SOURCE: Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology

May 01, 2017 13:11 ET

Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) Associate Professor Partners with Miles Avenue Elementary School, Carol and James Collins Foundation to Create New Science and Engineering Innovation Lab for Huntington Park Students

New Building and Curriculum Reflect Collaboration Between Graduate School, Nonprofit Foundation and Public School Community

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - May 01, 2017) - Pepperdine's Graduate School of Education and Psychology Associate Professor Dr. Anthony Collatos, along with representatives from the Carol and James Collins Foundation and Principal Cora L. Watkins, will dedicate a new Science and Engineering Innovation Lab at the Miles Elementary School in Huntington Park on May 3rd. The celebration reflects the culmination of a year-long partnership between Pepperdine's graduate school, the Foundation, and the public school to serve the needs of Huntington Park children, fostering and supporting their exposure to STEM education and training.

With a $15,000 grant from the Carol and James Collins Foundation and under the supervision of Dr. Collatos, four GSEP graduate students and teacher candidates worked with Ms. Watkins and her staff to design and implement the lab itself. Dr. Collatos and his graduate students worked with Miles teachers to create new thematic science units to be taught within the lab setting that would reflect content informed by the Next Generation Science Content Standards, the new, research-based academic standards intended to improve science education for all students.

"The lab creates a space for innovation and exploration where students and teachers can bring the Next Generation Science Standards to life. This lab space is critical for inspiring young students to become scientists and to solve everyday problems and challenges they will face in the future," said Principal Watkins.

The project reflects a deep commitment on behalf of both the Graduate School of Education and Psychology as well as Dr. Collatos towards promoting urban education and their communities. This effort builds on GSEP's Urban Initiative, an umbrella program at the graduate school designed to prepare a new generation of education and mental health professionals with the skills to work effectively in culturally diverse, underserved urban communities for the long-term.

Along with his participation in the Miles Elementary School project, Dr. Collatos is also active within GSEP's Urban Parent Teacher Education Collaborative, Youth Empowerment and Research Seminar, and the Foster Youth and Families College Access Program, all of which present opportunities for Pepperdine students to become directly involved with students, parents, and teachers within the larger Los Angeles community. Dr. Collatos has also published several articles and book chapters about his work.

"It is not only about having a presence in our academic community. It is about making a difference in our actual community, outside the walls of the classroom," says Dr. Collatos. "The Science and Engineering Innovation Lab is a testament to what is possible when local schools, universities, and nonprofit foundations partner to improve educational opportunities for students, especially in our most under-resourced school communities."

The grand opening is scheduled for 9:00AM on May 3rd, onsite at the Miles Elementary School, 6720 Miles Avenue, Huntington Park, CA 90255.

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