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Review for A Schmahl Science Workshop, San Jose, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Schmahl Science Workshops (SSW) means so much to our family. It is the place where the rubber meets the road regarding a quality and comprehensive hands-on science education for our teen daughter. All of the Schmahl Science staff is in some way associated with science, either scientists themselves, master’s degree science students in the various science disciplines, working or retired engineers, scientists, instructors from industry or the teaching community. Students participate in biology labs, microbiology labs, anatomy and physiology labs, chemistry labs, civil engineering labs, earth science labs, life science labs, earthquake science labs and all with equipment used in real world settings. Students have the opportunity to follow an idea by designing and participating in research projects under the guidance of the Advanced Student Research Director, with the potential to develop patents. Schmahl Science Workshops has a wonderful outreach program that positively affects students from low wealth (underfunded) school districts, thus providing an equal science education and possibly the only exposure to real hands-on science these students would ever experience. Schmahl Science is lead by the energetic and extremely organized Executive Director Belinda Schmahl, who formed Schmahl Science in her garage in 1996 when she decided to provide a true need, hands-on science instruction – which was not provided by schools either because of lack of financing or expertise. Schmahl Science Workshops has served over 60,000 students and 4,000 teachers in Santa Clara County and increased its reach via the Bio Mobile Van, a rolling, fully equipped biology lab. SSW enhances the science education provided to students in poor school districts by providing them a true science laboratory experience along with quality science instruction. Students, whose schools or parents pay for the workshops, experience the same genuine hands-on lab experience with qualified instructors and equipment used in real world settings that their own schools could not provide due to lack of equipment or expertise. This 501©(3) not-for-profit corporation deserves funding because of the quality service and hands-on science education it provides to tens of thousands of students and thousands of teachers in Santa Clara County.

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

that my daughter better understands science principles and has the opportunity to participate in hands-on science instruction.

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

be a silent figurehead, why ruin a geat thing?

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

that Belinda Schmahl helps bring the joy of learning science, a vast subject, because of the various science disciplines, to everyone in Santa Clara County. She brings science to those that cannot afford to pay for the classes and those that can pay for the classes but who lack the expertise/equipment to provide such laboratory classes for their students.

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

knowledgeable, enthusiastic, driven, and genuine cheerleaders for science. They are science devotees who want to bring the joy of learning about a science subject hands-on to all students (those that cannot afford to learn about a science subject because of their being in an underfunded school district and those whose school districts lack the equipment/expertise).

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

purchase more mobile labs, increase staff, and reach out to more underserved students in Santa Clara County.

Ways to make it better...

we had more days in the week and more hours in a day to take more science classes.

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

nothing...Belinda Schmahl has a vision of providing hands-on science labs with real science equipment and instructors with the expertise to deliver compelling, and highly involving science classes to all students in Santa Clara County; funding would greatly enhance her reach of positively affecting more students regarding their exposure to science - good science.

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

Belinda Schmahl is the real deal, an intelligent, compassionate and visionary person wanting to spread the love of learning, especially about science to all students, regardless of wealth, or geographic location.

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Role:  General Member of the Public & volunteer.