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Selected Publications

Books & Book Chapters

STEM to Story: Enthralling and Effective Lesson Plans for Grades 5-8  by 826 National, Pañoringan, J. and Smith, R., Edited by Jennifer Traig. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2015.

Bring STEM to life for students with zombies, rockets, celebrities, and moreSTEM to Story: Enthralling and Effective Lesson Plans for Grades 5-8 inspires learning through fun, engaging, and meaningful lesson plans that fuse hands-on discovery in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with creative writing.

Available at   or through Jossey-Bass publishing


Occupied by Microbes by Martin Powell, Rebecca Smith, & Judy Diamond (writers). Illustrated by Tom Floyd (art) and by Nick Poliwko (inks and colors). University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 2014. App/PDF

Our bodies are home to more microbes than human cells. The balance of helpful to harmful microbes in our bodies can make us sick or healthy. The Biology of Human project focuses on helping people understand themselves by exploring scientific principles that underlie modern research in human biology.

Available for free download of PDF   or at the App store for iPad


Girls in Science: A Framework for Action by Liesl Chatman, Katherine Nielsen, Erin Strauss, and Kimberly Tanner with J Myron Atkin, Marjorie Bequette, and Michelle Phillips.

From 1994 - 2003, SEP led the Triad program with funding from the National Science Foundation. Triad brought scientists and teachers together to lead after-school science clubs with a focus on gender equitable science teaching. Participation in Triad required a commitment to extensive professional development on the part of both the teachers and scientists. The Triad community was highly collaborative, and participants together developed a framework for gender equitable science teaching and learning. This framework and reflections written by Triad teacher and scientist participants ultimately led to the publication in 2008 of Girls in Science: A Framework for Action by NSTA Press.  Available through the NSTA Science Store.

"Example of Complementary Professional Development for Teachers and Scientists: Current Science Seminar Series" by Katherine Nielsen, Rebecca Smith, Andrew Grillo-Hill, Patricia Caldera, Chantell Johnson, and Laura Gibson. In Erin Dolan (Ed.), Education Outreach and Public Engagement (pp. 58-61). New York, NY: Springer, 2008.

See it on Google Books.

"Critical Moments" by Elizabeth Liesl Chatman, and "Girls in Science: Full Partners" by Patricia Kudritzki, book chapters in Dilemmas in Professional Development: A Case-based Approach to Improving Practice, Tania Madfes and Judith H. Shulman, editors; San Francisco: WestEd / US DOE Western Regional Laboratory, 2000.

Download the text here; Chatman’s chapter can be found on p. 58-64 in the pdf and Kudritzki’s on p. 35-42.

Science Education Partnerships: Manual for Scientists and K-12 Teachers, edited by Art Sussman,University of California, San Francisco, 1993.

Journal Articles

“A Volunteer Army for Science.” Science. Volume 329, July 16, 2010 by Donald G. Rea and Katherine Nielsen.

Late last year, President Obama announced an “Educate to Innovate” campaign to increase the   engagement and performance of America’s students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

View the article here

"Injecting Inquiry into Photosynthesis Investigations," Science Scope, September 2008 by Irene Salter, Rebecca Smith, and Katherine Nielsen.

The structure of our week-long biology course for elementary and middle school teachers inspired a teacher to redesign her photosynthesis and respiration unit to include student-designed investigations. Download the article here.

"A Natural Selection: Partnering Teachers and Scientists in the Classroom Laboratory Creates a Dynamic Learning Community," The Science Teacher, October 2005, p. 42-45 by Marcelle Siegel, Susanna Mlynarczyk-Evans, Tamara Brenner, and Katherine Nielsen.

This article summarizes some of the benefits of partnering teachers and scientists and describes a lesson on natural selection developed by a high school partnership team. Download the article here.

"Approaches to Biology Teaching and Learning: Science Teaching and Learning Across the School–University Divide—Cultivating Conversations through Scientist–Teacher Partnerships," Cell Biology Education, Vol.2, No. 4, 2003 by Kimberly Tanner, Elizabeth (Liesl) Chatman, and Deborah Allen.

Download the article here.

"Approaches to Cell Biology Teaching: Cooperative Learning and Science Teaching – Beyond Students Working in Groups," Cell Biology Education, Vol.2, No. 1, 2003 by Kimberly Tanner, Elizabeth (Liesl) Chatman, and Deborah Allen.

Download the article here.

"UCSF Partnership to Enrich Science Teaching for Sixth Graders in San Francisco’s Schools," Academic Medicine, Vol.74, No.4, 1999 by Helen Doyle.

Download the article here.

"A successful university-school-district partnership to help San Francisco’s K-12 students learn about science and medicine," Academic Medicine, Vol.71, No.9, 1996 by Margaret Clark.  

Download the article here.

Book Reviews

"Cell and Molecular Biology for Minors: Review of Enjoy Your Cells by Fran Balkwill and Mic Rolph," Cell Biology Education, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2003. Review written by: Rebecca Smith and Ruby Lipscomb.

Download the article here.


Inspiring Scientists of All Ages by Smith, R.L. Editorial. Careers in Science Supplement to the San Francisco Chronicle. September 2013.

Dowload the article here.