Zoo Reaches Out to Local Community to Help Kids Learn About
May 6, 2002
Mike Morgan / 202-673-0209
Sharon Wright / 202-673-4728
Columbia Heights Kids Experience Smithsonian Science Through Community Service Partnership
Open house/press event at the Columbia Heights Community Science Workshop (CHCSW), a partnership of the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park, the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) and San Francisco State University that makes Smithsonian science available to young people in their own neighborhood. During the open house, young people from the District of Columbia’s Columbia Heights community will explore wildlife ecology by examining the remains of an owl’s meal, study the structure of flowers, compare the skeletal anatomy of animals, and participate in a seed germination project.
Wednesday, May 8, 2 to 5 p.m.
Youth Build at the Latin American Youth Center, 1474-B Columbia Road, N.W. Washington, D.C.
CHCSW provides hands-on science programs that complement school science curricula as well as informal after-school activities that promote learning in physical science, life science, earth science, and space science and technology. Recognizing that Latinos are underrepresented in post-secondary science education as well as in the science and technology professions, the CHCSW partners are working to develop ways of reaching an underserved, mostly Latino community. Through funding and oversight provided by San Francisco State University and the guidance and facilities of Washington’s Latin American Youth Center, the National Zoo is developing the CHCSW in an area that neighbors the Zoo.
Among the goals of the project: Introducing Smithsonian scientists who will serve as role models and mentors to young people from Columbia Heights; enhancing science and technology literacy and promoting awareness of its importance in the community; recruiting promising young people through CHCSW for internships at the Smithsonian; and developing CHCSW as a model science education program that might be adapted to other places.