Morro Bay Trip

September 15-17, 2017

7th & 8th Grade Family Trip for current Science Magnet Students and their families.

You'll be able to meet other Magnet families, while your 7th/8th grade student can earn up to two seminar credits. Students camp with their families and with other JAMS families while teachers provide instruction and group meeting places. You are responsible for providing your own tent/food/lodging, and for transporting/supervising your children. 


All parents and students who are planning to attend the Morro Bay camping trip must fill out the following forms.  This trip is only for students who are currently enrolled in 7th and 8th grade magnet classes (and their siblings). 

For all adults who are/want to bring a family to Morro Bay:

Student Morro Bay Information 2017-2018

RoboVikings 2017/2018 Application




After a successful second year, the RoboVikings are looking to add new members to the team for the 2017-2018 First Tech Challenge season.

No experience is necessary to join, and there are a variety of roles for team participants:

  • Building
  • 3D design
  • Coding
  • Marketing
  • Fundraising
  • Team Organization



or visit our website to learn more at

We are also looking for Parent Mentors and Competition Volunteers.

6th Grade Summer Institute

Hello JAMS Science Magnet Families,

The two day 6th Grade Summer Institute begins tomorrow! We look forward to seeing our new students! The institute is sold out. If you paid in the spring, you are confirmed to attend. Unfortunately, there is no additional space available.  


August 15th - 16th
8:30am - 2:30pm

Please arrive by 8:15am to find your first classroom. We will be split by first name in the six different science classrooms: rooms 30, 52, 70, 71, 72, and 73. Students will be rotating during the day. Please arrange a pick up location with your student. 

Incoming 6th grade registration will take place 8:30-10:45am on Wednesday. All grades make up evening time: 6:00-7:30pm. Students are not required to go to registration.

For those of you new to JAMS the Science Institute is located near the center of the main classrooms as illustrated below.


Pencil (please bring two)
Water bottle
Snacks and lunch are provided.  

Students can also bring their own lunches.


We need help this week to serve lunch to our students. If you're new to JAMS it's a nice opportunity to meet a few parents and get a feel for the campus. Shifts run from 11:30a-12:45p in the JAMS courtyard by the cafeteria.

Please sign up to volunteer here:

7th & 8th Grade Summer Institute - Details

Hello JAMS Science Magnet Families,

7th & 8th Grade Summer Institute begins tomorrow!  Here are some details and answers to questions we've been receiving.


Students should arrive a little early on their first day to find their schedules on the roster in the science quad.

7th-8th grade
August 7th - 11th
8:30am - 2:30pm

Lunch is included on the days that students are at JAMS, but is not included when the students are out on field trips. 


7th grade
Binder (with dividers preferred)

8th grade

Field Trips

7th grade
Thursday, August 10th
LA Zoo

Please pack a lunch and water for the trip. We are looking for parent chaperones, please contact Ms. Guirguis if you are interested

8th grade
Wednesday, August 9th
Science Center

Please pack a lunch and water for the trip. We are looking for parent chaperones, please contact Ms. Jurewicz if you are interested

Make-Up Work

If your child is unable to attend the Summer Institute or misses one or more days the below assignments are available as make-up work.

7th grade

Summer Institute Make-up Work 2017

8th grade
Summer Institute Make-up Work 2017


We still have a few spaces available for this week to help serve lunch. Shifts run from 11:40-12:40PM in the JAMS courtyard by the cafeteria. Please sign up to volunteer here:

2017 Summer Institute next week

Hello JAMS Science Magnet!

It's almost time to start the 2017-18 school year and Summer Institute is already next week. We will be sending out info over email and social in the coming days.

We are currently looking for volunteers to help setup/breakdown and serve lunch during the JAMS Summer Science Institute. These are short 12:00-1:00PM shifts, from August 7th - 11th and August 15th - 16th in the JAMS courtyard by the cafeteria.

Feel free to email any questions to

May Newsletter

Dear Science Magnet Community,

The light is at the end of the tunnel! What a year it has been. The JAMS Science Magnet continues to be a gem at JAMS and it truly takes a village to keep it all going, thank you for your support and being a part of this wonderful community.

Each year JAMS Science Magnet awards scholarships to graduating Samohi seniors who are JAMS alumni. These hardworking, science-minded students are chosen by the Science Magnet scholarship committee based on merit and a written essay. Four scholarship recipients have been chosen for 2017 and will be announced at the Science Magnet Social on May 15. Their essays will be published in the next newsletter! Click here to read the notes to the Science Magnet Community from last year's Samohi JAMS Scholarship recipients.

Due to a large number of 7th-grade magnet students needing that one last seminar credit to remain in the magnet for next year, we are extending the deadline for their 5th seminar. Students short on seminars can complete an independent seminar (and/or Coding if they need two) by Monday, May 8th. For coding, they must complete the advanced 20-hour course on the coding website. They need to register with the directions on the seminar sheet and sign in under the class code given. Students should register with their first and LAST name as one name for credit, example "TRACYLEVIN" Email with questions.

