The Heikoff Giant Dome Theater will be closed for upgrades from September 7–October 28. It will reopen on Friday, October 29, with a brand new IMAX® laser digital projection system.
   We’re Open Today
10:00am to 5:00pm

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center announces the successful halfway point of 52 Weeks of Science, a science learning initiative created in partnership with the communities of Barrio Logan and Logan Heights.

52 Weeks of Science was created by San Diego's science, cultural and educational institutions and individuals and organized by the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.

May 11, 2016

San Diego--The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center announces the successful halfway point of the first year of 52 Weeks of Science, an ambitious neighborhood initiative to bring science learning events to the communities of Barrio Logan and Logan Heights every week of the year. 

More than 3,000 people have participated in the neighborhood science events since the program's inception last October. The network of collaborating organizations partnering with the neighborhoods of Barrio Logan and Logan Heights has increased from 30 partners at the outset to 56 different science, cultural, educational and community partners today. 

The concept behind 52 Weeks of Science is simple: connect the community of Barrio Logan and Logan Heights with local scientists and organizations that have an interest in giving back to the community through science education. The partner scientists and organizations offer free science events hosted by community organizations, schools and parks in the Barrio Logan and Logan Heights neighborhood.

52 Weeks of Science is run by a steering committee that connects the partner scientists and organizations with the community organizations, schools and parks to facilitate the venues for the events and the outreach to the community for attendance. Instrumental groups in the steering committee have included the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego, the Logan Heights Branch Library, Logan Elementary School and Burbank Elementary School. Additional backers of the project include representatives from San Diego City Council District 8, neighborhood schools, nonprofit organizations, volunteer associations and more.

At 52 Weeks of Science events, attendees can enjoy hands-on demonstrations and interact with local scientists, researchers, engineers and more as they share their knowledge and love for science. Recent and u pcoming 52 Weeks of Science events include simple but fascinating physics experiments from the UCSD Young Physicists Program, an opportunity to learn where clouds come from and how they affect weather from the UCSD Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment (CAICE), an encounter with fascinating insects and arachnids with The League of Extraordinary Scientists and a presentation on cell biology given in Spanish by a researcher from the Salk Institute. The venues for these events include the Boys & Girls Club William Oakes Branch, Burbank Elementary and Logan Heights Branch Library.

52 Weeks of Science Success Stories

This initiative's primary success has been increased impact, achieved through multiple organizations working together with the goal of bringing accessible science learning to the community every week.

The 52 Weeks of Science steering committee, headed by Melba Novoa, the program manager of 52 Weeks of Science from the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, has been instrumental in facilitating connections between the community and science organizations with an interest in giving back. One such connection was between Burbank Elementary and the UCSD Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence (CREATE).

"We were fortunate enough to have the science students from UCSD CREATE visit Burbank Elementary to help facilitate the 52 Weeks of Science activities," said Kristen Hurst, 4th grade teacher at Burbank Elementary School. "After the program I had many female elementary students express interest in pursuing a career in science. They particularly enjoyed interacting with the female scientists and even began asking me questions about how to go to UCSD themselves! Inspiring young students to attend college is fantastic and the added benefit of getting female elementary students interested in pursuing a degree in science makes my heart melt!"

Logan Elementary has also been a frequent hosts of 52 Weeks of Science events.

"The Logan K-8 community has been very fortunate to be a part of the 52 Weeks of Science," said Antonio Villar, principal of Logan K-8 School. "Melba [Novoa] and the 52 Weeks of Science Planning Committee have brought a great sense of energy to our campus. Students and parents are joining in conversations on important scientific topics, and learning more and more each day to about the important role scientific inquiry and curiosity play in all of our lives."

The 52 Weeks of Science program has also been a leading force in building the infrastructure of connections to allow education and community organizations to move quickly on new opportunities.

For example, the Fleet Science Center was able to facilitate the Boys & Girls Club William Oakes Branch receiving a grant to share nanotechnology education through the National Informal STEM Education Network. Not only was the grant facilitated through new connections created by 52 Weeks of Science, but the Boys & Girls Club was also able to connect with UCSD CREATE to bring in experienced science educators to facilitate and enhance the learning component of the grant.

Another such example is the Creativity Garden grant awarded to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center by the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), with the generous support of Disney. The aim of the grant is to work with ASTC members, such as the Fleet, to promote collaborations for STEM opportunities in the community. Through the collaborations that have been born out of 52 Weeks of Science, the Fleet and other partners have been able to quickly and efficiently put together a science fair event for the community that meets the parameters of the grant and provides yet another science learning opportunity for the community. This will be the third major science fair of the year in the Barrio Logan and Logan Heights neighborhood as a result of the 52 Weeks of Science program.

