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Dawn OConnor

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A Schmahl Science Workshop
September 12, 2009

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.

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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

MY ROLE:
Client Served & mentored middle school students with their science fair project from inception to completion.