Schmahl Science Research Program

Middle and high school students are beginning to make decisions about their path in life that may echo well into their future.  The research program at Schmahl Science is designed to provide an early taste of what is involved in scientific research and working in a lab.    For students who embark on engineering projects, they have an opportunity to imagine a solution and experience the steps necessary to give it life.

Along the way, students have an opportunity to:

  • Perform a wide variety of lab techniques
  • Understand the working principles behind the techniques
  • Explore existing research (search for papers, assess validity/relevance)
  • Explore microbiology, molecular biology, environmental chem/biology, medical biology, physics, engineering and more
  • Use test and measurement instrumentation
  • Build structures (e.g. wind tunnels, towers, tracks, etc)
  • Tech design (e.g. circuits, boards, Arduino-based)
  • Create software (e.g. apps, machine learning algorithms)
  • Create a research or engineering proposal
  • Develop a budget
  • Establish a workflow plan
  • Present to an approval committee of scientific reviewers and parental funders
  • Maintain a lab or engineering notebook as documentation of works performed
  • Provide program management : materials, appointments, adjustments

Personal growth for students is our primary goal:

  • Foundation for choosing a course of study in high school and college
  • Develop a clear objective, persist through complex steps and overcome unexpected developments to reach an important outcome
  • Written and verbal communication with adults ranging from scientific details to budgets/materials ordering to schedule planning.
  • Excitement of achieving something important and confidence building of personal accomplishment

Unlike any other, our award-winning research program gives students of all ages the opportunity to explore topics that inspire them with the support and encouragement of a science or engineering mentor. Research is performed using SSW’s well equipped lab facilities, enabling your student to explore remarkably sophisticated topics.   Past research topics include :

  • Treatment and prevention of staph infection
  • Antioxidants
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Genetics of baldness

Through authentic research experiences and course work, your student will learn the discipline and art of doing science rather than merely reading about it.   Many of the students who participate in this program have gone on to win awards and other recognition in local and state science fairs.

How the research program works

Through our seminar based program, your student will have the option to explore a wide variety of research topics while building their knowledge of techniques, equipment, research/engineering protocols and subject matter expertise.  For each seminar topic, they are paired with a mentor with experience in that field.    After successful participation in several seminars, students and their parents may wish to pursue an individualized research program where they take an idea or topic of special interest and develop it into a research question or engineering goal.  The opportunity to pursue individualized research is available at the discretion of the Executive Director of Schmahl Science and will depend on the students demonstration of interest and capability during the seminar experiences.    While conducting their research, your student will also be trained in lab/bench safety,  data analysis, notebook documentation, budgeting, and project presentation.

Students and mentors meet at the Schmahl Science Research Laboratory located at 651 Phelan Avenue in San Jose, CA.

Lab hours
Lab hours are Monday – Thursday from 3 pm to 7 pm, Friday from 3 pm to 6 pm and Saturday mornings.
If you have questions please email us at: