• An educator points to a worksheet while standing in front of a web camera.
    Academy educators are ready to connect with your students virtually.
  • Two educators draw a leaf during a distance learning program.
    Choose a distance learning program for your San Francisco school this fall!
  • kids in the plants lab
    Your class will get an interactive science experience led by Academy educators.
  • tabling at family night
    And be sure to join us for Family Nights once the museum reopens!

Concerned about science education during COVID? We've got your class covered!

Free live online programs for San Francisco classrooms

The Rock Fund Program is open to all kindergarten - 5th grade classes from San Francisco schools, whether public, private, or parochial.

Our goal is to connect and support all students, teachers, and schools in science education in a way that students feel that science and nature are for them, and can see how science and nature are relevant to their lives and communities.

In lieu of in-person field trips during this spring semester, we have devised a menu of live online programs.

  • Read through the options below before completing the application for your free program. We will fit you into one of your top choices.
  • Do you teach a Special Day Class, Newcomer Class, or Inclusion Class? Is your class primarily taught in a language other than English or Spanish? Scroll down directly to the Individualized one-time virtual programs.
Webinars and webinar series

Each webinar is a live lesson taught by professional educators, which is broadcast to multiple classes at the same time. Some program options are a single webinar, others are a series of three weekly consecutive sessions in a month, and others involve watching pre-recorded sessions as a class before the live broadcast.

Teachers receive a web link to the unique Zoom Webinar and are provided with extension activities for before, between, or after the program.

These options also work well for classes who meet asynchronously because links to the recordings will be shared.


February 11, 2021 | Penguins: Will You Be My Valentine?

10 am PT for English-only presentation
11 am PT for Spanish-only presentation

  • Learn what goes into a day of making sure our penguin colony has all they need to live a happy life at the Academy.

February 24 or March 18, 2021 | Science Storytime: Shine and Seek
10:30am PT for English-only presentation

  • Join us for storytime as we read together 'Moonbear's Shadow' by Frank Asch to explore shadows. Then we'll use our own flashlights and toys to explore how shadows change during the day, and see if we can make some funny shadows ourselves at home!


February 3-18, 2021 | 3-part series: Life in a Museum
10 am PT on Wednesdays for English-only presentation
10 am PT on Thursdays for English-Spanish bilingual presentation

  • Looking closely at exhibits, collections, and the science behind them, students will build skills that help them collect and share information, just like our Academy scientists.

February 17 or March 25, 2021 | Live Q&A with Astronomy Experts
10:30 am PT for English-only presentation

  • After watching a recording of the ‘Motions of the Solar System’ planetarium show at a time that fits your schedule, join us for a Q&A livestream where astronomy experts answer questions submitted in advance by students around the country.

    March 10-25, 2021 | 3-part series: Coastal Redwoods
    11 am PT on Wednesdays for English-only presentation
    11 am PT on Thursdays for English-Spanish bilingual presentation

    • In a revised version of this popular series from fall 2020, we’ll unlock the secrets of how redwoods are able to live for so long and get so big!
    Individualized one-time virtual programs

    These options are prioritized for SPED/inclusion classes, newcomer classes, and/or for classes taught primarily in languages other than English or Spanish. If your class does not have one of these classifications, but you think it would be best for your students, you are still encouraged to apply and we will do our best to fit you in.

    Each program is taught by a professional educator who converses directly with your students via webcam and microphone. Students will also interact with educators through polls, chat box and hands-on activities, as age appropriate.

    Teachers may opt to join the Academy Zoom Room or our educators can join your classroom's Zoom room once you allow permission.

    GRADES K-2

    Mission to the Moon

    • Join a planetarium presenter to explore how cultures around the world observe the Moon, and take an imaginary journey to the Moon’s surface.

    Art & Science

    • Nature is a muse that inspires artists and scientists to imagine, design and create their work. Students will find their own inspiration from nature, and learn how to scientifically sketch a natural object.

    Waddle Like a Penguin

    • Discover how the unique adaptations of African Penguins help them to survive in their ocean habitat. Students will waddle and swim like a penguin while observing our live penguin colony.

    GRADES 3-5

    Exploring Collections

    • Students will explore collections while building the scientific skill of sketching.

    Mystery Skulls

    • Although skulls can't talk, they can communicate a lot! Students will become Science Detectives, seeking out clues to identify the animal skulls, and collect evidence about what adaptations help them survive in their environments.

    Recordings from Fall 2020 Webinars remain accessible at the program webpages below, if you are looking for additional content or wish to use the videos asynchronously.

    GRADES K-2

    GRADES 3-5

    A shaded path winds through trees.

    Teaching classes in person with your students? If you are interested in having Academy educators come teach in an outdoor space at or near your San Francisco school with physical distancing protocols in place, email therockprogram@calcademy.org.

      We Thank our Sponsors

      The Enhanced Museum Visits for Students Program is generously supported by the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Fund.