It’s often hard for young people to imagine the possibilities if they don’t already know those possibilities exist. That’s why having academic mentors who make subject matter relatable and who reflect the rich diversity of Berkeley’s student body is so critical.
One of the Berkeley Public Schools Fund’s long-time grantees, Community Resources for Science, makes it their business to supply every 7th grader in BUSD with a science or engineering mentor. Through their Be A Scientist program, Berkeley middle schoolers receive one-on-one mentoring from UC Berkeley undergrad and graduate students over the course of a 6 week scientific investigation cycle. Under the guidance of their mentor, students choose their own question of interest, design an investigation, collect and analyze their data, and share findings with their community.
Said one 7th grader about her BAS mentor, “She was really helpful. She showed me a lot about how to present my data and have it make sense. She also showed me more opportunities for this kind of science, and talked to me about her research, which was really interesting!”
This is how we build and diversify the STEM pipeline, student by student, and mentor by mentor.
The Berkeley Public Schools Fund remains committed to cultivating and sustaining university-school district partnerships, and we are grateful to CRS and their Be A Scientist program for making Cal’s mentor-scholars so accessible to our young people.
Learn more about the Berkeley Public Schools Fund’s equity-focused grantmaking HERE.