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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Youth Science Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Education, Primary & Elementary Schools, Science & Technology Museums

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

Community Stories

103 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

5

Former staff

Rating: 5

I worked with Youth Science Center for a total of 13 years so far. It has been the best experience ever for a me as a teacher and a parent. I love teaching science and math classes with hands on experiences like building solar ovens, etc. My son also loved the classes he enrolled in when he was younger, he is now 19 years old and in college.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a terrific organization, founded 25 years ago. We heard about it this spring from someone at my son's boy scout troop, and we are glad we did. In the course of the three classes he took, he built a catapult and trebuchet (learning physics along the way); built and programmed robots (Lego Mindstorms); and studied science and the "Great Minds" that pioneered it. Also, the YSC sponsors field trips to places like Northrop, The Paige Museum at La Brea Tar Pits and the Raymond Alf Museum. We have not been disappointed and look forward to enrolling next year. Oh, and staff and volunteers are all very friendly, and the classes are affordable, as it is a non profit organization.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Youth Science Center's summer classes were always highlay anticipated by my four children every year. They usually attended a class every week of the summer sessions. One child in particular loved science and ended up with a career in the medical field; he is now a pediatrician. The YSC classes nurtured his early interest in anything connected with life sciences. Of course his favorite classes were those connected with dissecting!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first got involved with the YSC in the late 1980's when my 7-year-old daughter took a class on electricity. I was amazed when she brought home a working flashlight she had made out of a battery, wires, a toilet paper tube, and a switch. It was one of many take-home projects she made that week, including a magnetic toy and a battery. She was able to explain how and why they worked, and she had FUN! I started working for the YSC, and over the years she took as many classes as possible until she grew too old for the program. Students learn so much in such a short time at the YSC. But its greatest achievement has to be the pure joy of discovery, the actual excitement in learning that it inspires, and that is so evident in the faces of these students. One mother - whose son evidently had somewhat ambivalent feelings about going to "school" during his summer vacation - told us that after the first day of class he came home in smiles. He told her, "I thought we'd be sitting in rows!" It wasn't the arrangement of chairs that made him eager to return the next day, but his teacher's use of the fun, hands-on approach that is the root of all YSC classes. The success of the Youth Science Center as it has flourished over 48 years can be attributed to the tireless work of its volunteers, the dedication and passion of its leaders, (most of whom are volunteers themselves), and its skilled and energized teaching staff. The operating word is passion: You get the feeling that they all really care about what they do. And it shows. Oh, and do I think the YSC had any influence on my daughter's life? I think so. She has been pursuing studies in particle physics and is scheduled to receive her doctorate next year. Yes, I think so.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

The enthusiasm with which the organization presents science to young minds is catching. It is no wonder that those who are fortunate enough to be a part of the Youth Science Center's program go on to remarkable careers. It was very satisfying to see the wonder and the joy in the faces of the kids in a shopping mall as they interacted with the inventions and creatures that the YSC brings.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Youth Science Center is a superb organization with quality programs that proves science can be fun for youngsters. I hope the YSC is able to form new partnerships in the future with surrounding school districts to help fill in the gaps that were left when our leaders in Sacramento gutted education funding.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A place of wonder, discovery, imagination, learning, and fun! Enthusiasm for learning and teaching is revitalized everyday by all. If science takes us into tomorrow, the Youth Science Center will be responsible for many great things.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

