Elementary Institute of Science

Go to Elementary Institute of Science for online science learning opportunities.

Check here for 2021 summer camp opportunities with EIS or Register for summer camp.


May 2021 Newsletter
Register for Summer Camp 2021
Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Inventors
Biological Diversity in California
Staff Spotlight: Vanesa Dominguez
FIRE Up Summer Technology Camp
Donor Spotlight: Union Bank Foundation
Join the EIS Team!
Access Youth Academy Tryouts
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

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Inventors
Asian-American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Heritage Month is observed every May to celebrate the rich diversity of Asian-Pacific culture, innovation, and achievements. Since it is also National Inventors Month we are highlighting some remarkable APPI inventors. Did you know that paper, the magnetic compass, and matches were all invented in Asia? These may seem like simple things, but there was a time when they didn’t exist! Someone invented them.  

Even the smallest invention can have a huge impact, especially if it can be used to prevent the spread of illness on a global scale. That is the kind of invention 
Alice Min Soo Chun came up with last year! Alice is a Korean-American and founder of a solar design company. During the 2020 pandemic, she was inspired to invent a transparent, self-adhesive N95 face mask that would not cause pain or discomfort for wearers. The mask is also helpful for people who are hard of hearing and need to read lips.

Alice Min Soo Chun

This next invention was also created in response to a health crisis.
 Katherine Jin, Kevin Tyan, and Jason Kang are three Asian-American friends who were inspired by a contest at their college for innovative and low-cost ways to fight against an Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014. They invented a powder that improves the efficiency of clear bleach disinfectant. The powder helps in two ways, first by changing the properties of bleach so it will stick on to surfaces like the personal protective equipment (PPE) of front-line workers. Secondly, the powder creates a temporary bright blue color to show whether or not the PPP has been fully disinfected, giving peace of mind to the workers.

Katherine Jin, Kevin Tyan, and Jason Kang

Access to water and energy are not easily available in most refugee camps, making these inventions truly life saving for the 26 million refugees worldwide (according to the UN).
 Ashok Gadgil an Indian-American is well known for two inventions that have improved health conditions in refugee camps. The first is a water system that filters and kills pathogens in water using UV light, increasing access to clean and affordable drinking water. The second is a stove that reduces the need for firewood up to 50%.  

All of these inventions were created by the need to solve a problem. Is there a problem that you want to solve or something you want to make easier for yourself or others? If you could invent something, what would it be?


May 22 is International Day for Biological Diversity

The term “biodiversity” is an important concept in conservation and ecology. Biodiversity refers to species “richness,” i.e. how many different species of plants and animals there are in a particular area. Places like tropical rain forests and coral reefs are great examples of places with high biodiversity. Many people are surprised that our local region is also known for its rich biodiversity.

There are 36 places scattered around the world that are known as biodiversity “hotspots.” These are places where there are many different species, and a significant number of these species are endangered or currently being destroyed. Only three of the world’s 36 biodiversity hotspots are located in North America, one of which is here in California and known at the California Floristic Province.

A wide variety of ecosystems are found here, including sagebrush steppe, prickly pear shrubland, coastal sage scrub, chaparral, juniper-pine woodland, upper montane-subalpine forest, alpine forest, riparian forest, cypress forests, mixed evergreen forests, Douglas fir forests, sequoia forests, redwood forests, coastal dunes and salt marshes. Today, only about 25 percent of the original vegetation remains.

The California hotspot comprises most of the state’s coastal region and extends into the northern portion of Baja California, Mexico. This hotspot is home to the endangered giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), the planet's largest living organism as well as the endangered coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). A number of threatened endemic (native and restricted to a certain place) species are found here, too, including the endangered giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), the desert slender salamander (Batrachoseps major aridus) and some of the last individuals of the critically endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus).

For those who wish to explore the biodiversity of our region but don’t have the time to venture out into the field, the San Diego Natural History Museum is an ideal place to learn about the plants, animals, and habitats of southern California and Baja California. For more information, visit 

Staff Spotlight: Meet Vanesa Dominguez  

This month’s staff spotlight features EIS Technology Education Coordinator, Vanesa Dominguez. Vanesa has been with EIS for over two years, starting out as a coding instructor and is now a vital part of our education team. She is spearheading all of the technology programs at EIS, including FIRE Up!, Girls Take Flight, and Botball. 
Vanesa holds a degree in Mathematics from California State University San Marcos. She has always had a passion for math, and has worked tutoring math and computer science at Sylvan Learning Center at CSUSM. Vanesa believes that teaching is in her blood, considering that her mother was an elementary school teacher for over 30 years. She believes that STEM education is important because it is a tool to advance humanity, to create a better and more improved society. Vanesa’s favorite programming language is Python because although it is a high-level programming language, it is fairly easy to digest, which makes it easier to teach.

Vanesa says that the most rewarding part of her job as our Tech Coordinator is that she really enjoys planning and seeing a project through, looking at the big picture, strategizing and working with different kinds of people. As a coding and drone Instructor, she loves seeing kids get excited about coding. It makes her happy when she sees her students figuring stuff out on their own and being proud of themselves. She loves making "complicated" things such as coding easy and fun for students to learn. Vanesa loves a good challenge, so working with different components, systems, and people to make a project run smoothly is something she is always ready to take on. A memorable moment Vanesa has at EIS when she was a coding instructor for FIRE Up! 2019 and directed a "We Will Rock You" cover where the students drummed to the beat using PVC pipes and sang along as they were manually flying a drone! Vanesa and her students had loads of fun combining music and coding to create a music video to show off to their parents at the end of the program.

