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Sunday, January 29, 2023

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LabZone is a service-learning outreach initiative. LabZone is a service-learning outreach initiative.

Setting Up for Success

LabZone prepares future educators while engaging underserved youth.

This fall, future educators from San Diego State University and middle-schoolers from Lemon Grove will learn from each other through LabZone, an innovative program out of SDSU’s Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education.

Now in its third year, LabZone is a service-learning outreach initiative designed to give future educators a place to learn theories in math and science education while engaging underserved youth.

“LabZone enriches the experience for underserved middle-schoolers in San Diego while simultaneously providing SDSU students with the opportunity to design and implement their own ideas of engaging math and science activities without limitations of a day-to-day curriculum, energizing them for the possibilities of a future in education,” said Alexander “Sasha” Chizhik, professor of educational psychology and faculty member of the CRMSE.

Paths to success

Each week, the 25 SDSU students enrolled in the three-unit LabZone course will design and test engaging games and activities in a lab before heading to Lemon Grove Academy of Sciences and Humanities to implement the activities with students.

“It’s important that we expose youth to the wonder and ubiquity of math and science in their lives as they begin a journey toward their future careers,” Chizhik said.

“I am incredibly pleased with our partnership with SDSU and CRMSE. The LabZone has had a positive impact at Lemon Grove Academy, providing students with opportunities to engage in real world math and science learning,” said Rick Oser, principal of Lemon Grove Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

“In addition to the authentic learning opportunities, our students have developed relationships with the SDSU students who often serve as mentors, guides and champions for academic success during middle school and beyond,” Oser said.