Upcoming Events

We will be hosting our Summer Institute on Earth & Space Science this July! We will be holding our Summer Institute in two sessions. Teachers are welcome to join one or both sessions! Please see this link for the flyer and registration instructions!

Welcome to the South Coast Science Project

The South Coast Science Project (SCSP) provides professional development for elementary teachers in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and surrounding counties. Due to the wide area that we serve our program is divided into two subprograms to support the needs of regional teachers and districts. The two professional development opportunities we offer are Summer Institutes and SciTrek.  Although teachers can participate in either of the subprograms, the programs are coherently designed to meet the goals of SCSP and the California Subject Matter Project.

The main goal of this website is to provide an archive of the main lesson plans and materials we present at our Summer Institutes. The website will archive at least one full lesson per grade level TK-6 for Life, Earth, and Physical Science, as well as Engineering. For additional lesson ideas, materials, pedagogy, NGSS implantation tips, and resources, we encourage teachers to attend our Summer Institutes. 


Summer Institutes

Each year SCSP hosts a week-long Summer Institute open at a local elementary scool in Santa Barbara which is open to any interested TK-6th grade teacher. The goals of the Institute are to strengthen teachers’ understanding of science content and pedagogy. During the Institute, teachers engage in NGSS aligned three-dimensional activities that can be taken back to their classroom and used with their students. After completion of the Institute, lesson sequences are posted on our website for any teacher to use. The content of the Institute is on a 6-year rotation cycle and includes the following subjects: physics, chemistry and engineering, earth science, environmental science, life science (molecules, organisms, and ecosystems), and life science (evolution and heredity).

Another key goal of the Summer Institute is to build teacher leaders. This is done by recruiting teachers that have attended at least one Summer Institute to join our teacher leadership team. This leadership team designs, tests, and presents the activities that are used for the Summer Institute.

Summer Institute Testimonials:

"The training this week was engaging, challenging, and fun! There are so many take aways that I cannot wait to apply in my classroom. I am approaching this school year significantly more confident after going through this training!" -2022

"I found my experience with SCSP, as a TK-6th grade STEAM teacher, to be very valuable. I went in feeling intimidated by the science content to leaving the institute with a greater knowledge and understanding of the Science and Engineering Practices of NGSS as well as confidence in the science content highlighted. I'm excited to be able to take this understanding into the classroom and expose the students to some very rich lessons!" -2022

Explore the rest of this website to obtain information about past and future Summer Institutes, as well as lesson plans, teacher leader information, announcements, and more. 


SciTrek is an outreach program run out of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at UCSB that focuses on allowing 2nd- 12th grade students to participate in authentic science experiences by designing, carrying out, and presenting scientific findings on a common phenomenon called modules. SciTrek brings highly-trained UCSB undergraduate and graduate students into the classroom to assist in these modules and interact with the younger students as positive role models in science. In addition, SciTrek provides an apprenticeship model of PD to teacher in the program. This allows the teacher to engage in communities of practice to learn the three-dimension teaching practices needed to support students in the classroom. Teacher then apply these skills in their classroom with a SciTrek coach to provide support and guidance. For more information on the program, how to get involved, and to get on the mailing list visit the SciTrek website.

Lesson Study

The Summer Institute Teacher Leader Team will be hosting a lesson study to improve our lessons for the upcoming Summer Institute (2024: Earth & Space Science). The lesson study will be comprised of teams of at least two teacher participants and one teacher leader. Each team will run SCSP lessons in their classrooms and meet to revise the lessons to improve student learning. For more information, reach out to us via email (scspadmin@chem.ucsb.edu).

Lesson Study Testimonials:

"Being a  part of this lesson study truly helped me grow in my science knowledge and helped me grow as an educator. It helped feel more successful in teaching science and being able to identify aspects of lessons that can be stronger. Participating in Sci Trek and this lesson study was so incredibly valuable and helped me realize that my current science curriculum is lacking in various ways and this allows me to implement and supplement in important ways!" -2022

"This lesson study was the best professional development I've had. The collaborative process in lesson planning and piloting is invaluable. The South Coast Science Project gives teachers who are interested in curriculum development and improving their teaching of NGSS an invaluable opportunity to grow." -2022

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