YOUTH SCIENCE CENTER

Rating: 4.99 stars   91 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Education

Location: 16949 Wedgeworth Dr Room 8 Hacienda Heights CA 91745 USA

Mission: Provides an enrichment program in math, science and technology for Grades K-7.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

This is the first year my 9 yr old daughter attended the YSC camp. One of our friends, an engineer, recommended our daughter attend the camp. My daughter participated in three weeks of full time classes. She loved every minute and most importantly was exposed to various genres of science ie physics, engineering, math, biology, etc. The teachers were able to inspire her and every day she explained in great detail the things she learned. One particular episode stands out; In her rocketry class there were 2 girls and 9 boys and they had a contest, boys against girls on whose rocket could fly the farthest. Each team had 4 attempts and my daughter's rocket won every time. She told me she felt the pressure as the other girls rocket didn't fly very far but she said "I can do this" and she did. Never in the 30 years of classes had a girls team won all four attempts! It taught her to not be afraid and to believe in oneself. As a professional in the science field, I am very pleased with the program, recommended it to several of my girl scout troop girls. We will participate in the program next year.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Offer program the entire summer.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Some

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

The Youth Science Center is an amazing resource and program located in the San Gabriel Valley, specifically Hacienda Heights. My daughters have been attending YSC for five (5) years and they enjoy the courses and instructors. Participation in YSC each Summer has increased their confidence and love of STEM related subjects. My eldest daughter has taken the rocket course every Summer and it did not fit our schedule this year and she was disappointed until she discovered the 3D printing class. My younger daughter jumped on board and they both loved creating various 3D objects for themselves and others as gifts. In the past they have studied astronomy, chemistry, math, art, rockets, energy, crime scenes, and many other fun and fascinating subjects. I am deeply appreciative of YSC and the impact they have had on STEM learning and access for students throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Youth Science Center is a fabulous place for children to learn science. The teachers are competent, compassionate, and creative. The administrators are accessible and excellent problem-solvers. The courses are interesting, entertaining, and cutting edge. Definitely worth the investment!

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been teaching with the YSC for 10 years. It's a chance to teach students in a way that fuels their curiosity and creative problem solving skills. The organization has carved out a space for hi tech, hands-on, minds-on learning that is reminiscent of college and higher ed lab courses, yet is geared for K-8th grade students. Students surprise themselves with their own innovative thinking, make new friends with other divergent thinkers, and develop a deeper love of learning.
I have met so many wonderful students, parents, and teachers working with the YSC. So many faces light up with the learning that happens there. It is truly one of my favorite times of the year.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Recreate this format at schools around the world. Hands-On learning programs have been slowly finding their way into mainstream education. The maker movement is a great example of how contagious this teaching/learning model is. All children deserve the chance to work with advanced tools, think on complex ideas, and to build a foundation in 21st century skills. The YSC could expand this model and cultivate a new generation of cross platform innovators.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

This is an amazing program. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to work for the Youth Science Center. The administrative staff is so great to work with. Supportive, resourceful, flexible, and professional. It was great to be able to create and teach my own programs. Inspired me to become a better teacher in the classroom during the school year. Imagine what they could do with more money?

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Both their on site programs and out reach programs have shown results with Migrant Ed students, G.A.T.E. students in lower income regions, and students from traditionally high performing schools.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been teaching at YSC for about 20 years. I started after my oldest son was enrolled. All three of my children have attended YSC and loved all the classes they took. It inspired me to develop a class so I could teach there. My first class I taught for YSC was Crime Lab. I have been teaching it ever since. I am so fortunate to be able to teach science and facilitate learning. I develop my own courses which is so awesome and I love teaching because it is real teaching with a hands-on, minds-on approach to learning. Common Core is now here but YSC has been here for years and it is what Common Core is striving to reach. The Be a Science Olympian and Got Science are some classes that take all disciplines of science into the class and require kids to think and be critical thinkers. the ultimate goal in education- to deepen knowledge, inspire future Scientists and to support STEM (Science Tech Engineering and Math) YSC classes include all of these 4 as student learn and have fun while making critical thinking come alive. We are developing students' interests in future STEM fields.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get more kids involved and have the budget to do better advertising. Spread the word.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I am a teacher at YSC and my 3 children (all adults now) went through the YSC classes for many years. Staff cares about kids and adults. We do good things for kids. We get them to think and use their minds to think and react to experiences which will prepare them for their future as they enter middle school, high school, college and the workforce. Hands-on, minds-on is what YSC is all about. Not only do they do but they think why.
Conclusions are generated based on the hands-on they experience. In some cases, science notebooks are used for recording observations and data collected.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My personal experience is 2-fold: Science Educator and Parent. My experiences as a science educator is that students are getting" beyond textbook" experiences and opporutunities. My experience as a parent of children who attended is that they learned more than just science, but opportunities for collaboration, expression of scientific theory and why.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give them more funding and larger site to run this organization. I would also give them more PR.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

What is unique about this organization?

