By DIANA ZHANG
It might be hard for young students to comprehend the logistics of science when they are merely in the second or third grade. According to a study conducted at Vanderbilt University, our brains are wired to remember complex information better if the information is given in the form of a visual, such as through drawings or diagrams. Now imagine sitting in a class and having the teacher ramble on and on about the rock cycle or electronegativity without any photos or lab demonstrations. These concepts may appear easy and simple now, but for children who are catered towards visual and hands-on learning, a boring science lecture is not something they would want to put up with.
Aurnov Chattopadhyay (So.) and Jennifer Yao (So.) founded University High School’s Scientastic club in order to help reform science education for younger students through their innovative lesson plans. Chattopadhyay said, “Uni is fortunate to have an excellent science program, but many other students don’t have access to such great programs. It’s the goal of Scientastic to cater to these students through our interactive, story-based approach focusing on explaining natural phenomenon.”
The club offers numerous amounts of volunteering opportunities, including providing demonstrations and labs at Irvine’s Pretend City facility. Scientastic tries to inspire interest in science through projects such as its YouTube campaign, in which members develop online videos to spread awareness, or its many fundraising campaigns to help finance the construction of a school in Africa. Lastly, the club has been in partnership with professors and students at the University of California, Irvine’s science labs to help create the Science Lesson of the Month project, where a new lesson is developed each month and is taught at local elementary and middle schools and at after-school programs.
Scientastic offers students the opportunity to give back to their community and schools and form new connections to discover their strengths in science and teaching. Vice President Jenny Ji (So.) says, “I have seen how budget cuts have affected classrooms. Since I want to ensure that those younger than me will be able to experience all the amazing labs that I was able to experience when I was younger, I decided to join. This club has made me love science even more. Through the club, I have been able to have the rewarding experience of teaching others and seeing the difference that I have made.”
Likewise, another contributing member, Joberto Lee (Jr.), said, “I really love science and Scientastic gives me the opportunity to raise money for fun labs so that the students can love science as much as I do. After seeing the kids enjoy the labs, I realize that all my hard work was worth it.”
Scientastic welcomes all students who have an interest in science and are willing to make a difference in their communities. The club meets every Thursday during lunch in Mr. Huber’s room (room 312).