Youth Science Institute

Cause Area

  • Animals
  • Children & Youth
  • Community
  • Education & Literacy
  • Environment


at Vasona Park333 Blossom Hill RoadLos Gatos, CA 95032 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

YSI Parters with Nature to Teach Kids Science!

Our Mission: To inspire enthusiasm for Science and a love of learning.


The Youth Science Institute (YSI) is a leader in nature-based science education in Silicon Valley, CA, engaging 30,000 pre-school through high school students annually in the wonders of science.

What we do:

In our 62 years, more than 1.5 million children have benefited from our mission: to inspire enthusiasm for science and a love of learning.

YSI focuses on hands-on learning of life sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences.

This includes:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Geology
  • Natural history
  • Much more!

YSI programs and curricula meet and support California State Science Standards.

What makes us special:

Our enthusiastic, Bay Area science instructors have a passion to increase curiosity for science education through all of the programs that we offer.

Our highly experiential, group programs develop the critical thinking skills that are necessary for a child's academic success, which ultimately impacts his or her opportunity for economic success.

Why it is important:

Our School Programs and Summer Science Camps also directly connect children with the wonders of nature, addressing the increasing challenge of "nature deficit disorder." By fostering a connection with nature and developing their critical thinking abilities, students have a greater potential to grow into involved citizens with the capacity to contribute to the community and the health of the planet.

In order to develop a work-force that can contribute to the vitality of the Bay Area and nation, science education is critical to meeting that need. YSI programs fill the gap in science learning that is present in classrooms today.

Our Nature Centers:

YSI's three Science and Nature Centers are located at Alum Rock Park in East San Jose, Sanborn Park in Saratoga, and Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos.

Our Alum Rock and Vasona Lake centers are open to the public and feature live birds, insects, amphibians and reptiles, interactive exhibits, and year-round programs for children and families.


YSI also holds two annual educational events: a FREE Community Day each year and a Wildlife Festival the first Sunday in October, as well as Science Safaris (public classes) throughout the year.

For more information, please visit our website:


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