Elementary Institute of Science

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

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 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 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

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

EIS alumni are invited to join our official group to reconnect and stay updated on future reunions.

Donate to EIS



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