Mission and History
Dan Sudran, MSW's founder, started the workshop in 1991, in the garage of his Mission District home. Dan's garage was equipped with instruments, rocks, fossils, and animal bones. This collection captured the imaginations of neighborhood kids - who became regular visitors. Dan saw that the students who stopped by were deeply interested in learning about these materials, and he realized how constricted their life experiences were in terms of educational enrichment.
Soon, Dan converted his home-education project into a public space available to students in the Mission. This center's purpose was to provide hands-on science activities using everyday materials to children who did not receive this kind of education at school. With the help of the City College of San Francisco and National Science Foundation grants - the workshop as a model was born. Since then Mission Science Workshop has helped start up 5 other workshops in California in addition to the two SF Workshops in the Mission and Excelsior Districts.
What We Do
MSW operates two bilingual community science centers that provide hands-on science enrichment activities to underserved youth from low-income communities, their schools and families. We work with public schools, organizations and individuals in our communities to provide programs that enrich and empower students’ lives through science.
For 26 years, our neighborhood workshops have provided informal spaces for children to participate in our experiments, tinkering and construction programs. These programs engage our students’ sense of curiosity and wonder to create authentic learning experiences.
We currently serve over 40 public schools in San Francisco through school day field trips to our sites, afterschool, weekend and summer family programs. Each day, we serve anywhere from 70-200 youth, with a yearly impact group of approximately 11,000 individual students.