CONTACT: KEVIN L. NICHOLS, Founder, The Social Engineering Project, Inc.
Phone: (415) 490-8010
Science in the City Summer Camp in Oakland Aims to Get Young African American Students Excited About Science
Oakland, CA (July 29, 2016) - The third Science in the City Summer Camp for African American fifth and sixth grade students takes place at the Roses in Concrete Community School in East Oakland from August 8 to August 12, 9 am to 3 pm. The goal of this intensive Google-sponsored camp is to get underserved students of color excited about science by teaching them biology, physics, chemistry and engineering.
The summer camp is a collaboration between Stanford University's Science in the City research group and The Social Engineering Project, Inc. and aims to make academically rigorous science programs accessible to students of color. Minority students are the most susceptible to summer learning loss. Many families can’t afford to pay for summer enrichment programs.
“The Science in the City Summer Camp makes high-end science instruction available and affordable to underserved students throughout the Bay Area,” says Bryan A. Brown, cofounder and curriculum director of Science in the City Summer Camp and Associate Professor of science education at Stanford University. “The team of extraordinary teachers, scientists, and college students offer camp students something that is hard to come by in the Bay Area; excellent science instruction, examples of minority scientist teaching the courses, and fun engaging science.”
“The Science in the City Camp is so important because it focuses on the underlying subjects that are crucial in maximizing career options of African American youth,” says Kevin L. Nichols, Founder, President and CEO of The Social Engineering Project. “Although there are a lot of buzz words, emphasis, and resources being steered towards ‘coding,’ software programing and ‘app’ creation, career options, particularly in tech, are limited if you develop an aversion to math, chemistry, physics, and engineering courses at an early age. Our goal is create a love for STEM while students are young so that they can pursue any professional career that they choose. We just hope that it is tech related.”
“By the end of the week, the goal is to provide students with three vital outcomes,” says Bryan Brown, PhD. “First, it is our sincere hope that students will grow in their love of science. Through working in a number of disciplines, we hope students gain an understanding of the joy of science and how unique each area of science can be. Second, we hope the students will grow as learners. The students will be challenging during their time in the camp. The result of this challenge will be students who develop a deep understand of science ideas. Third, the camp is design to motivate the students to believe they can become scientists. Students will be taught by teachers of color and students of color. The idea is to model excellence in science learning at every level.”
This year there are 45 registered coed students; the majority are attending the camp as scholarship students. Bryan Brown oversees the course curriculum, which will be taught by six college students from various colleges across the country. This year's camp is funded for the first time by a grant from Google.org, which helps pay the teachers, the cost of materials (such as test tubes for chemistry class, solar balloons, hover crafts, and marshmallow launchers) and healthy meals for the students and staff.
If you are interested in covering the camp, please contact Kevin L. Nichols (415) 490-8010 or Kevin@TheSocialEngineer.org.
SCIENCE IN THE CITY SUMMER CAMP
DATES: Monday, August 8 through Friday, August 12th
TIME: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
LOCATION: Roses in Concrete Community School
4551 Steele St, Oakland, CA 94619
The Social Engineering Project (www.TheSocialEngineer.org) is an Oakland-based social impact venture that aims to address the lack of diversity in the tech industry. It was founded in March 2016 by Kevin L. Nichols who was involved with the first two Science in the City Summer Camps in 2013 and 2014.
The Science in the City research team (scienceinthecity.stanford.edu/) at Stanford University is comprised of former science teachers who examine how to improve science teaching and learning in urban contexts. The Science in the City website provides a venue for students, teachers, and colleagues to exchange ideas and to hear about new research findings.
Kevin L. Nichols, Founder, President & CEO of The Social Engineering Project, oversees the fundraising and administrative responsibilities of the Science in the City Summer Camp. Kevin L. Nichols has worked in multifaceted capacities in some of the most prestigious international law firms in the country, such as Morrison & Foerster, Paul Hastings, and Holland & Knight. His interest in diversity and technology began while he was a mechanical engineering/diversity intern at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Later, he became the Executive Director of the California Diversity Council. Kevin has become a social networking expert and full-time consultant specializing in litigation technology (eDiscovery), diversity, and social media marketing for the legal industry. Nichols has been featured on LinkedIn’s Hall of Fame, Yahoo’s Blog, the San Francisco Examiner, CNN Money, MarketWatch and the Wall Street Journal. For a full biography and CV, please visit http://bit.ly/KLNport .
Bryan A. Brown is an associate professor of science education at Stanford University, a member of Stanford’s Science in the City research team, and a cofounder of The Social Engineering Project. His work in the center for research on teaching at Stanford focuses on improving urban science education. He focuses on exploring how language and identity impact urban students’ learning. Dr. Brown is a former high school science teacher who earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Hampton University, a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of California, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was the 2007 winner of the National Association for Research in Science Education’s (N.A.R.S.T.) award for outstanding early career scholarship. Dr. Brown is the founder and executive director of Etu Schule, a non-profit organization that supports the educational development of minorities throughout the state of California.
Roses in Concrete Community School (rosesinconcrete.org/) is a charter school in East Oakland that opened in the fall of 2015. It is an immersion school, with classes taught in Spanish and English, serving the diverse population of the area. The school also serves as a community center, partnering with local nonprofit organizations to provide wrap-around services in education, health, housing, and job training to families in the area.