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Santa Monica College|Academic Programs|Teacher Academy|2009 Copernicus Project Summer Science Internship

2009 Copernicus Project Summer Science Internship

2009 Copernicus Project Summer Science Internship

From July 27th through August 7th selected SMC students participated in the Copernicus Project Summer Science Internship—a partnership between UC-Riverside and SMC—where future math and science teachers were introduced to how to teach (pedagogy skills), writing techniques, the teacher credentialing process, and performed science experiments.

According to Copernicus participant and future science teacher, Michael Conner, “Santa Monica College has enhanced my academic life very much. It has so many rich opportunities available for those students who wish to take advantage of them. The Copernicus Project experience was a one-of-a-kind experience that I will always remember and which will definitely provide me with valuable tools in my journey toward becoming a high school science teacher. The program has been a unique way to interact with my peers and also with highly qualified professors and scientists from the University of California. The two week internship was wonderfully facilitated by a staff of kind, interested and highly professional people. There was a strong personal touch and I felt so honored to be a part of the program.”

Another SMC Copernicus participant and future math teacher, Scott Ingwersen, expressed, “The point of the Copernicus Project was to have fun through learning, and we will surely pass on the enthusiasm to our future students. We also thought about how we would incorporate a research-based strategy of how to teach: the "5E" pedagogy lessons (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) into our own lesson plans and got the chance to test it all out in a supportive environment in our end-of-the-week presentations. This was an amazing experience. I was constantly thinking about how each seminar could be related to a math lesson, so the diversity of topics was not only stimulating but also served to remind me that all the sciences are interrelated.”

SMC student Aidan Kronick noted that he was grateful for learning about the Copernicus Project through Dr. Al Solano’s future teacher presentation in faculty member Muriel Waugh’s Chem 10 class. In addition to all he learned, SMC student and future math teacher, Raulito Gonzalez, looks forward to adding this experience to his transfer application. Science internship experiments at UC-Riverside included:

  • Buckyballs and Carbon Nanotubes
  • Engineering LED Circuitry
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Exploring the Structure of Macromolecules
  • Monitoring Contaminant Levels in Drinking and Surface Water
  • Organic Solar Cell Fabrication
  • Planetary & Life Detection Science
  • Seismogram Analysis and Earthquake Locations
  • The Role of Arthropods in Transmission of Animal Pathogens
  • Veterinary Entomology

SMC students interested in the Summer 2007 Copernicus Project Summer Science Institute for future teachers can begin the application process with Dr. Maria Leon-Vazquez at or at 310-434-3306. Students interested in teaching in general are encouraged to visit the Teacher Academy at LV 125 (310-434-8198).

Photos from 2006 Copernicus Project Summer Science Internship