What is the Science Slam?

The Westwood Charter Science Slam is a one day, weekend event that engages our families in activities to show that science is approachable, accessible, and enjoyable. Activities are organized, designed, and run by parents, teachers, or volunteers from outside institutions, and typically fall into two categories:​

Exhibits

Science Slam Exhibits are hands on learning stations, typically at a table with a canopy, spread out over the schoolyard.  The exhibits run for the entire duration of the Science Slam event and guests can drop in at any time. Some past examples are:

  • Vortex Cannon

  • Cool Chemistry

  • Marine Animal Exploration

  • Camera Obscura

  • Oreo Plate Tectonics

Labs

Science Slam labs are conducted in various classrooms.  A lab typically lasts 30-45 minutes and has a capacity of about 20 children, organized by age group.  Science Slam usually offers about 10 labs that repeat throughout the event at scheduled times.  Some past examples are:

  • Egg Drop

  • Marshmallow Tower

  • Microscopic Life

  • Your Brain and You

​Who is the Science Slam for?

Westwood Charter students, friends, and family.  Exhibits and labs are accessible from pre-K to 5th grade kids.  Some exhibits and labs are especially designed for the youngest students.

100%

Free

Event

The Science Slam is not a Fundraiser

The Science Slam operates on a very small budget to cover its own costs. Science Slam T-shirt sales, sales of snacks, and a few small donations and grants have usually covered the costs of the Science Slam.  Those who design and operate the labs and exhibits typically cover costs out of pocket.  This contribution of time and material is what keeps the science very down to earth and also keeps the administrative needs to a minimum. We do it truly for the love of science!

 

Lastly, the Science Slam is not an event planned or operated by Westwood Charter School or LAUSD.  The event is planned by parents of Westwood Charter students and endorsed by the school and its management.

 

​History

In 2014, Betsy Abrams Rich, then a parent of a third grader, decided it was time to celebrate science at Westwood Charter.  Betsy's parents were strong supporters of the Science Olympiad and she had fond memories of science related events at school. She noted that Westwood Charter did not yet have such a tradition so she decided to start one.

 

Dozens of parents came forward to volunteer and hundreds of families attended the first Science Slam in 2014.  Subsequent events were equally successful.

Steering Committee

The event is planned and managed by the steering committee.  Click here to meet this year's committee.

 

Science Slam is  an annual parent organized event endorsed by Westwood Charter School.  This website is owned and operated by a parent steering committee, not by Westwood Charter School.

Vortex Rings

Vortex Rings