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February 2021 Newsletter
Register for Summer Camp 2021
The Real Women Behind “Hidden Figures”
Where Are They Now? Brandon Harris
Mathemagicians Homework Club
Donate to EIS

Summer Camp 2021
Price: $275 per student, per week

Hours: 9:00AM – 4:00PM

Summer Camps: June 21 – August 27 2021
 
We are looking forward to 10 weeks of STEAM fun where students learn using hands-on science activities! Students will participate in a variety of STEAM classes such as genetics, chemistry, biology, ecology, engineering, physics, marine biology, botany, 3D printing, coding, astronomy, photography, climate science, and more!
Week 1: June 21 – June 25   
Theme: Exploring Genomics: What Makes You, You?

 

Week 2: June 28 – July 2   
Theme: Rocket Science

 

Week 3: July 6 - July 9
Theme: Conquering Chemistry!

(Discount price $220, no camp on Monday, July 5)        
 

Week 4: July 12 – July 16   
Theme: Garden Genius

 

Week 5: July 19 – July 23   
Theme: Galaxy Explorers 
Week 6: July 26 – July 30   
Theme: Super Hero Adaptations

 

Week 7: August 2 – August 6   
Theme: Whales, Porpoises, and Dolphins, Oh My!

 

Week 8: August 9 – August 13   
Theme: Innovating Inventors

 

Week 9: August 16 – August 20   
Theme: Ocean Protectors

 

Week 10: August 23 – August 27   
Theme: Science Communication through Art
LUNCH/SNACKS: Please send your student with a healthy lunch, water bottle, and snacks every day. There will be a lunch break and two snack breaks.
 

DISCOUNTS: Sibling, military, and multi-week discounts will be applied during registration. Scholarships are also available for those who qualify.
 

HEALTHY & SAFETY: We are committed to keeping our students and staff safe. EIS will be following CDC recommended guidelines, including social distancing, daily temperature checks, and wearing a mask.
 

For more information, or to register, please visit eisca.org/register.
 

BE A FRIEND, TELL A FRIEND: Please let other families know about our programs! Refer any interested families to our website eisca.org.
 

EIS ADDRESS: 608 51st Street, San Diego, CA 92114
PHONE: (619) 263-2302 EMAIL: info@eisca.org

 

The Real Women Behind "Hidden Figures" 

To celebrate both Black History Month and International Day of Women and Girls in Science, EIS is highlighting “Hidden Figures”. “Hidden Figures” is a popular movie that was released in theaters in 2016, and sparked a world-wide interest into the stories behind some of the most important women in STEM. “Hidden Figures” follows the real-life stories of three women of color who triumphed their way through the male dominated STEM world, landing leadership roles at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). While faced with segregation laws and discrimination, these three women proved that their knowledge and abilities were necessary for space exploration. The film is currently available to stream on Disney+, Hulu, and Sling TV, and is available for rent on Amazon Prime Video and YouTube, in addition for purchase on DVD/Blu-Ray. Here are some facts about each of these historical women:

Katherine Johnson


Photo credit: https://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/hiddenfigures/kntrj.jpg

Katherine Johnson (portrayed in the film by Taraji P. Henson) was born in West Virginia in 1918, where she graduated high school at just 14. She then attended West Virginia State University and graduated with her degree in Mathematics and French. She went on to become the first African-American woman to pursue a graduate degree at West Virginia University. She began her career as a teacher, but later was hired by the National Advisory Committee or Aeronautics (NACA) as a mathematician in 1953. NACA was later disbanded and transitioned into NASA, where Johnson then worked as an aerospace technologist. At NASA, she calculated trajectories and launch windows, as well as plotted navigation charts, for many of the first manned missions to space. She worked alongside many famous astronauts, such as John Glenn and Alan Shepard, and calculated the trajectories for the Apollo 11 and Apollo 13 missions. After retiring from NASA in 1986, she became an advocate for women and people of color to pursue careers in STEM fields, closing both the race and gender gaps. In 2015, Johnson was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama, who deemed her as a pioneering woman in STEM. NASA has dedicated two research facilities to continue her legacy, and several schools and universities nationwide have renamed STEM facilities in her honor. She passed away in 2020, leaving behind 6 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.  


Dorothy Vaughan


Photo credit: https://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/hiddenfigures/spdrt.jpg

Dorothy Vaughan (portrayed in the film by Octavia Spencer) was born in Missouri in 1910, and later moved to West Virginia where she graduated high school as the valedictorian. She attended Wilberforce University in Ohio and received her degree in mathematics. Like Johnson, Vaughan got her career start as a teacher before pursuing a career at NACA in 1943. She served as a mathematician and programmer calculating flight paths and computer programming for many missions, including the Scout Project. She became the first person of color to hold a supervisor position, and one of only a handful of females to lead a team. She became fluent in several programming languages when more and more digital computers were introduced to the field, and taught her team of women how to use this advanced technology. Vaughan continued down her career path when NACA transitioned into NASA and worked as a computer programmer with the company for 28 years until her retirement in 1971. She passed away in 2008, leaving behind 6 children, 10 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren. In 2019, she was posthumously honored with the Congressional Gold Medal, and a crater on the Moon was named after her. Her legacy continues with a new satellite named after her that was launched into space in 2020.

