The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and the San Diego Science Alliance (SDSA) are coming together to create learning opportunities and an
expanded hub for science, technology, engineering, and math organizations and in
San Diego County.
Starting next month, the Fleet Science Center will assume the
Science Alliance’s efforts to re-engineer the education/workforce pipeline,
expand partnerships, and serve as a countywide resource for educational,
nonprofit, and business communities.
The Fleet will also operate two of SDSA’s most respected
programs: Better Education for Women in Science and Engineering (BE WiSE) and
the High Tech Fair, which is presented each year in partnership with the San
Diego County Office of Education.
“Our role is to be the central link between science and our
communities, our schools, and scientific organizations,” said Dr. Steve Snyder,
the Fleet’s chief executive officer. “San Diego is a hub for technology and
innovation, and the Fleet’s goal is to connect people of all ages to the
possibilities and power of science to create a better future for our
The Fleet currently provides numerous science, technology,
engineering, and math—also known as STEM—educational programs at the science
center, at schools and in the community, as well as teacher professional development
opportunities. The addition of BE WiSE, which shares a mission similar to the
after-school program, and the High Tech Fair to the Fleet’s roster of offerings
will enhance the Fleet’s ability to positively impact science education and
support both teachers and students.
“I am confident that the Fleet board of directors and Steve
Snyder and his team have the resources, enthusiasm and experience to continue
to serve our stakeholders, carry on the SDSA legacy, and thrive as the new
go-to STEM resource for San Diego alliances,” stated Ellen Peneski, SDSA
In 2015, the Fleet launched 52 Weeks of
Science, which leverages the efforts of more than 35 STEM education
organizations to provide free weekly science events for a full year in the
Barrio Logan and Logan Heights neighborhoods. All of the organizations were
active in the same neighborhoods with the same goal of broadening and expanding
STEM learning—but they were all working separately. Through 52 Weeks of
Science, the Fleet has organized a collaborative, impactful network that is
supported by a community awareness campaign. Existing programs like SciTech and
52 Weeks of Science, along with a commitment to community and dedication to
education, made the joining of the two organizations a natural fit.
For two decades, SDSA advanced STEM in San Diego County with
a goal of enhancing science literacy in kindergarten through 12th
grade education. A nonprofit consortium of leaders from more than 300 STEM
organizations in San Diego County, the alliance worked together to provide
science resources to educators; create, implement, and support science
education programs for local students and teachers; and foster public/private
partnerships among the region’s diverse business, education, nonprofit, and
scientific research communities. In order to continue to positively impact
science teaching and learning in the most efficient way possible, SDSA board of
directors voted to render the organization’s mission to the Fleet and cease all
Since October, SDSA had been actively seeking a like-minded
organization that had the experience and resources to take over their mission
to enhance science literacy in K–12 education and in the San Diego community.
The Fleet was selected due to its 43 year history of inspiring passion for
science learning in people of all ages throughout San Diego County. In recent
years, the Fleet further expanded its role as a convener and connector for San
Diego organizations to increase opportunities for science learning throughout
In fiscal year 2015, the Fleet reached more than 440,000
children and adults through exhibitions, films, and events at the science
center, as well as school and community programs throughout San Diego County.
Annually, SDSA has reached 30,000 K–12 students; 3,500 teachers; and 300
industry, research, and university partners.
Photo: Students learn about green-screen technology with San Diego County Office of Education's iTV crew at the High Tech Fair.