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LAHS student’s Science Nation platform provides STEM support

Los Altos High senior Christina Ding started her science blog in early April, but after learning more about educational resource disparity since then, she has rebranded her website.

Over the summer, Ding created Science Nation, an online platform providing free academic support for students in the STEM field.

“With Science Nation, essentially what I’m trying to do is provide resources,” Ding said. “I can’t provide funding for schools, but I can try to provide an equitable spread of opportunities.”

After reaching out to classmates and posting volunteer listings, she launched Science Nation in late July. Since its inception, the website has attracted more than 1,000 users, according to Ding, and garnered more than 1,200 followers on social media.

The site has three main features: a blog, a tutoring program and online classes. Classes are held over Zoom and include an array of science-related topics.

Ding, who leads a computer science course, said she has loved her experience teaching so far.

“As somebody who’s just really passionate about sharing information and learning, it’s been really great to impart what I know to somebody else,” she said. “Especially if their school doesn’t offer computer science or they’re too intimidated to take the class for a grade, I feel like our classes are a great place to start.”

Science Nation is run entirely by volunteers, the founder added, and is always looking for new students to join the team. High school students interested can apply on the Science Nation website.

Making an impact

Natalia Roman, a Los Altos High graduate and current freshman at Mills College, has been with Science Nation since its beginnings as a blog. Now, she is director of marketing and community outreach.

“My favorite part is knowing I make an impact on other students’ lives, even if it’s indirect,” Roman said. “Making education more equitable is very important so that everyone has the opportunities to get to higher education.”

Science Nation hopes to further its impact with a used-technology drive, scheduled through Saturday, Ding said. The devices that pass quality checks will be sent to human-I-T, a nonprofit organization that sources used electronics for those in need.

Android and Apple devices from 2012 or later, phone chargers, portable batteries, earbuds and headphones all will be accepted. Donations may be dropped off 3-7 p.m. at 296 Ramon Drive in Los Altos.

“There are so many students without devices or internet access,” Ding said. “Because our main mission is to make education more equitable and accessible to all, hosting a used-tech drive seemed to be the next natural step we could take in pursuit of equality.”

For more information on Science Nation, visit sciencenation.net.

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