Mary Jackson

Photo credit: https://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/hiddenfigures/jlmry.jpg

Mary Jackson (portrayed in the film by Janelle Monáe) was born in Virginia in 1921. She attended Hampton University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physical science. She spent her time as a Girl Scout leader, inspiring young girls to go into STEM fields. Jackson also began her career as a teacher before serving as a bookkeeper and clerk for several companies. She was recruited by NACA in 1951 to be a research assistant, later transitioning to an engineer for both NACA and NASA. She was the first woman of color to hold an engineering position. Jackson worked on wind tunnels, studying the forces and mathematics generated by wind pressure. Her work led her to become to highest ranking engineer at NASA, but she took a step down to focus more on encouraging women and people of color to pursue higher education and apply for upper level positions at NASA. She retired from the company in 1985 after influencing countless women to work in STEM fields. Jackson’s legacy continues with an elementary school being named after her, as well as the NASA headquarters building in Washington D.C. In 2019, she was posthumously honored with the Congressional Gold Medal, and a satellite was launched into space in 2020 that was named in her honor. She passed away in 2005, leaving behind two children.

Learn more about these pioneers at Nasa.gov/modernfigures!

Where Are They Now: Catching up with Brandon Harrison


We have a new installation for the "Where are They Now?" a somewhat irregular feature in the EIS monthly newsletter.  If you called EIS or walked in the door of the EIS Learning Center between 2008 and 2016, you most likely met Brandon Harrison. We hope you enjoy catching up with what he is up to as much as we did!
 

How did you come to EIS?
 

I started at EIS at the age of 20 in May 2008 as the summer program assistant for Ms. C (Charla Fields, former EIS Education Director) I was a senior in college, and expected it to be a summer job, but had no idea I would fall in love with the organization and stay there for 7.5 years! I then became the part time administrative assistant after the summer of 2008. I graduated from San Diego State University in May 2009 and then became full time. From there I worked in community and donor relations, facility management, assisted in the elementary and high school programs and was the executive assistant to Mrs. Doris Anderson, EIS Executive Director for over 27 years. It was an awesome journey of growth and I formed many lifelong relationships during my time there.

 

What are your best memories of EIS?
 

I have A LOT of "best memories" from my times at EIS. Some of the highlights are every single summer program, going to Glacier National Park, Tea & Food for Thought teas, Congressman John Lewis visit to Southeast San Diego, EIS’s 50th anniversary, celebrating 10 years in the building, taking students to Washington DC for Power Shift, Field Trip Fridays, and making connections with the staff, community, kids and parents. I spent so much time at EIS and getting to meet so many people that changed my life and I am forever grateful for all the BEST MEMORIES I have of EIS. Working at EIS changed my life and gave me a foundation in my career, as a man, and leader in my community. The great memories I have of EIS are endless and are tied so closely to who I am because it all happened in my formative years as a young professional straight out of college. I had the honor of getting to experience so many incredible things and help impact thousands of students. I recently officiated the wedding of a former student at EIS. It was so special to be part of her big day, and reminded me of family connections that are built at EIS. I also recently was part of a 
Say it Now tribute for Mrs. Anderson organized by Walter Green, a longtime ambassador of EIS. A group of EIS students, employees, parents, volunteers, supporters, and community members made a video where we shared the impact Mrs. Anderson had on our lives. It was just a beautiful time of reflecting on all the beautiful EIS memories and relationships that Ms. Anderson held in each of our hearts. I highly recommend the experience, check it out at www.sayitnow.life
 

What are you doing now?
 

I started at EIS in 2008 as a college student, and now I am very happily married with three children.  When I worked at EIS, I always volunteered in ministry roles, but it was always my dream to work full time in ministry. After leaving EIS, I worked as the assistant to the Dean at National University in Health & Human Services, before becoming a children's pastor. I now have the honor of being an associate pastor at the Rock Church in Point Loma. It has been a great journey and I am grateful for each part of my journey.


 
Message for students & parents

A message I would like share with parents and students is to keep in touch with EIS. It is such an impactful organization in the southeast San Diego community.  It is wonderful to see so many students come back as instructors and learn about their careers as STEAM professional. It is so encouraging for EIS staff and supporters to hear the real life stories of the impact of EIS. My 1st assignment in 2008 was to contact all the alumni and see where they are now, and it was beautiful to hear generations of people who have said how important EIS was to them, their kids and grandkids. EIS is a beacon of hope on the hill that I hope will forever be a place of hands-on learning for years to come.

