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City Science Summer Institute

The City Science Summer Institute is designed to give elementary school teachers grade level experience in hands-on, inquiry-based science.

Before City Science, I followed the FOSS manual as closely as I could, but with only a superficial understanding of the purpose of the activities... Now I know what the reasoning behind the science activities is so that I can now modify what I need to [in order] to fit science activities into my schedule while fostering the learning, the inquiry process, and the vocabulary growth that my students require.

- City Science participant

Wow. What a week! I can honestly say that this week-long training was the best training I've ever been to! It was a week well spent. Not only do I leave with a knowledge and understanding of the lesson and experiments, but I leave with the confidence now of having a vast knowledge and understanding of why it happens.

- City Science participant


We are not currently able to offer City Science, due to lack of funding.  If you are interested in funding City Science, please let us know!

City Science evolved from a previous professional development effort with SFUSD of the same name, last offered in 2003. From 2007-2011 City Science was funded by Howard Hughes Medical Institute, helping SEP to reestablish this highly regarded professional development program that has demonstrated positive effects on science teaching and learning in SFUSD. From 2012-2013 City Science was funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and was extended into the classroom with City Science Curriculum Support (CS2) partnership program.

Collaboratively designed and taught by scientists and educators, City Science course content is organized to aid in the articulation of standards and teaching of the SFUSD adopted FOSS science instructional materials in each of the elementary grades (K-5), while supporting adult content learning.

The City Science Summer Institute includes ample time for hands-on exploration and discussions of science teaching strategies. Participating teachers experience the power of active science teaching while coming away with standards-based, age-appropriate lessons directly applicable to the classroom.

Through City Science teachers:

  • experience investigative science lessons to help their students master the California Science Content Standards
  • deepen their understanding of the scientific process
  • learn adult-level science behind the standards
  • increase their confidence to teach science
  • become a member of a professional community focused on science teaching & learning – at their school site and across the district

City Science in the News:

Institute Takes Fear Out of Teaching Elementary School Science

More than 100 elementary school teachers from the San Francisco Unified School District came together this summer to get hands-on experience on using science kits in their classrooms, though a program run by the University of California, San Francisco.

For the full story, go to

City Science is currently not funded for the 2013-2014 year.  If you are interested in funding City Science please let us know!


Please Contact:

Lakisha Witzel


Jennifer Chu Kaelin
(415) 476-6937