Science Education

One of my deepest passions is science education. Since coming to CSUEB, the majority of my professional activity has been in science education. My focus has been predominantly on teacher professional development programs and other services to help improve science instruction in K-12 classrooms. The most rewarding part of this work is collaborating with K-12 teachers from whom I have learned a great deal. More recently, I have become interested in higher education instructional practices and the scientific misconceptions that we all hold. Some of the projects that I have been involved in are listed below.

The Science Partnership of the East Bay is a collaborative project between CSUEB, the Alameda County Office of Education and local school districts. Since 2009, we have been awarded over $17 million from government agencies including the National Science Foundation and NASA toprovide professional development for K-12 teachers and other support programs for partner districts and schools.


East Bay Science Project
I started the East Bay Science Project (previously the BEST Institute) in 2000 and served as its Director from 2000-08. Currently I am the Principal Investigator and Faculty Advisor for the EBSP. The EBSP is a collaborative project with the ACOE. The East Bay Science Project (EBSP) is primarily 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 consistent with adopted science content standards.

Science Partnership for Instructional Innovation (SPFII)
SPFII is a professional development partnership working together to transform science teaching and learning in grades 3-8. During intensive professional learning opportunties CSUEB science faculty will support teachers as they develop a deep understanding of the science described in the NGSS. Faculty and SPFII coaches model effective science pedagogy and 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 will be engage in a Cycle of Inquiry where they will collaborate with teachers in their district and SPFII staff to examine their own practice as California transitions 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. I am the Principal Investigator for this grant and SPFII is funded by the California Department of Education Math-Science Partnership for $3 million for 3 years (2015-2018).

Integrated Middle School Partnership (IMSS)
The IMSS Partnership is a collaborative project between CSUEB, the Alameda County Office of Education, the Santa Clara County Office of Education, local school districts and other community partners (such as the Exploratorium). This Partnership is developing and studying 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 is preparing fifty-one middle school science master teachers and five regional science leaders/coaches who are impacting approximately 432 teachers and 69,000 students over the life of the project. Some of the goals of the IMSS Partnership are 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. I am the Principal Investigator for this grant and the IMSS Partnership is funded by the National Science Foundation Math-Science Partnership for $11.9 million for 5 years (2010-2015).

NASA LIFT OFF is a collaborative project between the Alameda County Office of Education, Cal State East Bay, San Jose State University and Cal Poly Pomona. Funded by NASA, the project features NASA science and mission data and targets high school teachers and pre-service single subject science teachers. The heart of the project is problem based learning; a student-centered instructional strategy. The main product of the summer institute will be the development of online instructional cases based on NASA content; an example is available here. LIFT OFF piloted at CSUEB during 2009 and expanded to SJSU and Pomona in 2010. I was a Co-Investigator for this grant and the project is funded for ~$1.4 million for 2 years (2009-2011).