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Home > The Lab Zone
The Lab Zone is a service-learning outreach initiative that was started in 2010 with a grant from SDSU's Presidential Leadership Funds. The Lab Zone brings SDSU undergraduates together with middle school students from the underserved community of Lemon Grove. The undergraduate students enroll in a 3-unit service-learning course taught by Professor Sasha Chizhik, in which they learn theories behind informal mathematics and science education. Participating students receive GE credit and meet the Early Field Experience requirement for applying to the SDSU Teacher Credential program.
The field experience named The Lab Zone is held in an after-school program at a middle school in the Lemon Grove School District. In The Lab Zone, the middle school students participate in hands-on and innovative experiments, games, and other activities led by and created by university undergraduate students.
The Lab Zone reaches out to a community where there is a need for increased interest and understanding of math and science among students. This need is apparent from low state standardized test scores in the schools targeted by this program.
The Lab Zone participated in the SDSU Science & Engineering Sampler on March 22, 2013 as part of the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering. In The Lab Zone (room 119 in the Physics Astronomy building (PA-119) at SDSU [map]), visitors experienced the hands-on design, building, and testing of their very own projects to learn basic math, engineering, and scientific principles. The event was free and open to the public.
News: Subaru Funds Math & Science Education. On October 25, 2012, the SDSU Newscenter reported that Subaru of America Foundation, Inc. made a gift of $5000 to CRMSE to to support its Informal Learning in Math and Science course in The Lab Zone.
In Fall 2011, our undergraduate students led an activity that taught middle school students the science behind making ice cream. The middle school students had an opportunity to learn the science, take part in the experiment and enjoy a homemade ice cream sundae.
In the video below, Professor Sasha Chizhik describes The Lab Zone, and both SDSU and middle school students share their experiences of The Lab Zone, and how the informal learning setting of Lab Zone differs from traditional learning experiences. Produced by Estella Chizhik in September 2012. Comment on this video on CRMSE's Facebook page.
To view (or download) a larger (720 × 480) version of the same video, click here.