USC JEP Wonderkids is first-third grade after-school science program in the USC Family of Schools. It is currently in 6 schools: Foshay, Weemes, Vermont, Norwood, Mack, Norwood, and 32nd street. The program focuses on different areas of science through hands-on lesson plans and books. The program also has professional scientists from different science fields as rotating speakers come into the classroom to encourage students to pursue careers in STEM. Science fields pursued so far: neuroscience, environmental science, paleontology, deep sea, marine biology, botany, robotics, space, chemistry, DNA, animal behavior, and medicine.
- Day one of each focus block will draw on what the children know about the particular “science person” of study. Tutors will find out what students know about this particular type of scientist as well as what they want to know. Background knowledge will then be provided through reading of and discussion around children’s books and other sources.
- Days two and three will present children with hands-on, engaging lessons that allow them to learn more about what each particular scientist does, and to engage in activities that allow them to do experiments and become that particular type of scientist. These lessons will be prepared by JEP staff with the assistance and input from tutors.
- Day four of each block will consist of either a field trip that will allow them to experience more about the field of study, or a guest speaker who will present the students with additional insight and hands-on experiences in their work.
- The last two weeks of the program will culminate in preparing for a “What I Can Do in Science” showcase for parents and school staff. Children will self-select the “Science Person” they would most like to be, will prepare a project will the help of tutors, and will present their projects at the showcase on the last day.