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Two weeks ago FasTracKids Carmel Valley/Del Mar hosted Dr. Sameer Shah, Assistant Professor at UCSD. FasTracKids is an interactive child-centered preschool program designed to provide students from diverse backgrounds the skills and confidence required to succeed. Technology is strongly integrated into our classroom activities, and our emphasis on the development of each child’s critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, and confidence is wholly consistent with the priorities of Dr. Shah in exposing students at all academic levels to concepts in science and engineering. In particular, he conducted interactive demonstrations that introduced simple concepts in biology, physics, and engineering to our students. In addition, he and members of his research team will host interested students to visit their laboratory at UCSD, providing a glimpse of modern research facilities.
Our collaboration is off to a great start! Dr. Shah’s demonstrations were age-appropriate and well received by students, teachers, and parents. Topics covered included conceptual approaches to observation (use of senses), record-keeping (drawing/writing in journals), optics (light filtering, reflection and refraction), and density and viscosity (manipulation of water, syrup, and oil), microscopy (viewing objects through a stereo microscope), medical imaging technology (visualization and comparison of assorted animal and human body part X-rays with a light box).
My own experience, shaped by over 22 years in elementary education, suggests that exposure to a broad spectrum of educational and career opportunities is valuable not only in shaping the interests of children, but also conveying the accessibility of such opportunities. While students will ultimately choose their own route, it is important that doors are actively opened during the early childhood exploratory process. In this spirit, I look forward to an exciting collaboration!
” Kristin Rude is the Owner and Center Director of FasTracKids, Del Mar, established in 2007. She started teaching Kindergarten in 1992. Kristin last taught in the Del Mar Union School District. She obtained her teaching credential from the University of San Diego and has her Masters degree in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on second language learners. When Kristin is not working, motherhood keeps her plenty busy with her 2 children, Connor, age 5 & Katherine, age 4. It has been a truly rewarding experience watching her own children benefit from the FasTracKids program. Spending time with her family, golfing, traveling, and continuously learning are among her favorite activities.”