Run by a small staff but hits a large community.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My kids have been coming to YSC for years, My son has been coming since kindergarten (now he is in 4th grade), and my daughter has been coming since first grade. She volunteers now as an 8th grader and takes the older kids classes. I would not consider our summer complete without YSC. It is a great environment for not just learning but FUN learning. I dream and wish that everyday classrooms at school could be like this but thank God for summers at YSC. I wish all parents knew about YSC. They have great teachers who love to teach and my kids have done everything from art, dissecting frogs, using 3-D printers, CSI techniques, to gooey slime, to learning about reptiles, building rockets, etc. They love YSC and love the teachers there. I love listening to their stories from YSC cause I love to watch their faces light up as they passionately talk about much they enjoy learning. As a parent, you can't ask for better than that. I would give them 10 stars if I could!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would make it a program that had classes for students in high school too.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I am so grateful for the Youth Science Center, without their dedication and hard work to provide classes that are not only educational but FUN! My kids have learned so much and they were bummed when the classes ended. My four year old, Sawyer, told me that lizards can grow back their tails and that cats eat them. I want my kids to learn and know things that I can't provide ( I don't know anything about rockets) my daughter, Saylor got so much out of her Rocketeer class. Every mom I know who have brought their children here have always walked away saying they love the Youth Science Center. If I was wealthy, I would be one of the biggest donors to YSC. Ron and Judy and all the volunteers and the teachers are so great!!! Again, I say, I am so thankful for them.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My kids learned about art, science, technology, sharing, discussing things that they learned and an exposure to things that I cannot provide. I am not an insect person, and a reptile mom and my son took a class where they learned about these things.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would make it bigger and better, more funding, more classes. More great teachers, more students.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I love very aspect about the Youth Science Center. They have hard working staff, I hate to sound so 80's but they have awesome teachers. My children learn in a safe, positive, learning environment that is also so much FUN!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Wonderful, dedicated, hard working and genuine individuals that love what they do. The teachers that teach these classes have a true love for the subject they teach. The classes are hands on and it's such a great place. I love it! I love them!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

be one of the best science centers for children. It truly is a wonderful place and I know moms that joined this year by bringing their children will return next year. I think the only time people leave is because their children are too old for the classes

Ways to make it better...

I had more money to provide more classes for my children. My children get so much out of the classes. My children are exposed to subjects that I would love to teach them about but are unable to.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funding, I think people are not aware of the Youth Science Center and so because of that there is lack of funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

To hear my children talk about things that they have learned that stay with them because the class was so much fun makes me so much more appreciative of the wonderful teachers and staff at YSC for their hard work. I love Youth Science Center!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Every year I have enrolled my 2 children in different summer programs for enrichment. This year, a friend of ours recommended YSC and it was amazing! There are 3 sessions per day. Each session last only 1 week. The camp runs for 5 weeks, and parents are able to create their own schedule depending on interest and/or budget. We signed up our kids for 4 weeks for a full day of classes and they LOVED IT! After very session they could not wait to tell me what they did, what they learned and how cool it was.

At first, it was difficult to choose the classes to take because there is such a huge variety of classes. There are classes for all ages and interests. My 9 yr. old daughter loved all of her classes, but her favorite ones were her dissection class, robotics class and a class called "my body". My 8 yr. old son loved "the living ocean" , "motor mania " and his astronomy class. They learned so much in the 4 weeks and are super excited about science that I can't wait to sign them up again next year.

Since the kids were going to be taking classes all day, I decided to volunteer some of my time to help in a classroom. It was a truly rewarding experience. I got to participate and see first hand how knowledgeable the instructors were and how each student produces, experiences, investigates and re-creates the lesson at hand. This is NOT a "fill out this handout" experience. I can attest to the fact that during my time there, I never saw any student staring off into space or bored. All children were engaged and participating.

