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Scientist Teaching Workshops

The Scientist Teaching Workshops are a series of three, three-hour, interactive sessions designed to equip SEP volunteers with the knowledge, skills and tools to reach students with a variety of learning styles and needs.

The Teaching Workshops really got me in the mind-set of how to be a teacher and taught me the basics. These are all things that I have been exposed to as a student myself, and this class brought back all those lessons that I learned and made me think about applying it to students myself.

- UCSF volunteer

I understand that science teaching isn't about me feeding information to the kids with maybe a fun experiment thrown in. It's about creating an environment for them to discover science and teach themselves.

- Teaching workshop participant


Begun in 1996, this series covers such topics as: inquiry-based science teaching, classroom and materials management, student assessment, equitable teaching strategies, cognitive development, lesson planning, and language development - all through hands-on, interactive science activities.

The workshops are open to anyone from UCSF who is interested in working with SEP and its various programs supporting K-12 science education, and are required for City Science and Pathways program volunteers.

The goal of the Teaching Workshop series is to provide UCSF volunteers with teaching strategies that will enable them to:

  • Create inquiry-based science lessons that are age appropriate,
  • Engage all students in science learning,
  • Get to know learners through ongoing assessment,
  • Design effective and successful lessons, and
  • Acknowledge and use the expertise of their teacher partner in areas such as student discipline and cognitive development.


Outcomes from the Scientist Teaching Workshops include participants gaining a new appreciation for inquiry-based teaching (100% strongly agree/agree), learning how to ask questions that generate students’ critical thinking and learning. (96%), and being better able to design lesson plans that meet/are informed by learning objectives (100%). 100 percent of participants strongly agreed/agreed that, as a result of their participation, they have a broad awareness of the range of learning styles and needs in a science classroom. In contrast, only 52% strongly agreed/agreed that they had this awareness before participation.

Participants see the Teaching Workshops as highly relevant both for their partnership lessons and future career:

  • 100 percent strongly agree/agree that the content of the workshops are relevant to K-12 teaching.
  • 100 percent strongly agree/agree that the content of the workshops is relevant to his/her future teaching career.

I'm interested - how do I sign up?

Scientist volunteers submit their application to the Teaching Workshops series along with their partnership program application. The next recruitment cycle starts in the fall of 2015.

If you'd like to be informed of applications e-mail to have your name and e-mail address added to our contact list.

Not in a partnership, but still want to sign up to take the Scientist Teaching Workshops?

Please email Sabine Jeske.

What other support does SEP offer?

The Daly Ralston Resource Center, is a lending library of more than 3,000 materials that support hands-on health and science lessons. As a UCSF volunteer working with SEP, you are eligible to borrow any of the items in the Resource Center collections, including human organ specimens, models, charts, classroom equipment such as thermometers, dissecting tools, beakers, as well as books, microscopes and lesson kits. In addition, there is always an SEP staff member available during open Resource Center hours to assist you in your lesson planning. Finally, our online database of science and health lessons, SEPLessons provides detailed lesson plans for a number of lessons developed by SEP partnership teams. These high quality lessons may be used as a starting place for your team’s planning.