The heart of our Workshop is the open structure drop-in program, open after school and on Saturdays and school vacations. Kids of all ages are welcomed into the Workshop with their families to pursue the projects of their imaginations, or just to explore the exhibits and use the science instruments.
On school days classes come walking or by bus to the Workshop where they interact with the exhibits and then carry out a hands-on project related to the curriculum they’re studying. Teachers accompany their students and learn hands-on pedagogy as well as science concepts.
Teachers or afterschool facilitators are trained and given a set of tools and materials or exhibits sufficient to carry out an activity or a set of activities and also trained on the science involved.
Every Friday at lunch, the Workshop is open to girls interested in building things and exploring with science. Past projects have been wearable LED circuits, slime and custom wooden scooters.
School-based after school
Workshop staff bring tools and materials sufficient to carry out a hands-on activity, usually make-and-take, with the students in an afterschool program at a school.
All the basic elements of a Science Workshop are taken by vehicle to a site such as a park, library, or community center and rolled out for use by the neighborhood there. The Mobile Workshop attempts to mimic a real Science Workshop by making any project possible for the participants over a period of days or weeks.
Family Science Nights or Science Days at schools, science and tinkering booths at community events, and special presentations for special occasions (Halloween, Fourth of July, local events) are all possible with the resources of a CSW.
Some CSWs have created mobile museums with hands-on, Exploratorium-like exhibits for kids to interact with. Exhibits are mounted inside the vehicle and others are set up around the periphery to serve many kids at once. Salinas CSW may borrow neighboring CSW vehicles or create our own.
Trips to local science-significant sites are organized for kids or families, for example to local museums, natural sites, or educational events. Camping trips and star nights are also popular.
Citizen/Community science projects
If youth or families of the community are interested in learning more or contributing to research on a topic of local importance such as neighborhood health or environmental issues, the SCSW can coordinate and organize this sort of project and link the community to regional experts in the field.