East Bay Science Project (EBSP) 2000-present
The East Bay Science Project (previously the BEST Institute) was formed in 2000 and has been continuously funded by the California Science Project (CSP). The CSP is a network of 18 regional sites that provide university-based professional development programs for K-12 teachers of science. The EBSP, in partnership with the CSP, is a provider of services to schools and districts in the east San Francisco Bay area seeking to strengthen their science programs and science instruction aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.
We have been fortunate to have been awarded over $20 million to support K-12 science education. The lead institutions for all of these grants were Cal State East Bay and the Alameda County Office of Education.
Elementary Science Partnership (ESP) 2018-2020
ESP supports preparation and continued learning in the area of science education, increases the number of credentialed principals and science certificated teachers, advances teachers as leaders and supports retention of effective principals and classroom teachers. This project serves as a developmental model that enhances the principal induction program and teacher leadership development. We are focusing on the principal as an agent of change, equipping them with the knowledge and understanding to re-envision instruction and see their role through a systems lens. Teachers in grades 3-5 were selected to be site level teacher leaders, to deepen their science content knowledge, understanding of the innovations of the NGSS, and develop new pedagogies that support diverse learners. Principals and teachers will follow a parallel path through a contextualized learning experience. This model includes intensive science and pedagogical content knowledge development, lesson study, site level practicum focused on an equity issue in science, and leadership institutes to develop a coherent vision and plan for elementary science.
Science Communities of Practice Partnership (SCOPP) 2018-2023
SCOPP is funded by the National Science Foundation Discovery Research K-12 program (DRK12) for $3.4 million. This project will study implementation of an effective professional learning model for elementary science teachers that includes teacher leaders, administrators and university educators, taking a systems approach to improving science instruction in ways that make it sustainable. The working model involves reciprocal communities of practice, which are groups of teachers, leaders and administrators that focus on practical tasks and how to achieve them in ways that involve multiple stakeholder perspectives. The project will provide evidence about the specific components of the professional development model that support sustainable improvement in science teaching, will test the ways that teacher ownership and organizational conditions mediate instructional change, and will develop four tools for facilitating the teacher learning and the accompanying capacity building. In this way, the project will produce practical knowledge and tools necessary for other school districts nationwide to create professional learning that is tailored to their contexts and builds organizational capacity, therefore supporting sustainable improvement in science teaching.
Science Partnership for Instructional Innovation (SPFII) 2015-17
SPFII was a project funded by the California Department of Education Math-Science Partnership program (2015-17) for $2 million. SPFII collaborated wih 7 school districts to transform science teaching and learning in grades 3-8. During intensive professional learning opportunties CSUEB science faculty supported teachers as they developed a deep understanding of the science described in the NGSS. Faculty and ACOE coaches modeled effective science pedagogy to provide explicit training on best practices for science teaching and learning. Intensive professional development consists of summer institutes, Saturday workshops during the school year and online modules. Participants engaged in a Cycle of Inquiry where they collaborated with teachers in their district and SPFII staff to examine their own practice as California transitioned to the NGSS. The goal of the Cycle of Inquiry is to build a strong collaborative community focused on improving instructional practices and supporting students as they engage in a NGSS classroom.
Integrated Middle School Science Partnership (IMSS) 2010-16
The IMSS Partnership was a projected funded by the National Science Foundation Math-Science Partnership for $11.9 million (2010-16). IMSS was a collaborative project between Cal State East Bay, the Alameda County Office of Education, the Santa Clara County Office of Education, local school districts and other community partners (such as the Exploratorium). We developed and studied a comprehensive teacher professional development model designed to transform science teaching and learning in underperforming middle schools serving predominately low-income, underrepresented minority students. The Partnership prepared 51 middle school science master teachers and five regional science leaders/coaches who are impacting approximately 562 teachers and 153,000 students over the life of the project. Partnering districts began to examine high quality science instruction and their preparedness to transition to the Next Generation Science Standards in both elementary and high school resulting in a coherent plan for K-12 science instruction. Some of the goals of the IMSS Partnership were to (1) increase the quality of middle school science teachers by increasing their science content knowledge and stimulating their sustained use of inquiry-based pedagogies; (2) create, assess, and refine exemplary investigative science instructional case modules; and (3) to rigorously study the impact of inquiry-based learning and teacher professional development on student achievement in middle school science.
NASA Lift Off
NASA LIFT OFF was a collaborative project between the Alameda County Office of Education, Cal State East Bay, San Jose State University and Cal Poly Pomona and was funded for $1.4 million (2009-11). Funded by NASA, the project featured NASA science and mission data and targeted high school teachers and pre-service single subject science teachers. The heart of the project was problem-based learning; a student-centered instructional strategy. The main product of the summer institute was the development of online instructional cases based on NASA content. LIFT OFF piloted at CSUEB during 2009 and expanded to San Jose State University and Cal Poly Pomona in 2010.