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California State University, Long Beach

Department of Science Education

Science Education -- Preparing a scientifically literate citizenry by educating and inspiring people to learn about and do science.

Upcoming Events

5/6 - AFSE: Science Learning Center! Join CNSM's SLC coordinator, Rick O'Connor, for some hands on activities. 6:00pm-8:00pm in HSCI-110. RSVP Required for AFSE Events

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Department Highlights

Science Education Department Recent Accomplishments (2015-2017)

  • Master's Degree program: Dr. Jim Kisiel has been instrumental in pilot of a new graduate course focusing upon strategies, research, and service in informal science that is directly tied to the Science Learning Center.
  • SLC: Science Education has inherited and is re-envisioning the Science Learning Center (SLC), previously the Science Museum. Jim Kisiel is the director of the SLC.
  • ESLA: Laura Henriques has led the implementation of Elementary Science Leadership Academy (ESLA), intensive summer teacher workshops (followed by activities during the school year) for elementary teachers to develop their science teaching practices.
  • BUILD: Laura Henriques plays a major role in the leadership of the BUILD grant.
  • DEEP project: Jim Kisiel (PI), Lisa Martin-Hansen, and Steve Adams (Co-Is) secured a grant from the Keck Foundation in collaboration with the CSU Chancellor's office funded a 3-Model initiative to investigate the nexus of teacher preparation, science majors, and informal science education. This included development of innovative after-school field experiences for future teachers, service learning opportunities (internships at informal science venues in the summer) for science majors and/or science students at the college level, and weekend informal science education outreach for future science teachers (k-12).
  • Head Start on Science: Under the directorship of Dr. Bill Straits, the A Head Start on Science (HSOS) program strives to provide quality science resources and professional development for early childhood educators. Each year, hundreds of pre-K, TK, K, and 1st grade teachers participate in HSOS's numerous professional development activities.
  • Young Scientists Camp & SEE US Succeed!: Laura Henriques directs, implements, and fund-raises for these very active and long-standing summer programs bringing together science majors, pre-service and in-service science teachers to create innovative and engaging science learning experiences. The YSC is a fee-based (supported by grants) summer camp for area 1st-8th grade children. SEE US Succeed provides learning experiences for local homeless children and is completely grant and donor funded.
  • MSP work: Susan Gomez Zwiep and Lisa Martin-Hansen have served as PIs or Co-Is on multiple California Mathematics and Science Partnership grant programs that develop elementary and middle school teachers science content and pedagogy. Activities have focused on helping teachers to understand and implement the Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Bridges to Baccalaureate: Lisa Martin-Hansen provides a 3-hour Nature of Science workshop for students transferring into CNSM from community colleges.

View archived highlights.

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 and 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, general education critical thinking course, 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 Straits and are offered through the Head Start on Science Program. 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. Lisa Martin-Hansen and Susan Gomez-Zwiep coordinate the Science Professional Academy – a grant project working with 100 K-8 teachers and teacher coaches from Norwalk – La Mirada Unified School District. Other projects in which we are actively participating can be viewed on our Grants and Projects.

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