Overview

Science Alliance is a novel program that aims to teach science to the younger generations at an early age and help them gain a deeper appreciation for the sciences. Our program aims to pair qualified high school students with intellectually curious individuals in the fifth grade.

Every year, Science Alliance organizes and runs a science program exclusively designed for fifth grade students in the area. The fifth grade students ("the buddies") are paired with high school honor students ("the mentors") to guide them through advanced level science projects. Along the way, the students will develop basic skills in planning, executing, and reporting their activities. The culminating event of the year is a district-wide science fair, where the students can display their projects and show off their knowledge!

Although most of the Science Alliance activity culminates at Monte Vista, we have opened new branches at both San Ramon Valley High School and Dougherty Valley High School. We hope to continue expanding every year.

The fifth graders are guided by their mentors every step of the way to creating their first advanced science experiment, so there is never any need to worry. At the end of the year, they will be able to show off their hard work at the district science fair.


Mentoring

Our mentors are carefully selected from the highest achieving high school students. Every mentor has a strong background in some form of lab science, and has a passion for teaching the younger generations. A mentor will be paired with your child based on common interests from the questionaire that we will ask you to fill out. All mentors are then trained by our staff of mentor trainers in order to provide the best experience for your child.

Fifth graders will meet with their mentors once every month at either Monte Vista, San Ramon, or Dougherty Valley High Schools, depending on which is closest. They will also keep in contact with their mentors by emailing once a week to ensure the project is on track.


Meetings

Mentors and Buddys will meet once a month at their closest high school to discuss the project, brainstorm new ideas, and just have fun. Every meeting includes snacks and activities to keep everything fun and relaxing. They also include science demos that are sure to entertain onlookers!


Planning Your Project

As you embark on your own science adventure, imagine if someone offered you the answer to any question that’s ever perplexed you, however big or small. That’s exactly the opportunity science fairs give you – the freedom and power to explore almost any curiosity you’ve ever had, and to do it on your own. (Of course, your friends, teachers and parents are there to help.) The first major decision to make is yours: What topic will you take on? What are things or occurrences that you see on a daily basis that interests you? Or perhaps you see something on the news headlines that catches your attention. The bottom line is that your future in science fairs is wide open!

The beauty of science fairs is that you get to learn something outside the scope of materials learned in school, and get to see how you can apply science to real life instead of just seeing it on a two-dimensional page of your textbook. Through this program, we hope you can learn the process of scientific investigation, get to know your high school mentor, and most importantly, get a chance to roll up your sleeves to do some awesome, fun science projects!


Experimenting

At Science Alliance, we encourage you to explore your interests. Every buddy will work with their mentor to develop a project idea that interests them. Students in the past have done projects in behavioral and social sciences, botany, chemistry, earth and space sciences, engineering, environmental science, mathematics, medicine and health, microbiology, physics, and zoology. Projects are not restricted to these categories however, and you are free to pick anything you want! All projects will be reviewed by our club advisors to make sure they follow the safety guidelines. That also means, for buddies: no rockets, no projectiles, no hazardous chemicals, or anything else that could endanger your health. Parents, that means you don't have to worry about your child getting hurt.


The Science Fair

The Science Alliance fair is held at the end of the program. The 2018 Science Alliance Science Fair was held at Monte Vista High School. Buddies presented their project to high school student judges orally using their prepared science board and any additional materials in their binder or project display.