Here are our projects that are open to the county. I’ve provided our description, but for more information about meeting days and times (they are all virtual as of September 30th), please email Kris at info@EastHills4H.org/
Evolution and Genetics (Biological Sciences: Genetics)
This will be a 100% virtual project, using a real-world based learning simulation from Concord called Connected
Biology: https://learn.concord.org/connectedbio Using real data on deer mice (collected in the field), members will
learn about deer mice and their life cycle, and what drives their adaptation of fur color to their habitat (fields to beach
to rocky mountains). Members will learn to analyze data, modeling, how evolution drives all of biology, and much
more. If there’s time, we will also have fun with Geniverse (also Concord Consortium), a super fun introduction to
genetics with a dragon based game. Monthly meetings will be for members to ask questions and discuss what they’ve
learned, most work will be done at home at their convenience. The project leader has a biology background and will help members through the concepts and topics.
Birds (Biological Sciences: Zoology)
This project focuses on birds, their characteristics, songs, and field identification. No prior knowledge is required.
Makerspace-Digital (Computers & Internet: Computer programming/Coding)
Curious about what developing software is like in the real world? The tools they use? Join the Digital Makerspace
to experience a realistic, real world software development experience. We’ll be developing an adventure game,
starting as a text-adventure and extending the scope of the game as the members get more experienced during the
project. You’ll be learning and using Python and any accompanying tools needed to make the game. Members will
collaborate with Github (an industry standard), supplementing with Zoom meetings and project management tools
The leader of the project is a CS student at UC Berkeley, with several years of experience in software development through internships. This project is for someone who is already familiar with Python and will be “get out what you put in” style; we plan on doing very few Zoom meetings and mostly work through GitHub. We will still have monthly meeting times, but they will be for the members to work on the project.
Members can do as much work outside of normal project times as they like. If you don’t know much Python but are highly motivated to learn as we go, you are welcome to join.
Digital Art (Computers & Internet:Digital Art)
This will be the 6th year of this project, and it’s morphed into a teen workshop, where members work on their art together, talk,
and offer some critiques in there. We usually start meetings with a short lesson on art, and we’ll continue last year’s focus of
comic art with Gail Simone’s #ComicSchool (from Twitter). She is a writer of comic books (DC’s Birds of Prey is one, but
she’s been involved with many, many comics) and created a popular class with her #ComicSchool, offering lessons, assignments,
and feedback on her timeline. It’s all been archived, and we’ll work through her lessons – short and sweet – through the year.
We’ll start the year with virtual meetings, moving to in-person as soon as we can (leader’s house in San Leandro).
American Girl & Boy History Club(Cultural Arts)
The American Girl and Boy History Club will focus on one character per month and important events and eras in America’s
history while focusing on positive character traits of that character. Children are welcome to bring dolls or animals with
Each month will focus on a new AG historical character; children will read book or series on their own, if they choose to.
The online project (in person if covid gets better) combines the children’s knowledge to get an idea of the event or era using
its American Girl Doll, and will include geography, culture, vocabulary, and important events for the given time period.
These areas will be explored and shared by photos, videos, maps, and a craft and/or baking assignment. Good character traits of each American Girl character will be emphasized and why character matters.
The members will have the chance to discuss the character and time period we learned about, positive character traits, and what it would have been like to be a boy or girl at that time in history. If regulations loosen up, I would like to go on one field trip to San Juan Bautista living history site which resembles the Spanish ranchero that Josefina, 1864, came from.
Conversational French(Cultural Arts)
This project focuses on conversational French: words, phrases and conversations. The project will be virtual. No prior
knowledge of French is required.
This primary project will be focusing on Bay Area Backyard Bugs, because we learn best when we connect our learning
to real world phenomena in our backyard. We’ll start virtually, using videos (KQED, Nat Geo) and online interactives to
learn about pill bugs, native bees, wasps, and ants with at-home activities that members can share during our virtual
meetings as well as discussing what they’ve learned. Examples of at-home work include making drawings, photographing
bugs in your backyard, or writing a story about an insect. We’ll resume in-person meetings as soon as possible and will meet in San Leandro (either at home of leader or park). We’ll make homes for native bees, set some traps for pill bugs and ants so we can observe them, and grow plants to attract beneficial insects to our backyards.
Environmental Stewardship: Plastics Pollution:
We skipped a year, but this is our 13th year of the Plastics project in East Hills, and we are still focused on the problem of marine plastic pollution. What is plastic pollution, and what can we do about it? We’ll learn about that as well as trying to educate others about the problem and possible solutions which includes plastic reduction, reuse, re-purposing and recycling efforts.
Our focus this year will be:
Cleanups and Microplastic study: we’ll do individual coastal cleanups (cleaning up plastic debris at local shores in Oakland and San Leandro),and our own analysis on the soil on the beach/estuary with soil augers and sieves to see how much microplastic has infiltrated the soil.
Cooking Around the World (Foods)
We will be making lunches together, while learning about culture, history, and nutrition. Each month we will make dishes from
a different country. While we enjoy our lunch, we will tell stories about the cultures the food came from and learn nutrition
information. The junior leaders did this project with their grandmother over the summer and found that cooking together over
zoom is a lot of fun!