- Increase success, participation and diversity in STEM.
- Create an open learning database of student generated science experiments.
- Develop students knowledge and skills in digital storytelling, visual design and video production.
- Enable teachers and families to make STEM activities in their own classrooms and homes.
- Cultivate student intrinsic motivation in learning science and discover ways to positively impact their local communities.
- Create a legacy down the pipeline of education.
CSUCI Student Projects
75 CSUCI students have created 75 projects from Chem 100 and Chem 344 classes. Topics covered included: plants, seed dispersal, animal adaptations, food chemistry, climate, rivers and soil erosion. A student research assistant, Natalie Olivares, is in the process of building a database of all the experiments and will analyze survey information from the elementary school faculty.
"My favorite part of this class was creating a science lesson plan and video for the elementary students to participate in. Many young students throughout this pandemic have not been able to do many fun activities at home and I was very happy that my classmates and I were able to provide a fun learning environment in the safety of the students’ homes." - Erika Valencia
"In truth my favorite aspect of this class was actually having the opportunity to share with the community ways to express the knowledge displayed to us from energy and society. I believe that if we can influence the younger generations about the field of STEM, we can help guide them about how to make the world a better place." - Jason Mesa
Collaboration with Elementary School Faculty
CSUCI students collaborated with 18 faculty from Rio Del Sol Elementary School in Oxnard, CA. CSUCI students purchased supplies to model the experiment and for the elementary students to complete the experiments in the virtual classrooms. 577 elementary school students from K-8th grades participated in this project.
"The lessons were excellent due to the great lesson plans, materials list, having the supplies you ordered ready to go and the outstanding videos! Thank you so much for these resources." - Jo Anna Mendoza, 4th Grade Teacher
"This collaboration between 2nd grade at Rio Del Sol and the university students from CSUCI was a beaming light during this pandemic! As we navigated the river this year, these projects provided the 'engine' we needed to swim upstream - to overcome the current ... Teacher dreams really do come true!" - Rickey Koga, 2nd Grade Teacher
"Receiving the materials and lessons from your students was a treat, not only for my students but for myself as well. I truly appreciate all of the time, energy, and money that went into getting us the lessons and experiments. My 8th graders had a blast and can't wait to be university students now!" - Savannah Romp, 8th Grade Teacher
Virtual Experiments During the Pandemic
Experiments were designed and supplies were purchased with the mindset that many of the projects would be performed by kids alone at home with virtual teacher support.
Reopening of Schools
As the schools reopened into a hybrid model, projects were performed at homes and at the school.
Projects Showcased at the Virtual Science Carnival of 2021
25 of these projects were showcased at an annual Science Carnival led by Dr. Phil Hampton, Associate Dean at CSUCI. The event was held virtually this year.
Virtual Carnival Participation Data:
- Total – 5,191
- Students – 3,924
- Educators – 1,219
- Other – 48
Dissemination of the Database
The database will be provided to local schools and families and will increase equity and sustainability within the community. This project enables teachers and families to make STEM activities in their own classrooms and homes. There will also be a targeted effort to create a larger partnership with the network of schools throughout the county and beyond. The dissemination of this project will not be limited to the end of this study, but will hopefully continue to grow and provide a strong foundation that will hopefully inspire teachers and students in STEM subjects.
Conclusions and Future Implications
- Multicontexted learning, communal work and nonlinear learning can increase success, participation and diversity in STEM (Weismman et al., 2019).
- Increase equity and sustainability within the community.
- Inspire teachers, students and community members in STEM subjects.
- CI students will have gained insight on how science and digital knowledge can be used as tools to improve the community.