Science Demo Training Program

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The Organization for Cultural Diversity in Science (OCDS) recently debuted its first college community demo training program at UCLA.

On Saturday, November 22, 2014, the Organization for Cultural Diversity in Science (OCDS)* debuted its first college community demo training program at UCLA. OCDS bused over 35 energized students from East Los Angeles College (ELAC), a group previously part of the community college outreach OCDS hosts quarterly. 

“Our goal with the community college outreach program is to provide them with a comprehensive information session when they come to UCLA for a day full of transfer information, laboratory tours, research talks and panel discussions. However, when they leave UCLA we want to instill in them the desire to give back and reach out into their own communities. In response to this goal, we started a training program that allows us to teach safe and exciting demos for them to do in their local K-12 schools” says OCDS president Crystal Valdez.

OCDS ELAC Demo Group
OCDS members with the visitors

The YouTube chemist “Smokin’ Hot Science” and OCDS member, Rob Tobolowsky, prepared 3 exciting and safe demonstrations that could be easily taught in one afternoon. The community college students were not only given the chance to participate in each demo, they were constantly engaged with OCDS members, discussing graduate school and careers in science and the chemistry behind each individual demo.

Video of the demonstrations

All demos were composed of materials cheaply found at any grocery store. The demos shown included freezer bag ice cream, color changing milk, and homemade lava lamp. Once groups of students rehearsed each demo, they performed them in front of the OCDS and ELAC cohort and were caught on video! Please take a look at the YouTube video (above) produced by Smokin’ Hot Science showcasing the students’ newly-acquired skills.

The next step in this program will be for this group of students to go out and perform these demos for old K-12 schools or other community-centered venues, where they already plan a visit to an elementary school spring 2015.

This first training program was great success and another is already scheduled for February 2015! If you would like other information OCDS’s outreach programs, please contact the new outreach coordinator Sunny Chun ( Please visit OCDS’s website ( and Facebook page!

*OCDC has been formally changed to OCDS, where “chemistry” was changed to “science to better capture the organization’s mission!