The Science Lab Teaching Club was formed at UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy in January of 2012 with several goals in mind, including:
- Partially compensate the loss of the science teaching faculty at local public schools due to severe budget cuts;
- Provide teaching experience for the undergraduate students majoring in physics and astronomy;
- Spark interest in science in the next generation.
The club members meet weekly during the school year to prepare lessons and practice lab demonstrations. The lessons on different physics and astronomy subjects are taught by the club members at local schools. The emphasis is put on teaching subjects such as electricity, magnetism, waves, optics, etc. Each lesson is accompanied by several spectacular demonstrations using the real laboratory equipment provided by the Department’s demo lab as well as the demos designed and built by the club members.
The club members strongly believe that in order to get children interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects, science education should start at a very early age and each lesson should become a memorable experience for the kids. Club members have given presentations at the following schools: Norra Sterry Elementary School, Citizens of the World Mar Vista Charter School, Emerson Middle School, and Palms Middle School.
Undergraduate club member Nick Vincent has expressed his own enthusiasm for the program. "The Science Teaching Club at UCLA gave me a great way to become involved in the community," said Nick. "It encouraged me to use my passion for science to benefit local elementary schools. I think that my work with the Science Teaching Club has greatly augmented my education. The community service aspect has enriched my overall academic experience, the social aspect has allowed me to meet other physics students, and the cerebral challenge of designing quantum mechanics demonstrations for elementary school students truly engaged my mind."
UCLA Science Lab Teaching Club members include:
Dr. Konstantin Belov, founder and scientific advisor.
UCLA Undergraduate and Graduate Students (2015-2015 school year): Tara Aitken, Raj Chaklashiya, Bao Minh Hoang (President), Tyler Jackson, Cindy Ling, Cicero Lu, Elwin Martin, Anh Nguyen, Becky Niemira, Eric Mendoza, Andrew Shapiro, Jack Stropko, Nick Vincent, Vivian Yang, and Scarlett Yu.
Lectures delivered during the 2015-2016 school year
Citizens of the World Mar Vista Charter School:
- Physics of Plasma: Eric Mendoza & Jack Stropko (02/09/2016)
Emerson Middle School:
- Electricity & Magnetism: Tyler Jackson & Eric Mendoza (10/22/2015)
- States of Matter: Jack Stropko & Bao Minh Hoang (10/22/2015)
Nora Sterry Elementary School:
- Halloween Oobleck: Bao Minh Hoang & Eric Mendoza (10/30/2015)
- Electricity & Magnetism: Tyler Jackson, Cindy Ling, and Vivian Yang (11/19/2015)
For questions and requests for presentations, please contact us at: SciTeach@physics.ucla.edu.