The public school system has a responsibility to educate the leaders of tomorrow's world. We believe that the best leadership also has a lasting impact on the community, so ideally any leadership program would seek to integrate community service into its main goal. The Science Bus High School Leadership Program aims to do just that through a series of workshops and a retreat to build leadership and communication skills in high school students. These skills would then be applied through a science mentorship program with an elementary school in Pomona. High school students would develop critical skill sets while inspiring younger students to become interested in science.
Description of the Program
Interested students are encouraged to apply to the program in early March. A retreat for the leadership fellows will be held at the end of March, where students will learn about good practices in teaching, participate in team building activities, and become oriented with the program. Starting the week of March 30th, the Science Bus leadership fellows would go to an Elementary School in Pomona to lead an afterschool science program geared at teaching elementary school students about the scientific method and scientific inquiry. Below is a suggested timeline for the afterschool program:
- Week 1: Lesson about the scientific method. This would involve a demonstration and a short question for the elementary school students to investigate through experiment. Students would then brainstorm some ideas for self-directed questions they want to answer using the scientific method.
- Week 2: Discuss the questions the students came up with and try to figure out some ways to answer those questions. There would be a few demos related to prepared questions to illustrate how one might approach a problem.
- Weeks 3: Students do the experiments.
- Week 4: Students begin to put together presentations of their projects (poster, etc.), tying in the science they did to state writing standards.
- Week 5: Students finish their posters, and then have a mini science fair for parents, teachers, and friends. This could take place at the elementary school, or at Harvey Mudd.
Ideally the high school leadership fellows would be involved on a deeper level in designing the afterschool program under the guidance of members of the Harvey Mudd community. This would allow them to experience multiple aspects of the educational process, both through planning and through teaching. The program would hone leadership and communication skills and prepare students for a wide variety of challenges they will likely face in college and in the workforce. The program would also provide a forum for meaningful community service and instill core values of giving back to the community.
Spring 2009 Program Details
The leadership retreat for the high school fellows occured on Saturday, March 28th on Harvey Mudd's campus. The retreat included a seminar lead by Professor Lynn on effective teaching, and the leadership fellows worked with Science Bus to help shape the details of the program.
Starting in mid-April, the high school leadership fellows worked with 25 to 30 students in an after school program at Montvue Elementary (map). The program lasted five weeks, and ran from 3pm to 4:15pm on Mondays. On the last day, the elementary school students presented their project posters during Montvue's Science and Technology Night. This provided an opportunity for the younger students to showcase their work for their family, teachers, and friends.
For more up to date information on the HS Leadership Program, visit our active website. We will be announcing application information for the fall of 2009.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact:
Neal Pisenti, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dmitri Skjorshammer, email@example.com