In her free time, Vanesa loves doing yoga, dancing, playing guitar, and singing. She loves being one with nature, and is often out snorkeling, hiking, and traveling. Outside of her math and computer science passions, Vanesa loves reading about philosophy and cooking. She loves trying new foods from different cultures, and is always open to grabbing a fresh cup of coffee. 

Next time you’re at EIS, ask Ms. Vanesa about her favorite types of chocolate!


FIRE Up! Technology Camp  - FREE!
Fire Up Your Imagination!
Sign up for the 2021 FIRE Up! coding and engineering summer camp for middle school girls!  Did we mention that it is free ? Have fun in this three-week hands-on tech camp learning about computer coding, engineering, design, and the use of robotics and drones! Participate in a week of virtual field trips to college campuses and major STEM corporations. This program is open for girls at Title 1 schools who are entering the 6th, 7th and 8th grades in the fall of 2021. Learn more and apply for a full scholarship at https://www.tfaforms.com/4896224Special thanks to the Nordson Impact for supporting this great opportunity for middle school girls.


Donor Spotlight: Union Bank Foundation 
We’re very excited to share this donor spotlight on our friends at the Union Bank Foundation. Full disclosure here, the Elementary Institute of Science has kept our accounts at the Euclid Avenue branch of Union Bank for the last eight years. Prior to becoming EIS’s banker, The Union Bank Foundation has generously supported EIS as well as many other nonprofit organizations in our community for decades. The mission of the Union Bank Foundation is to expand access to opportunity in low- and moderate-income communities striving for results that ultimately propel all San Diegan to a better financial future. The Foundation is particularly interested in strategic investments that advance the Bank's values of inclusion and diversity. 

Union Bank takes corporate social responsibility (CRS) seriously. They believe that social investments are an active demonstration of their values: Integrity, Respect, Service, Collaboration, Inclusion. As both a customer of Union Bank and a grantee of the Union Bank Foundation, we have experienced those values in every interaction with Union Bank. We are grateful for their commitment to the families and students in the community we serve. We appreciate the outstanding customer service and friendliness at the local branch.

Last year the 
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced the 2020 winners of the Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships, including the MUFG Union Bank Foundation for its partnership with CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center, the San Diego region’s only business accelerator program focused on low- to moderate-income and diverse founders. Union Bank and CONNECT ALL were one of only seven recipients nationwide and the only awardee from San Diego. EIS applauds this well-deserved award and the mission of CONNECT ALL @ The Jacobs Center to bring access and opportunity to those disconnected from the prosperity of San Diego’s innovation and knowledge-based economy and startup ecosystem.

Join the Team at EIS!

EIS wants you to join our team!

Teen Lab Assistants
We are looking for high school volunteers who want to hone their communication skills, develop leadership skills, and support STEM education opportunities for communities who are most underrepresented in STEM. Teen Lab Assistants will be expected to volunteer from June 21 until August 27. There will be at least one day of orientation and training prior to the beginning of camp. Teen Lab Assistants will be assigned to a minimum of 2 weeks of Summer Camp, Monday through Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm (weeks do not have to be consecutive).


For more details about our Teen Lab Assistant program and how to apply, visit: 
Summer Camp Interns
We are looking for college interns to develop and oversee recreational and enrichment activities for our ten-week long science summer camp. Hours are 20-25 hours a week from 10:00am-2:00pm most days. Interns will be expected to work a minimum of 2 weeks from June 21 until August 27. There will be at least one week of training prior to the beginning of camp. Interns will have frequent contact with students, parents and instructors. Interns will meaningfully aid our work to improve summer camp learning and fun experiences for children in ages 7-14.


For a full description of the Internship and how to apply, visit:
STEM Instructors
Join a team of talented Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Instructors at EIS who are passionate about providing high quality STEM experiences for all students. Together we are developing and inspiring the next generation of San Diego’s STEM literate community. Classes are taught in our 15,000 ft
2 STEM learning center and feature a 12:1 student to instructor ratio. Examples of hands-on learning activities include programming robots, testing water quality, dissecting fish, designing and building roller coasters, designing and testing parachutes, growing plants, learning to code and creating websites. Instructors must be available to teach a minimum of 3 weeks of Summer Camp from June 21-August 27, with a daily shift of 8:00am-4:30pm. Instructors must be available the week of June 14-18 for training and orientation. Instructors will also work throughout the year with other programs such as Steps-2-STEM, Saturday and after-school classes, outreach events, and school partnerships.

For more details about working at EIS and how to apply, visit:
Access Youth Academy
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

The Mathemagicians App is here!  In addition to joining the Mathemagicians every Saturday for math tutoring, students can now practice math on the new app. It's available for free at the "Apple App Store" for download. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/mathemagicians/id1557607923

Have you participated in programs 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

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

Donate to EIS

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Elementary Institute of Science · 608 51st Street · San Diego, CA 92114 · USA






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Join us for our Summer Camp June 21st-August 27th! We have 10 amazing weeks planned of hands-on STEAM activities and summertime fun! Whether your student joins us for only one week or all 10, they are guaranteed to have a good time!

Price: $275* per student per week
**Discounts Available! We offer scholarships, sibling discounts, multi-week discounts, and military discounts for those who qualify.

Register here: https://www.tfaforms.com/4882683
For questions or more information, please email 
We are committed to keeping our students and staff safe. Read more about our COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols.

Have a student in High School looking for volunteer opportunities? EIS is recruiting Teen Lab Assistants for Summer Camp! Click here for more information.







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