What began as a University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) scientist finding ways to share resources with the public schools has grown into an interconnected series of supports for San Francisco teachers from the Science and Health Education Partnership (SEP) at UCSF. This case study describes how SEP brings together scientists who are interested in giving back to the community and igniting passion for science in young people with teachers seeking to improve the quality and quantity of their science teaching. These supports are especially important in the current high-stakes testing climate that prioritizes language arts and mathematics over science and other content areas.
We begin by describing the history of SEP and the programs SEP offers elementary teachers and the scientists who work with them. Then we describe one of these programs, Scientist Teacher Action Teams (STAT), in detail. This is followed by an examination of the benefits to teachers, students, and scientists from participation in STAT. We end by reviewing supports and challenges that SEP faces.