The Teacher Institute on Science and Sustainability (TISS) is a California Academy of Sciences teacher professional development program designed to provide teachers with the critical tools and knowledge to inspire the next generation to protect our most precious resource: the planet Earth.
Each year, a select group of 3rd — 5th grade teachers embarks on a two-year program to become leading educators of science and sustainability. The program includes in-depth workshops at the California Academy of Sciences — the greenest museum in the world, individual and team coaching visits at school sites, and stimulating trips to green buildings, outdoor spaces, scientific institutions, and more. Program topics include climate change, energy use, and food and water systems. Quality science teaching practices, reflective pedagogy, and teacher collaboration guide our efforts.
As the state moves toward the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards in K-12 classrooms, TISS is excited to continue to find ways to support teachers in enhancing their science teaching practices. Our program now infuses the NGSS scientific practices into all we do.
In each year of the program, our teachers participate in a 2-week summer session and around 30 hours of professional development. For more info on our program, click on 2013 Teacher Brochure under Teacher Downloads to your right.
TISS participants receive a $2000 program stipend, a free membership to the Academy, and can earn three graduate level credits per year from San Francisco State University. Teachers are supported with classroom-ready activities, a set of science notebooks for their classrooms, school site coaching, and access to Academy educational resources for the duration of the program.
TISS Teachers and Alumni are constantly amazing us with all they do!
As part of our program, teachers make videos that showcase what they have learned during the Summer Institute or what they plan to address in the upcoming school year.
In summer 2011, the teachers in the Teacher Institute on Science and Sustainability created 45-second public service announcements aimed at changing student behavior. Working in school teams, they identified a sustainability issue they plan to address with their students this coming year and brought these issues to life through simple filming and editing. Watch the public service announcements they created here.
Ben Lavender, Manager of TISS
Briana McCarthy, Teacher Educator & Instructional Coach
Emily Harris, Teacher Educator & Instructional Coach