Center for Community Engagement

San Marcos: Sparking the Next Generation of Scientists

San Marcos

CSU San Marcos (CSUSM) biology professor, Dr. Bianca Mothé has taken the reins on developing a science center at Twin Oaks Elementary School to enhance students' education in STEM. The science center reaches hundreds of students in kindergarten through fifth grade and takes them on interactive explorations of university-level topics in biology, biotechnology, and math. CSU San Marcos faculty and students from a variety of STEM disciplines design fun and creative lesson plans that meet the specific California science standards for each grade level and provide Twin Oaks teachers with exercises that can be replicated in their classrooms.

CSUSM students lead workshops that provide opportunities for grade school children to interact with scientific concepts. For example, elementary students act out the role of predators, such as moose and wolves, to illustrate population dynamics and food supply in an ecosystem. Through a game similar to tag they are able to recreate the distress Yellowstone faced due to an overpopulation of wolves. "The partnership with Cal State San Marcos has been incredibly beneficial for our students...," said Assistant Principal Joe Knisley. "The activities are highly engaging and interesting, and our students are really gaining a deeper understanding and enthusiasm for science."

The science center is among the first in the University's service-learning program to offer science-specific engagement. It broadens opportunities for University students while infusing hands-on science learning in elementary curriculum. By offering free workshops, more Twin Oaks students are able to participate and gain early interaction with science concepts, which can help increase comprehension and career interest.

Find out more about service learning at CSU San Marcos .

View campus service-learning projects involving instilling a love of science:
CSU Bakersfield
CSU Bakersfield

The chemistry department at CSU Bakersfield, in collaboration with the student chemistry club and several K-12 after-school programs, presents Chemical Circus. This interactive program provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to reinforce their education while promoting an interest in science among local youth at an early age.

CSU Chico
CSU Chico

The College of Natural Science and Gateway Science Museum came together through service learning to provide undergraduate students an opportunity to master scientific content within their STEM disciplines through hands-on activity development and delivery of activities for museum visitors.

CSU Long Beach
CSU Long Beach

SEE US Succeed! offers a two week summer camp to K-8 homeless children in the Long Beach Unified School District. During camp, students explore various concepts in geology, optics and forensic science led by credentialed teachers enrolled in CSULB's Science Education Master's Program.

CSU San Marcos
CSU San Marcos

Professor Bianca Mothé has taken the reins on developing a science center at a local elementary school to enhance students' education in STEM. CSU San Marcos' faculty and students from a variety of STEM disciplines introduce school children to university-level science concepts in fun and creative ways that bring science to life.