Southern California Program
California State University, Dominguez Hills
California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) serves a student body that is 75% Latino and African-American and is one of the CSU System’s largest producers of secondary math and science teachers. A W. M. Keck Foundation grant is funding the pilot of the first in a fleet of five Mobile Fabrication Laboratories (Fab Labs) deployed by the university to advance understanding of the engineering design process among teachers in training, classroom teachers and underserved middle and high school students attending high-needs schools. Originally developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Bits and Atoms as a small outreach program, today there are 200 Fab Labs in the United States and the one proposed by CSUDH will be the first in Los Angeles. The Fab Labs will provide teachers and students with access to new content and project-based, hands-on STEM activities for learning and innovation utilizing technology and digital fabrication tools. Learning will happen in an authentic, engaging, personal context in which teachers guide students through a cycle of imagination, design, prototyping, reflection, and iteration as they find solutions to challenges or bring their ideas to life. Throughout the process, they learn to apply math and science concepts. In the first year of the project, faculty from CSUDH’s Center for Innovation in STEM Education (CISE) will collaborate with the Fab Lab Foundation and the Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES) to design and build the first Fab Lab and train teachers to use the equipment and develop projects that incorporate the new Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. In the following academic year, the program will be piloted at two CSUDH STEM Lab schools operated on the campuses of nearby LAUSD schools. A minimum of 50 math and science teachers and 100 teacher candidates will be trained in the new content and teaching strategies and at least 400 middle and high school students will participate in Fab Lab activities.
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