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.
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 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.
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.
As a principal in Berryessa School District, I have had the pleasure of working with Belinda Schmahl for many years. She and her assistants have provided hands on science workshops at two of the schools where I served as principal. Students love the experience! Not only do they learn a great deal from the workshops, but they become excited about science. They want to learn more and teachers give them the opportunity to read and write about the science subject. One particular lesson that I've observed had students dissecting owl pellets. They learned a great deal about owls, the food chain, and the remains of the creatures they found in the owl pellet. It was a joy to watch them learning by discovery. Teachers in my schools don't always have the time, knowledge or materials to create the lessons that the Schmahl Science Workshops present and they love that we have had these scheduled for their students. I would highly recommend them to any elementary school. Jeanne S. Izant
I have arranged for Schmahl Science workshops to be held at Los Arboles Elementary School for several years now. I teach the GATE classes after school. At first Belinda and I set up eight weeks worth of lessons around one theme in the fall. It was so popular that we repeated another eight lessons in the spring. Other students heard the GATE students talk about the classes. Soon we added two more eight week long classes both in the fall and the spring. The teachers in this program are fantastic. They make even the most difficult concepts understandable for a variety of age groups. The children love discovering answers and developing questions through hands on activities and experiments. These are science workshops, but the learning spans the curriculum. Many of the activities include figuring out distances,measurements, etc. The students have to write down what they've learned in a science journal. The difference of knowledge between the past and present are discussed, and how they may be the ones to discover new facts in the future. The students love these workshops and feel proud of their accomplishments.
SSW has helped with my children's science fair projects for many years. The projects have always been challenging and far superior to a school project. They have built solar powered vehicles, tested for ecoli in everyday food products, built a baseball batting machine, and even built a bio-diesel go cart! They have learned so much with SSW. The teaching is totally hands on and they retain what they have learned!! It is an incredible program!
The schmahl Science program is fantastic!!!! Their was interaction between teachers, mothers and children that was astonishing mothers became children, children became the teachers, and the teachers became the guides. It was one of the most gratifying experiences of our program.
My kids have never been so interested in learning before they went to workshops with Schmahl. The environment is friendly, active, fun, and interesting. I don't know what we would do without Schmahl!