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WINTER 2015             

                        VOLUME 53, NUMBER 4



Youth Science Center is in
Room 17 at Bixby Elementary School
(across from Wilson High School)
16446 Wedgeworth Drive
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
(626) 854-9825


 The Youth Science Center celebrated its 53rd Anniversary with an awards luncheon at the new
Rowland Heights Community Center on November 7.  Guest speakers were Congresswoman
Janice Hahn and Education Consultant Andrea Martin.  Mike Eng, trustee for the Los Angeles Community College district was Master of Ceremonies.

Winners of this year's essay contest, "STEM - Our Future" received awards and cash prizes. 
This year there were a record number of essays, with 117 students entering across all grade levels.  The winners were Connor Tung (Los Molinos Elementary), Skye Toledo (Orange Grove Middle School) and Melody Wu (Alverno HIgh School}.

Also honored were Microsoft Cerritos (Community Partner), George Lightholder (Teacher of the Year),
Billy Wong (Alumnus Award), Samson Hui (Student Volunteer of the Year) and Anita Tam (Volunteer of the Year)

                                                                                                                         Photo credit:  Aaron Dominguez

   Shown above from left to right:  Melody Wu, Master of Ceremonies Mike Eng, Pamela Leestma (essay judge), Skye Toledo, Ellen Gee (essay judge), Connor Tung, and Patricia Smith (essay judge).

                                       YSC NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT!
Our programs are only made possible by the generous support and charitable contributions of our giving community, corporate partners and foundations.  The impact vibrates for generations and inspires youth to pursue careers only once imagined.

   If you would like to make an end of year donation to support the Youth Science Center, please send to Youth Science Center, P.O. Box 5723, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745.   We thank you in advance for your support.

                                          SUMMER PROGRAM NEWS

Please recommend the YSC Summer Program to your friends!
For every new family you get to sign up for classes, you will receive a $25 certificate for summer classes.  Contact us for a new family signup form.

The 2016 summer program will be from June 6 to July 8.   If you would
like to receive a notice when the summer schedule is available, please send an email to
[email protected]   Families in last year's program will receive a schedule
in the mail.


YSC Welcomes New Board Members

Congratulations to the following new YSC  board members:  John Kirkham (Disney Stores North America Manager),  Piyusha Perera (Kaiser Foundation Health Plan), and Thaminda Ramanayake (Amgen Inc. Senior Manager).

The YSC Board held a retreat at the Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel on December 5 to set objectives for a three year plan.

YSC Adds New Robots and Technology Programs

The Disney Star Wars BB-8 is coming to the YSC's program.  The YSC has acquired a BB-8 robot and 13 of its cousins, the Sphero SPRK robot.  These amazing robots are controlled by hand-held iOS and Android devices and can be used to teach kids math and science.   These robots were designed to inspire tomorrow's inventors and innovators.  

YSC  Board Member John Kirkham operates the BB-8 robot with his cell phone at the YSC's Board Retreat on December 5th.  John is a big fan of the BB-8!
 Looking on are Piyusha Perera, Thaminda Ramanayake, Vicky Soong and Patricia Smith.

BB-8 Robot

Also coming this summer are classes in Minecraft, Corel movie making, GoPro cameras, Quadcopters, Click Fusion Game Design and the new Lego Robotics Mindstorms EV3.  The popular 3D Printing Classes will add a 3D Scanner.  Be on the lookout for these classes this coming summer!
Interactive Augmented Reality Watershed Exhibit Opens Soon at the YSC

A new exhibit is being built by Steven Bach and Lyle Majeska.  The exhibit is built around a sand box filled with Kinetic Sand, which allows students to mold and sculpt sand which holds its shape.  Students can make mountains, lakes and rivers and cause water to simulate flows which are captured by an overhead Kinect 3D video camera.  The camera feeds the images into software installed in a Linux-based computer which in turn sends the images back to a projector mounted overhead.  The projected images show the landscape in color along with topographic lines.  This technology exhibit was developed by researchers at U.C. Davis and has been adapted and custom built at science centers, universities and schools around the world.

 Above:  A first look at the YSC Augmented Reality Sand Box.  The water will appear to flow if a channel is made in the sand.   The topographic lines show elevations.

Science Center Begins Classes at the Pomona Fairplex

The YSC began a series at the Pomona Fairplex Learning Center on December 10th with a  series of science lessons for 56 students from Ramona Middle School in La Verne.  The activities included botany, plant dissection, water filtration and pH measurement.  Read more about this event at the Fairplex's blog

Donations Received      
   Our thanks to the U.S. Bank Foundation for a $6,000 grant for general operating support, Southern California Edison for $5,000 for STEM classes, Metropolitan Water District for $2,000 for the augmented reality watershed sand box, the Southern California Water Users Association for $750 to support Project WET water education classes and $220 from the Hacienda Heights
Kiwanis Club Foundation for general operating support.   

Sparks Elementary Students Build SpaceX Rockets

YSC instructor Lyle Majeska taught a 5 week after school model rocketry class at Sparks Elementary in La Puente.   The students learned about the principles of rocket propulsion and built a SpaceX Falcon 9 Model Rocket which was launched on the last day of class on December 10.   Sparks instructor Lana Willis said that at the launch, "Many parents watched as if it were the Christmas Parade.  Students proudly walked up and launched their Falcon 9 rockets into the air.  This will be an experience they will never forget."   SpaceX Corporation sponsored the class and provided the model rockets.

