Madera is BOSS with Science

BOSS (Berkeley Outreach Science Selection) is led by 3 Cal MCB graduate student volunteers.  These graduate students came out to help judge at our science fair last year when they brought up this idea.  In addition to their research work for their PhDs, working as Graduate Student Instructors (GSI) teaching undergrads, they are also volunteering to put together this outreach program.  Currently Madera is the only school they are working with.  Not only did they find demos, but they also have read through the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) in order to tie appropriate demos and activities to the appropriate grade level standards.  Some will be in classroom activities, some will be done outside of the classroom, and some will be more assembly style.

Teachers will be provided with a “menu” of demos and activities to choose from.  Depending on the grade, the demo / activity will be tailored to be age appropriate as well as to tie into NGSS. BOSS volunteers will bring materials needed and work with Madera teachers during these lessons.  For example: K & 1 may learn pH through using red cabbage juice, watch the color change to determine if something is acidic or basic.  2-4 might be using pH strips to determine pH values while 5-6 may be using pH meters to quantify pH values.

Our goal is to release the sign up sheet and menu to all teachers by mid September at the latest and kick off in class interaction beginning in October.  Eva, Dom, and Dan will be recruiting fellow graduate students to come participate in the classrooms.  Currently they are planning to come to Madera every other week.  As this is our pilot year, we fully expect to run into logistics bumps in the road, however, we will work through them alongside our teachers to turn this into a long term self sustaining program here at Madera.  Some ideas that we are also hoping to implement is to set up long term studies that will incorporate our garden, lunch with scientists where Madera students are welcome to eat lunch with our graduate students and just chat about science.

We look forward to a year of exciting science at Madera, please be patient with us as we kick this off.

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to email me at

Thank you.
BOSS liaison