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Young Engineer and Scientist (YES) Academy

Young Engineer and Scientist (YES) Academy

Established in Fall 2014, the UC Merced YES Academy is an outreach initiative between the UC Merced Fresno Center and the STEM Center. The goal of the YES Academy is to endorse STEM education by connecting UC Merced with local schools. Via demonstrations, lessons and hands-on activities, UC Merced undergraduate students and staff provide academic enrichment and STEM learning opportunities for K-8 students in the San Joaquin Valley. Educational activities are available to all students regardless of socioeconomic status and academic background. Recognizing the need for more females and underrepresented groups in STEM programs and careers, an emphasis is be made to reach out to these students.
The YES team receives a warm welcome in each school and children enjoy working side-by-side with UC Merced students. Survey results and the invitations our undergraduates receive to visit again, clearly demonstrate the success of each event. Activities are scheduled by appointment.

Petia Gueorguieva, PhD, STEM Resource Center, UC Merced,
D. Priscila Villanueva, External Relations & Special Projects Coordinator, UC Fresno Center,



Location: Elementary schools in Merced, Madera, Fresno, and Los Banos school districts

Outreach Details:
AY 2014-15: UC Merced’s American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE) student chapters led two YES Academy visits for second- and fifth-grade students at Riverview (Fresno) and the AIAA student chapter organized a visit for fifth-grade students at Howard (Madera).
AY 2015-16: Our undergraduate students, led by AIAA student and Society of Hispanic Engineers organizations, visited three elementary schools: fourth-graders at Sheehy (Merced), sixth-graders at Yokomi (Fresno), fifth-graders at Howard (Madera). Chancellor Leland visited Sheehy’s event and was cordially invited by fourth-graders to participate in their activities.
AY 2016-17: under the lead of SPS, AIAA, and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) students chapters, YES Academy undergraduate volunteers visited the sixth-grade classes at Peterson (Merced), sixth-graders at Lorena Falasco (Los Banos) and second graders at Howard (Madera).

Facebook Link:

Media coverage:
Los Banos Enterprise: Lorena Falasco
Merced City School District: Peterson
Merced Sun-Star: Sheehy
UC Merced Magazine:
ABC 30: Yokomi
Fresno Unified School District: Yokomi
The Fresno Bee: Riverview
ABC 30: Riverview
The Madera Tribune: Howard