PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One of the longest running summer learning programs in Philadelphia is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Science in the Summer is a free, enrichment program for elementary students. It has more than 150,000 alumni to date.

“What we’re trying to do is inspire the next generation of scientists, and we know our 21st century work force needs a lot of scientists, technicians, mathematicians, engineers,” said Marti Skold Jordan, Manager of Community Partnerships for GlaxoSmithKline. “And so we’re hoping that we spur that love of science in these kids.”

The program was launched 30 years ago by a retired GSK scientist Dr. Virginia Cunningham to engage elementary students of all backgrounds in STEM.

In the Oak Lane library, students are studying bioscience with Tienne Myers, who’s been a Science in the Summer instructor for 17 years.

“The children actually do hands on experiments,” Meyers said, “and with GSK funding all of this fabulous materials we have, we are able to actually have the children look in microscopes and experience different things that they may have never had the opportunity to do”

In Philadelphia, the program is administered by the Franklin Institute and hosted by local libraries.

“I like this program, because it’s just fun and it gives you something to do,” said one student. “You do all sorts of cool experiments, you meet new people, you learn science, and it’s just really fun”

The curriculum is developed in partnership with American Association for the Advancement of Science with courses including physical science, chemistry, bioscience, genetics, and oceanography.