Virtual STEM Opportunities for SFUSD K-12 Classrooms

SEP is offering two types of virtual STEM programming

for K-12 classrooms during the spring of 2021.

Virtual Classroom Partnership Program

Virtual classroom-based partnerships will bring together UCSF volunteers and SFUSD teachers for a series of three virtual visits. UCSF’s scientist volunteers are a diverse group, including graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists, and students in the professional schools of medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, physical therapy, and nursing.

One-Visit Virtual Offerings

*New* one-visit virtual opportunities. These offerings will match K-12 teachers and students with a one-time interaction with UCSF volunteers, who will work with SEP staff to create age-appropriate programming for students. 

One-Visit Virtual Offerings

 K-12 teachers and their students will be matched with UCSF volunteers for a one-time interaction.  UCSF volunteers will work with SEP staff to create age-appropriate programming for students. These offerings require a minimal time commitment, ouside of the virtual visit, between teachers and UCSF volunteers for scheduling.

STEM Storytime (grades K-5): 30 minute  session

UCSF volunteers will read a selected STEM picture book to a classroom of students, lead a short demo or activity related to the book, and then host a brief Q&A with the students. Selections of grade-level appropriate STEM picture books will be made by SEP.

Lab Tour and Q&A Session (grades 6-12): 30-45 minute session

UCSF volunteers will give a tour of their lab or facility, with age appropriate explanations and possible demos of lab techniques or equipment used in the lab.  The tour will be either pre-recorded or live. After the tour, the volunteers will engage students in a Q&A session about the work they do in the lab, their career path, etc.

Career Talk (grades 6-12): 30-45 minute session

UCSF volunteers will give a brief interactive talk about their background, academic  path and current research/studies. SEP staff will work with UCSF volunteers as they prepare their presentation, aiming to ensure that the language and scientific concepts are accessible to 6-8th grade students and that the relevancy of their work is brought to the foreground. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session with the students.

Virtual Partnership Program

A series of 3 virtual classroom visits:  30 – 45 minutes each

K-12 teachers and their students will be matched with a team of two UCSF volunteers for three virtual visits over the course of the spring semester. The series of visits is designed for students to get to know UCSF volunteers (biomedical graduate students or medical/pharmacy/dental students), what they do, and why and how they got into their profession. Each session will be interactive with time for students to ask questions.

Participating in SEP is the one of the highlights of my school year. Collaborating with the UCSF scientists is an invaluable experience. Their knowledge, passion for science and research and availability of resources are the biggest reasons I participate in SEP. SEP is such a wonderful program for the teachers and students within SFUSD. I truly value this program and am very proud that I can share my experiences with my school.

– SFUSD teacher

How it works:

Visit #1: Meet the UCSF Volunteers!
UCSF volunteers share about themselves, their backgrounds, their personal and professional interests, and their paths into science or medicine.

Visit #2: Learn about the work of UCSF volunteers!
UCSF volunteers will offer students a glimpse into what they do at UCSF day to day, sharing about their studies and/or research and why they are passionate about what they do. This may include a virtual lab tour and and other facilities on the UCSF campus.

Visit #3: Let’s do some science together!
UCSF volunteers will lead a science or health demonstration or activity that students can do at home using either readily available or no additional materials. The activity will either be related to the scientists’ area of research or be a fun, age-appropriate activity.

Time Commitment: 

  • 1-hour virtual planning meeting between teacher and scientists in February. Teachers share about the interests and knowledge & skills of their students and, as a team, decide on a hands-on activity to do in visit #3.
  • UCSF volunteers matched with middle and high school classrooms may be asked to give each lesson twice (to different class periods)

As a future pharmacist, I am glad I had the chance to work with such a diverse group of children and learn how to present information in a way that is easily understood by everyone.

– UCSF Pharmacy Student


Our application for the 2021 virtual STEM programming is available now!

Click the button below to request an application

Deadline to apply is Monday, January 25th