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Department of Science Education

** Important Notice **


Upcoming Events - Spring 2015

AFSE - April 23rd, "Crime Scene Curriculum" - Use hands-on lab procedures and techniques from real forensics labs as Ward's Scientific facilitator, Sandy Antalis, guides your exploration of the science behind crime scene investigations. Geared toward upper elementary through high school classes. Presented by Sandy Antalis from Ward's Scientific. NEW Location: PH1-223 * 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm * RSVP strongly suggested.

Thesis Defense: May 27, 2015 - 1:30pm in HSCI 201. Learning from a Dive Show in an Aquarium Setting. Presented by Lori Walsh.

HEAD START ON SCIENCE - June 22nd - 26th, 2015 - for more information, click here

YOUNG SCIENTISTS CAMP - July 27 - August 7 - for more information, visit

THESIS DEFENSE: June 22nd @ 2:00 pm in HSCI 201. "Making Introductory Physics Labs Meaningful to All Students" Presented by Debbie Dickinson

THESIS DEFENSE: June 22nd @ 4:30 pm in HSCI 201 " Analyzing Students' Attitudes Toward Science During Inquiry Based Lessons" Presented by Tracy Kostenbader

THESIS DEFENSE: June 25th @ 5:30 pm in HSCI 201 - - "The Effects of Marine Pollution Retrieval & Conservation Messaging on Adult Whale Watch Tour Participants' Pro-Environmenttal Attitudes, Knowledge, and Behavior" Presented by Julien Jordan




  • WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?  The Science Education department is now accepting applications for the MS in Science Education starting in Fall 2015.  The degree features options for K-8, high school and informal educators with opportunities to both enhance science knowledge and foster an advanced understanding of learning and teaching.  See what students are saying at  For general information, click on the 'Masters' link, contact the science education office at (562)985-4801 or Dr. Jim Kisiel (Advisor)
  • Watch our new video about our Master of Science in Science Education

Department Highlights

  • This April, CSULB’s Head Start on Science Project (HSOS), led by Professor Bill Straits, welcomes a delegation of kindergarten teachers, school administrators, and dignitaries from China to participate in a special training session.  The HSOS Project at CSULB has been supporting Head Start and other teachers and administrators of young children for more than seventeen years through summer science training institutes.  Prior collaboration with the China National Institute for Educational Research has led to a Mandarin translation of our award-winning teacher's guide (A Head Start on Science: Developing a Sense of Wonder – NSTA Press, 2007.) For more information on HSOS, go to

  • Congratulations! Dr. James Kisiel and graduate student Mary Nowak for being featured in the "CSULB Inside" magazine. Dr. Kisiel is the principal investigator for the Keck grant, a two-year project titled “Developing Engaging and Effective Practice: Advancing STEM Education via University-Community Collaborations”. read more

  • Susan Gomez-Zwiep, and collaborator David  Polcyn (from CSU San Bernardino), have published an article in NSTA’s journal Science and Children (March 2015) titled Bringing Your Classroom to Life.  In it, they examine living things to explore the relationship between structure and function, one of the seven crosscutting concepts identified in the recently adopted Next Generation Science Standards. Read the entire article

  • Dr. Chuck Kopczak, Curator of Ecology at the California Science Center, and recent graduate of the Science Education MS (Informal Education Option) has recently published research based on his Masters thesis.  The paper, Families Talking about Ecology at Touch Tanks, was featured in the January 2015 issue of Environmental Education Research, and was co-authored with Dr. Jim Kisiel (Dr. Kopczak’s thesis advisor) and their colleague Dr. Shawn Rowe of Oregon State University.

  • Now that the Next Generation Science Standards have been adopted by the State of California, two CSULB Science Education faculty members, Dr. Laura Henriques and Dr. Susan Gomez-Zwiep, are hard at work (as part of a team educational leaders from across the state) developing the Science Framework that will guide instruction under these new instructional requirements. For more information on NGSS and its implementation in California, more

  • Graduate student Lori Walsh, an educator at SeaLife Aquarium in Carlsbad, and Dr. Bill Straits have recently published an article in NSTA's Science and Children. The article, "Informal Science Learning in the Formal Classroom" can be found in the Summer 2014 issue.
  • Congratulations to our very own Laurie Gillis, a single subject science student, who was selected as the CSTA Future Science Teacher for 2014. CSTA article and Inside CSULB article
  • Congratulations Wendy Hagan! recognized as an Earth Month's Hero by the Wyland Foundation and KCal 9. Read More...

Hi and welcome to the Department of Science Education. We have just moved into the new Hall of Science Building and are so excited about our new space! We hope that this website provides you with information and answers to your questions regarding our program. If we can be of assistance, please give us a call at 562/985-4801.

The Science Education Department at CSULB is one of the largest Science Education Departments in the country. Housed in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, we work closely with our CNSM colleagues and our College of Education colleagues in addition to collaborating with each other. Faculty members often work together on grants & projects, articles and other scholarly activities.

The Department teaches courses to Liberal Studies majors as well as elementary and secondary science credential students. We teach over 800 students per year in our Science Capstone and Science Methods courses. Additionally, we also offer a Professional Development/Teaching Techniques course to science graduate student teaching associates to support excellence in teaching at the undergraduate level. Our graduate program, a MS in Science Education has pathways and options for practicing elementary teachers and secondary teachers and informal science educators. Applications for the Master's Program are accepted each spring.

Our research spans from early childhood to post-secondary science settings and touches on themes including assessment, science-based integrated teaching, inquiry-based teaching and learning, science learning environments, the impact of teacher beliefs on the teaching of science, alternate and misconceptions in science learning, technology-enhanced science teaching, science learning in informal settings, role of caring in teaching and learning science, using literature circles to support nature of science learning, and post-secondary science reform in physics and earth science.

Additionally, the Science Education Department is also host to several large educational projects. We house the National Center for Early Childhood Science Education and in that capacity we offer yearly summer institutes to train early childhood teachers and early childhood leaders in the teaching of science to young children. These summer institutes are led by Dr. William C. Ritz and are offered through the Head Start on Science Program. We have a newly funded California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) grant to support the science professional development of K-2 teachers. Susan Gomez Zwiep and Bill Straits are coordinating that project. Jim Kisiel has grants to support his work with science learning in informal settings (zoos, aquariums, museums). Laura Henriques is Principal Investigator on several NSF-funded projects which support future teachers, partnering with other CSU campuses, Cerritos College, Long Beach Unified and Whittier Union High School Districts, striving to support of quality teacher preparation and professional development in PreK-postsecondary science teaching and learning in the greater Long Beach area. Other projects in which we are actively participating can be viewed on our Grants and Projects page.

(562) 985-4801,, Room HSCI-205, Science Education Department, MS: 9504, 1250 N Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-9504