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Future teachers get hands-on experience with Science Night
bilingual teachers 1
Ivette Ramos, a CSU Stanislaus a graduate student in the teacher credentialing program enjoys a science experiment with Osborn Two-Way Immersion Academy fifth and sixth graders during Science Night on Thursday. - photo by JONATHAN MCCORKELL / The Journal

Future bilingual K-8 teachers in the credential program at California State University, Stanislaus teamed up to offer Science Night at Osborn Two-Way Immersion Academy on Thursday.

Science Night is the culmination of six weeks of collaboration with first-year credential CSU students and elementary students at Osborn, who attend extra-curricular science and health classes’ one-night a week over the course of the program.

The CSUS students attend seven weeks of class-based instruction in which they learn the State of California content standards for science and health followed by methodology classes in which they put standards to work with lesson plans and delivering those plans to Osborn students in K-6 grade levels.

CSUS Assistant Professor of Education Ramon Vega de Jesus explained that the six-year partnership between Osborn and CSU is a perfect fit for future teachers in his class.

“This is perfect because these pre-service students are learning how to integrate Spanish language acquisition within the context of science. They get to see what it is like to be in front of a real kid and teach them — something that is extremely important and needed before they move into student-teaching,” he said.

CSUS students in the class are in the process of earning their Bilingual, Cross-cultural, Language and Academic Development Certificate, which authorizes a teacher to provide Spanish instruction to English learners.

Ivette Ramos, a CSU credential student, appreciated the opportunity to work with the Osborn students. “This has been really nice and it has been a lot of fun developing lesson plans, explaining terminology and learning how to make learning fun for the student,” she said.

Students and parents had the opportunity to participate and learn about science through experiments such as “gummy bear” construction. Ramos and her fellow students conducted an experiment for fifth and sixth graders in which they had to make a structure out of gummy bears and toothpicks. The structure would have to be strong enough to withstand an earthquake. The backdrop of the experiment was the lesson plan for how plate tectonics work and the effects of earthquakes on the earth’s surface structures. During the experiment students had to list materials needed and procedures, as well as deduct a hypothesis.

After the Osborn students built their structures Ramos glued them on a piece of poster board and shook the board. Much to the students’ surprise, nearly all the structures withstood violent shaking.

“It is always so amazing how smart these kids are before we even teach them anything,” said Ramos.

 “That is exactly what this is all about — that adjustment they have to make to reach the student,” said Vega de Jesus. “This is all about getting them in front of real kids and putting real lesson plans to work.”

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.