Site Details

South Coast Science Project
Mandi de Witte
Project Co-Director
Phone:  805-893-5512
Fax:  805-893-4120
Darby Feldwinn, Ph.D., Co-Director
Phone:  805-893-2127


Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of California, Santa Babara
Santa Barbara, CA 90106-9510
Phone:   805-893-5512

University Affiliation

UC Santa Barbara

About The Site:

The South Coast Science Project provides professional development for elementary teachers in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.  Our program works primarily with schools that serve large numbers (50-90%) underrepresented minorities, ELLs, and economically disadvantaged students. Due to the wide area that we serve our program is divided into three subprograms to support the needs of regional teachers and districts.  The three professional development opportunities are Summer Institutes, SciTrek, and the 5th Grade Outreach program.  Although teachers can participate in all or any number of the three subprograms, the programs are coherently designed to meet the goals of SCSP, CSMP, and NCLB.  

This year we will offer two one-week Summer Institutes, one in Carpinteria in August, that will bring in teachers from the Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and one in Ventura, that will have teachers from the Ventura MSAP program.  The Carpinteria institute will focus on physical science disciplinary core idea PS2 (motion and stability: forces and interactions) for teachers of grade levels K-6.  The Ventura Institute will focus on integrating scientific practices into lessons and will include a variety of activities from all areas of science.  This institute will be attended by teachers in grade levels K-5.  In addition to science content, both institutes will provide strategies to incorporate scientific practices into activities along with language arts techniques to build science literacy among all students including ELLs. 

Another key goal of the Summer Institutes is to build teacher leaders.  The teacher leadership team is made up of approximately eight teacher leaders and three supporting teacher leaders.  The leadership team will hold several one hour meeting in the spring to develop a Conceptual Flow Diagram which will guide the activities for the institute.  In addition they will attend a two day leadership training workshop in July. 

Outreach Programs

5th Grade Chemistry


Our Fifth Grade Chemistry Outreach Program is a partnership between local elementary students and teachers and UCSB students and faculty. To improve educational opportunities for K-12 students, we have developed a program that brings fifth grade students to the chemistry lab at UCSB every Thursday morning to participate in hands-on standards-based physical science activities. The program is designed to nourish their natural curiosity in science and to stimulate an interest in pursuing a higher education in science. In addition, UCSB students are given the opportunity to share their love of science with elementary students and to consider a career path as a science educator. For more information on the program including a schedule and how to get on the mailing list go to:



K-12 Scitrek


SciTrek is an outreach program run out of the chemistry department that focuses on allowing 2nd-5th grade students to experience science first hand by designing, carrying out, and presenting scientific experiments. SciTrek allows UCSB undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to volunteer within the program. For more information on the program, how to get involved, and to get on the mailing list go to:


Highly amplified magnetic resonance instrument to probe molecular interfaces and local structures around defects.


Scitrek volunteers performing chemistry outreach


K-12 Lesson Plans


A database is available to provide teachers a resource to efficiently locate effective science activities that suits their needs.  Science lesion plans instill an appreciation for the excitement and creativity of science in K-12 students.  Teachers can download  lesson plans and share plans that they have developed. To login and access lesson plans go to:

Upcoming Programs

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