The Modesto Area Partners in Science (MAPS) lecture series has operated since 1990 to foster science education in our community for youths through adults. Once a month during the academic year, MAPS offers stimulating free science programming, bringing educators and local citizens into contact with scientists and mind-expanding ideas.
MAPS originated with MJC instructor Steve Murov and other Science faculty. At the suggestion of Modesto City Schools, MJC and MCS applied for an Eisenhower grant (A federally funded, state administered program intended to raise the level of science and math literacy in the U.S.). The purpose of the grant proposal was to improve the quality of science education in the MCS District. The grant application was successful and was administered by MJC.
Initially intended to be a 3 year grant, careful use of funds enabled the grant to be extended for a fourth year. During the grant, about 20 science courses were taught specifically for K-6 MCS teachers with about 30 teachers per course. In addition, a pre-service program was conducted that gave MJC and CSU Stanislaus students experience with the teaching of science. There were two very successful major spin-offs of the program. A monthly Friday night science series was initiated that is now in its 29th year and continues to draw capacity audiences. A 5th grade science field trip program was another popular spinoff of the grant. The most recently conducted version of the field trip was called SEEK (Science Educational Encounters for Kids).” Every month of the academic year, MAPS now continues to serve up delicious science programs for the Community, MJC staff and students.