The Young Scientist Program is funded in part with the generous support of the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Foundation. YSP is run out of USC Dornsife’s Joint Educational Project. YSP is comprised of a Program Director and undergraduate teaching assistants (TAs) from the life, natural, earth and engineering sciences, all of whom have a passion for education, community service work and science.
Originally introduced to Lenicia B. Weemes Elementary School in 2006 through a grant from the Weingart Foundation then in 2008 the program expanded to Vermont Elementary School and now, no longer funded by the Weingart Foundation. In 2010 the program was renamed the Young Scientists Program (YSP) – and is now present at five of the USC Family of Schools and is more vibrant than ever.
The Young Scientist Program works in partnership with 5 USC community schools, from the greater ‘USC 10 Family of Schools’ to engage more than 1400 elementary school students, 45 LAUSD teachers, and 5 principals through a broad repertoire of science curriculum. YSP TAs are placed at each school presenting hands-on science labs to fourth and fifth grade classrooms. YSP brings scientific laboratory experiences directly to students and their teachers with the goal of supplementing current science instruction, complimenting LAUSD and state grade level science learning standards, strengthening science literacy and promoting interest in scientific careers.
One of YSP’s primary objectives is to increase science activities for a larger number of our neighborhood children as a means to encourage them to consider careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathmatics (STEM) and to apply what they are learning in the classroom to the real world. Additional outcomes are that our USC undergraduate students learn how to become successful mentors, gain valuable teaching experience, and learn how to directly respond to the needs of the schools, communities and families.