What happens when the Youth Science Institute (YSI) and the YMCA of Silicon Valley partner to benefit youth in YMCA after school programs? Pure magic! That is what happened throughout September and October when nearly 700 students in 17 Title I schools, participated in hands-on environmental science activities, designed to introduce youth to the many wonders of nature. Are you brave enough to pet a snake or a tarantula? Would you touch a Madagascar hissing cockroach? Or is a soft chinchilla more your taste? Regardless of their preference, the kids all loved learning about our furry, and not so furry friends!

Hands-on Science with YSI

Here is what one 1st grader, Adelaine, said upon seeing … and hearing the hissing cockroach: “Oh! That roach is huge!! I’ve never seen a cockroach like that before and it makes noise?!”

“Eww that snake feels so slimy. I’ve never seen a snake before. How it moves is SO cool! I can see why people don’t like snakes!” said Nary who is in 3rd Grade.

These are just some of the responses and experiences that happen when you introduce kids to science.

YMCA after school programs provide active and collaborative learning opportunities as foundational parts to quality programming. The YSI is the perfect partner to provide access and opportunity to experience living science in school environments. YSI is the leading provider of environmental education and science in the Santa Clara Valley, serving nearly 30,000 children and community members each year, through generous funding from individuals and grant partners. To learn more about their live, animal ambassadors, YSI invites you to visit one of their Nature Centers that are free and open to the public. 

For more information and hours of operation, please visit their website.