UCSF, SFUSD to Celebrate Science Partnership Today

By Jennifer O'Brien on May 25, 2005
UCSF faculty and teachers from the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) will share some of the highlights of their ongoing partnership designed to advance science education for local students. The fifth annual UCSF Science and Health Education Partnership (SEP) conference will celebrate the work of teams of San Francisco teachers and UCSF scientist volunteers in local K-12 classrooms. The conference runs from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. today (May 25) at the UCSF Millberry Union Gym, 500 Parnassus Ave. UCSF's SEP program is designed to promote partnership between scientists and San Francisco Unified School District teachers in support of high quality science education for K-12 students. This academic year, more than 80 teachers, representing 40 elementary, middle, and high schools in SFSUD, and 125 UCSF scientist volunteers co-planned and co-taught a series of at least four hands-on science and/or health lessons in the teachers' classrooms. These lessons enhanced the science curriculum and brought science alive to more than 2,000 students, actively engaging them in science learning and giving them the opportunity to build relationships with scientist role models. SEP will be celebrating and sharing all of the partners' accomplishments at the partnership conference event. Teachers and UCSF scientist volunteers will present their favorite lesson plans, examples of student work, and other outcomes from their lessons. SEP will honor exemplary partnership teams during an awards ceremony. At the conference, SEP will be recognized in turn with a resolution from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, to be presented by Supervisor Bevan Dufty. A staff member of Senator Jackie Speier's office also will be in attendance. In six elementary schools around the city, teachers and UCSF volunteers developed and taught a series of hands-on science lessons, in which English language learners did science experiments. In the course of the lessons, the students listened, discussed, read, and wrote in English to support their language development. However, because many of the scientist volunteers were fluent in the native languages of the students, they were able to support and respond to their questions - and help them to articulate both questions and responses in English. The six teams leading the program, known as Quattro, will each present posters at the conference with examples of lessons, pictures, and examples of student work. For more information about the SEP conference or the program itself, please contact Rebecca Smith, 415/514-0588 or visit the website. Source: Jennifer O'Brien