Students that qualify will receive their acceptance letters on time. The others will be contingent until Monday, May 8th. The extension applies only to seminars.

The proposed slate for the Science Magnet Board for next year is coming together and can be seen here. We still have a few vacancies and can alway use new members, so if you would like to be a part of the Board or would like to volunteer in any capacity, we need you. Please join the next meeting on 5/22 or e-mail

The Annual Science Magnet Social is on May 15 at JAMS at 6 pm. We will have dinner, dessert, demos, and showcase some of the year's highlights! Click on the flyer, then rsvp with the number in your party so we can plan for food. 


If you are available to volunteer to help, please sign up!

We hope so! Many thanks to Sigrid Geerling for putting together an amazing application and letter of intent to NASA for JAMS to host a NASA Downlink! This will be a great opportunity for our students and educators to interact with astronauts aboard the International Space Station during a live, 20-minute question-and-answer. Check out the letter of intent which outlines why JAMS is a perfect candidate. 

As our own JAMS students are ready to depart for Japan at the end of June, we are still looking for families to host a Japanese student for a weekend in August. Our exchange students will be part of your family from late afternoon Friday, Aug 4th until the morning of Aug 7th. You need to be a totally average family with the desire to show a Japanese student how we do things Santa Monica style. No expensive Disneyland trips, no rigid schedule to keep. Just have fun! We have need for 4 adults chaperones to be hosted as well. The only requirement is that the guest has their own bed. If you have previously hosted, please share your experience in the comments. E-mail

Sixth Grade Summer Institute - The incoming 6th-grade science camp is currently full. All students that have signed up and paid are in! We'll see them at JAMS on Tuesday, August 15th and Wednesday, August 16th from 8:30am-2:30 pm. Incoming 6th-grade registration will take place after camp on Wednesday! 

7th & 8th Grade Summer Institute will be August 7th-August 11th, 8:30am-2:30 pm, Signups for incoming 7th & 8th-grade students coming.

Next year's 7th and 8th-grade family camping trip to Morro Bay State Park is September 15-17, 2017. To sign up for announcements and directions for next year's trip, please click on the "trip info" button on the Morro Bay page.


A Special “thanks” to the many parents who shared their spark by leading a seminar this year:

John Moss (SMC Zoology)
Patricia Jardack (nutrition seminar)
Mara Cabrera (Fairview Lib - 3-d printing and raspberry pi)
Randy Powell (Ham Radio)
Dennis Payne (Ham Radio)
Will Nicholas (Wetlands)
Armando Martinez (Trees of JAMS)
Jennifer Raymond (Urban Farming)
Gavin Bahadur (Be a doctor)
Duilio Cascio (Soap with Ray)
Maxine Meltz (Gardening)

And a final thank you to the 2016-17 Science Magnet Executive Board for working behind the scenes to support the science magnet program, our students, and our teachers.

5/5-8 2017 - Astrocamp, 8th Grade Science Magnet, (all students -one trip)
5/15/2017 - 6:30 pm SMSM SPRING SOCIAL
5/22/2017 - SMSM Board - Transition Meeting
8/7-8/11 - Summer Institute 7th & 8th Grade, 8:30am-2:30pm
8/15-8/16 - Summer Institute 6th, 8:30am-2:30pm

March Newsletter


Dear Science Magnet Community,

Where does the time go?! Seems we’ve barely begun and we’re already planning for next year. 

In addition to the largest student groups to attend the Catalina and Yosemite and family camping trips, students have enjoyed exciting new seminars such as 3-D printing, urban farming, and SMC Chemistry Lab. And kudos to our RoboVikings robotics team for their hard work making it to Regionals and placed second out of 25!

SEE’S CANDY FUNDRAISER $UCCE$$ Over $4,000 was raised in candy sales (that’s a LOT of calories). Thanks to our See’s Candy Fundraising Chair, Melissa Tarsky and everyone who helped lead another successful campaign, and to all those who sold and bought!

WHERE DID RAISED FUNDS GO THIS YEAR? With the funds raised up until now (without a concerted 2017 direct drive), we have been able to fully fund all the necessary scholarships for our science magnet trips, classroom supplies for our teachers including a computerized telescope, and one of three new high-tech water stations which will be installed shortly after spring break, as well as other budgeted program items. In light of a healthy reserve and the slow process of upgrading the Science Magnet laptops, we are foregoing a direct fundraising drive this school year. 