 

What did you learn at EIS that continues to serve you well?

I learned so much at EIS that serves me well to this day. Ms. Doris Anderson & Mr. Walter Green were two people that mentored me and still do to this day. They instilled so many life lessons in me that impact my daily life. Ms. Anderson would always remind the staff to treat each child that came to EIS like they were our own. When I started at EIS, I was not a dad, but by my second year at EIS, I became a dad and realized what that meant. I took that mindset into every area of my life, and especially when I became a children's pastor. I try to treat each child, student, person, client, whatever it is I am doing with that same level of care. Ms. Anderson truly treated each child like they were her own, and it made me realize the importance of caring for people in all that I do. Not just dealing with kids, but with everyone. I have the mindset that people don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care. And that is because of how I watched Ms. Anderson care and lead people. She cared about every single newsletter, year-end appeal, summer program, details in grants, and every single student. It was beautiful to see a high level leader still care so much about each detail because she treated everyone in the organization with so much love and care. She truly led from a place of love and I took note of that and try to lead in the same way throughout my life.

 

Mr. Green also had a huge impact in how I am today as well. He taught me SO many things that serve me well to this day. One of them is the value of gratitude. To watch him go about his journey of intentionally speaking to each person for his THIS IS THE MOMENT book and to see how he expressed gratitude in so many areas impacted me greatly. He also talked a lot about going at a grant, event, project, goal with the end in mind. If this (blank) is going to be successful, what does that look like? That concept of thinking backwards has helped me in every area of my life as a dad, husband, pastor, etc. Those lessons of gratitude and thinking something all the way through with attention to detail have been game changers for me. He has poured so much into my life personally and the life of EIS and I am always grateful for how intentional he is and I try and incorporate that level of intentionality into each relationship, meeting, goal that I have as well.

 

I learned so much at EIS that serves me to this day and for that I am forever grateful for my time at EIS.
The Mathemagicians
 
Join the Saturday Mathemagician Homework Club! Our wonderful volunteers Sanjana and Vanitha are offering their support online.

 

If you would like to participate send an email to info@mathemagiciansclub.comInclude in your email, your child’s grade and math concepts they are working on (or share an attachment of their homework).  They will offer help, more practice problems or worksheets. This includes SAT math help as well. They will monitor this email daily so you don’t have to wait until Saturday to ask for help.

You can also join the Saturday afternoon online meetup from 12:00-12:45 pm
 https://meet.google.com/xsd-fnkh-nqc.

UPDATE: The club has recently launched the “mathemagicians” app which kids can use to practice and improve their proficiency in basic arithmetic.  The app is accessible through the website, with the mobile app version coming soon.


Have you participated in programs, taken a class or volunteered at the Elementary Institute of Science?

Whether you’re still in high school, college, working or retired, we want to know what you’ve been up to and if you have thoughts about any impact EIS had on your life or career. Please send an email to our Development Assistant, Leah Oviedo at
 loviedo@eisca.org.

EIS alumni are invited to join our official group to reconnect and stay updated on future reunions. Facebook.com/groups/AlumniConnectEIS

 
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December 2020 Newsletter
Thank You
STEM Video: Binary Code Bracelet
Last Chance to Register for Winter Camp
Donor Spotlight: The Kumar Family
Mathemagicians Homework Club
Donate to EIS

Year End Thank You

Dear Friends:

By any measure, this has been a year for the record books. The COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world in early 2020, changing everything in its path, including EIS. The toll this disease has taken is heart wrenching and has laid bare many of the inequities EIS has been fighting against for more than five decades. The people we serve have been hit hard by the pandemic, which has only magnified the disparate health outcomes we see in communities of color. The challenges and uncertainty that families face day after day are daunting. The pandemic has not dampened our students’ enthusiasm, but it has restricted their access to educational opportunities, especially the rich learning experiences that EIS provides.


EIS has risen to the challenge by adapting our programs to the new environment the pandemic has created and producing on-line learning experiences crafted with the same care and knowledge we have always employed. We also know the learning losses kids have suffered are real, which makes our work of providing students with authentic, hands-on science more important than ever.

Back in March, we began distributing daily do-at-home science lessons and creating open online content. As the pandemic continued through the fall of 2020, we are partnered with neighborhood schools and are now working directly with teachers to deliver exceptional science lessons to students in their homes via Zoom. Looking ahead, we will be ready for the day when we can safely welcome students back into our labs.


We are deeply heartened by the tremendous support we have received from individuals, foundations, corporations, parents, and partners. Thank you for giving so generously.


