Family Ultimate Science Exploration

Family Science in the Community will continue with a program for underrepresented students and their families to gain familiarity with the practice of science, its importance in education, and its promise of exciting career options. Biannually, Family Ultimate Science Exploration (FUSE) nights, will be offered at all four junior high schools in the Santa Barbara School District.


At FUSE events, students and their families rotate in 30-minute sessions through 3 distinct science activities related to physics, chemistry and biology in either Spanish or English. UCSB science and engineering students, both undergraduate and graduate, lead these activities introducing themselves and talking briefly about their current studies and personal interests. Three special screenings per year, Science Movie Nights, a venue for all students and families at the junior highs to come put up there feet and eat some popcorn at the marvelous Marjorie Luke Theater. Prior to viewing, a scientist will provide an introduction to tie the scientific relevance to seemingly pure entertainment. And finally Family Science in the Community will provide a range of activities that will engage junior high school students and their families at the UCSB Science Expo, held at UCSB in conjunction with the Santa Barbara District Science Fair on April 17, 2009.

Principal Investigator: Professor Sumita Pennathur, Mechanical Engineering Faculty Collaborators: Professors Elizabeth Belding, Diana Franklin, Chandra Krintz (all Computer Science), and Elisabeth Gwinn (Physics), Quyen Nguyen (Chemistry) UCSB Partners: Student chapters for SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicano and Native Americans in Science) and WiSE (Women in Science and Engineering)

Funding for this project comes from the Faculty Outreach Grant which is supported by Chancellor’s Outreach Advisory Board (COAB), the Chancellor’s Office, the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and the Office of Academic Preparation at UCSB.