2017-18 SCIENCE MAGNET BOARD If you are interested in hearing more about serving on the Science Magnet Board for 2017-18, e-mail

LET’S PARTY AT THE SCIENCE MAGNET SOCIAL! Mark your calendars for the annual Science Magnet Social on May 15 at JAMS at 6 pm. There will be demos, dinner, dessert and elections for next year’s Board. Planning starts now and the chair of this event needs helping hands serving at the event. E-mail

MORRO BAY Families that are interested in attending the Morro Bay trip in the Fall should reserve a campsite or hotel asap!!  The main campground at MB State Park is FULL. You can reserve a nearby site at Morro Strand.  Information is on the Science Magnet webpage.  A sign-up genius for announcements and for the group site will be online on April 25th at 9 am.

SUMMER INSTITUTE Sixth Grade Summer Institute- All incoming 6th-grade students - Tuesday and Wednesday, August 15-16 from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm at JAMS.  Sign up and pay online before the camp fills! 7th & 8th Grade Summer Institute will be August 7th-August 11th, 8:30am-2:30 pm, Signups for incoming 7th & 8th-grade students coming soon. 

JAM SCIENCE MAGNET CAN SPEAK WITH AN ASTRONAUT AT THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION Our Board is looking for someone to take over an easy and exciting project--the application process for our Science Magnet to host a NASA Downlink! These are opportunities for students and educators to interact with astronauts aboard the International Space Station during a live, 20-minute question-and-answer. E-mail for more information.

NORO - NO MORE! Huge thanks to the 7th-grade reps, Mitra Herron, Traci Wallace and Angelica Benavides who led the Yosemite gear Norovirus decontamination process of sending piles of Yosemite gear out for professional cleaning and topped it off with a bleach cleaning of the storage bins. On behalf of our future Yosemite travelers, thank you!


3/27/2017 - SMSM Board meeting and Spring Social planning meeting
4/24/2017 - SMSM Board meeting
5/5-8 2017 - 8th Grade Astrocamp trip, (all students - one trip)
5/15/2017 - 6:30 pm SMSM SPRING SOCIAL
5/22/2017 - SMSM Board Transition Meeting
8/7-8/11 - Summer Institute 7th & 8th Grade, 8:30am-2:30pm
8/15-8/16 - Summer Institute 6th, 8:30am-2:30pm

NASA for students 
California Science Center events and camps

SMC Chemistry Club

At SMC chemistry lab, JAMS students are conducting urinalysis, measuring the concentration of tartrazine-better known as Yellow Dye #5- in Mountain Dew!

2017 Summer Institute

The summer science dates for ALL incoming 6th grade students are Tuesday, August 15th and Wednesday, August 16th from 8:30am to 2:30pm at JAMS.

The camp will be limited to 6 full classes of students (or 204 students total), so space will be limited.

Paperwork goes out to 5th grade classes starting next week.

Payment options will be available here on the website.

February Newsletter


Dear Science Magnet Community,

Administration and parents continue to be on high alert regarding the diminishing norovirus outbreak, and the good news is, the numbers are very low thanks to the extra cleaning and limiting of extracurricular activities in order to minimize contact. 

Thanks for your diligence, commitment, and understanding as we get back to "normal."

Seminar sheets have gone out and are due on Friday, 2/17.  Seminars do not fall into the activity that is banned by LA County. We have a lot of new seminars this round... it is exciting! 

  • Urban farming 
  • 3-D printing at the Fairview Library
  • Ballona Wetlands 
  • SMC chemistry lab for 8th graders on a Saturday

Calendar Items:


-As of now, the Science Magnet family camping trip to Joshua Tree is still on for 2/24-2/26. Thanks to past fundraising efforts and your support, our latest addition to Science Magnet equipment - a Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLS computerized telescope will be unveiled on this trip!-The next Science Magnet Board meeting which is open to all science magnet parents will be 2/27 at 6:30 in room 70. Agenda for the meeting.

-Ms. Levin will be conducting Science Magnet Outreach Presentations to 5th grade JAMS pathway classes on the following dates:

2/28 - 9am Rogers

3/8 - 8:45am Muir

3/9 - 9am Grant

3/13 - 1:30pm Edison

-Japan Trip Parent Meeting will be March 1st at 6:30 in room 23

-The 8th-grade Astrocamp trip has luckily been rescheduled to 5/5-5/8. Make sure to thank teacher Kristin Jurewicz and Principal Steve Richardson for their efforts. We also need to pay it forward because other schools moved their Astrocamp dates around in order to accommodate us.


WELCOME OUR NEW SCIENCE TEACHER MICHELLE MATHIS - While Ms. Kapasi is out on leave, Ms. Mathias joins our science teaching staff. Before JAMS, Ms. Mathis was a science teacher at Bancroft Middle School in Long Beach. She majored in Neuroscience and Psychology at Smith College. Born and raised in Southern California she loves the outdoors. Ms. Mathis loves that science connects our lives to every living and non-living thing around us. Science is in everything we do and the process of science is objective and allows for logical and reasonable ways to answer questions and address uncertainties. In a growing and changing world, thoughts and ideas will always be subject to revision and science inquiry allows a way to address new findings and predictions without bias. Stop by Room 52 and say hello.