YSC is such a wonderful place. I have taught there for about 20 years. I was also a parent of 3 children who attended classes there from the time they were 5 until they were in 6th grade. I will first speak to the parent role. My children all had such wonderful experiences here at YSC, learning very young about the world through science. They had many friends who attended and it was a place where parents met after dropping off their children and chatted in the walkways about the experiences here. They learned that science was fun because of all the hands-on experiences. It was a safe and risk-free environment to learn in. As for my teaching there, I always tell people "this is what teaching is all about. " Facilitating learning and the love for science to help children become problem solvers and critical thinkers is what YSC is all about. I teach the older students, 4th-8th grade and they are so enthusiastic to come to YSC. I have been given the opportunity to teach many different classes of these years. Some more successful than other. The successful classes are taught for multiple years. Children smile coming in the gate and smile going out the gate with the knowledge and experiences they gained at YSC. At the end of a week long double length class I taught this summer, I had overheard a student speaking to a fellow classmate stating "I wish this class went another week." That is quite a testimony from a middle schooler. Kids, Parents and teachers all are treated with respect from the summer director and board of directors. I love teaching at YSC.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been teaching at YSC for more than 20 years now, and I can say that my experiences at YSC have been the most enjoyable of my 33 years as a science educator. YSC is very selective in its teachers and encourages its teachers to be creative and work "outside the box". They have been open to any of my ideas for my classes, have provided whatever I needed to make it happen, and supported me with whatever was needed in order to help me excel in my desire to provide students with top notch, fun, exciting science educational experiences. I have taught classes on kites, aerodynamics and airplane flight, photography, ocean currents, astronomy and model rocketry. Students in Model Rocketry classes build rocket kits and fly them at the end with solid rocket fuel engines. Parents and children come to the launch and their excited screams resonate in the neighborhood. Students made kites from scratch and flew them outside. They flew their flying objects in the airplane classes, and delighted in the "Starlab" portable planetarium show as part of the astronomy class. They learned the constellations and how to read star maps and did projects that updated them on current NASA missions.. Never have I taught anywhere else where I was appreciated and treated as the professional I am. Imagine, the principal herself drops by daily to ask if there is anything I need! This summer, I was physically challenged by illness, and the principal rounded up a group of volunteers to help me move my materials in and out of the classroom as well as aiding me in the classroom. At YSC, I experience all the joy and enthusiasm a teacher SHOULD have when doing their favorite thing: teaching!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Youth Science Center gives scholarships. One of my fifth grade Special Education students, who was intensely interested in astronomy, received a scholarship to attend, I think it was two, classes on astronomy. This was so wonderful for him because his single mother wasn't able to further this interest by taking him to observatories or museums. He contacted me and told me how the classes taught him specific things that enlarged his learning about space.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Youth Science Center has been a large part of my childhood, both as a student and as a volunteer. Becoming a volunteer for the Youth Science Center for numerous years was a rewarding experience. It was amazing to see how dedicated the staff is to their work- something that, as a student, you take for granted.

3

Former staff

Rating: 5

My first experience with Youth Science Center was when I was a child. My mother introduced me to Mr. and Mrs. Chong, and I was fascinated by all of the really "cool" science contraptions and displays in the Center. I was 8, that made a huge impression on my future career endeavors as a Science Teacher. I honestly believe that the experiences you have as a child help play a role in who you will become in the future. Being exposed to such fascinating treasures truthfully made a difference. I have had the pleasure to teach at the Youth Science Center for the past three years, and have LOVED every moment. I have had the opportunity to teach high interest, hands on, standards based, but FUN science! I have seen children be inspired and be creative through the use of technology, through building and creating. I cannot praise the Youth Science Center enough for inspiring and encouraging young minds. Kudos!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our family has been involved with YSC since my son was in kindergaten. I can not say enough good things about the program. The teachers that YSC selects, all have a passion for science and their love for science is evident in the classroom. I have always volunteered throughout the entire class time in my childs classes so I have the first hand privilege of observation. There are so many different areas of science that YSC exposes children to, and the teachers stretch the minds and imaginations of these children. This program is by far the best that we have been involved with. The individualized attention of the teachers is amazing. Over the years, my son has developed special relationships with the teachers, and I know the concepts taught at YSC have influenced his life long learning.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

YSC is a 5+ Star organization that gives the best technology and science education in our community and more! It serves almost 1,000 or more students annually with the finest workshops, computer lab sessions, student leadership training, Astronomy Day, Science/Technology Day, technology services to the schools/community, and much more! The staff is extremely dedicated and gives the services that inspire and change or confirm our children's future goals. Everyone who receive any services from the YSC are excited with their programs and want more of them each year. Students and families cherish the experiences and come back to volunteer at the site. We are very grateful to the YSC, its staff and the services they provide to our youth! I give two thumbs up!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youth Science Center is a non-profit organization helping children to feel the joy of science while expanding their intellectual capacity to participate in the scientific enterprise. The staff are caring administrators and the teachers are educators with expertise in fun and rigor. The students come ready to learn each day and the result is a truly wonderful environment to learn about science. Tell your story here and help others understand this charity

