Journey through the Universe
Program Overview
Nogales, Arizona

"The focus on science, math, and technology has inspired our students. Many … are now considering classes and possible careers in these fields. This program has helped open up the minds of our children to options that were not readily available to them in the past."

—Robert Canchola, School Superintendent, Santa Cruz County, Arizona

One of two Journey through the Universe family science evenings held March 2001 in Santa Cruz County, Arizona. This evening in Nogales was attended by 1,500 parents and children. Before the presentation by Dr. Jeff Goldstein, an astrophysicist from Challenger Center for Space Science Education, the attendees were able to walk to over 30 booths providing hands-on science activities for families. 1,000 showed up for the second evening in Rio Rico. Also in 2001, a team of four Visiting Researchers talked with 6,500 grade K-12 students in 24 schools, and 340 grade K-12 teachers attended professional development workshops.

Nogales, Arizona, is a rural community of about 25,000 people lying on the border with Nogales, Mexico. The unemployment rate is 15%-20% and the per capita income for the county (Santa Cruz County) is $7,795. The poverty rate for parents in the school district is 70%. In the city of Nogales, 96% of the population speaks predominately Spanish. Eighty-one percent of the students are limited English proficient and 82% are on free or reduced lunch. There are no science education assets such as museums, science centers, or planetaria, and the community has very limited recreational, or cultural opportunities outside of the school setting.

The kids, teachers, and families of Santa Cruz County also deserve a Journey through the Universe.

©2008, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
Family Science in Nogales, Arizona