amgen foundation

Photo by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

College students on the Central Coast are creating prosthetics for a boy who lost his fingers in a fiery car crash.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo engineering students are working on a pair of prosthetic hands for 10-year-old Julian Reynoso.

There’s a unique science program that’s being taught to some middle school students on the South Coast that involves eating insects. It may sound nasty, but they’re doing it in the name of science.

Photo by Sean Anderson

A United Nations report revealed that an enormous number of animal and plant species are in danger of extinction because of people, and a researcher says there may be some examples of that on the South Coast.

The UN report found one million species are threatened across the globe. It’s not clear how many locally, but Cal State Channel Islands Environmental Science Chair Sean Anderson cites his road kill surveys that show some animals are becoming increasingly rare, like the American badger.

Some kids in the Conejo Valley are spending time at a unique business where they’re learning how to develop computer programs known as coding.

“You’re able to use coding to affect things in the real world like controlling one of these drones,” says 12-year-old Mason Tarter who comes to Code Ninjas in Thousand Oaks.

You may notice more and more people using standing desks at work. Many of them opt for standing, rather than sitting, for its health benefits.

However, a scientist on the South Coast says his research shows that standing is not as healthy as you would expect. The study found people who stand when working only burn a few more calories than those who sit.

Imagine your phone telling you if you have a bacterial infection. There’s now a tool designed for clinics, hospitals and doctor’s offices that can do just that. UC Santa Barbara researchers developed a smartphone app that allows users to detect bacteria at a low cost in under an hour, which can be life-saving.


A Santa Barbara County researcher was part of a team of scientists who discovered small craters in the outer solar system not seen before.

Sarah Greenstreet was a scientist at Las Cumbres Observatory based in Goleta when she used photos from the New Horizons spacecraft to look at craters on Pluto and its moon, Charon.

Photo by Gareth Harris

It may be hard to believe, but the brain, nervous system and genome of a particular type of worm is similar to that of humans. And that’s why several students at a South Coast college are conducting research with these kinds of worms to better understand how humans make decisions. 

More than a dozen teenagers are trying some brand new high tech interactive exhibits which just opened at a South Coast museum. But, the teens here aren’t just playing with the exhibits at Santa Barbara’s MOXI: The Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation. The high school students are fine tuning them, because they are the designers and builders.

Scientists come from across the globe to the South Coast to conduct research on birds. A research center in Ventura County houses one of the largest collections of bird eggs, nests and skins in the world. It also serves to educate the community.

Image by NASA/JPL-Caltech

South Coast astronomers were part of an international team of scientists who made a new discovery about black holes.

Researchers from Goleta-based Las Cumbres Observatory used their worldwide network of robotic telescopes as they worked with other scientists, NASA satellites and the International Space Station to observe something never seen before.

Photo by T. Lister / C. Snodgrass / Las Cumbres Observatory / Faulkes Telescope Project

A comet is making a close approach to Earth on Sunday morning, and astronomers on the South Coast are keeping a close eye on it.

A comet is a collection of gas, dust and ice leftover from the formation of the solar system. And this particular comet called 46P/Wirtanen happens to be close to the sun and Earth – about seven million miles away.

Dr. Tim Lister with Goleta-based Las Cumbres Observatory is studying it using its global network of telescopes. He says it’s the 10th closest comet approach in the last 70 years.

The fields of science, technology, engineering and math are becoming more attractive to college students across the South Coast. In fact, the number of science majors is rapidly increasing.

Photo by Dan Kasen (Berkely/LBNL)

Astronomers on the South Coast were part of an international team of scientists who made some important observations about a supernova.

NASA’s Kepler satellite caught a rare glimpse of a supernova, which is the explosion of a star. And Goleta-based Las Cumbres Observatory – known as LCO -- used its network of 21 robotic telescopes around the world to observe it.

Photo by Amgen Foundation

The nonprofit wing of a major biotech firm on the South Coast is expanding a science education program that impacts college students across the globe.

The Amgen Foundation that’s based in Thousand Oaks is committing $21 million to fund its Amgen Scholars Program.