Exploring Extracurricular Opportunities in Contra Costa County for STEM Students

Are you looking for ways to enhance your academic experience and explore the world of science? Contra Costa County has a wealth of extracurricular activities for students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). From mentoring and seminars to scholarships and internships, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and gain valuable experience. The Center for Scientific Excellence (CSE) is a president's award-winning program that provides financial and academic support to STEM students. The CSE offers a range of services including tutoring for teachers, academic support services, cohort creation, and professional development activities.

The S-STEM scholarship project of the CSE has the goal of graduating or transferring at least 80% of fellows to four-year institutions within three years. This project covers a student assistant, scholarships, summer research internship stipends, supplies and materials, and activities related to the academic field. The Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) also supports districts, coaches, and classroom teachers in implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in elementary and secondary classrooms. The CCCOE provides learning opportunities to improve science education for all students.

Programs include science workshops, network meetings, and personalized programs. If you're looking for something more hands-on, consider starting a club at your school. An extracurricular activity can be anything that isn't required to earn high school credits or gainful employment while you're in high school. For example, if you want to play an instrument, you can take private lessons, join your school's marching band, play in a community concert band, or work as part of the orchestra for your school's next musical.

The California Academy of Sciences is another great option for those interested in exploring the natural world. Located at 1199 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122, you can explore a variety of activities from guided walks and kindergarten programs; the garden is a vital resource for people seeking immersive educational experiences in the natural world. If you're interested in learning about discipline, teamwork, and leadership, you might be interested in a military-based extracurricular activity. The CurioOdyssey Science Playground & Zoo offers a place for children and their families to experience the natural world and experiment with science.

Finally, if you love writing and communicating, consider participating in a media activity to help bring news and information to your school or community. After-school transportation is provided through the CLUB Underground program from AUSD high schools to UTC in ARPD vehicles. Free after-school clubs are offered for girls in grades 6 through 12 to explore programming in a fun and friendly environment. The Underground Teen Center (UTC) provides a safe place for tweens and teens currently in sixth to twelfth grade to have fun, socialize with friends, and participate in active, fun and enriching activities with adult supervision. Contra Costa County offers an array of extracurricular activities that can help students gain valuable experience while exploring their interests in STEM fields.

From mentoring programs to scholarships and internships, there are plenty of opportunities available for those looking to enrich their academic experience.

Jocelyn Beutel
Jocelyn Beutel

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