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Youth and Family Programs

Science Safari

Self-Guided Science Safaris

Exciting things are coming at YSI! Join us for our upcoming FREE Self-Guided Science Safaris at our Sanborn and Vasona Park locations! From Scavenger Hunts, to Nature Walks, we have a fun filled event that will help you get out in our beautiful parks while enjoying some much needed fresh air and wildlife! These are no host events, but a YSI staff member will be available to be sure everyone arrives on time and takes the correct designated trail. We will also be making sure everyone is staying safe by following the required protocol of social distancing while wearing a facial mask. Below are the dates and locations of each event.

YSI has incorporated new guidelines that follow all County and State protocol. This information can be found in the registration form. We are in this together, and YSI is here to help keep you safe and healthy while enjoying the beauty of nature!You will receive an email the day before your event with all the needed information, including your trail map route, and a list of things to look for while enjoying your surroundings.

If you have any questions, please email serena@ysi-ca.org or call 408-356-4945 ext. 11. We hope you have a wonderful time, and from all of us at YSI, stay safe and healthy!

Location: Vasona Park
Oct 24th Self-Guided 5 Senses Nature Walk

Location: Sanborn County Park
Oct 31st Self-Guided 5 Senses Nature Walk
Afternoon Science Programs

Vast Voyagers Space Program: $299

Send you child blasting into space with this week long program! We will discover the many differences and similarities between the planets in our solar system plus their moons. We will also talk about many different galaxies, the ingredients of a star, and so much more during this fun filled voyage together. Plus your child will do many hands- on projects that they will bring home to share with you. It'll be a blast off!

Location: Vasona Lake County Park (333 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos, California 95032)
November 2-6
Afternoon Science Programs

Feathers, Fur, and Scales: $129

Dive into zoology with YSI! We will actively investigate different kinds of animals from head to toe, and from the inside out. Examine bones, fur, feathers, claws, teeth, scales, and skeletons to learn more about animal adaptations. Together we will meet YSI’s live animals and get an up-close look at how these animals are built for survival.

This is a 4 day week due to Veteran's Day on Wednesday.

Location: Vasona Lake County Park (333 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos, California 95032)
November 9-13
Afternoon Science Programs

Boomin Biomes: $149

Have you ever heard the word biome? Biomes are a community of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biomes are distinct biological communities that have formed in response to a shared physical climate.

During your week with YSI, you will learn all about the variety of natural habitats and the animals that live among them. You'll also talk about what key differences these animals have to help them survive in that specific biome that makes them so special! You'll have a boomin' time!

Design, build, and test different ideas to create robots that you can take home to share with your family! Robots can be extremely complex creations, but they can also be very simple! Our instructors will be working very closely with you to make some really awesome creations!

Location: Vasona Lake County Park (333 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos, California 95032)
November 16-20
Afternoon Science Programs

Wild and Whacky Weather: $149

Have you looked outside lately and thought, Wow! This weather is Wild and Whacky! Well we did! So why not have a week long program to talk all about the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of weather! Plus, why not throw some hands-on projects in to keep it interesting? You'll leave YSI thunderstruck!

Location: Vasona Lake County Park (333 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos, California 95032)
December 7-11
Afternoon Science Programs

Nocturnals in the Night: $149

Have you ever been out at night, and heard something moving in the trees, or seen something streak across the sky in a blur? Join YSI in discovering the many possibilities of what you could have seen! From bats, to possums, to owls, our instructors will teach you about all the native nocturnal animals you can find, and even some that are non-native. You might even get to meet some nocturnal animals in person, too!

Location: Vasona Lake County Park (333 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos, California 95032)
December 14-18
Science Saturdays

Life of an Ohlone

Join YSI in learning about the first people who inhabited where we live- the Ohlone Native Americans! During this program, we will learn how they survived back then on what nature gave them!

From their homes, to their food, and also the toys and tools! We will also go on a nice walk to see the many plants and animals in nature that the Ohlone might have found useful.
November 7
Science Saturdays

A Day at theCreek

YSI presents A Day at the Creek! We will start our day by talking about our most precious resource- Water! Where does it come from? How do we get it? Can we survive without it? What needs water to stay alive? Our instructors will talk about our watershed, and how we are different from those who live closer to the ocean.

We will also meet some animals that depend on water to survive, and why they cannot live without it. This program includes many insects you might not even know were there!

After seeing the live animals, we will move our journey to the actual water source- Lake Vasona! Each child will get a strainer to gently move rocks and leaves in the water to uncover what lies beneath. It’s going to be so much fun!
November 14
Science Saturdays

Birding at Vasona

Search for birds! Come with YSI to see what birds are out and about! Bring your own camera, binoculars, and see how many birds can be found in the park! After we make our rounds, we will head back near YSI and do some bird related crafts. This includes making a bird feeder or two, and a shoebox birdhouse.

We will also discuss several bird facts during our time together. Topics we will cover are:

• Habitat
• Camouflage
• Native vs. non-native
• Migration
• Predators vs. prey birds
• Bird beaks, wings, and other bird parts

It's a wonderful time of year for birding, and we are so excited to share it with you!
November 21
Science Saturdays

Vasona Bioblitz!

Join YSI for a fun and exciting Bioblitz! First, we will talk a bit about what a Bioblitz is and why it’s so important. Then we will do a quick test run with iNaturalist to get everyone up to speed before trekking off for a fun adventure! We will discuss each finding, and why it’s important to its ecosystem. Here are some topics we will cover during our adventure together:

• Habitat
• Flora and fauna
• Adaptations of the things we see
• Creek exploration
• Fun and educational crafts!

Each participant will also have a log book to take notes and draw sketches of interesting things we’ve seen to use for our craft time. At the end of the day, you will leave YSI with a better knowledge of how to use iNaturalist so you can do more bioblitz events in the future, or even create your own!
November 28
Holiday Camps

Rockin Robotics: $179

Design, build, and test different ideas to create robots that you can take home to share with your family! Robots can be extremely complex creations, but they can also be very simple! Our instructors will be working very closely with you to make some really awesome creations!

This is a 3 day program, due to the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Location: Vasona Lake County Park (333 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos, California 95032)
November 23-25
Holiday Camps

The Science of Magic: $179

Would you like to know some of the secrets of magic tricks? YSI has you covered, or uncovered rather! We will dig down and search for the mysteries behind the magic, and also learn some tricks of our own so you can take your knowledge home to impress your family!

This is a 3 day program, due to the Christmas Holiday.

Location: Vasona Lake County Park (333 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos, California 95032)
December 21-23
Holiday Camps

A Passion For Prehistorics: $179

Are you a fan of the old days? At YSI, we mean the OLD old days! Learn about dinosaurs, sabretooth tigers, and other prehistoric creatures, plus look at some awesome fossils! Make awesome crafts like an ice volcano, and you may even get the chance to test for fossils in a rock! We have a prehistoric passion, and so will you!

This is a 3 day program, due to the New Year's holiday week.

Location: Vasona Lake County Park (333 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos, California 95032)
December 28-30