Why PS Science?

PS Science was launched in 2006 as a project of the Crossroads Community Outreach Foundation, an initiative of Crossroads School in Santa Monica, in response to a chronic deficit in public school education —the lack of meaningful early elementary school science education. Inspired by the magic and wonder that master science teacher Dr. Selma Sleven brought to the lives of countless Crossroads elementary students, PS Science was created to bring that same powerful and inspiring experience to children in underserved communities across Los Angeles. Crossroads School provided critical financial support and resources until 2018, when PS Science grew large enough to become its own separate nonprofit organization.

At the time PS Science was conceived, the most recent analysis of science exam scores ranked California's students at the bottom, along with Arizona, Mississippi and Hawaii. In June 2019, PS Science 4th grade students performed 99% better than the national average in a standardized science assessment!

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In California, science is not tested until fifth grade, which has resulted in science not being taught nor emphasized in grades Kindergarten through four. PS Science was designed to support classroom teachers in Title I elementary schools with materials, curriculum and training so they can provide their students with regular and on-going science. This consistent exposure and high-level engagement in meaningful science allows students to meet the requirements of testing in fifth grade. In addition, student attitude toward science in 6th grade is highly correlated to the pursuit of science studies later in life. The PS Science program aims to build on young childrens' natural curiosity about the world to develop a positive attitude toward science. An overarching emphasis is made on learning science in a fun, engaging and personally relevant way.

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Who Receives the Program?

The PS Science program is in partnership with 80 classrooms in 10 schools for the 2019-20 school year!

If you are interested in finding out how to bring PS Science to your school, please email julie@psscience.org

PS Science Populations Served 2019 - 20

# of students served
# of teachers served
% socio-economically disadvantaged students
William Green Elementary
Lawndale, CA
McKinley Elementary
Santa Monica, CA
John Muir Elementary
Santa Monica, CA
St. John Chrysostom
Inglewood, CA
St. Anne School
Santa Monica, CA
Warren Lane Elementary
Inglewood, CA
St. Raphael School
Los Angeles, CA
Grandview Elementary
Los Angeles, CA
Playa Del Rey Elementary
Los Angeles, CA
St. Anastasia School
Playa Del Rey, CA
N/A- school receives the program for a fee

How Is PS Science Structured?

A PS Science Instructor works side-by-side with the classroom teacher to deliver the weekly curriculum for the first two years. Thereafter, the classroom teacher takes on the lead role. Two commonly reported roadblocks to teachers’ ability to conduct interactive science experiences in the classroom are the costs of materials and content knowledge. The PS Science program was designed to provide both the materials and the training necessary for teachers to sustain the classroom program after approximately two years of mentorship from a trained elementary science educator provided by PS Science.

After the initial two-year classroom training period, PS Science continues to provide instructional support and all weekly program materials as long as the receiving school and PS Science are in partnership.



Annual evaluation studies conducted by external parties have consistently shown that the PS Science program is meeting or exceeding its program objectives. Third grade students from William Green performed over 145% higher than the national average on a scientific reasoning assessment taken at the end of the '16-'17 school year. A study done at the end of the '15-'16 school year found that PS Science is a very impactful program as evidenced by increases scientific vocabulary in third grade students by 1.2 points or Cohen’s d of +0.49.

Evaluation 2015 Final Report

Board Members

Gen Yoshimaru - Board Chair

Educator and Advocate

Childhood Ambition: To be a teacher.
First Job: Working at Magic Mountain the year it opened.
Fun Science Fact: When I was 7, I discovered that you can squish Ice Plant and use the juice as ink. Be careful, though, it does not wash off easily!
If I were an element, I would be: Cu – Copper, because I also conduct heat and electricity easily.
PS Science because... Actively DOING science stimulates questioning, observation, reasoning, and risk taking, all of which are essential to innovation. The P.S. Science students of today are the innovators of tomorrow!
Alex Klyce

Technology Entrepreneur

Childhood Ambition: To not get caught
First Job: Paper Route (remember newspapers?)
Fun Science Fact: If you took out all the empty space in our atoms, the whole human race could fit in the volume of a sugar cube.
If I were an element, I would be: Krypton. Good for keeping Superman in line, and for lasers (pew pew).
PS Science because... In our post manufacturing society, technological and scientific advancements need to be one of the pillars of our economy going forward. Many fewer factory workers, many more knowledge workers.
Bud Jacobs

Educational Leadership

Childhood Ambition: World Travel
First Job: High School Teacher
Fun Science Fact: Skipping rocks on a frozen pond produces a beautiful, eerie echo sound.
If I were an element, I would be: Iron.
PS Science because... Kids need to know the magic!
Corinne Schulman

Independent School Administrator

Childhood Ambition: Marine Biologist
First Job: Counter Person at Au Bon Pain
Fun Science Fact: The light from a laser gets trapped in a waterfall.
If I were an element, I would be: Gold, because its one of the few found in its pure form.
PS Science because... Positive, fun, affirming exposure to science leads to informed and engaged students and citizens who can contribute to a healthier future for our planet.
Eric Borstein
Heather Felix

Intellectual Property Marketer/Educator

Childhood Ambition: Research Scientist
First Job: Babysitter
Fun Science Fact: The average human body carries ten times more bacterial cells than human cells.
If I were an element, I would be: Neon- because who doesn't need more bright, fun light in their lives?
PS Science because... All kids deserve to have the joy of discovery and problem solving that comes from a hands-on science education.
Jennifer Michael

