Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Partnerships: Industry/Education Success Stories

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Partnerships: Industry/Education Success Stories

Article excerpt

San Diego Science Alliance Expands Science Education Throughout County

Our children are 25% of our population and 100% of our future. We all agree that providing the best possible education and network of resources is imperative for their success. Hence, the San Diego Science Alliance (SDSA) was formed in July 1994 when a small group of people interested in enhancing science education decided to get together to determine what science-related programs were available for teachers in San Diego. Through networking efforts, the all-volunteer group grew to include representatives from high-tech companies, the biomedical community, higher education, museums, science professional societies and informal educators throughout the county.

Certainly this was a big task for the small group. However, with great determination, enthusiasm, commitment, corporate support and the vision to build a bridge between the education and business communities, their efforts have paid off handsomely.

SDSA developed a Resource Catalog, now in its fourth edition, to alert teachers to a diverse array of science-related education programs in San Diego County, such as field trips, classroom speakers, science fairs, job shadowing and hands-on activity kits. Participating organizations are profiled, highlighting their best-known products or services, Internet Web sites and internship opportunities. The Catalog is provided free of charge to educators countywide.

In addition, a newsletter disseminates information and fosters communication among teachers, scientists and other community organizations interested in supporting science literacy.

An Internet Web site (http://www.sdsa.org) has been dramatically redesigned, with over 120 hyperlinks to businesses and public schools. Educators, students, and industry leaders alike can log on to the SDSA Web site and search the online version of the Resource Catalog, read the latest newsletter and find the most up-to-date information on upcoming seminars, workshops or networking meetings.

Each year, a Partnership Awards breakfast is held to recognize outstanding contributions made by businesses, individuals, teachers and administrators, toward the improvement of science education. SDSA also provides judges for student science competitions, such as the Secondary Science Olympiad, Inventors' Showcase and the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair.

The San Diego Science Alliance, now more than 100 member organizations strong, was recently granted nonprofit 501 (c) (3) status and is governed by a 24-member Board of Directors. More than 90% of its finding comes from monetary and in-kind contributions; additionally, SDSA has been awarded several grants from philanthropic foundations.

Other select programs that SDSA sponsors or participates in include:

* High-Tech Fair. Several thousand students attended the first annual Educational Technology Fair, a countywide event co-sponsored by SDSA in collaboration with the San Diego County Office of Education and all five San Diego County congressional representatives. Students interacted with more than 50 of San Diego's high-tech businesses to gain hands-on experience with scientists and science careers. This high-profile event put science education in the spotlight, and plans for next year's Fair are already underway.

* Teachers' Hotline To San Diego Scientists. The Teachers' Hotline was created to tap the wealth of human resources from science and high-tech businesses to help high school teachers make science concepts and careers come alive for their students. …

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