Catalyst Center post-doctoral scholars Mary Emenike and Sissi Li joined participants from a variety of informal science learning contexts, including science museums and summer camps from Los Angeles to San Diego, at the CSU/ISI Collaborative Symposium to Promote Science Education, organized by College of Education Professor Amy Cox-Petersen and sponsored by Boeing.
Catalyst Center members Dr. Maria Grant, Dr. Natalie Tran, and Dr. Michelle VanderVelt also participated in this symposium. Professor Len Annetta of George Mason University was the symposium keynote speaker and he presented his work on "Bridging Formal and Informal Learning through Serious Educational Games."
Mary and Sissi gave a presentation at the symposium titled: "Chemistry Concepts to Motivate Elementary and Middle School Students." Attendees initially participated in a card sorting task based on household item that were used as interview prompts with 42 fourth grade children. Subsequently, findings from the children's interviews were discussed through an analysis of the children's categorizations schemes for common household items they thought were in some way related to chemicals. Finally, implications for teaching chemistry to elementary and middle school students were discussed for both in school and out of school environments.
The Catalyst Center, along with the Center for Careers in Teaching, and the CSUF chapter of the Student California Teachers Association sponsored a second seminar in the afternoon for Dr. Len Annetta to share his research with serious educational games. In his second presentation, "Constructionist Science Learning: Bridging Out of School Time With In School Time Through Serious Educational Games", Dr. Annetta highlighted work from his NSF ITEST funded project Games Requiring Advanced Developmental Understanding and Achievement in Technological Endeavors GRADUATE.