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

Rating: 1 stars  

I have had extremely bad experience with Schmahl trying to do projects for my child. The mentors I worked with were not helpful as expected. Suddenly mentors became unavailable and the staff changed their attitude towards the family. We didn't get help as promised. We lost more than $3500 trying to do a science project and ended up with nothing. This place is a money making business when it comes to individual project. Since I haven't tried their group workshops, I have no comments on that.

Role:  General Member of the Public
belssw (Nonprofit Staff) wrote:

As the Executive Director of Schmahl Science Workshops, I am deeply saddened by this. I would like to reach out to this family by asking them to contact me at so that we can work on rectifying this situation. It is true that we had staffing issues this year. One of our primary full time mentors had to go on long-term medical leave. We contacted our impacted families immediately in order to shift them to new mentors, and attempted to make the transition as painless as possible. It is important to note that we do not promise specific days for any mentor. The dictates of the research and the time availability of mentors determine when scheduling can take place. We do our best to accommodate the needs of our families, but many of our scientists hold other jobs in addition to working at SSW and of course, have their own family time constraints. Schmahl Science Workshops is NOT a money making machine. While we do charge families for their project expenses, if they are low to low-middle income we offer scholarships to help with the costs. In addition, ALL students are given the opportunity to learn how to write grants so that they can find financial assistance with projects. Last year, students who attend our grant writing workshops won from $500 to $2500 to support their research. The research being conducted for science fair competitions by our students is not the “carnation and dye” or “baking soda volcano” projects of the past. These projects include complicated cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson disease projects; designing and building biomedical devices, etc. These projects require expensive reagents, cells, chemicals and materials in addition to huge man hours to complete. As mentioned earlier, qualifying families receive scholarships and we help students in looking for contributions. Unfortunately, not all students receive contributions. It is necessary to charge parents in order to cover the expenses of the project.