Science Outreach Program
For more than 80 years, the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo (JMZ) has been a place for children to discover, learn and grow. The museum’s science exhibits, science education programs, and workshops and classes create unique opportunities for children to learn about STEM academics (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in a fun and creative way.
Since 1999, the Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo have worked in partnership with the JMZ and the City of Palo Alto to provide the Science Outreach Program at no cost to underserved students in local communities. Through Science Outreach, JMZ Educators are placed at schools in East Palo Alto, East Menlo Park and Mountain View at no cost to the school or district.
In school year 2014-2015, the Friends' Science Outreach Program will provide more than 1,200 students with instruction in critically important concepts in the fields of Life, Earth and Physical Sciences. These science lessons are aligned with Next Generation and STEM academics, and provide engaging activities that include:
Topics: Life Science, Biomes, Wood; lessons can include meeting the JMZ’s animals, learning the scientific method, building paper bridges to discover paper’s strength, and more.
Topics: Organisms, Air and Weather, Solids and Liquids; lessons can include learning about animal survival skills, testing wind speed with an anemometer, building a terrarium, and more.
Topics: Insects, Pebbles, Sand and Silt, Balance and Motion; lessons can include observing insect specimens, creating a fossil cast, making a balance toy to discover the center of gravity, and more.
Topics: Adaptations, Sun, Moon & Stars, Energy and Matter; lessons can include drawing Baylands plants, birds and fish, using a telescope for daytime observations, going inside the STARLAB – a portable planetarium, and more.
Topics: Environments and Animal Studies, Earth Science, Electricity; lessons can include performing a squid dissection, identifying minerals, constructing an electric car, and more.
Topics: Human Body, Water Planet, Mixtures and Solutions; lessons can include using a microscope to study human cells, dissecting a cow’s eye, learning about water and pollution, conducting experiments to observe endo-and exo- thermic reactions, and more.
For some of the schools served by Science Outreach, this program provides the only science instruction that their students will receive.