The Ernest E. Just Science Program is designed to expose minority students to careers and academic pursuits in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers in a manner that combines classroom career instructions with field trips and fun projects and experiences. The program allows Junior high school girls and boys, ages 10-14, to explore the wonders and fascinations of marine biology and science.The program is dedicated to Dr. Ernest Everett Just, a pioneering African American biologist, who received international acclaim for work in marine biology.The program has two components- The Summer Science Program and the year-long Saturday Science Academy.Summer Science Program. The Summer Science Program is conducted over two consecutive weekends in August and includes four venues – Bolsa Chica Wetland Preserve in Huntington Beach, Point Vicente Interpretive Center, Palos Verdes, CA, the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, and University of Southern California (USC) Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island. Activities and projects include nature observations and recordings, sampling, snorkeling, sea life, and wetland tours. The professional staffs at each location provide valuable instruction and invaluable insights on marine biology and marine science careers.
Saturday Science Academy. The Saturday Science Academy is an all-year program that provides classroom instruction at the Los Angeles Southwest College (LASC) campus, with instruction provided by LASC science instructors, the University of Southern California (USC) College of Oceanography and certified instructors from the Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE), and Professional STEM Practitioners. The objective is for youth will gain confidence in STEM disciplines and benefit from exposure to facilities and people that they would not otherwise have access to. The classroom component is held on the third Saturday of each month followed by related field trips on the fourth Saturday of each month to various sites to augment the classroom experience. The program generally begins in January and ends in early August each year. All activities are free of charge to participating students. Students are accepted through an application process based on demonstrated interest, and classroom performance measures.
There is a separate application process for each program with separate application deadlines. Each student applies for a program and has to demonstrate interest in science along with maintaining the required grade point average.