Mother, Teacher and Volunteer

Childhood Ambition: To be a lifelong learner
First Job: Server in a frozen yogurt store
Fun Science Fact: Bananas emit a gas that ripens other fruit faster.
If I were an element, I would be: Oxygen
PS Science because... Curiosity changes the world. Every child's curiosity should be nourished through exploration and experimentation, which begets more curiosity.
Leslie Aronzon


Childhood Ambition: I wanted to be a nuclear scientist engaged in research, a lab rat.
First Job: Candy Striper at Century City Hospital
Fun Science Fact: If you put Mentos in Coke, it will create a minor eruption of fizz.
If I were an element, I would be: Either Platinum, since it is super strong and has lots of uses, or Plutonium, since I can be a little explosive at times!
PS Science because... Science opens up the world to a child, and every child deserves to exploit their curiosity. Science is endless.
Marc E. Hankin

Patent Attorney

Childhood Ambition: To be a Doctor, until I got to Medical school, hated it, and dropped out.
First Job: Teaching High School Physics and Chemistry
Fun Science Fact: You get just as wet walking in the rain as you do if you run, so long as the distance is the same.
If I were an element, I would be: Mercury (Hg)- it has no known biological role, but is present in every living thing and widespread in the environment. Every mouthful of food we eat contains a little mercury. Mercury combines very well with precious metals.
PS Science because... I hope we can stimulate students to love science as much as I always have!
Mary Farrell

Actress (long retired)

Childhood Ambition: Davy Crockett's sidekick
First Job: Car hop at the A&W Root Beer Stand
Fun Science Fact: If a planarian flatworm is decapitated, it grows a new head, which contains all the old memories of the first head.
If I were an element, I would be: Na. Sodium can float on water. Me too.
PS Science because... PS Science fosters the curiosity that is in every child.
Babak Fardin


Childhood Ambition: Astronaut
First Job: Science Lab Technician
Fun Science Fact: If you take all the blood vessels out of an average child and laid them out in one line, the line would stretch over 60,000 miles. An adult's would be closer to 100,000 miles long.
If I were an element, I would be: Flourine and all the halogens in general... because life is about forming strong bonds.
PS Science because... The attack on science by politics in this historical moment is alarming and dangerous. We need to be proactive in making sure that all young students are exposed to and understand the importance of the fundamentals of science. We can no longer just assume it will happen, because unless we're involved, it likely won't.
Roger Weaver

Educator/Non-profit Consultant

Childhood Ambition: To be an astronaut
First Job: Dishwasher in a coffee shop
Fun Science Fact: You can boil water in a paper cup by putting it in a blazing campfire.
If I were an element, I would be: Carbon, because it is the basis for all organic molecules; it is the source of all life.
PS Science because... Every child in America deserves a high quality science education and our planet's survival depends on a scientifically literate population.
Sharyar Baradaran


Childhood Ambition: To be a doctor and fly a helicopter
First Job: Create a gutter around a tennis court to allow water to drain
Fun Science Fact: There are 206 bones in the adult human body and there are 300 in a child (as they grow, some of the bones fuse together).
If I were an element, I would be: Titanium. I use it every day in surgery placing implants in the jaw used as a foundation to rebuild lost teeth.
PS Science because... We are all scientists in some shape or form. Science leads to discovery for the betterment of mankind. Each young mind deserves a chance to explore science in their own way.
Jennifer Malin

Medical Director

Childhood Ambition: To be a nurse
First Job: Teacher's aide at a preschool
Fun Science Fact: If you stretched out all the DNA in the cells in your body it would measure 20,000,000,000 kilometers or 12,427,423,845 miles.
If I were an element, I would be: Helium
PS Science because... every child should get to experience the fun and excitement of science.
Joan C. Martin

School Administrator

Childhood Ambition: To be a doctor
First Job: Nurse assistant, Muhlenberg Hospital
Fun Science Fact: A flea can accelerate faster than the Space Shuttle
If I were an element, I would be: Silver (Ag). It is used in many cultures but is not as flashy as gold. It’s malleable, soft, ductile, lustrous. It is sensitive and easily tarnished when encountering sulfur.
PS Science because... watching kids delight in learning is a particular joy of mine. PS Science generates that delight CONSTANTLY.

PS Science Foundation and Corporate Funding Providers


  • The Lemelson Foundation provided critical seed funding to launch the PS Science program.
  • The Ahmanson Foundation
  • Angell Foundation
  • Astellas U.S.A. Foundation
  • Borstein Family Foundation
  • The Crail-Johnson Foundation
  • Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences
  • The Joseph Drown Foundation
  • Dwight Stuart Youth Fund
  • Keck Foundation
  • Kinder Morgan Foundation
  • LA Clippers Foundation
  • Makoff Family Foundation
  • Mara Breech Foundation
  • Mark Hughes Foundation
  • Max Factor Foundation
  • Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
  • Richard Allan Barry Family Foundation
  • Robert B. Lemelson & Susan M. Morse Family Foundation
  • Roth Family Foundation
  • Santa Monica Rotary Foundation
  • Squid & Squash Foundation
  • The Weingarten Foundation
  • Y&S Nazarian Foundation


  • BLT Enterprises
  • Edison International
  • Hankin Patent Law, APC
  • Hulu, LLC
  • Magnetika Pardee Properties
  • Northrop Grumman ECHO
  • Sharyar Baradaran, DDS
  • Snap, Inc.

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