Local children do the work of scientists in Science Club San Miguel

By Katelin Cannon

To be a student in Ms. Rita DeBrito’s Science Club is truly to be a scientist. Every Saturday afternoon, fifteen children from San Miguel eagerly enter DeBrito’s classroom on the second floor of the Biblioteca, knowing they won’t be studying overly simplified diagrams or paging through dusty old textbooks; they are going to do the work of scientists.

Science Club San Miguel
Local children do the work of scientists in Science Club San Miguel
Sat 12 – 2pm, beginning October 5
Biblioteca San Miguel de Allende
Insurgentes 25, second floor
More info, Ana Puerto, 044 415 151 4148

DeBrito first opened Science Club San Miguel in 2005 with just a few students whom she taught in a friend’s yard near the Fabrica Aurora. The plan, she says, was “to open minds with hands-on and experimental learning.” Since then, through DeBrito’s own fundraisingefforts and because of essential donations from Biblioteca supporters, the program has grown into one both well known and indispensable to the San Miguel community.

Students in Science Club San Miguel have opportunities in science education that schools do not – or cannot – provide. The dual language program gives students the opportunity to learn biology, electricity and magnetism, chemistry, physics, and geography all in contexts.

A classroom that could be filled with bored students quietly reading “about” science in their own native languages is instead a lively place where students of different backgrounds discuss their hypotheses, help teach one another to use microscopes, develop the skills to gather and interpret information, hone their reading and writing skills in two languages, and meticulously prepare presentations on their findings that would impress a college admissions board.

DeBrito is assisted by a capable and invaluable team of volunteers whose help keeps the Science Club program free of charge to students. Ana Puerto, DeBrito’s administrative assistant and record keeper, has been with the program for years along with her brother, Sebastian. Former Science Club students Cynthia Hernandez Puerto and Lily Hernandez have grown up but not away from the program; they’ve stayed around to assist and to continue their own education, a fact that brings DeBrito great pride.

The scientists in DeBrito’s class walk out the door each Saturday with a greater passion for learning and brighter futures ahead of them. Her goal of helping students become “creative, cooperative, independent, and resourceful individuals” is one of many supported by the Biblioteca’s generous donors who truly know the value of our community education programs.

To donate to Science Club San Miguel and receive an American tax receipt, visit La Biblioteca or bibliotecasma.com; Canadian tax receipts available from Amistad Canada, amistadcanada.org.

Science Club San Miguel meets every Saturday from October through June from 12 – 2pm on the second floor of the Biblioteca. For information about Science Club San Miguel or to register your child (age 8-15), please call Ana Puerto at 044 415 151 4148.

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