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Programs for K-12 Students

Students at the California Academy of Sciences rainforest exhibit in San Francisco


The CLAS-Cesar Chavez Academy of Palo Alto “Stanford Science” focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The partnership brought students from Cesar Chavez Academy of Palo Alto to the Center for Latin American Studies at Stanford University weekly for the entire fall quarter to learn science in several Stanford science laboratories and in the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, including a tour of the rain forest ecosystem of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. In these sessions, students received an introductory presentation of the theme of study for the session, followed by a demonstration of the corresponding laboratory, engaging the students in some activity representative of the research being done therein and allowing for the interaction of outstanding Stanford professors/instructors and local students. During his presentation on ecology and biodiversity of rain forests at the California Academy of Sciences, Professor in the Biology Department Rodolfo Dirzo brought an emphasis on Latin America to the Stanford Science program. For more information, see the Stanford Science 2013 Report.


CLAS has been honored to serve as a host in the program STEM for Latinas, coordinated by the Mexican Consulate of San Jose, California, which introduces Latina girls, aged 9-13 and from low-income families, to the professional world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math through activities such as workshops, a university tour, and visits to technology companies locate in Silicon Valley. The goal is to inspire Latina girls, thereby creating a future in which more Latina women integrate into the fascinating world of science and technology. Professor Dirzo hosts Latina Girls at Bolivar House each spring. The success of the 2013 pilot program led to the launching of the program under full co-sponsorship of CLAS, Fundación Televisa, and the Mexican Consulate in San Jose.


From 2011 to 2014, the SAAGE program brought highly motivated high-school students to Stanford’s Center for Latin American Studies to take part in multi-disciplinary academic training under the mentoring and supervision of professors and graduate students. Through a variety of pedagogical tools, including field visits, multi-media presentations, literature, film, and current-events, students gained significant knowledge of various aspects of Latin American studies and the importance of the Latin American region for the world at large. Such knowledge was intended to facilitate students’ future academic and community-based work. In 2013, the SAAGE partnership won the Stanford Community Partnership Award. View article here.

CLAS is a U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center (NRC). Supported by the U.S. Department of Education under the auspices of Title VI, Section 602(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, NRCs serve to strengthen access to and training in the major languages of their respective regions, and to broaden area studies training across all disciplines.