E. San Jose students head to science camp

July 1, 2011 10:20:53 PM PDT
Some students in East San Jose are getting a boost in science this summer. A camp called "Stepping Up to Science" helps eighth graders prepare for high school while trying to close the achievement gap.

Moises de Luna is spending his summer learning about genetic diseases while also doing an array of science projects.

"I feel like I'm going to get a good education in biology," said de Luna. "Everyone is so friendly here, and I really like it. I enjoy this program very much."

For one month, he and other 8th grade graduates from East San Jose are preparing for high school biology while filling in the gaps. Most of these students come from underserved communities.

"Many students are lost in science because they haven't taken it for so many years because of 'No Child Left Behind' and the real focus on English and math which we know we need to address as well," said Joe Alberts with Overfelt High School. "but that often leads to school being about two subject instead of a breath of subjects."

The "Stepping Up to Science" program was developed by the Silicon Valley Education Foundation which focuses on raising student performance in math and science across all 33 Santa Clara County school districts. The organization have partnerships with several companies like National Semiconductor.

National Semiconductor through its foundation provides $350,000 dollars to fund the science program, but it doesn't end there. Teachers, throughout the year continue to be trained in science.

"Year round what we are working with teachers to make sure they have the latest tools, they know how to teach science in ways that is going to get kids excited so that they can continue their four years of high school." said Joan Scott with National Semiconductor Corporation.

"This is their future workforce; therefore the companies are very involved in the Silicon Valley Education Foundation and the work we do with education," said Rene Ramirez with the Silicon Valley Education Foundation.

The summer camp is taking place at Overfelt High School and will offer other academic summer programs to help students get on the college track.

"If I go to college I would be the second in my family to go to college in my whole family, so it's really important to my mom," student Luzmaria Cuevas said.


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