For Immediate Release: June 9, 2014
Contact: Selina Ayala-Patlan, Valerie Martinez (909) 445-1001

Event to Highlight District’s Focus on STEM and Next Generation Science Standards

MONTEBELLO Interactive flight simulators, a hover craft, space suits and a replica of an F-117 Stealth Fighter were among the thrilling exhibits and demonstrations made available to students at the “Space Day” kick-off event at Bell Gardens Elementary on Friday, June 6. The event was put on by the Montebello Unified School District in collaboration with Ivor Dawson and the “Traveling Space Museum.”

“This event serves to not only give our students exciting, hands-on experience into the marvels of science and space, but also illustrates the District’s collaborative effort in promoting the academic and professional benefits of STEM — starting with elementary school-aged students and continuing through to the high school level,” said MUSD Board of Education President David Vela. “We are committed to bringing STEM benefits to each student at every grade level.”

“Space Day” is part of MUSD’s effort to effectively implement incoming state standards and practices, including the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and a District-wide interdisciplinary approach to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). After the kick-off at BGE, the event is taking place at Wilcox Elementary School on Monday, June 9 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will move to Rosewood Park School on Friday, June 13.

“As a District in a primarily Latino-based community, we are truly working to get our young students excited about STEM and the advantages these disciplines have for them in the long-term,” said Arturo Navar, Bell Gardens Elementary Science Teacher on Special Assignment. “By exposing them to the work of older students, we provide a direct link to ideas, projects and opportunities they too can experience.”

Beyond the high tech and out-of-this-world attractions provided by the museum, elementary students were also able to interact with MUSD high school science and engineering students who brought in various STEM-related projects to showcase at the event.

“Our children are the future leaders of the community and as science education continues to move into project-based learning, thus requiring 21st century skills, it remains essential to encourage students to confront and understand real-world issues in a collaborative manner,” said MUSD Board Member, Lani Cupchoy. “This event not only sparks critical thinking skills, but also incorporates real-world models.”

As a follow-up to the event, MUSD will host a summer institute in July, where science teachers throughout the District will be attend seminars and workshops that lay out the NGSS and how to best incorporate them into the classroom.

“It is unique events like this one that illustrate our commitment to education inside and outside the classroom,” said MUSD Superintendent of Schools, Cleve Pell. “Hands-on, memorable experiences coupled with informative and collaborative events educate and energize all of our students on their road to postsecondary education and careers.”


Space Day1: Students from Bell Gardens Elementary play on a simulated lunar roving vehicle.

Space Day2: A young student from Bell Gardens Elementary tests her wings on the flight simulator while her peers look on waiting for a turn.