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Review for Youth Science Center, Hacienda Heights, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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!

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

Every classroom at YSC is full of children obviously enjoying interesting projects that make even the most challenging science concepts understandable. We have alumni with PhD's in Physics and Astronomy working on big telescopes and super-colliders

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

YSC has always been phenomenal in getting the most from the limited resources it has. YSC could do SO MUCH MORE with increased support for its programs such as a permanent building of its own and more teaching materials.

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

the professional way in which I am treated and valued by the staff and volunteers at YSC. They lift the burden of all the mundane chores from the teachers allowing us to spend the maximum time enjoying the teaching process and relating to the students.

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

professional, interesting in their own right and ready to try new things and help each other.

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

build a facility of its own and stock it with things like computers, telescopes, microscopes, lab scales etc. Having to rent a facility results in not having control of the rooms. Often, teachers have to move around to accommodate the cleaning schedule.

Ways to make it better...

there were more classrooms. The staff does everything they can to assure the best experience possible for the students. The director even wrote a grant to upgrade our planetarium so that we have state of the art equipment. They are not afraid to dream

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

having to rent the facility. YSC needs more financial backing. The staff could use their time more productively if they didn't have to constantly seek small grants. They could be dreaming up bigger and better things to help the program improve and gro

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

YSC is the BEST place in the world for a science teacher! We love it there and are allowed to let our creative juices flow, dream and truly enjoy what we were trained to do: TEACH!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Professional with expertise in this field & Teach.