What is a School Site CSW?

Defining characteristics of a School Site Community Science Workshop (CSW):

1.       Easily accessible to students with science exhibits, models, tools and materials

2.       User-generated content and local educators / volunteers foster familiarity and connection to culture and place

3.       After school workshop is open-ended and student-driven:  A project or challenge is introduced and collaboration is encouraged but as much as possible, students choose what they want to do and how they’re going to do it, what questions they want to ask and how they’re going to answer them.  

       School Site CSWs are great for after-school programs, family science nights, guest speakers, in school hands-on science lessons  and community events.

Exhibits and Projects:

The scientific processes of observation and discovery are at the heart of any CSW activity, be it sewing a purse, re-wiring an electric car, comparing mammalian femurs, or playing with a bicycle wheel gyroscope.  You might find some of the following when you walk in the door to a CSW:

·        Electronics – including materials for building simple circuits, soldering, voltmeters, and oscilloscopes.
·         Logic and topology puzzles, made in the Workshop or makeable there.
·         Magnets and electromagnets.
·         Sewing and needlework – machines, knitting, simple looms, a variety of cloth, etc.
·         Recycled wood and simple hand held woodworking tools for building frames and bases for a variety of projects.
·         Biology exhibits, such as fossils, bones, and plants.
·         Geology exhibits, with specimens of many kinds of rock and maps of local geologic formations.
·         Garden with planter boxes, indoor sprouting/growing areas, and/or plants in pots.
·         Microscopes with slides and other specimens to view.
·         Craft materials of all kinds – popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, paint, etc.
·         Recycled materials of all kinds – bottles, cans, plastic containers, bags, film cans, pvc pipes, etc.
·         Basic tools– hot glue guns, saws, hammers, screwdrivers, cordless drills, vices and clamps, etc.
·         Light exhibit– different colored and shaped lenses, gels, and bulbs to experiment with light in a darkened room or box.
·         Physics exhibits, such wind tube, labyrinth irregular shaped mirrors.
·         Musical instruments, made by kids and the kind you buy at the store
·         Telescope and star maps for evening events


Mission Science Workshop in San Francisco http://www.missionscienceworkshop.org/ Second Saturdays – open workshop the 2nd Saturday of every month from 10 to 3; Excelsior Science Workshop is open the 3rd Saturday of every month - call before you go!

WHY a School Site CSW?
Making Science Matter: Collaborations Between Informal  Science Education Organizations and Schools

We absolutely can use your help! 

  • Make and donate a model to your school workshop - try one of these
  • Donations of funds or supplies
    • Old toys & electronics for the 'Take-Apart Table'
    • Turntable 
    • Plastic bottle CAPS - no bottles needed at this time, just the caps for wheels please
    • Sewing machine and scrap material
    • Scrap wood and woodworking tools
    • Recycled material for the 'Make-It Station'
    • Oscilloscope
    • Musical instruments
    • Glue gun refill sticks, construction paper, masking tape
    • Knitting needles, crochet hooks, yarn
    • Recycled cardboard tp & paper towel rolls
    • Copper wire, circuit board components - LEDs buzzers, motors etc.

  • Volunteers who are fingerprinted, or are willing to get fingerprinted for MUSD and available to help out Wednesday afternoons
  • Physical or interactive exhibits that inspire wonder and creativity - we love the homemade ones made from recycled material!

Please fill out the contact form on this blog or reach out to Ellen Concepcion if you'd like to donate or have any questions, suggestions or just something nice to say.

We are now a 501c3 California Public Benefit Corporation!! Your tax-deductible donations are now being accepted! 

Checks can be made payable to NEW LEAF COLLABORATIVE and sent to 

New Leaf Collaborative 
P.O. Box 131
Martinez, CA 94553. 

You will receive a thank you and a receipt with our Federal tax ID number for your records.

"Science doesn't teach anything, experience teaches it." 

-Richard Feynman

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