Course Description

Certified elementary teachers will participate in activities to help them learn earth science as well as gain a deeper appreciation of the scientific practices and cross-cutting ideas as laid out by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In addition, teachers will work through activities that they can take back and use with their students in their classroom. All activities will be aligned with NGSS disciplinary core ideas ESS1 (Earth’s Place in the Universe) and ESS2 (Earth Systems). 

Course Outline

Summer Science Institute, July 29 – August 2, 2019

Day 1: Overview of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Day 1-4: ESS3 (Earth and Human Activity) including grade-level specific activities for Kindergarten, 3rd, 5th, and 6th. The topics covered include natural resources, natural disasters, pollution, and global warming.

Day 4–5: Environmental Principals and Concepts (EP&C) including grade-level specific activities for 1st, 2nd, and 4th. Each EP&C activity is also aligned with a science Disciplinary Core Idea from either Life, Earth, or Physical Science.


Learner Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course students will:

  • Know how to use conceptual flow planning to design/organize a unit. 
  • Gain a better understanding about when earth science is taught in K-6 classrooms.
  • Increase their understanding of earth science.
  • Be more comfortable running inquiry activities in the classroom.

All of the activities will be facilitated by Darby Feldwinn or a teacher leader. Teachers will carry out activities in small groups. Once the activity is completed teachers will reflect on the activity as well as work with content experts to clarify content misconceptions.


Multiple subject teaching credential.


No text is required. All activities and handouts will be found on the South Coast Science Project Website (http://www.chem.ucsb.edu/scsp/home), SciTrek Website (http://www.chem.ucsb.edu/scitrek/), or on a google document that will be set up for the class.

The institute is a collaborative professional development opportunity funded by the South Coast Science Project (SCSP) one of the California Subject Matter Projects.

Institute Planning Team: Amanda de Witte (CUSD) and Dr. Darby Feldwinn (UCSB)

Contact Person: Darby Feldwinn - Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of California

Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9510

Phone: 805 893-2127; Email:feldwinn@chem.ucsb.edu



Classes are offered according to the schedule on the respective Certificate or Program Page. Please click on the Request Information below to be promptly notified when enrollment opens.