Upcoming Events

We are excited to offer 2021 Summer Institute - Life Science: Evolution and Genetics Institute from August 2nd-August 6th at Monte Vista Elementary school for TK-6th Grade teachers. We hope to see you there. See flyer for details. Email questions to scspadmin@chem.ucsb.edu.

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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 K-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 weeklong summer institute training open to elementary teachers in the Santa Barbara, Ventura, and surrounding areas. An informational flyer and invitation to register are sent to teachers via e-mail through our mailing list each Spring as well to the local offices of education. These institutes are designed and presented by the co-directors working as a team with content specialists and K-12 teacher leaders. Each Summer the Institutes focuses on a specific science content area, and include:

  • strengthening the teacher's depth of understanding of the science content
  • implementing the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
  • teaching science through hands-on and inquiry-based lessons
  • incorporating language arts techniques to build science literacy among all students including ELLs
  • utilizing and providing NGSS-aligned science labs and activities for teachers to use with their students
  • collaborating with other teachers

In 2020 the content focus was Life Science Part 1: Molecules, Organisms, and Ecosystems (LS1 and LS2). It took place from August 3rd through August 8th via Zoom. In 202` the Summer Institute will be Life Science Part 2: Genetics and Heredity, and focus on LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits, and LS4: Biological Evolution Unity and Diversity. It will take place August 2nd through 6th, location TBD in Santa Barbara County. 

Another key goal of the Summer Institutes is to build teacher leaders. This leadership team is made up of approximately ten classroom teachers which meet several times each spring to develop Conceptual Flow Diagrams which guide the activities for the Summer Institute. 

Summer Institute Testimonials:

"If you can only attend one professional development program this year SCSP should be it. You will come back with ideas, lessons, and materials that you can incorporate immediately in your classroom." -2020

"Lessons are presented by teachers who are able to integrate their personal experiences in the classroom with the lessons to make more meaningful." -2020
"I think this institute had a great balance of lesson ideas, best practices, and enthusiastic/ knowledgeable science teachers. I really felt as though everyone's thoughts and contributions were listened to and valued. They had many great ideas to share, but also recognized valued contributions from other participants." -2020
"The South Coast Science Institute, not only inspires but transforms.  I left with an arsenal of tools and information to implement in my classroom as I teach science." -2020


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 UCSB chemistry department that focuses on allowing 2nd- 12th grade students to experience science first hand by designing, carrying out, and presenting scientific experiments. 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 works with classroom teachers to learn to run long-term inquiry activities. For more information on the program, how to get involved, and to get on the mailing list visit the SciTrek website.


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