Partnerships Expand Opportunities for Innovative Academic Program
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO—San Diego State University (SDSU) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will join the Capistrano Collaborative for Education Advancement (C2Sea) to provide students in the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) instruction through a pilot project that features virtual field trips to remote locations, thanks to an agreement approved by the Board of Trustees on Monday night.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and SDSU will join the District and the National Parks Service, who signed an agreement creating the collaborative in September.
The project will engage students from elementary through high school with varying levels of substance and depth in the curriculum, culminating with high school students participating in multi-day topical research expeditions that will include virtual interaction with students at the middle and elementary levels.
“Expanding this partnership will provide even more resources as we add additional opportunities in STEM education for our students,” Board of Trustees President Dr. Gary Pritchard said. “By creating partnerships with organizations that have real world expertise, we will provide our students with the curriculum and instruction necessary for them to succeed in their post-graduation pathways.”
The C2Sea STEM project is a low-cost, theme-based curriculum that complements state academic standards while enabling students to virtually interact with scientists at a variety of agencies. The pilot project includes nine schools in three different feeder patterns with a “spiraling-up” method of increasing the rigor of the curriculum at each level. The schools participating in the project, by family or feeder pattern, are: Castille Elementary School, Newhart Middle School, and Capistrano Valley High School; Don Juan Avila Elementary School, Don Juan Avila Middle School, and Aliso Niguel High School; and Marblehead Elementary School, Shorecliffs Middle School, and San Clemente High School.
Each feeder pattern will develop a theme that creates a pathway for students to experience while they move through school. Students will participate in virtual field trips to remote locations around the country, mentor younger students, and complete their experience with a visit to the location studied. During the first year, each school will take at least three virtual field trips while representatives from participating agencies will interpret the science and/or history/social science observed during the virtual field trips.
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