California Polytechnic State University

California Polytechnic State University

After School Science Club Program
Students Reached: 68 elementary school students
Chapter advisors: Dr. Sandra Clement and Dr. Anya Goodman

In order to spark an interest for science among elementary students in the San Luis Obispo area, the ASBMB Student Chapter at California Polytechnic State University organized two six-week afterschool science club programs during the 2015-2016 school year. Students in grades 3-6 at Monarch Grove Elementary School in Los Osos, California and Los Ranchos Elementary School in San Luis Obispo, California, were introduced to exciting, hands-on learning activities related to science through these weekly programs. Student activities included creating a cell model out of food in order to explore the parts and functions of the cell, and examining plant materials under microscopes.

These activities all used common household products, in hopes of motivating the students to recreate the demonstrations at home which would further expand their knowledge about the topics. Funds from ASBMB helped the chapter purchase materials used in the demonstrations and experiments, such as food for the cell model, composition notebooks for the “What part of the plant is it?” activity, and other experimental supplies.

In addition to these afterschool programs, during the 2015 school year the Cal Poly SLO ASBMB Student Chapter hosted multiple booths at the Science and Art Exploratorium event at the Monarch Grove Elementary School for the second year in a row. At these booths, the student chapter was able to provide the students, parents, and families in the Los Osos area the opportunity to learn about science together through interactive activities, such as strawberry DNA extraction.

The student chapter received positive feedback from both parents and students who participated in the afterschool programs. Before the program, only 7% of students said that they often talked about science at home. By the end, that number had increased to 90%, showcasing the success of the program. In addition, 100% of participating students’ parents said in a survey that they felt the program helped to instill an interest in science in their child. The Cal Poly SLO ASBMB Student Chapter intends to continue their work with these schools and the after school science programs and even extend it to younger grades to further spread an interest in science.

For more information about this student chapter, visit their Facebook page.


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Club officers promoting their after school science club at Monarch Grove Elementary School. 


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Students utilizing their notebooks during “What part of the plant is it?” activity.


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Watermelon cell model used to help students learn about the structures and functions of the cell.