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Information for Teachers - Bio&Chem Teach

In Bio&ChemTeach, one middle or high school science teacher is partnered with two to four volunteers from UCSF.

Planning these lessons also helped reinvigorate my own teaching practices...I'm not sure who benefited more: myself or my students. Either way, this whole experience has been one I am very thankful to have had and I look forward to being a part of SEP programs in the future.

- SFUSD teacher

Bio&Chem Teach teams meet for the first time at a program orientation where everyone learns more about the program’s expectation, SEP shares tips for a successful partnership, and lesson planning begins. Between January and May, each team co-plans, co-teaches and debriefs a minimum of four lessons to two of the teacher’s class periods. The estimated time commitment is 20 hours, which includes the orientation, subsequent planning meetings, and classroom time.

Teachers and volunteers are partnered on the basis of school site characteristics and location, volunteer backgrounds and language proficiencies, and scheduling constraints. UCSF volunteers are a diverse group consisting of faculty, research assistants, graduate students (in biomedical sciences or health professional schools) and postdoctoral fellows. Your scientist partners will have a strong general science background as well as detailed expertise in a particular field of science. In addition, they will have first-hand experience with science process skills and investigative approaches to science, making them an excellent resource for planning hands-on lessons.

Teachers who participate in a Bio&Chem Teach partnership are mentors to the scientist volunteers, providing guidance about how to make lessons age-appropriate and meet the needs of their students, how to engage middle and high school students and manage the classroom and materials, necessary safety precautions, and more. After each lesson, we encourage teachers and scientists to debrief, discussing what went well, what could’ve been done differently, students responses to the lesson, etc. Our goal is for the Bio&Chem Teach program to be a mutual learning experience for teachers, their students, and scientist volunteers alike.

Bio&Chem Teach has proven to be a rewarding experience for teachers and their students. Past teacher participants report that they have improved their ability to plan hands-on science lessons (83%) and that they have deepened their understanding of science concepts (89%); that during Bio&Chem Teach lessons, their students have the opportunity to talk about their own scientific ideas (89%), and that their students began to see themselves as scientists (83%). Teachers also report that as a result of their participation in this partnership program, they are more likely to use hands-on science activities in their teaching (86%).

I’m interested – how do I sign up?

Applications for the 2017-18 classroom partnership programs will be available this October. Please check back then for application details.