Marine Science component will be a separate 3-day weekend of marine science classroom and exploration at Catalina.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Our vision for this program is that more students of color will be influenced to pursue STEAM careers, addressing the current under representation. This also will influence improvements in their math and science performance in school. Non-Asian students of color are currently performing at the bottom of the achievement scale in math and science in LAUSD. A STEAM career motivation will show increased incentive for these subjects. The program also will be able to address the issue of supporting an out-of-school STEAM pipeline (elementary through high school) and prep for college STEAM majors. Los Angeles County will be different in that school performance for minorities will improve and the economic station of this key sector of the population will improve as they become a part of the STEAM industry, which is experiencing the highest income growth compared to other sectors of the economy

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Outcomes for our STEM program are measured primarily through quantitative pre-post test on lesson plan content, which are administered before and after each class session. The tests measure subject knowledge gain using a standardized knowledge gain formula. Desired outcome is that students will show a minimum knowledge gain of 30 percent. The test also can show instructor effectiveness. Pre-post qualitative STEM interest surveys also are administered at beginning and end of program year. Additionally, a parent and student satisfaction survey is administered at end of each annual program

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 100

Indirect Impact: 1,000