April 2024 Newsletter

Category: Newsletter

Alumni Story: Arveal Johnson Looks Back at EIS

Arveal Johnson, formerly Keetch, and her sister Joy were part of Tom Watt’s after-school science club while attending Ocean View Elementary. Their mother Arveal Keetch, was also involved, helping to transport students for field trips when needed and even sewing her daughter’s lab coats for EIS.

Arveal attended the program from elementary school through high school, even after it was moved to the white house on the hill. Throughout the years, she made good memories and good friends, staying connected to former EIS students such as Jill Watts.

Tom Watts was her favorite teacher, despite not being her official teacher because he cared so deeply for students. This shined through in the amount of time and energy he put into supporting her and the entire program long after his work day ended. Tom helped Arveal with her science fair projects for three years, where she won first place each year at her school and second place at the city level.

As a lover of insects and science, Arveal fondly remembers how Tom would take students on walks through Balboa Park searching for fossils, tarantula walks, or to visit the Natural History Museum, just to name a few adventures. This was a perfect fit for Arveal who loved to collect insects. Among her fond memories was working with fellow student Steven Puentes as an intern at the Salk Institute for two summers where they had the opportunity to assist with cancer research.

Now retired, Arveal previously worked at UCSD Healthcare for 38 years where she worked as a Program Analyst. A highlight of this role was programming their managed care system – despite not having a formal background in coding. That’s the power of science programs that develop critical thinking and a STEM identity complimented by a caring community of teachers, family, and neighbors who ensured that the students in southeast San Diego received a stellar education.

Join the Target Giving Circle and Help EIS

We are honored and excited to announce that we have been chosen to participate in a special charitable giving campaign, sponsored and funded by Target. And you have the chance to help direct a portion of Target’s donation to us!

Now through June 30th, vote for EIS through the Target Circle program to help determine how Target’s donation will be divvied up. Find out more about Target Circle here: www.target.com/circle

We’re asking our supporters to help us make the most of this incredible opportunity. Every vote counts to help us receive a portion of the available Target funds as we continue our mission of inspiring a love of science and creating opportunity for diverse children and youth.

Don’t forget, as you earn more votes, you can keep voting multiple times during the campaign!

Thank you for your support! We encourage you to share your support for us (and your thanks to Target) on social media throughout the duration of the voting!

Summer Internships for High School Students!

The San Diego Institute of Science and Technology (SD SciTech) expands EIS programs to make a significant impact on high school students. SD SciTech is a robust, STEM-based college preparation and leadership program for underserved students in southeastern San Diego and beyond. SD SciTech is the only college readiness program focused on STEM careers and academics in the greater San Diego region. We are excited to share some wonderful local internships for San Diego County high school students. Learn more: San Diego SciTech Program Updates.




Thank you Francis French

EIS greatly appreciates the wonderful community members who volunteer with us. Recently, EIS Advisory Council members Francis French donated boxes of books for students. The book, Becoming a SpaceWalker: My Journey to the Stars, details the path of astronaut Jerry L. Ross from his childhood interest in rockets to his career as an astronaut and engineer at NASA.

The books were handed out at our open house and were gifted to children in our Saturday and Afterschool programs.

Thank you for these wonderful books Francis!



Join the Mathemagicians Homework Club at EIS on Saturdays (excluding holidays) from 12:00-1:00 pm at EIS. Spots are limited – please RSVP!

If you would like to participate, email info@mathemagiciansclub.com. Include your email, your child’s grade, and math concepts they are working on (or share an attachment of their homework). Mentors will offer help, more practice problems or worksheets. This includes SAT math help as well. They will monitor this email daily so you don’t have to wait until Saturday to ask for help.

Mathemagicians is a volunteer led program at EIS to support local youth.





Have you participated in programs or volunteered at the Elementary Institute of Science?
Whether you’re still in high school, college, working or retired, we want to know what you’ve been up to and if you have thoughts about any impact EIS had on your life or career. Please send an email to our Development Assistant, Leah Oviedo at loviedo@eisca.org.

EIS alumni are invited to join our official group to reconnect and stay updated on future reunions. Facebook.com/groups/AlumniConnectEIS

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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