THE SCIENCE LEARNING CENTER
CAL STATE LONG BEACH
Last March, I led a group of students from Celebration Education on a field trip to The Science Learning Center at Cal State Long Beach.
Earlier that week in our homeschool group, we learned about early U.S. inventors and inventions. I decided to plan a field trip to The Science Learning Center to expand upon our lesson plan.
Science labs are great. They are 100% about “hands-on” learning. The more you touch and feel, the more you learn and grow.
The Science Learning Center at CSULB is a “hands-on” museum that encourages personal discovery through direct physical contact with exhibits. Visitors are encouraged to turn the handles, push the buttons, and twist the knobs to make their own personal discoveries in science.
Just listen to their story:
“With Frank Oppenhiemer’s ground breaking, interactive science displays at the San Francisco Science Exploratorium as an example, CSULB physics professor R.D. Ayers approached CSULB administration.
In 1979, with the support of then CSULB president Stephen Horn, and college dean Roger Bauer, the CNSM Natural Sciences Museum opened in the basement of Peterson Hall 2, and in 1980, the university embarked on creating a unique outreach program with the Mobile Science Museum – a converted 27-foot mobile home to bring science to the schools.
The CNSM Natural Sciences Museum opened in 1979 and featured, among other things, moon rocks from one of the Apollo trips and Henrietta, a 15′ 8” Burmese python who was a star attraction until she retired in the late nineties. Each display was designed to encourage touching, exploring, and questions. Today, the Science Learning Center has many displays housed in the Hall of Science Room 109.”
All exhibits in the lab meet the grade appropriate standards for California science education.
The Science Learning Center’s exhibits include:
Biology – Terrarium
Zoology – Iggy the Iguana, Frogs, Chameleon, Snakes, Scat
Marine Biology – Submersible, Aquarium, Whale baleen
Geology/Earth Science – Rocks / Minerals, Seismograph, Weather Station
Physics – Bernouli’s Principle, Solar Panels, Spectrum, Gravity, Bubbles, Hologram
Chemistry – Crystal Structures
The Science Learning Center’s staff consists of highly enthusiastic and encouraging graduate students from the University. On our particular visit, our guides were very kind and shared with us their wealth of knowledge about the field.
When planning YOUR trip to The Science Learning Center:
1. Individuals and groups are welcome to visit the lab anytime the staff is available in the Center.
2. Visitors should allow 30-45 minutes to explore and experience the exhibits.
3. Student group visits are most successful when students are visiting in numbers of 30 or less at a time.
4. For groups of 30 or more, the science lab can arrange for your group to visit with other sites on campus. During our tour, we also got to visit CSULB’s Marine Science Lab.
5. Advance reservations are HIGHLY recommended for large groups.
6. Parking is a bit of a challenge at CSULB. There are two types of parking options available – metered and prepaid. Make sure you know which type of parking structure you park in prior to paying. Take it from someone who got a parking ticket while there, it is worth double checking!
In addition to the Science Learning Center, CSULB also has a Mobile Science Museum which serves to supplement Long Beach’s local schools’ science instruction.
“The 27-foot converted mobile home carries over 40 exhibits that invite hands-on inquiry from both children and adults in astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, biology, zoology, and marine biology.”
Location and Contact Information:
The Science Learning Center, Hall of Science, Room 110, California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840.
Phone: (562) 985-4841
Pricing: A $1.00 donation per person. However, I believe it is worth so much more!
I leave you with a following picture challenge from The Science Learning Center!
Is this picture of an old woman or a young lady? Leave a comment and let us know.
Happy Field Tripping!