A Schmahl Science Workshop

Rating: 4.98 stars   41 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth

Location: 171 Branham Ln Ste 10-223 San Jose CA 95136 USA

Mission: To provide hands-on science activities for kids in a fun, engaging, free-form environment. A Schmahl Science Workshop: Believes children are motivated to learn when their ideas are cultivated through the fun of designing and developing an experiment. Challenges children to use the scientific method as a powerful tool that will facilitate them as they explore the world around them. Provides the highest quality hands-on workshops that are presented to students in classroom, lab or garage settings by instructors whose interest in and enthusiasm for science is communicated in a fun and exciting way. Promotes successful inquiries into science with our open-ended, hands-on, mentor-supported approach to science fair projects. Designs units that integrate hands-on experiments and activities with discussion of the history of science as a work in progress
Results: Since 1996, we have served over 86,000 students and over 7,000 teachers.  Each of these students on average participates in 20 workshops a year resulting in over 1,519,735 student contacts since our founding.  In the 2007-08 academic year we served 20,273 preK-12th grade students. In the 2008-09 academic year we served over 23,000 preK-12th grade students at 120 schools in 28 school districts. In the 2009-10 academic year we served over 25,000 preK-12th grade students at 149 schools in 28 school districts.
Target demographics: prek - 12th grade students in San Francisco Bay Area
Direct beneficiaries per year: To prepare for a future increasingly driven by science and technology, children need meaningful and lasting science experiences. Students that are encouraged and successful in science today are likely to continue in science tomorrow. Sadly, most students get less than forty-five minutes of science education per week.
Geographic areas served: Greater Bay Area, CA (Gilroy to San Francisco)
2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 77-0492783
408-281-7595
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I am a teacher at Ascencion Solorsano Middle School in Gilroy and have had a 3 year relationship with Schmahl Science. They ahve generously donated time, resources, and more importantly passion for learning to my students and myself. The staff arrive every week for 6-7 months and directly assist students in an Advanced Student Research Project. The students are selected based on both their curiousity and passion as well as being members of under represented in Science, Technology, Engineering, And math (STEM) degrees. The focus of the project is to cature those students that could be our future scienctist or inventors at an early age where they are still defining and imagining possibilities for their future. The Schmahl team does this by developing a colloborative research process. Sixty students arrive every week and work through the process of developing an idea into a testable hypothesis. They then do the research and investigation, At this point they are guided through reflecting and analyzing their work and eventually present and defend their projects at our science fair and then the county science fair. With the assistance of Schmahl Science I have been able to triple the number of projects attending the county science fair from our site. Our students have had an opportunity to colloboratively work in a lab setting and share their ideas with others in an experience that doesn't usually happen until they reach the University. It is the unique matching of mentors and the expertise of the staff that has instilled the idea that science, working hard, and learning are cool things to do at our school.

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

change the way that students experience learning opportunities. This model of capturing youth while they are still open to the possibilities and still dare to dream the impossible would allow us as a society to return to being leaders in innovation.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

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

13 people found this review helpful

Having worked as a volunteer with the Santa Clara Science Fair for many years, I have seen the positive results that this workshop produces. Schmahl Science Workshop kids from all walks of life, all age levels and abilities are engaged and involved in science. The Workshop underscores the importance of curiosity, the scientific method, and the wonders of discovery. The passion and dedication of the Schmahl Science Workshop staff are tops in the science education community.

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

watching the results and rewards Schmahl Science Workshop "clients" amasse in science education and competition.

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

help them expand their mission and funding resources

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

learning about the results the the Workshop has generated both on a personal and educational level.

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

as passionate, talented, and dedicated as any I have known in the science education fields.

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

help save the World.

Ways to make it better...

I had more time to become involved with this group.

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

financial, especially in the current fiscal/educational crises facing the State of California and the nation.

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

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

As a teacher at a Title 1 school, I appreciate having Schmahl coming to our school and providing many hours of hands on science for our K-5. Last year, my 4th grades got to experience 4 sessions with Schmahl. It was a great extension of our in class book learning with materials I don't have access too. And best of all...the kids have a great time!

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

my students ability to understand and explain the science concepts they studied.

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

watching the instructors interact, guide, and inspire my 4th grade students.

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

very good at their jobs and worked well with students.

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

bring hands-on science back to our schools and community and hopefully inspire a new generation of scientists, especially women.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

I have been involved with SSW for 5 years now. The program has given me a new way to view science. Because of Schmahl Science, I have learned concepts well beyond my grade level. Thanks to the program, I am sure I will continue science fair as I enter high school.

