History

Beginning with a 10-gallon aquarium, elementary school teacher Tom Watts began a club that would grow to impact thousands of students throughout the years.

Aspirational Roots & Inspirational Growth

In 1964, as the Civil Rights Act, Space Race, and Great Society brought promise of a brighter future, Tom Watts started a science club in his Kennedy Elementary School classroom to ensure his students would have the opportunity to be part of that brighter future.

The club surged to 70 members by 1967. Watts expanded the program to an abandoned house that the City of San Diego agreed to rent for one dollar. Within five years, the National Science Foundation recognized EIS as one of two programs in the U.S. and one of five in the world focusing on hands-on science for youth.

A Beacon of Community Progress

Since day one, parents, teachers, and countless others have worked to support EIS’s students and mission. The Salk Institute, Rosenberg Foundation and Scripps Institute of Oceanography became EIS’s first organizational partners between 1968 and 1969. Since then, supporting organizations and businesses have been integral to EIS’s success.

In 2004, passionate EIS students and alumni rallied community support to raise $6 million to construct a new 15,000-square foot facility. The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, the Kresge Foundation and other anonymous donors committed challenge grants that helped galvanize support from dozens of other local, state and national institutions.

TODAY

In its five-decade history, EIS has served thousands of students, many of whom have gone on to thrive in careers in medicine, engineering, computing, and more. We continue to inspire more students each year to love science, become critical thinkers, and develop a “STEM Identity.”

 

Support EIS

Support from individuals, community organizations, businesses and other partners is fundamental to the pursuit of EIS’s mission. See how you can contribute

What’s Going On at EIS

April 2022 Newsletter

Steps-2-STEM students learned about chemical reaction – using potassium permanganate and glycerin to create fire! Thank you to our Curriculum Specialist Danika Garcia for this lesson.  Visit our YouTube Channel…
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Week 10: Animal Planet

Happy Tuesday! In this week’s classes, students were able to create animal-friendly cameras in Photography, design a humane animal trap in Engineering, and dissect owl pellets in Zoology. Our presenter…
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Week 9: Engineering Adventures

We hope everybody is having a wonderful Tuesday! During Week 9 at EIS , our students tested their limits in problem-solving within our 6 classes–Biology, Physics, Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science…
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CONTACT EIS

Use the form below to contact EIS staff, and we will respond as quickly as possible!

Elementary Institute of Science
608 51st Street
San Diego, CA 92114
619.263.2302

CONTACT EIS

Use the form below to contact EIS staff, and we will respond as quickly as possible!

Elementary Institute of Science
608 51st Street
San Diego, CA 92114
619.263.2302