Getting a START on Science Education

START Science Celebrates Graduation of 150 Elementary School Students From Year-Long Program

On Friday, June 21, 2019, Yeshiva University’s START (Students, Teachers, and Researchers Teach) Science program celebrated the graduation of more than 150 elementary school student participants from its yearlong course of science education modules.

Volunteers with START teach weekly science modules to different classes of fourth graders at local public schools, including students in bilingual and special education tracks. Modules run the gamut from biology and chemistry to engineering and physics, with activities that might include dissecting frogs, building volcanoes or even learning how to make ice cream.

This year’s STARTers, (l-r): Ilana Karp, Aline Halpern, Yosef Sklar, Akiva Schiff and Tzuriel Sapir

The elementary school participants received certificates marking their completion of the program in a special ceremony which also featured a demonstration by a “mad scientist” from Mad Science Group. They had the opportunity to hear remarks from Norman Bickoff, one of the major benefactors of the program.

“This year,” said Akiva Schiff ’YC19, who is this year’s co-president along with Talia Edelman ’19S, “START has worked with 11 elementary school classrooms across 4 local public schools on a weekly basis.” He explained that the hands-on modules “are exciting for the kids and enable them to learn science in a relaxed and engaged manner.” He noted that “with over 300 YU volunteers participating each semester, it is one of the largest, if not the largest, club on campus.”

Aline Halpern ’20S, who will take over the presidency of the club from Schiff, along with Maxwell Charlat ’20YC, added that “START enables its volunteers to give back to the local community in a deeply meaningful way.”