Campus: CSU, Fullerton -- February 27, 2001

Elementary Teachers Receive Science Instruction Via Interactive Television

Taking an active role in strengthening the quality and timeliness of science education for elementary school children throughout California, Cal State Fullerton is launching the Growing Minds program.

Aimed at K-6th-grade teachers, Growing Minds will use a variety of established information-delivery technologies to provide life and physical science curriculum program instruction and activities-including distance learning through University Extended Education.

Developed by the Fullerton Arboretum, a one-unit course, "Teaching Life Science in the K-6 Classroom" (Biology X-932), begins March 1 and is the program's first offering.

The class will be delivered to teachers gathered at Saddleback College from a studio classroom at CSUF via interactive television, which will allow exchanges between participants and the instructor, a member of the university faculty. In addition, the classroom will be equipped with computers to enhance the interactive and hands-on environment of the course.

Outside the classroom, participants can check the Growing Minds page on the Fullerton Arboretum Web site for materials related to the course, as well as virtual tours of the arboretum and elementary school-related activities that demonstrate concepts.

Elementary school teachers outside Orange County also can take advantage of Growing Minds materials and activities accessible through the Growing Minds Web page, in order to help enhance their science curriculum.

Future goals of the program, according to LeNelle Cittadin, director of education for the Fullerton Arboretum, are to expand the number of videoconferencing sites and develop other courses.

Growing Minds was designed in response to the state Board of Education's adoption in 1999 of the California Academic Content Standards in Science, which call for a high level of student competency in all sciences. These standards challenge teachers to introduce more complex and in-depth concepts to younger students.

Local novice and veteran teachers have regularly relied on the Fullerton Arboretum, which offers a variety of educational programs, to support their physical science instruction. Since the new standards were adopted, Cal State Fullerton and the arboretum have experienced an increased demand for content and instructional strategies training for teachers, including those from wider geographic areas.

Media Contact:
Lenelle Cittadin, Fullerton Arboretum, (714) 278-4003 or
Gail Matsunaga, Public Affairs, (714) 278-4851 or

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