Programs For Teachers

SEP connects K-12 teachers and their students with UCSF volunteers through classroom partnerships and STEM Storytimes. SEP also offers professional development workshops for teachers.

Classroom Partnerships

In SEP’s classroom partnerships, SFUSD teachers partner with UCSF volunteers 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.
Overview of CPP timeline

Elementary School Programs

SEP matches SFUSD teachers with UCSF volunteers 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.

STEM Storytime (grades K-5): 30-60 minute visit

During 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.

STEM Storytime

Middle and High School Programs

SEP matches SFUSD teachers with UCSF volunteers (graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists, and faculty) 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 three lessons.

Professional Development

For K - 5th Grade Teachers

In June 2024, SEP will offer a 3-day summer institute focused on the Elementary Amplify Science units. Each grade-level institute will be co-taught by two teachers who have experience teaching the unit.

For High School Teachers

The paid two-week long Cellular Construction Workshop brings high school students and teachers together to learn about cellular engineering while using robots to solve challenges similar to those faced by cells. Cellular engineering applies knowledge of how cells (and systems of cells) are built, make decisions, and accomplish tasks in order to develop new cell-based technologies. Teachers experience problem-based learning modules that integrate NGSS engineering practices and life sciences curriculum and are given lesson materials to bring cellular engineering into their own classroom.

CCW Teacher

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Thank You for Supporting SEP

All of SEP’s programs are offered free-of-charge. To do this work, SEP must annually raise nearly $2 million. Every donation brings us closer to that goal and helps to make this important work possible.

Elementary School Programs

As part of UCSF, SEP is a 501(c)3 non-profit. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Please let us know if your company participates in a matching gift program so that we can extend the benefit of your generosity.