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California State University, Long Beach
Science Education Newsletter, 2013 banner

2013 Science Education Newsletter

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Welcome to another academic year!

As we are entering the third year in the Hall of Science, we are experiencing some changes in our personnel. This year, Laura Henriques (department chair for the past eight years) is returning to her position as professor and is transitioning the responsibilities of department chair to me--Lisa Martin-Hansen. I am really excited about this opportunity to work with the wonderful faculty, students, staff, and alumni in Science Education. I realize that I have big shoes to fill as Laura has been a wonderful chairperson, but don't worry--she has promised to assist with the transition so it should seem like business as usual to most people here. I am primarily learning what it is I need to do in my new job and also traveling to schools with student teacher observations. It's helpful to get to know the area and new people.

We give a heartfelt "thanks" to XiaoYong Wong for stepping in this summer and fall as our Department Coordinator as well as an enthusiastic "welcome back" to Hellen Carcamo as she is with us again after the birth of her baby!


As usual, we have many programs and projects taking place in Science Education to support and research science teaching and learning at all levels. Here are some of the highlights:

Al Colburn works closely with our Masters of Science in Science Education students as the program coordinator and recently hosted (with Laura and other faculty) a get-together at the Colburn and Henriques home to welcome new graduate students and faculty. Al continued being active with service activities, serving on eight committees last year (nine if you count the one that never met!). He parlayed his student teaching observations into a potential article submitted at the end of the year, and is finally following-up the study he and Laura completed several years ago re: clergy ideas about science, religion, evolution, and creationism. The new study would include interviews with clergy who also hold science degrees.

Jim Kisiel has incorporated service learning into his graduate class SCED553 Learning Science in Informal Settings; this year, received an award from CCE to support students' evaluations of educational programs at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and Crystal Cove State Park. He is also a project advisor and mentor for the NSF-funded project Zoo and Aquarium Action Research Collaborative; the project supports staff from a variety of institutions as they conduct research to support their educational practices.

Jim has also worked with two recent Science Education graduate students to publish scholarly papers based on their thesis work.

Susan Gomez Zwiep has been providing professional development for K-8 teachers in Stockton, Escondido and Wapato, WA in the areas of math and science pedagogy and curriculum design, science content knowledge and problem based learning.

Susan is co-PI on the HSIStem project which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education to expand, enhance and improve educational opportunities for Hispanic students. In addition to contributing to the overall management of the project, she assists faculty as they implement new teaching and assessment strategies in their courses.

Laura Henriques has been very busy coordinating summer science camps for area elementary and homeless children. Additionally, as California Science Teacher Association President she is was involved with the review and adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards. Just because they're officially adopted doesn't mean the work stops there. She'll be helping with the California Framework and implementation discussions as well. She is also oversees the Foundational Level General Science Program which helps elementary teachers gain a middle school science credential. This is part of the Bechtel funded project with Bill Straits.

Lisa Martin-Hansen is supervising student teachers and pursing a new grant project focusing upon the implementation of middle school science curriculum (SEPUP).

Bill Ritz (emeritus) has unfortunately been recuperating from a car accident but is on the mend and progressing with the activities associated with that. If you'd like to send him a card, you may contact our office and we'll let you know the proper address to contact him.

Bill Straits and Bill Ritz have coordinated the A Head Start on Science project providing professional development to preschool teachers in LA, Orange counties and in ... China! Bill Straits serves as a co-PI and taught science methods for the Bechtel-funded, UTEACH/STEM project with STEM education as a focal point of CSULB student teacher and LBUSD master teacher experience. (Bill Straits has also been a new dad for 8.5 months – congratulations!)

Tim Williamson has been busy with the Single Subject Credential Program meeting with numerous potential students explaining the science credential program to them and getting them ready to sign-up for the appropriate courses. He set-up orientations for student teachers, university supervisors and master teachers. Once again, CSULB is the largest producers of secondary science teacher candidates in the state. Tim's advising and oversight helped us reach this milestone.

Of course, we have our wonderful part-time instructors, teacher mentors, and student teaching supervisors working with us this semester. Thanks to them for all they do to support our students and programs.

We hope our newsletter finds you well. Please stop in for one of our professional development sessions (see the information on our website). We'd love to see you. Best wishes for a great school year!

- Lisa