Question Quest: A Week of Investigating Your World Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose
Citizen Science in Action: Community Partners Offer Hands-On Activities in Natural and Physical Sciences Week Before “March on Science”
Ever wondered what the fastest-moving creature is on earth or what the only insect is that provides food for humans? Find these answers and inspire more questions at Question Quest, a weeklong program aimed at sparking curiosity and excitement for the wonders of science and nature. At Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose April 10-14, kids of all ages can investigate, explore and engage their inner scientist when environmental and science organizations visit the museum and bring to life their area of expertise.
“Programs like Question Quest provide young people the opportunity to engage in citizen science. By putting science in the hands of average citizens, we help young people build knowledge and develop inquiry skills so they can see the relevance in their lives,” said Marilee Jennings, executive director of Children’s Discovery Museum. “With the value of science being under attack, these programs are more important now than ever before.”
The Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, Youth Science Institute, Santa Clara Valley Water District, Our City Forest, City of San Jose Environmental Services Department, Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, along with volunteers who specialize in falcons and the museum’s beekeeper, Doug Smith, will be on-hand during the week. Kids can learn about the amazing properties of water and sustainable practices in Water Olympics, interact with exciting insect ambassadors, and discover the fascinating world of bees and their importance to life on earth.
As part of Question Quest, Thursday through Saturday students from the museum’s award-winning BioSITE (Students Investigating Their Environment) program will provide interactive activities related to the work they completed throughout the school year. The BioSITE program partners with three local high schools and seven elementary schools to offer field-based environmental science programs and inspire watershed stewardship.
Trained high-schoolers serve as mentors to fourth graders who perform water quality tests and river ecology investigations to learn about the environment first-hand along local creeks. High school students develop leadership and team-building skills and science knowledge. The museum helped Los Gatos High School establish their own BioSITEprogram, which they now run autonomously in Los Gatos and Campbell schools. The museum’s goal is to develop more independent programs to spread respect, appreciation, and knowledge of the environment throughout the valley.