“March for Science” marches on, thanks to a donation to UC Santa Cruz’s Inquiry Learning Gift Fund

October 09, 2017


The Inquiry Learning Gift Fund supports campus involvement with community events such as the Santa Cruz County Science and Engineering Fair. Thanks to a donation from the Santa Cruz March for Science Committee, the fund can continue engaging K-12 student with science through awards and mentorship programs.
Thousands of county residents –including many UC Santa Cruz students, staff, and faculty– united downtown to defend the crucial role of science in policy and society.

Earlier this year, over one million people gathered for “March for Science,” a series of rallies and marches held in Washington D.C. and cities across the globe to celebrate science and its application to everyday lives.

One of those cities was Santa Cruz. Over 4,000 people from across the county–including many UC Santa Cruz students, staff, and faculty–gathered to honor achievements made by the scientific community.

Thanks to the Santa Cruz March for Science committee’s incredible fundraising efforts, the event organizers garnered more support than they ever anticipated.

Now, they are paying it forward to future scientists with a generous donation to UC Santa Cruz’s Inquiry Learning Gift Fund, which supports campus involvement with K-12 science education in Santa Cruz County.  

“The Inquiry Learning Gift Fund engages children and young adults with science and environmental studies through inquiry-based learning,” says Greg Gilbert, a professor and current department chair in environmental studies about the program’s mission.

The Inquiry Learning Gift Fund grew out of the GK-12 SCWIBLES program (Santa Cruz-Watsonville Inquiry-Based Learning in Environmental Sciences), a graduate training program established in partnership with Watsonville High School by Gilbert, Ingrid Parker of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, and Doris Ash of the Education Department. The program actively involves low-income and underserved students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields through efforts including supporting K-12 students with science fair projects, mentorships, and awards.    

Using the March for Science donation, the Inquiry Learning Gift Fund plans to continue supporting local middle and high school students from low-income families to participate in science fairs at the county and state level.

“At a time when diversity is needed in STEM, our program underscores that an education and career in the field is achievable. Thanks to the support from the the Santa Cruz March for Science Committee, we are able to cultivate the next generation of diverse scientists who can protect our world and change it for the better,” says Gilbert.

If you would like to donate to the Inquiry Learning Gift Fund, contact the Social Sciences Development office at (831) 459-3857 or socsci@ucsc.edu.