About S^4 Super Summer Science Search™

Middle school students learn critical thinking around Common Core Standards, using SCCLD online databases

Cupertino Library Foundation S^4 Super Summer Science Search

 “My twin daughters participated in the science contest last year with their friend and will be doing so this year too. I think it is a very good program to keep the kids busy in summer and I am happy to support it.” ~ Leena Jain

S^4 Super Summer Science Search began in spring of 2011 with the realization that middle school students were not as aware as their high-school counterparts of the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) and their extensive subscription (no advertising) online databases.

The Cupertino Library Foundation, who funds multiple Cupertino Library and system-wide initiatives, reached out to the Cupertino Unified School District to partner in the S^4 Super Summer Science Search project.

The Cupertino Library Foundation supports the S^4 Super Summer Science Search contest to provide students with free access to age-appropriate, academic online research tools as the vehicle to develop:

  • appropriate and interesting research questions;
  • critical thinking skills to analyze information sources for credibility, bias and accuracy;
  • confidence and competency in using Library databases to seek answers to research questions;
  • effective ways to include and cite authoritative information to support or refute arguments; and
  • the ability to write persuasive essays, reports and presentations that summarize and synthesize a students’ scientific research.


S^4 Super Summer Science Search Links


Enter the 2014 S^4 Super Summer Science Search Contest!

S^4 Super Summer Science Search contest

Giving Students Access
to Scientific Research

(photo Matt Wilson/Cupertino Courier) Winners in the S3-Super Science Searches summer contest receive their prizes and awards from Bev Lenihan, S3 project manager and Cupertino Library Foundation board member, during a reception Aug. 16 at the library. The contest challenged students to do scientific research and critical thinking over the summer.

(photo Matt Wilson/Cupertino Courier)
Winners in the 2013 Super Summer Science Search contest (Left to Right) Alexander Ivanov and Rajiv Nelakanti (First Place); Bev Lenihan, S3 project manager and Cupertino Library Foundation board member; Kiyati Sriram (Second Place); and Shiyalika Chayan (Third Place).


S^4 Super Summer Science Search was introduced as a pilot project to a limited number of 6th, 7th and 8th classes at Cupertino, Kennedy and Lawson middle schools in 2012.

Teachers have included the S^4 Super Summer Science Search project as part of their curriculum to satisfy a number of the Science Content Standards for California Public Schools.

Databases available for S^4 Super Summer Science Search include science and technology resources made available through the Santa Clara County Library.

In 2013, over 200 students registered for the contest, then called S3. The goal for 2014 is 1,000, which is 25 percent of the district’s middle school student enrollment.

Winners for 2013 were: First Place—each receiving Apple iPad Minis were the team of Alexander Ivanov and Rajiv Nelakanti, both out-going 7th graders of Cupertino Middle School. Second Place—receiving $100 cash was Niyati Sriram, an out-going 8th grader from Cupertino Middle School; and Third Place—receiving $50 cash was Shivalika Chavan, an out-going 8th grader from Kennedy Middle School.




The Cupertino Library Foundation is a 501(c)3 Public Benefit Corporation  with the purpose  to raise money  to continue programs encouraging life-long learning and self-improvement through the Cupertino Library. The Foundation has the Non-Profit Seal of Approval by Guidestar demonstrating satisfaction of transparency requirements and is a member of the Google for Nonprofits program receiving tools to work efficiently. It seeks major donations from corporations and the business community and from other foundations as well as individual donations and planned gifts and bequests. For further information visit: www.cupertinolibraryfoundation.org

The Cupertino Library operates Monday through Thursday 10AM-9PM; Friday and Saturday, 10AM-6PM; and Sunday, noon-6PM. www.sccl.org








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