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Information for Prospective City Science Instructors

City Science is an extensive two-stage partnership between experienced UCSF scientist volunteers and master teachers from SFUSD.

I went from teaching to thinking about teaching. Thinking about what does all of science education need to do, what should science education in the U.S. look like. Currently, the emphasis is on facts. I think teaching process is way more important.

- Scientist instructor

During the first stage, partnership teams pilot a minimum of eight investigative classroom science lessons using FOSS materials in the teachers’ classrooms. The teams work to customize their lessons and supplement the FOSS kits so that they can best meet students’ learning needs. The partners then draw on this experience to plan a week-long Summer Institute for other elementary school teachers in SFUSD. During the second stage of the partnership, the scientist-teacher instructor team models exemplary practices in science teaching pedagogy integrated with adult level science content to help participants understand the science underlying the content standards.

With the goal of building teacher leadership, increasing the amount and improving the quality of elementary science teaching in SFUSD, while also developing scientists’ knowledge of and proficiency using active teaching techniques, City Science has proven to be a rewarding experience for both participants and instructors alike.  Both groups have commented on how valuable it was for them to have the opportunity to share their teaching expertise with one another.

SEP staff provide support to the Instructor Teams throughout the academic year and during the Summer Institute. This support includes two planning days (one in the Fall and one in the spring), classroom lesson visits, consultation on lesson development for the classroom and the Summer Institute, aid in securing resources, and staff on hand at all times during the Summer Institute. 

In return for their participation in the program (both during the academic year and the Summer Institute), the teacher and scientist instructors are each paid a stipend of $2000.

FOSS: Full Option Science System, published by Lawrence Hall of Science. FOSS kits are the officially adopted science instructional materials in SFUSD and were adopted in 2007.

For UCSF Scientists interested in becoming an instructor recruitment starts during the fall of each school year.  Please visit our website in the fall of 2013 for the 2013-2014 application.


Please Contact:

Lakisha Witzel


Jennifer Chu Kaelin
(415) 476-6937
(415) 502-4846 fax