Urchin fertilization with the Teacher Institute

How has the Academy's Teacher Institute on Science and Sustainability affected teaching practice in the Bay Area? Read these quotes from our teacher participants to find out!


"TISS changed every aspect of my teaching for the better, and not just in science."

-Emily Dahm, 3rd, 4th & 5th grade teacher                                                        


"TISS has been a mind-blowing whirlwind that has opened my eyes and my heart to my role in change...I have to change myself first in order to show my students that they have the power to change, too."

-Jane Lee, 4th grade teacher


"Through participating in the TISS program over the last two years I have been motivated to improve my science teaching practices and re-energized as a learner to explore science content myself!"

-Malcolm Richards, 4th grade teacher


"The TISS program was one of the most rewarding and joyful professional developments I have attended. The participation in TISS expanded my existing knowledge of science and the teaching of science as I deepened my own understanding of the scientific process."

-Manuela Wolf, 5th grade teacher


"I feel like my science class is now a totally different experience than before TISS, both for my students and for me! I am so appreciative of the support and guidance from the coaches. I am so impressed with the professionalism of the program. I have recommended it to so many other teachers!"

-Sandy Barra, 4th & 5th grade teacher


"Learning about the science of sustainability gave substance and rationale to my conviction to take responsibility in the care of our planet and its resources. TISS helped open my eyes to contemplate delicate structures in living organisms, beautiful and at the same time crucial in the survival of the species. I am finding poetry in science."

-Leni Juarez, 3rd grade teacher


"The Institute has helped fuel my own excitement for learning about science. It made me curious and hungry for more, and made me realize how important that curiosity is for kids. They deserve more than I had been offering. Now I try to teach one hands-on-science lesson a week."

-Johnny Hansell, 4th grade teacher


"Science is exhilarating. Everyone deserves the experiences we had at TISS."

-Chris Linder, 4th grade teacher


"TISS has made me a more informed and enthusiastic science teacher...The teachers who participate feel they are part of the Academy which makes you feel more deeply a part of your local scientific community. TISS has been the best professional learning experience I have ever had."

-Ann Hughes, 4th grade teacher


"Being in the TISS Program made me a better science teacher. I have sharpened my knowledge about what SCIENCE really is and how valuable it is to our students in all schools and grades."

-Marseille Pope, 3rd grade teacher


"I value my fellow cohort members' opinions. We share resources. It has been an enormous support and has helped us build enduring relationships."

-Patricia Kephart, 5th & 6th grade teacher


"TISS has changed me as a teacher. I'm far more capable and confident that I will be able to lead my students through science related topics and sustain an environment that promotes higher level thinking and discussions."

-Erika Fisher, 5th grade teacher


Share This

Teacher Institute on Science and Sustainability

Each year, a cohort of 30 teachers begin this two-year professional development program for 3rd–5th grade teachers.

The Impact of TISS

Since 2009, our Teacher Institute has supported more than 200 teachers from 57 schools, reaching a cumulative 23,000 students at a minimum.