In SEP’s classroom partnerships, UCSF volunteers partner with SFUSD teachers to co-plan and co-teach a series of science and/or health lessons in the classroom. The UCSF 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. An important feature of SEP’s classroom partnerships is that they are not single-visit “guest lectures,” rather through these programs, SFUSD students benefit from sustained contact with UCSF volunteers. SEP supports each team by providing support with lesson planning and offering hands-on science materials and kits from our Daly Ralston Resource Center.


Elementary School Programs
SEP matches UCSF volunteers with SFUSD teachers to plan and co-teach a series of lessons in kindergarten through 5th grade classrooms. Professional students from Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing and Physical Therapy Schools tend to support lessons on human body or health. Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists, and faculty generally support hands-on biological, physical, and/or earth science lessons.

New for 2023: STEM Storytime (grades K-5): 30-60 minute visitDuring this one-time interaction, UCSF volunteers read a selected STEM picture book to a classroom of students, lead a short demo or activity related to the book, and host a brief Q&A with the students. Selections of grade-level appropriate STEM picture books are made by SEP. These offerings do not require planning between teachers and scientists other than scheduling.

Middle and High School Programs
SEP matches UCSF volunteers (graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists, and faculty) with SFUSD teachers to plan and co-teach a series of investigative science lessons around biological, physical, and/or earth science topics. Generally, one teacher partners with two to three UCSF volunteers to teach a minimum of four lessons.



Our application for the 2022-2023 Classroom Partnership Program is coming soon!

We are excited to be back in person.

This experience was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences I have ever had, and I realize this is not only because of what I learned, but because of the realization that this was truly valuable to the children. Inside the classroom, I learned how to better interact with children; how to teach them in a way that is fun, stimulating, and makes them feel like real scientists.
- UCSF Volunteer

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

I had never taken part in a real lab before, like that, and I had never dreamed I would learn so much while having so much fun…I felt like a scientist!…I walked out of the classroom with a piece of my DNA in a tube, and anyone who saw it was interested in learning how I got it and all the details.
- SFUSD student