Youth Science Institute

A nonprofit organization

23 donors

We accomplish our mission by teaching hands-on, inquiry-based science to nearly 30,000 Santa Clara County children (preschool through 6th grade) per year. Since 1953, we have taught hundreds of thousands of children. Our team of professional instructors is trained in delivering engaging, fun, and educational science programs through School and Group Programs, Summer Science Camps, and Science Safaris.

We believe, as Margaret Mead said, “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” As such, we encourage children to be active participants in their own learning. The hands-on nature of our programs helps children see that science is fun and exciting, and has real world applications. When children see the relevance of science, learning becomes more meaningful and memorable.

Our experiential, hands-on, park-based programs spark interest and engagement in a way that no other learning opportunity can: half of the programs we deliver feature a nature walk and/or a hands-on encounter with our collection of live animals.

Our goals are to encourage the development of 21st Century Skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, communication, and teamwork that are necessary for academic and, ultimately, economic success. YSI is dedicated to making our science education programs accessible to children of all backgrounds, including those historically underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

The Need

YSI addresses STEM education for underrepresented youth by offering free YSI science education programs to students from high-need, Title I schools. Title I schools are defined as having a child poverty rate of at least 40% (most frequently measured by the percent of students eligible to receive free or reduced price meals). In general, Title I students are educationally disadvantaged or at risk of failing to meet state standards (numerous studies have shown that there is an inverse relationship between student achievement and school poverty). Were it not for YSI’s science education programs, many Santa Clara County Title I students would not be sufficiently exposed to STEM subjects. Last school year, we delivered 290 science education programs to over 8,000 Santa Clara County Title I students. By providing fun, engaging, hands-on, science education programs to poor, minority, and disadvantaged youth (i.e., K-6 Title I students), we hope to spark interest in STEM fields. The Title I students we serve are predominantly Hispanic or Latino, 85% of whom are eligible for free or reduced price meals.

How You Can Help

Donate to YSI and your support will be used to deliver free science education programs to Title I students. Choose one of the suggested amounts listed on the right or choose your own amount. No matter the size of your donation, your gift will make an impact! Thank you.

Organization Data


Organization name

Youth Science Institute

Tax id (EIN)



Education Science, Tech & Business


296 Garden Hill Drive
Los Gatos, CA 95032


(408) 356-4945