           Above:  Last minute check to make sure that the rockets have electrical continuity.

                               Sparks student launched Falcon 9 rocket reaches for the stars!

SPACEX Successfully Launches and Recovers Rocket

SpaceX successfully launched and landed its Falcon 9 rocket back on Earth on December 21st, marking the first time a rocket has launched a payload into space and returned.
Founder Elon Musk has said the ability to reuse a rocket -- which dramatically reduces launch cost -- is something that will help revolutionize commercial space travel.
"I think this is a critical step along the way towards being able to establish a city on Mars," he said on a call with reporters Monday night. "That's what all this is about."
Elon Musk twittered: "11 satellites deployed to target orbit and Falcon has landed back at Cape Canaveral. Headed to LZ-1. Welcome back, baby!"
Read more about the significance of this launch in the LA Times here.
48th Ag District News

48th Ag Logo 

Read the latest 48th Ag Summer 2015 newsletter here.   This newsletter describes a 5 lesson unit on energy and food production for Grades 9 - 12 which is available at the 48th Ag office.

The 48th DAA office is located at Building F10 Farm Road, Mt San Antonio College Campus, 1100 N Grand Avenue, Walnut 91789. They have a wide variety of agriculture resource materials available to teachers.  Teachers who receive the materials agree to have their students participate in the annual fair in May at the Fairplex in Pomona.   Phone (909) 274-2433 for more information.




The Youth Science Center is participating as a Museum Partner withShopforMuseums.com.  As a Museum Partner, anyone shopping online with their favorite national retailers can have a portion of their purchase directed to the Youth Science Center at no additional cost.ShopforMuseums.com is nationally recognized with hundreds of Museum Partners across the country. Whether you are in the market for books, office supplies, apparel, gifts, travel reservations, home improvement, school supplies, toys, electronics, flowers or gourmet food.  You name it, the place to start is at ShopforMuseums.com! 


Participation is simple and secure. To designate a portion of your next online purchase to (YOUR MUSEUM NAME HERE), simply:

   Go to www.ShopforMuseums.com.

  Log in.


  Then just click on the link of the store you want to visit and go about your shopping. Stores are organized by categories.

The percentage of your purchase will be tracked automatically as long as you begin each time at ShopforMuseums.com


Please use ShopforMuseums.com each time you shop online and spread the word to friends and family.  THE YOUTH SCIENCE CENTER appreciates your support.


Shopping for Back-to School supplies? Remember to use the ShopforMuseums.com online shopping portal and support us with FREE DONATIONS on each purchase you make!
College students, access great deals on dorm supplies, computers, textbooks and laptop bags.You can even support us when you even rent a vehicle to get your gear to school!
Need uniforms, art supplies, sneakers, laptops, backpacks and school supplies for your younger students? Shop your favorite stores- Old Navy, Gap, Sears, Dell, Staples, Walmart and hundreds more. Plus find exclusive savings.

Simply visit ShopforMuseums.com, select the Youth Science Center to receive a donation, then click through on any of the store links and do your shopping like you normally would. Once you check out, a percentage of your purchase amount becomes a free donation to the Youth Science Center. Thanks in advance for your support!


Visiting the Hacienda Heights Youth Science Center

The Youth Science Center operates a hands-on science center at Bixby Elementary School in Hacienda Heights.  The Center is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 2 to 4:30 pm.  Visitors should check in at the school office first to get directions to our location in Room 17. 

During the school year the YSC is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm. Please call ahead at (626) 588-7818 if you wish to visit.
Visiting guests can also enjoy the Youth Science Center store, which is stocked with various science related materials.  For more information regarding the Youth Science Center please call (626) 854-9825.
The official newsletter of the Youth Science Center is published February, April, June, October and December.  The Youth Science Center was founded in 1962 in Fullerton.  The Hacienda Heights branch was established in 1984.  The Youth Science Center's Tax ID Number is 95-2273238.  




YSC Board of Directors:                                       Youth Science Center Staff:
Chairman: Ron Chong                                            Museum and Summer Director: Diana Padilla
Vice-Chairman:  Roger Huynh                                 
Treasurer:  Philip Teders                                      Summer Principals: Phyllis Vandeventer and Dee Rathman
Dee Rathman                                      Summer Registration:  Caroline Weatherford  
Members of the Board of Directors:                     Star Lab Instructors:  Patricia Smith and Lyle Majeska
Piyusha Perera                                                      Material Coordinator:  Robert Miller
Vicky Soong                                                          Sales Associate:  Haley Chappell
Derek Rojas                                                          Member at Large: Rolin Soong , Kim Bach, Pat Smith, Judy Chong  
Phyllis Vandeventer                                               Administrative Aide: Kevin Torres
Victor Wu                                                             
Thaminda Ramanayake                                           Project Manager:  Diana Padilla
                                                                             Project WET Instructor:  Nicole Hermann
                                                                             Antenna Editor: Ron Chong
                                                                             Bookkeeping:  Edy Au and Vicki Lee

Circulation this issue:  1,469
YSC Website www.youthsciencecenter.org supported and funded by Ryan Gagajena of My Web Design Source 

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