A dozen crickets atop a table: Half of them are crawling and jumping around, while the rest lie still on their sides. Which ones are alive, and which are dead?
Stanford students are asked this question and others in preparation for volunteering as a youth mentor for Science in Service, a program housed in the university's Haas Center for Public Service. Articulating the seemingly simple distinction between life and death proves daunting even for those studying science and engineering, according to program director Kelly Beck. But in the process, they learn how to ask the right questions and how to engage young minds in discussions about the whats and whys of the physical world.
Science in Service is one of many off-campus programs being recognized tonight by the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula. Other Stanford-based youth service programs that will be honored—with the Menlo Park-based nonprofit's Leading Community Partner award—include those involving students and staff from Stanford Athletics, the Graduate School of Business and the School of Education. University Provost John Etchemendy is expected to be in attendance.