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

The kind of staff and volunteers that I met were unique and helpful. The upbeat teacher kept science alive and fun.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

We have been attending Schmahl Science workshops for 4 years with our three, now middle-school aged children. We are in a "good" school - recognized for its achievements in many areas. But, hands-down, they can't come close to the type of quality education my children have received over the years at Schmahl. First of all, this is real science - the first summer they participated, they used microscopes and dissected squid. Many programs SAY they teach science, but it really is more "tech" in nature; without branching into chemistry, biology, or the other areas of scientific inquiry. Secondly, the themes are relevant to the lives of children, many based on popular TV shows, like Mythbusters and Surviver. My children have explored fire, water, soda, pocket knives, magnifying glasses, microscopes, fabric and paper, chemical substances and numerous other media; all in a safe, supervised and enthusiastic environment. Best of all, its a BLAST (sometimes literally)! Schmahl Science workshops have become a summer tradition for my kids - they ask to be enrolled and it directly supports the California Standards for science education that they are trying to teach in our schools. This year, my sixth grader had the opportunity to explore the DNA of roses with other students of mixed ages - the inquiry was two weeks and gave him time to really get into the material and ask questions - they made follow up inquiry available to him if he wished. Our schools don't have time for this! I really can't recommend this non-profit highly enough - we are thrilled to be involved with them and hope they THRIVE!

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

rev up and meet the Science curricula in our schools - we have long since lost the enthusiasm and drive they possess for Science...they work directly with underserved populations and we need to get these kids excited and involved!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

My 6-year old daughter and 4-year old son attended the summer science workshop in June 2009. Every morning they got up excited to go to the science class. Why? In their words they "got to try new things". The kids learned about the characteristics/attributes that define and differentiate animals (e.g., omnivore, carnivore, herbivore). The learning took place within the context of stories, pictures, hands-on projects, and studying the animals that they instructors brought. I wish that Schmahl Science was available in every school so that I could have the confidence that my daughter and son were gaining the skills that would help them build upon their natural curiosity and orientation for hands-on exploration.

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

my children attended summer science class

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

let more people know about the accomplishments of the organization and its people

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

the instructors commitment and enthusiasm to empower the children through hands-on exploration and discovery

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

committed to the children

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

open its own school founded on its mission

Ways to make it better...

the summer camp was offered 1 week every month during the summer

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

lack of public's awareness about its curriculum, results, and instructors' credentials

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

spread the word about Schmahl Science

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I am second grade teacher that has benefitted from the expertise of A Schmahl Science Workshop in many ways. Mrs. Schmahl recently taught a fossils/dinosaur unit to my class which kept them actively engaged in the topic for over 90 minutes. She has also provided science kits to my class for several years which have made teaching science easier and more interesting for my students. I highly endorse A Schmahl Science Workshop to any parent, teacher or school district as a way to provide more consistent hands on learning for today's students.

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

expand its influence to many more school districts. I know that A Schmahl Science Workshop would like to grow into the Sacramento area. This would give a huge advantage to teachers and students in other areas, especially with disadvantaged students.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

My two children have attended the Schmahl Science workshops for about 7 years now and have also participated in the Advanced Student Research Program through that time. They have had the opportunity to work with very sophisticated scientific concepts and have had fun doing it. Their research work in areas of microbiology, physics, engineering etc. has gained them large amounts of recognition - at science fairs, newspapers etc. However, the most important thing they have gained from their participation at SSW, is their love for science. My son, who has just graduated from high school is going to major in a branch of engineering with a minor in the life sciences. My daughter who is entering high school intends to continue to participate actively in the Advanced Student Research Program, all through high school. SSW is a major factor behind her motivation to pursue science research. SSW,as part of their ASRP,exposes kids to scientific concepts that are very sophisticated. They do it with a hands-on approach where the kids don't even realize that they are learning such sophisticated concepts, until it is too late!!

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

... my kids. Their love for science has been fueled by the SSW workshops and the Advanced Student Resarch program they have participated in.

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

well versed in the scientific concepts they were teaching. They volunteer mentors are great resources for kids participating in the Advanced Resarch Program.

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

.. influence tens of thousands of kids to pursue science, just like my kids.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I am a teacher at an elementary school in San Jose. We have worked with Schmahl Science to provide after school science classes to all interested 3rd through 6th graders, and GATE classes at our school. These classes are so popular that they fill up in days. Students are always asking me when the next class will be. Their teachers are highly educated in their field. They are always enthusiastic about what they teach. This enthusiasm is infectious. They present the lessons in such a way that all students understand and participate. Schmahl Science classes have always been an asset. Now, with so many districts cutting back on time that teachers can teach science in elementary, it's a necessity. I can't imagine a school year without Schmahl Science. I find I'm learning as much as my students.

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

their enthusiasm, knowledge, ability to work with several levels of students at the same time, and their wide variety of choices in science topics. EVERYTHING!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

I am a Toxicologist by trade, but currently a full time homeschooling mom to two gifted kids. I have known Schmahl Science for the past 5 years or so, ever since then my oldest child has been taking classes with them. I love their philosophy of ability based learning rather than the age based learning we see around us everywhere. One of the main reasons for me to homeschool in fact, is to let my kids learn at their level, which are far beyond their ages. My kids have benefited highly from Schmahl's classes. My oldest participated in the science fair and have won awards and the credit goes to the exceptional mentoring by the Schmahl science staff. My youngest has also been taking classes for the past 3 years and loves it very much. Due to my children's constant thirst for knowledge and learning, our family has tried many resources around in the bay area, in addition to Schmahl Science. But I highly recommend Schmahl Science over everything else.

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

their ability to serve kids at various levels of learning curve

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-10-01

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