MSTI-Fresno supports Early Field Experience programs through partnerships with the campus's Science and Mathematics Education Center and the Teaching Fellows program. Fresno State students receive excellent mentoring and financial support to serve as instructional assistants and tutors in mathematics classrooms to obtain early teaching experience. Some of the "MSTI STEM Fellows" also learn about NASA's BEST (Beginning Engineering, Science, and Technology) curriculum and use it to engage K-8 students in creative design using engineering principles. Others participate in a robotics learning community to implement standards-based STEM activities in local after-school and summer programs for K-8 students. MSTI also sponsors a group of approximately 25 Liberal Studies students and math/science majors in attending a NASA Preview Day at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View. For those who haven't yet decided on teaching, the experience often serves to motivate a career choice to teach math and/or science. For those who are already pursuing a math or science credential, the activities offers excellent experience in working with young people in science and math.
New courses in Middle School Science Methods and Middle School Mathematics Methods were developed with MSTI-Fresno funds and have each been sponsored by MSTI twice a year for the past several years. These courses are required of students pursuing a Foundational-Level (FL) Mathematics or FL General Science credential at Fresno State and have also been popular for regional teachers who seek to add an FLM and/or FLGS credential to their Multiple Subject credential. MSTI provides full financial support for all Fresno State students who take these courses in the summer. Fresno State's MSTI program supports prospective K-8 science teachers in a variety of ways.
MSTI-Fresno has become known statewide for its sponsorship of high quality mathematics and science courses/workshops that review in depth the content contained on the mathematics and science CSET exams. Taught by professors in the mathematics department, all three 45-hour mathematics courses are offered at least twice a year and offer excellent preparation for the CSET exams while providing an in-depth review of the mathematics content taught in the high school. Similarly, the free all-day science workshops are taught by talented science educators and are highly effective in reviewing secondary school science concepts. At least 5 science series (covering all areas of science) are offered each year.
To encourage early professional involvement among new teachers, MSTI sponsors membership in the California Mathematics Council (CMC) and the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA), as well as sponsors student attendance at a wide variety of local STEM-related workshops and institutes offered by the San Joaquin Valley Mathematics Project, CMC-Central, Central Valley CUE, and NASA. All of the participants in MSTI workshops and courses (as well as all MSTI Directors statewide) receive the COMET (California Online Mathematics Education Times) newsletter, produced by the MSTI-Fresno Director (http://comet.cmpso.org/)/. The Fresno State campus has received three Noyce Scholarship grants (Noyce I, II, and III); MSTI helps support these talented preservice teachers in the above ways.