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YU News

Discovery Takes Center Stage at START Science's Year-End Celebration

Celebrating the longstanding partnership between Yeshiva University and the Washington Heights community, YU’s START Science club held its year-end event on May 24 on the Wilf Campus. Hundreds of local schoolchildren, YU’s START Science student-volunteers, and University faculty and administrators joined in on the fun. Also in attendance was the Bickoff Family, the program’s generous benefactors, who have made START Science a treasured educational journey for Washington Heights’ aspiring young scientists.

"START Science volunteers work with schoolchildren at one of the event's six science stations." "
START Science volunteers work with schoolchildren at one of the event's six science stations.

For more than a decade, START Science, a YU student-run program, has brought science enrichment to local schoolchildren through weekly in-class demonstrations on such topics as biology, chemistry, physics and engineering. Currently active in four Washington Heights schools, START Science primarily works with grades four to seven. Each YU student volunteer is dedicated to a specific team, which works with the same elementary class throughout the semester. With nearly 240 undergraduate volunteers, START Science boasts one of the largest memberships of all YU student-run clubs.

Designed like a science fair, the event offered hours of hands-on learning, this time not in the classroom, but in the BioBus, a mobile science lab equipped with stations dedicated to six different science disciplines. The air was filled with discovery as the budding young scientists dove into live experiments and captivating demonstrations, experiencing science first-hand. With wide-eyed curiosity, they operated research-grade microscopes, carefully dissected frogs and illustrated the principles of aerodynamics by constructing paper airplanes.

Avishye Moskowitz '25YC and Norman Bickoff
(l-r): Avishye Moskowitz '25YC and Norman Bickoff

Thanking the Bickoff Family for their steadfast support of the popular program, Avishye Moskowitz '25YC, vice president of the student-run club, acknowledged that the long-running initiative benefits both the University and the Washington Heights community and noted that it “enables YU students to put into practice the University’s core values and give back in a deeply meaningful way.”

Future engineers explore aerodynamics by making paper airplanes
Future engineers explore aerodynamics by making paper airplanes

Dr. Karen Bacon, the Mordecai D. Katz and Monique C. Katz Dean of the Undergraduate Faculty of Arts and Sciences at YU, commended the hard work of all involved and praised the program’s ability to reach students who are often underrepresented in the sciences and inspire them to learn more.  “START Science has been a wonderful initiative that has had an enduring, positive impact not just on the children of Washington Heights, but also on YU’s student volunteers, both of whom are witnessing the power of commitment and engagement.”

New to this year’s event were certificates of completion personally awarded to the students by members of the Bickoff family. Congratulations to START Science's young learners and the YU volunteers who have guided these aspiring scientists on an exciting journey of discovery throughout the year.