Letter from the founders

The purpose of the library is to preserve the integrity of civilization, it has a moral obligation to adhere to its purpose despite social, economic, environmental or political influence, and that purpose will never change.” (Prentice, 2011)


A setting gaining great popularity as an opportune location for informal STEM education is the public library. Libraries roles are evolving to respond to the education needs in the communities they serve - going beyond the popular summer reading programs (Public Libraries and Effective Summer Learning: Opportunities for Assessment) to include STEM.

SAFG is excited to expand its STEM programs to the library setting.  Libraries are well positioned to host a SAFG program for two reasons.  First, for many communities, libraries are considered safe, inclusive spaces.  Second, libraries serve as regular meeting places for children and their families throughout the school year and summer.

As we mentioned in our September newsletter, in collaboration with the Oakland public library system, SAFG partnered with the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley to bring STEM programs to two Oakland libraries this past summer – Scientific Adventures for Girls, their Brothers and Friends!  We are very happy to announce that we will be continuing our STEM library program at Eastmont and 81stAvenue Branch Libraries into 2017 and adding a third program at West Oakland Library. We will hold a class once a month at each location from January - June 2017.

We are working closely with Anne Lennon and Laurie Willhalm in Children’s Programming at the main Oakland library.  In addition, SAFG was asked to facilitate a special STEM day for Women's History Month at multiple Oakland libraries in March/April.

To date we have served approximately 300 girls and boys through our STEM library program.  We see the library setting as a valuable addition to our programming, and our hope is to triple the number served in 2017! SAFG aims to continue expansion to more libraries in the future and bring fun, engaging, accessible STEM programs to all children in Oakland. Please keep an eye out on our website, SAFG’s Facebook page and the Oakland library websites for upcoming dates in January and beyond.

To close, we are thrilled to share that the Red Oak Opportunity Foundation awarded SAFG a small grant to continue to support our STEM classes in libraries in Oakland! 

Happy Holidays,
Tiffany and Courtenay

Fundraising update

We could not be happier to announce that SAFG received a grant from the Warriors Community Foundation! We want to thank Jose Gordon and his wonderful team for supporting girls in STEM in Oakland! To celebrate Computer Science Education Week, the Warriors Community Foundation invited Scientific Adventures for Girls to a Warriors game on December 5th.

This was a "once-in-a-life-time" experience for our girls.  We were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the arena, t-shirts and were featured on the Jumbotron at halftime. It goes without saying that the 20 girls had a WONDERFUL time at the game!

SAFG is also thrilled to announce it received a grant from Wareham Development to support its current classes at Anna Yates Elementary for the Winter and Spring 2017 sessions. In addition to the regularly planned four sessions, Wareham Development is supporting the expansion of the program to add two more sessions – bringing it to a total of six sessions! Thank you so much Wareham for recognizing the importance of STEM to the future of Oakland and Emeryville!


SAFG also held a GoFundMe campaign in October and a Giving Tuesday donor drive after Thanksgiving. We surpassed our goal of raising $5000 and we have an anonymous supporter who is going to match this $5000!  We want to thank all of you who gave during this time – we truly appreciate your support. 

Additionally, the African American/Hispanic Association of Employees at Bayer also made a donation to SAFG.  Thank you for being such great role models! 

And, finally, as mentioned in the above article, Red Oak Opportunity Foundation (ROOF) awarded SAFG a grant supporting our library programs in Oakland – thank you ROOF for your continued, generous support of your community.

Winter program highlight

SAFG just finished up five after school STEM sessions this fall, in addition to its two library programs.  A couple of highlights from the session:

Anna Yates 3-5th grade girls visited the CITRIS Invention Lab at UC Berkeley in December.  The girls toured the CITRIS Tech Museum and had an opportunity to view graduate student inventions, including a prosthetic hand custom-made for a little girl. They also visited the lab to see the 3D printing machines and laser cutting machines in action. The day was rounded out by a lesson in circuitry, making their own paper cat "robots". A BIG thank you to Chris Myers, Manager of the lab, and his team of graduate students who helped with the visit.


SAFG celebrated “Hour of Code” by offering two coding classes at our Curiosity Hacked location on December 8 and at the new Emeryville Center for Community Life (ECCL) campus on December 9 where close to 100 kids in grades K-12 - beginners and not-so-beginners - attended!  The kids learned how coding is a “Super Power” and how one can accomplish incredible things with coding.

The 'Hour of Code™' is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week [csedweek.org] and Code.org [code.org] to introduce millions of students to computer science and computer programming. Thank you to Wareham Development for supporting the class at ECCL.

SAfG podcast

This Fall the K-12 Engineering Education Podcast interviewed the co-founders of SAFG as part of a two-part program about how non-profits are supporting engineering in the K-12 space.  You can listen to the full podcast on our website or HERE.

Winter and Spring 2017 classes

Look out for classes in the Winter and Spring of 2017 at:

  • Anna Yates Elementary (Emeryville)

  • Chabot Elementary (Oakland) - NEW School!

  • Emerson Elementary (Oakland) - NEW School!

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary (Oakland) – NEW School!

  • Peralta Elementary (Oakland)

  • Valle Verde Elementary (Walnut Creek)

  • Eastmont, 81st Branch and West Oakland Libraries in Oakland (plus additional 6-8 libraries in March/April for Womens History Month)

Scientific Adventures at home




  • Water (Hot and Cold)

  • Oil

  • Vinegar

  • Candy Canes (We used both Small and Large)

  • Timer/ Stopwatch

Set Up:

Fill 4 cups up with the same amount of liquid (oil, hot water, cold water and vinegar) in each glass.
Place the candy canes in a bowl near the glasses for easy access.

Conducting the Dissolving Candy Canes Experiment: 

Start with observations and predictions. You can either test how long it would take the candy canes to dissolve in each liquid, or test which liquid dissolves the candy canes the fastest. While these tests are very similar, they have slightly different predictions and outcomes.  Place a candy cane in each glass, observe and record your findings. What is your hypothesis?