Planning these lessons also helped reinvigorate my own teaching practices...I'm not sure who benefited more: myself or my students. Either way, this whole experience has been one I am very thankful to have had and I look forward to being a part of SEP programs in the future.
- SFUSD teacher
The teams meet for the first time at the Bio&ChemTeach orientation (usually in January) where we describe the program’s expectations, share tips for a successful partnership, and provide time for teams to schedule lessons and begin planning. Between January and April, each team co-plans and co-teaches a minimum of four lessons to two of your teacher partner’s class periods. The estimated time commitment is 20 hours total (including the planning meetings and classroom time).
Teachers and volunteers are partnered on the basis of school site characteristics, volunteer backgrounds and language proficiencies, and scheduling constraints. UCSF volunteers are a diverse group consisting of faculty, research assistants, graduate students (in basic sciences or health professional schools) and postdoctoral fellows. Your scientist partners will have a strong general science background as well as detailed expertise in a particular field of science. In addition, they will have first-hand experience with science process skills and investigative approaches to science, therefore making them an excellent resource for planning hands-on lessons.
Teachers who participate in a Bio&ChemTeach partnership are mentors to the scientist volunteers, providing guidance about many aspects of teaching, such as the age-appropriateness and accessibility of the lessons, strategies to engage students, as well as classroom and materials management. After a lesson, teachers can provide constructive feedback and help facilitate reflection about the teaching.
Bio&ChemTeach has proven to be a rewarding experience for teachers and their students. Past teacher participants report that they have improved their ability to plan hands-on science lessons (83%) and that they have deepened their understanding of science concepts (89%); that during Bio&ChemTeach lessons, their students have the opportunity to talk about their own scientific ideas (89%), and that their students began to see themselves as scientists (83%). Teachers also report that as a result of their participation in this partnership program, they are more likely to use hands-on science activities in their teaching (86%).
I’m interested – how do I sign up?
- Applications for Teachers interested in Bio&ChemTeach partnerships are available each fall. The application process for the 2012-2013 school year is now closed.