Skip to main content

K–12 Science Leader Network

K–12 Science Leader Network

The Exploratorium is supporting NGSS implementation across California. 

California Science Teacher Leader Institute 

Join a growing network of statewide teacher leaders working to prioritize and improve science learning across California! 

July 15–July 19, 2024 (M–F, 9:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.) 

Participation includes:

  • One-week intensive introductory institute at the Exploratorium in San Francisco
  • Stipend, lodging, and travel award  
  • Lifelong membership in a collaborative community of science teachers and leaders 
  • Additional opportunities to return to the Exploratorium for alumni workshops and institutes
  • Ongoing access to communities of practice, online workshops, listservs & more! 


Apply Now!

About the Science Leader Network

In 2016, California restored funding in the state budget for the Exploratorium’s work with science leaders statewide. This renewed role positioned the Exploratorium to leverage its unique assets to support Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) implementation across the state. Since that time, we have developed a K–12 Science Leader Network supporting over 1,100 leaders across California who, in turn, bring high-quality science professional development and advocacy to over 100,000 teachers statewide.

Professional learning in the K–12 Science Leader Network is focused on leaders actively learning through inquiry-rich activities. It begins with a multi-day core institute, followed by a series of virtual workshops, membership in online communities, and access to high-quality teaching resources.

Participants in the network: 

  • come from all regions of California.
  • 80% serve students who are marginalized or excluded from systems of privilege.  
  • serve an average of 80 students and 123 teachers in their diverse classroom and leadership roles. 
“Having been involved with the NGSS State Rollout, I feel that the Exploratorium Statewide initiative remains an active advocate for science instruction while most others have fallen below the noise level over the years. .”

—Network Participant
“The Exploratorium was the best in-person, hands-on, collaborative learning experience I've had in science. I thought I understood NGSS and all its components, but the weekend of learning taught me so much, including equity, diversity, and social justice in teaching science.”

“I turn around and apply everything I learn from the Exploratorium in our district. The Exploratorium has been my main source of professional development.”


Based on an external evaluation by Inverness Research Inc., the Exploratorium’s K–12 Science Leader Network and professional learning programs consistently earn high ratings for quality, value, improved leadership capacities, and achieving equity in the science classroom.

98% of respondents said Exploratorium leadership institutes are high in quality. 

97% of respondents said the Exploratorium leadership network has made them a better provider of professional development.

90% responded that the Exploratorium's professional learning programs encourage educators to consider equity more specifically than other professional learning programs.

Download the External Evaluation Summary Findings (PDF)

Download case studies of science leaders across California: Impact and Leader Profiles (PDF)

Additional Resources

Contact Us

Grades K–5

Institute for Inquiry

Grades 6–12

Teacher Institute