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

25 years ago, some friends and I started an offshoot to YSC Fullerton. As a Science teacher and friend, I hope I have contributed as much as the YSC has helped me grow.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

The YSC is a magical place for children of all ages. If you spend a few hours observing classes you will find quality teachers who love their work, eager students who are being turned on to the world of science, and a small dedicated staff of professionals who keep the program running. I was so impressed by what I recently saw that I eagerly accepted an invitation to join the YSC board and become a part of this fine educational effort. I wish such an opportunity existed when I was growing up.

3

Former staff

Rating: 5

This is a great organization that is impacting our youth to become excited about science and technology. There is great support in getting the equipment needed in a timely manner and full license is given to be as creative as you want. The end result is much better learning for the kids.

3

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

My children began taking classes at the Youth Science Center in Hacienda Heights 14 years ago. They always loved the creative and inspiring teachers and classes. They are now too old to take the classes themselves, so they volunteer to work in the classroom as assistants. We still join in on some of their fun and educational field trips. We all still love the Youth Science Center.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Completely satisfied with programs offered, teachers are just knowledgeable & awesome! Administrators could not be kinder & more helpful! :)

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been extremely impressed by the quality of the youth experience at YSC. My company has donated $10K to them for the last 2 years, and we expect to continue with our support.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Youth Science Center has always been a place of inspiration for myself and many other students. I went to the Youth Science Center every year starting from first grade all the way through eighth grade, and continued to volunteer all the way through my college years. Each teacher presents science material in a unique and very interesting way. Many of the lessons are taught through a hands on project that each student creates, such as a model rocket to learn about Newton's laws of motion, or making circuit boards to understand how electric circuits work. The projects are not only fun to do, but allow students of all ages to grasp the concepts involved in the project much faster than if they were simply taught by a lecture in a classroom. The entire organization is run by very kind and caring people who teach there because they absolutely love their role in inspiring young students to one day become our future engineers and leaders in the field of science.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to the Youth Science Program by some moms whom I had met through a Mommy and Me class. It was a godsend to find a fun and educational place to send my childen to during the summer. It's way too easy to let them sit in front of the computer not doing anything. The Youth Science Center allowed my children to be exposed to science in a fun and educational way. They were able to do things that they weren't able to do in class due to the large class sizes and lack of public school funding. Where else can a child learn to build and launch a rocket or have a hands on lesson on gemology? Eating your way through a math lesson is way more fun than staring at a bunch of numbers. How many children get to learn about the space program and have instructors who are actually knowledgeable about it? These are just a few of the things that the Youth Science Center can offer. The biggest problem like most non profits is the lack of money. Student enrollment is down as the economy struggles. If you raise fees, then it hurts the very children the program is designed to help. My wish is that they are able to get funding and support. As we all know, children are the gateway to our future. If we invest in them now, the rewards will be plentiful in the future.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Youth Science Center provides learning opportunities for children that inspries them to learn about our world through science. Our country faces a crisis with a lack of students taking on Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) realted course work. This is due in part because we are not providing relevance or stimulas to children in the K-8 grades, so they are not prepared later on. The Youth Science Center provides outstanding, creative programs that fill that gap by a staff of most passionate people.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

YSC is a leader in the San Gabriel Valley in providing youth, especially inter-city children with the tools and opportunities to advance their knowledge of Science.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ThThis was the third year I have worked as a teacher offering my space science classes called "I Need My Space." I have taught elementary school for 35 years and know when a program works. This one gets an A+! The support I received during the preparation and set up for my class was excellent. The facility was very comfortable and I had all the tech and supplies I needed to do my job. As I taught, I was always asked if there is anything I needed and there was plenty of volunteer staff to help. I was highly respected for what I had to offer and felt very appreciated! Best of all, the children had a wonderful time and enjoyed learning through hands on activities. I give this program my highest rating!