"The relationships created by 52 Weeks of Science allow us to act quickly to bring programs to the area when the opportunity arises," said Novoa. "The collaborations happen because we are talking to each other. People are ready to jump in because we have already built up the trust and understanding that comes from working with each other. The relationships are in place that allow for a more organic exchange of resources to bring higher quality STEAM education to these communities."

"The long-term goal of 52 Weeks of Science is to celebrate the wealth of interest and support for STEM education that already exists and to bring science learning to San Diego neighborhoods every week of the year," said Steve Snyder, CEO of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. "For us, the most important benchmark is the level of engagement. For us to have over 2,730 community participants and nearly sixty educational partners in the program at the halfway point is a wonderful success."

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is currently in the process of seeking funding to extend the program beyond the current fiscal year in the communities of Barrio Logan and Logan Heights, and also to expand the program out into other communities.

The Fleet has recently received a $75,000 grant from The Parker Foundation toward the funding of 52 Weeks of Science. The grant was composed of an initial award of $25,000 with a unique matching opportunity if the Fleet was able to raise another $25,000 from additional donors by May 1, 2016. The Fleet did indeed raise the additional $25,000, which the Parker Foundation matched for a total of $75,000. 

For more information about 52 Weeks of Science and the current schedule of events, please visit:

# # #

To schedule an interview with the Fleet Science Center, scientists or community representative and partners for 52 Weeks of Science, please contact Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Public Relations Manager Nathan Young at 619-685-5743 or

# # #

52 Weeks of Science is created by San Diego's science, cultural and educational institutions and individuals and organized by the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.

52 Weeks of Science partners:

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Association for Women in Science--San Diego

BAME Community Development Corporation

Balboa Elementary School

Barrio Logan College Institute

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego-William J. Oakes Branch

Bradley Zink, Author

Burbank Elementary School

California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC)

City of San Diego

CP Kelco

Dolores Magdaleno Memorial Recreation Center

 Dr. Jose Agraz Research

El Mercado Apartments/MAAC

Environmental Health Coalition

Fab Lab San Diego


Gabriel Castro--Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Gilliam Community Space and Garden

Historic Barrio District Community Development Corporation

Krystle Chavarria--Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Japanese Friendship Garden

League of Extraordinary Scientists and Engineers (LXS)

Life Sciences Summer Institute

Listening to Waves

Logan Heights Branch Library

Logan Elementary School

Mad Science of San Diego

Monarch School

Natalie Millan--Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Our Lady's School

Perkins Elementary School

Project Wildlife

Radio Pulso Del Barrio

Salk Institute for Biological Studies

San Diego Astronomy Association

San Diego Archaeological Society

San Diego City College MESA Project

San Diego Coastkeeper

San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering

San Diego Humane Society

Sherman Elementary School

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, San Diego Chapter

SouthWest Robotics

The Mars Society

The Scripps Research Institute

UCSD Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence (CREATE)

UCSD Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment (CAICE)

UCSD Department of Neurosciences

UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering

UCSD NeuWrite

UCSD Young Physicists Program


Victor Guarneros

Villa Musica


# # #


About the Fleet Science Center:

The Fleet Science Center connects people of all ages to the possibilities and power of science to create a better future. At the science center, you can explore and investigate more than 100 interactive exhibits that pique your curiosity and become immersed in an IMAX film adventure that shows the wonders of the planet--and beyond--in the Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. For young science enthusiasts, the Fleet offers science workshops both at the Fleet and at schools throughout San Diego County. For adults, we offer events like Suds & Science and Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar™ at locations all over San Diego. We support communities by leveraging science resources to meet local needs. Teachers are encouraged to join our Teacher Partner Program and take advantage of our professional development opportunities. Additionally, at the Fleet Science Center, visitors will find unique educational toys and games, books, IMAX DVDs and more in the North Star Science Store, and pizzas, sandwiches, salads and healthy treats in our Craveology cafe. Located in Balboa Park, at 1875 El Prado, two blocks south of the San Diego Zoo on Park Blvd., the Fleet is San Diego's science center. Science starts here and opens a world of possibility. For information regarding current admission prices, visit our website at
About Balboa Park:
Located near downtown San Diego, Balboa Park is the largest urbancultural park in the United States. First established by the City of San Diego in 1868, it is also one of the oldest city parks in the nation and is the most visited single destination in San Diego. Its 1,200 acres include 17 museums, many gardens and attractions, the San Diego Zoo, miles of hiking trails, and multiple athletic complexes to explore and discover. For more information, visit