Laurie Smith
Program Manager

SANTA ANA, Calif. – April 25, 2017 – Science@OC, the Orange County group dedicated to strengthening public school science education, announced that it received a $10,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation.

The Verizon grant supports Science@OC’s Orange County Middle School Initiative, designed to improve science education for thousands of students to better prepare them for high school coursework and potential careers in high-tech STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)-related jobs.

“We are grateful to Verizon for its support for our mission to excite and engage middle school students in science through Science@OC’s partnership with teachers and school administers,” said Eddie Tabata, Science@OC’s executive director. “We are seeing excellent end results from these partnerships.”

He noted that a recent comprehensive analysis by the Santa Ana Unified School District concluded that the partnership with Science@OC has resulted in measurable progress toward increasing student comprehension and interest in science, including higher high school science grade-point averages and the pursuit of additional science classes in high school .

Science@OC’s efforts are focused on the middle school years because this is when students develop interests in and focus on subject areas that will give them a foundation for high school, college and beyond into possible graduate work and careers.

The Verizon funds will be used to provide teachers with professional development in Project Based Learning (PBL), a teaching approach that brings all dimensions of Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core and English Language Arts literacy skills together. With PBL, students are challenged with projects that challenge their problem-solving skills and motivates them toward solutions.

Science@OC is the only non-profit program in Orange County that effects change through the school system, bridging the gap between the level of resources provided by the districts themselves and what is needed in order to improve student achievement. A priority is serving English language learners in high-minority, socioeconomically disadvantaged schools where student proficiency in 8th grade science is low.

About Science@OC
Science@OC, a fiscally sponsored project of OneOC, partners with Orange County educators to inspire middle school students to excel in Science and explore STEM careers. Visit the Science@OC website at