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On August 21, the Great American Eclipse drew 5,000 people to the Fleet to view this remarkably rare event. San Diegans came together to share solar glasses, make pinhole projectors, talk to astronomers and watch totality on our Giant Dome screen. This exciting day embodied what the Fleet is all about: connecting people to the possibilities and power of science. In 2017, the Fleet connected families, neighborhoods, schools, student groups, children and adults to the science that is around them every day. We are pleased to share with you some of the ways the Fleet inspired science learning in our region over the past 12 months.

 

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Connecting Families

The Fleet Science Center reached 479,000 individuals in the 2017 fiscal year. Families, students and visitors from our community, schools and around the world connected to science by utilizing our Tinkering Studio; exploring Kid City; attending traveling exhibitions, including The Art of the Brick and Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery; and seeing IMAX® films, such as Dream Big: Engineering Our World and A Beautiful Planet, as well as participating in our various school and community programs.

 

Connecting Communities

Participation in the Fleet’s 52 Weeks of Science program—offering free science events each week in Barrio Logan and Logan Heights—grew by 50% in 2017, and planning began to expand the successful program in 2018 to the Clairemont neighborhood. Adult programs like Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar, Crossover: Where Comics and Science Meet, Suds & Science and the Sharp Minds lecture series also saw an increase in popularity and continued to be a favorite way for curious minds of all ages to engage with scientists, researchers and engineers.

 

Connecting Girls

Many studies have shown that girls are significantly underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) higher education and STEM careers. To address this lack of parity, the Fleet oers several programs that inspire and support girls interested in STEM education, including SciTech, an after school program for girls in grades 4–6; Saturday Science Club, for girls in grades 5–8; and BE WiSE (Better Education for Women in Science and Engineering), a robust program for young women in grades 7–12, which collaborates with the region's research, industry and academic institutions to foster learning through out-of-school activities. We are proud to say the Fleet continues to grow these programs each year.