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Explorit every week for these lucky kids

This article appeared in the April 15, 2011 edition of the Davis Enterprise.

By Liz Shenaut
Special to the Enterprise

At Castori Elementary in Sacramento, students have been able to sign up for weekly Explorit programs as an extra-curricular activity, getting their hands on everything from solving mysteries with forensics to discovering anatomy though gooey dissections.

Danisha Keeler, Student Learning Coach at Castori Elementary, has booked about four Young Scientist Series programs with Explorit each of the last three years for third through sixth grade students. She says her goal is to get them more involved with science.

This year, the sessions are on Wednesday mornings. Keeler says she notices the kids getting excited about doing science in the Explorit programs when they can’t stop talking to her about it.

“When I see [the students] in the hallways before or after school they always tell me about what they are doing,” Keeler said. “It’s definitely memorable – they look forward to Wednesday morning.”

These programs each meet once a week for four weeks, inviting participants to go into depth on a science topic such as “Art and Science” or “Health and Human Biology.”

Actively doing science lab-style experiments and dissections is a unique opportunity that Castori Elementary and Explorit are able to provide for these young students.

“[Engaging in science] is definitely an opportunity that many students don’t get until high school, so it’s nice that they get to do it earlier,” Keeler said. She added, “Hopefully it enhances what they are doing in their classroom.”

To help more kids have science opportunities, Explorit has a school fee assistance fund so that it can offer some free or reduced price programs at schools that have great financial need. You can contribute to this fund at http://www.explorit.org by clicking on the green “Donate Today!” button and selecting “Ethel Sassenrath Scholarship Fund” on the donation form.

Coming events:

• Summer Camp Jun 13-Aug 19: More information about themes and registration can be found at http://www.explorit.org/camp.  The registration deadline for the random drawing will be Friday, April 15.  Applications need to be received at Explorit’s 5th Street location by 4:30pm.  Open registration will begin May 2.

• Today through May 20: If you know of someone who may be interested in volunteering as a Science Teaching Assistant during summer camp, he or she can contact Explorit’s Volunteer Coordinator, Kristin Sizemore at kristin@explorit.org. Applicants must be at least 12 years of age before June 13th.  Volunteer orientations will be held on May and June for accepted applicants.

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Explorit Science Center’s 3141 5th St. site is the location for field trips, programs for groups, and astronomy club meetings.  It is also the hub for Explorit’s traveling programs that reach an 18-county region.  The site is open to the public for special events and to groups by reservation. For more information call (530) 756-0191 or visit http://www.explorit.org.

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