Page Navigation


UCSF Navigation

Science and Health Education Partnership

SEP Navigation

City Science Curriculum Support (CS2)

City Science Curriculum Support (CS2) serves as a supporting partnership for teachers who participated in SEP's City Science Summer Institute. Each team is a partnership between one teacher and one UCSF scientist who co-plan and co-teach the FOSS curriculum learned during the City Science Summer Institute week.

I am motivated to partner with a scientist to come into my classroom and help teach some of the lessons that I learned and took part in this summer.

- City Science Participant/SFUSD teacher

Working with the scientist, I kept thinking about how valuable it would be for my students to see a real-life scientist, especially one that is a woman. I think my students do not see enough role - models .

- City Science Participant/SFUSD teacher


City Science Curriculum Support (CS2) brings together UCSF volunteers and elementary school teachers in San Francisco public schools to co-plan and co-teach science lessons based on the school district’s adopted science curriculum, FOSS (Full Option Science System).

Teachers eligible for participation in this program are those who have attended a week-long professional development course offered by SEP in the summer called City Science. Each summer’s course offerings focus on one FOSS kit per grade level for grades K-5. The subsequent year’s CS2 partnership teams collaborate to implement the curriculum in elementary school classrooms.

Program Details

Team curricular focus by grade level (FOSS curriculum explored during the 2012 City Science Summer Institute):
Kindergarten: Wood and Paper
1st grade: Air and Weather
2nd grade: Pebbles, Sand and Silt
3rd grade: Matter and Energy
4th grade: Solid Earth
5th grade: Living Systems

July: Applications due from both teachers and scientists. When creating partnership teams, SEP staff take into account many variables including teacher and volunteers’ schedules, location of the school site and scientists’ primary work location, and scientists comfort with grade levels and topics.

August: Scientist volunteers attend a mandatory 2-hour training on the FOSS curriculum. During this brief introduction, scientists will learn more about FOSS and how the curriculum is organized, explore the materials available for each lesson, and have a hands-on experience with one FOSS lesson.

September: Teacher and Scientist teams meet at a mandatory dinner orientation where they find out more about the program, learn strategies for creating a successful scientist-teacher partner team, and initiate planning their lessons.  Teams also meet at SEP where a staff member provides support, including help developing lessons and finding lesson materials.

September-May: Team co-plans and co-teaches the equivalent of six, 1-hour science lessons focused on FOSS curriculum. Each team, dependent on their schedules, will determine timing of the lessons (because of the way FOSS curriculum is written, teachers may have a specific 3-month period of time they would like to teach the lessons). The total time commitment including orientation, planning, and teaching lessons is typically 18-20 hours.

Goals for CS2 participants:


  • Work one on-one-with a UCSF scientist volunteer to implement lessons learned from the City Science Summer Institute
  • Share your expertise in the field of elementary school public education
  • Practice and develop lessons and strategies learned during the City Science Summer Institute along with a UCSF scientist partner


  • Work one-on-one with an SFUSD elementary school teacher during the school year to implement high-quality, hands-on science lessons
  • Share your expertise in the field of science with teachers and students
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the K-5 science standards and curriculum as well as the obstacles teachers face in teaching science in the classroom

Additional support:

SEP hosts the Daly Ralston Resource Center, a lending library that houses more than 3,000 science materials that support science lessons. The Resource Center collection includes organs, models, microscopes and other equipment, and "kits"—essentially a lesson in a box—that can be used for lessons. In addition, SEP staff are available at the Resource Center to provide lesson coaching and ideas. SEP has also developed SEPLessons, both an electronic library of lesson plans developed by teachers and scientists in SEP’s partnership programs as well as a tool, designed specifically for partnership teams, to facilitate their planning together.

Interested in the Program?

Lakisha Witzel



Jean MacCormack