CC Science Outreach Club Cultivates Love of Science in Local Elementary School Students

 Emma Langas '25, Patrick Hecht '24, Connor Johnson '24, Charlotte Agliata '25, and Sam Lee '23 work with Midland Elementary School students on science experiments during the 2022-2023 school year. Photo submitted by Caitlin Kim '24.
Emma Langas '25, Patrick Hecht '24, Connor Johnson '24, Charlotte Agliata '25, and Sam Lee '23 work with Midland Elementary School students on science experiments during the 2022-2023 school year. Photo submitted by Caitlin Kim '24.

The Colorado College Science Outreach Club partnered with three local elementary schools to give students the opportunity to participate in unique and interesting science experiments, helping cultivate a love of science from a young age. 

“The purpose is to share our passion for science with the youth and provide opportunities for kids to gain exposure to various scientific disciplines from a young age,” co-chairs Caitlin Kim ’24, Marcilla Kollie ’25, Will Gerash ’24, Patrick Hecht ’24, and Charlotte Agliata ‘25 say.

CC Science Outreach conducts age-appropriate experiments in many disciplines of science once a week with students at Adams Elementary School, Midland Elementary School, and Trailblazer Elementary School in Colorado Springs.

The club has taught students about chemistry though a slime experiment and organismal biology through squid dissection. There were also film canister rocket experiments for physics and a binary code bracelet experiment for computer science.

“I really enjoy moments when I see a student really gain a spark for the creative process of designing and executing an experiment,” says Kim, a Molecular Biology major. “Seeing the joy on their face when their experiment they created with the help of a volunteer work out is unmatched!” 

Some years, the club is able to host an end-of-year celebration at CC to give the elementary school students exposure to college-level laboratories and classroom settings.

“One of my favorite aspects of serving over a long period of time is working with students from previous years that recognize our club members,” says Kim, who has worked with some of the elementary school students for four years. “Many of the kids get so excited to have the opportunity to work with college students together on science experiments, and it makes my day when they remember volunteer names and faces and are comfortable and excited to learn more together.”

Kim joined CC Science Outreach during her first year at CC because she wanted to get involved in helping the surrounding community through sharing her love of science with kids.

“When I first joined in 2020, I helped design and record several interactive lab lessons and videos for remote learning opportunities for students to access during the pandemic,” says Kim. “I became co-chair during my sophomore year because I found a lot of joy in volunteering each week and I wanted to help lead members in serving the surrounding communities.”

Over 80 CC students are members of the CC Science Outreach club, with 10 to 20 students going to each school every week. CC Science Outreach club members brainstorm and plan novel science experiment ideas and then volunteer to lead each experiment. The students coordinate with the elementary schools’ program heads to schedule and arrange details of the experiment. The sessions are held during after-school enrichment programs for students in first through fifth grade.

“I decided to join CC Science Outreach because I found it enjoyable to foster the curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking skills of young students as well as seeing the joy on the kids' faces when they learn something new,” says Kollie, an Organismal Biology and Ecology major.

All CC students are encouraged to join the club, regardless of their science background or major. Science Outreach club members go to the elementary schools to conduct experiments every Friday from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m., with the exception of fourth week.

“CC Science Outreach is a positive outlet for CC students to get involved in community and share their science knowledge in fun, interactive ways with kids while providing a positive mentorship experience,” Kim says.

Dr. Neena Grover, CC Professor of Chemistry and Biology, is the founding and current faculty advisor for the club. Sarah Elsey, Student Engagement Coordinator, is the club’s Collaborative for Community Engagement advisor.

For more information or to join the club, please reach out to Caitlin Kim, Marcilla Kollie, or Will Gerash.


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