Please join us as we continue to build coalitions and provide programs that address educational equity in our community.  Please consider making a gift of $25, $50, or $100. We are in this together, and together we can create brighter futures for students.


Please stay safe and healthy.

Donate Now
 

EIS Computer Science: Binary Code Bracelet 

Create your own binary code bracelet with EIS Computer Science Instructor, Ms. Clare. In this activity, students will translate their name into binary code, and create a bracelet to combine art with computer science. You can also download our Computer Science: Binary Code Lesson.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos! 
 

Register for Virtual Winter Camp 

Registration for EIS Winter Camp closes this Friday. Click HERE to register.


Donor Spotlight: The Kumar Family

Vanitha Kumar is the Vice President of Modem Software Engineering at Qualcomm and on the EIS Board of Directors. She volunteers at EIS along with her husband Prem, and daughters Sahana, and Sanjana. You might remember them from last year’s Open House and many other programs at EIS. Vanitha and her daughter Sanjana are founders of the Mathemagicians Club, a  free math help & homework support club that operates out of EIS open to any kids that needs  math help.

Working with the board, staff, and instructors who are so selflessly committed to supporting equitable STEM education in San Diego inspired Vanitha to bring her whole family to volunteer at EIS. “Working with EIS and serving on the EIS Board has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. When children grow up with a scientific way of thinking, they use those skills in all aspects of their life whether or not they pursue a STEM career.“




Recently, the Kumar family shared their favorite memories of EIS, as well as the impact volunteering has had on them.


 A favorite memory for Prem, an IoT Consultant, is at the annual EIS Open House, seeing children guide their parents to new tables with different STEM subjects. “This is a magical moment when the seeds of curiosity are sown in a young mind.” Prem is always excited to be at EIS and see the hands-on opportunities that spark an interest for the youth who visit the learning labs. As an avid photographer, his favorite space is the photography room where he can see the cameras and imagine the memories they have created for EIS families.


When Sahana, currently a BioMedical Engineering student at Johns Hopkins University, was an EIS Lab Assistant, she realized the power EIS has to inspire underrepresented communities in STEM. As a college student, she sees firsthand the importance of diversity in STEM classrooms. “There are very few first-generation, African American, or Latino students in my classes. By inspiring and aiding students in pursuing science as a career, EIS promotes a diverse STEM field and reminds me of the importance of diversity in the classroom and in industry.” A favorite memory that stands out is when she interviewed the late Dr. Robert Matthews about his work both with EIS and in civil rights activism. Sahana was awed by the immensity of his impact in the San Diego community.


Vanitha and her youngest daughter Sanjana, a high school freshman, volunteer as math tutors through their Mathemagicians Club at EIS. In 2019, they started offering Saturday math classes. For Sanjana it has been an opportunity to gain insight into the lives of the students she works with. “Through teaching EIS students and tutoring many of them through our Mathemagicians club, I have had the privilege of learning more about their lives and the way that they approach problems.” The club switched to virtual classes when the Covid-19 pandemic caused restrictions in San Diego. Parents and students can send an email to 
info@mathemagiciansclub.com to sign up to join virtually every Saturday at noon. For Vanitha, seeing students grasp difficult math problems is inspiring. “Every session with every kid when they transition from being confused to " Aha, I get it now" is priceless.” She hopes that more students will take advantage of this opportunity.

Vanitha and Prem believe it is important for their daughters to have hands-on volunteer opportunities. “My girls realized that no age is too young to start giving back to your community and that by teaching something to someone younger than you, you become better learners yourself. The life lessons they got volunteering at EIS, they couldn't have received that anywhere else.” said Vanitha.


EIS is immensely grateful for the continued support of the entire Kumar family.


The Mathemagicians
 
Join the Saturday Mathemagician Homework Club! Our wonderful volunteers Sanjana and Vanitha are offering their support online.

 

If you would like to participate send an email to info@mathemagiciansclub.com. Include in your email, your child’s grade and math concepts they are working on (or share an attachment of their homework).  They will offer help, more practice problems or worksheets. This includes SAT math help as well. They will monitor this email daily so you don’t have to wait until Saturday to ask for help.

You can also join the Saturday afternoon online meetup from 12:00-12:45 pm 
https://meet.google.com/xsd-fnkh-nqc.



Have you participated in programs, taken a class or volunteered at the Elementary Institute of Science?

Whether you’re still in high school, college, working or retired, we want to know what you’ve been up to and if you have thoughts about any impact EIS had on your life or career. Please send an email to our Development Assistant, Leah Oviedo at
 loviedo@eisca.org.

EIS alumni are invited to join our official group to reconnect and stay updated on future reunions. Facebook.com/groups/AlumniConnectEIS

 
Donate to EIS
Website
Website
Facebook
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Instagram
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YouTube
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LinkedIn
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Twitter
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