YSC promotes creativity, innovation, critical thinking and a deeper understanding of concepts because students "experience" science. Be prepared when you pick up you student at the end of their day for them to be full of paint and glue, hands full with everything they made that day and bubbling over with wonderful stories of how their day went. We will be definitely be back next year!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Offer classes after school during the school year( maybe once a week), christmas break, thanksgiving week, spring break or on Saturdays.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I had the good fortune to enroll my children (summer of 2014) for the first time with the Youth Science Center program. My children enjoyed the program and learned while having fun! I am looking forward to enrolling my children in this program again next year. Thank you for the opportunity to be part of this amazing program.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Keep up the good work. No changes needed.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

This is my 30th year teaching at the Youth Science Center in Hacienda Heights. I have to tell you that it is the most exciting and uplifting career enhancing organization I've ever been involved with. As an elementary school educator, you rarely get a chance to teach outside the core standards set by a district, so teaching for YSC releases creativity and deeper interest in many fields of science. I have been able to develop and teach classes that appeal to children- such as inventions, rocks and gems, tidepool animals, human body, toys in space, magnets, circus acrobatics, astronomy, weather instruments, and glow in the dark phenomena. Stimulating a child's curiosity is such a rewarding "AHA!" feeling. The support given to me by the administering staff is phenomenal!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

encourage local businesses to support in funds, time or materials (technical or other) that could be used to further programs for the YSC. Ideally, a set aside building with classrooms could house all the paraphernalia that is used by teachers by forming a museum.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

The Youth Science Center in the San Gabriel Valley has fantastic scientifically literate enthusiasts on its board and in the community. My involvement was first as a mother of 3 boys 25 years ago - looking for a place to interest my sons in a science field. Through YSC classes, workshops, guest speakers and field trips, my sons went to college to learn more about a particular science field. The hands-on classes were so interesting that I soon became a active volunteer and then an elementary school science coordinator. I gained an appreciation of tidepool animals (pretty much outside our back door) and geology (rocks and minerals) and it influenced my personal teaching skills. All students attending classes learn what that particular scientist does in the real world so that they can pursue their passion as they grow.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

As a teacher and a board member, I am amazed at the dedication to science education offered by the YSC. This summer, YSC offered 5 weeks of hands-on science experiences to the youth in our communities. It is a pleasure to meet and teach the youth, and also to educate the parents through them. YSC also has many high school and adult volunteers who serve selflessly to support the rigorous content. Hats off to the volunteers as many offer support through their knowledge of technology and science interests. They are the best!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my grandson's understanding of science concepts. He relates much of what he learned and experience this summer into his daily life. The sugar crystals he grew are now ready to be tasted! Now he wants to try other white powders to see what crystals form.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

like to see them in a stand alone museum/education center. That way they wouldn't have barriers to hours of operation and would have complete access to all the exhibits at any time.

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

About 25 years ago, I was looking for a place to send my 3 sons for science / educational opportunities. Their teachers at their school were not interested in presenting stimulating hands on science, but read science texts and had students answer questions at the end of the chapter. The only science summer camps I knew of were in downtown Los Angeles, about 25 miles away. I heard through a friend about the Youth Science Center offering after school mini-classes with emphasis on different science phenomena in our local area. We were WOWed when we attended a class on GLOW-In-the-Dark chemicals and how they light up because of chemical reactions! The Youth Science Center soon began offering summer classes in Hacienda Heights. After attending a few classes, we were hooked! So much, so, that it greatly improved my effectiveness as a science teacher! I began teaching classes at the YSC during the summer, and now I couldn’t think of anything more enriching to my profession. In fact, my 6 year old grandson took his first class of Balance in the Circus last year! I firmly believe that anyone could find their passion in a science field through the Youth Science Center!!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my ability to understand and share my passion for science. I have since developed a science program for my K-5 school district. Working with scientists and other professionals, I returned to college to earn my M.A. in Curriculum and Development.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

help them establish a permanent site so that school groups would be able to visit and attend classes.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the attitude that everyone can benefit and have fun while becoming science literate.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

extremely helpful and enthused about what they do. The principal and museum director of the YSC checked with teachers every day to ask if they have what they need to teach their unit in science in an interactive way.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

build a museum that could house their extensive collections.

Ways to make it better...

the YSC could easily access the materials they have.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

publicity and monetary support to further their mission.

One thing I'd also say is that...

there have been many volunteers over the years that have contributed to making the YSC a relevant, and highly successful venture for science education.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My 9 year participated for the 2nd year in a row and she loves all the classes that involve science. What was more surprising is that my 5 year loved all the classes he was involved. My kids were the first to wake up early in the morning to get ready to attend the science camp as opposed to trying to get them ready for the day. The learning is unique and inspiring and I will continue to let my kids participate this great program.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish lived closer to the science camp.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful?