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Early Career Science Teacher Program

Early Career Science Teacher Program

We are pleased to announce the launch of our Early Career Science Teacher (ECT) Program. This two-year program is specifically designed for San Francisco Bay Area secondary science teachers (grades 6–12) who have already completed 2–3 full years of classroom teaching and are seeking ways to deepen their expertise in phenomenon-based teaching, pedagogical practices, student engagement, and classroom equity. We recognize that this is a critical point in teachers’ careers, when teachers are poised to embody their visions of excellent classroom practice, but state and site-funded support often wanes. We are seeking teachers who believe in and are committed to science learning for all students.

Goals of Our Early Career Science Teacher Program

  • Create a classroom community and culture of doing science in which students see themselves as valued contributors.
  • Design sequences of learning experiences and facilitate equitable discourse that promote student sense-making.
  • Use students’ ideas to drive and adapt instruction. Anchor instruction in natural and puzzling phenomena that are relevant to students.
  • Anchor instruction in natural and puzzling phenomena that are relevant to students.
  • Provide a bridge to leadership for those interested in pursuing teacher leadership roles.


Benefits of Our Early Career Science Teacher Program

As participants in our ECT program, teachers:

  • Will attend our immersive three-week Summer Institute for Teachers led by Exploratorium staff scientists and educators, and deepen their teaching repertoire using a Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) approach.
  • Will choose Saturday workshops in their content area where they will learn to plan and teach phenomena-based lessons and units for their classrooms.
  • Will work in community groups with other teachers in their grade level and content areas and with experienced science teachers selected for their classroom and pedagogical expertise.
  • Will take part in specially designed ECT workshops where they will experience, analyze, and practice rich pedagogical strategies.
  • May choose to work one-on-one with a coach specifically matched to help them achieve their teaching goals.
  • Will explore ways to implement equitable and anti-racist science pedagogy and to develop as a justice-centered educator.
  • Will become a lifetime member of the Teacher Institute’s long-standing community of science teaching and learning.
  • Will receive stipends and opportunities to obtain graduate level continuation units for all their participation in workshops, meetings, and the Summer Institute for Teachers.


Applying to the Program

To apply, please complete the application for our Summer Institute for Teachers. Applications are open from January to March each year. Please indicate your interest in the Early Career Teacher Program on your application.

Teachers who are accepted to the program will begin with the three-week Summer Institute for Teachers. Applicants must be current in-classroom science teachers for grades 6–12 and should have 2–3 years of experience teaching science in a classroom. Participants will receive a $2,500 stipend for their participation in the Summer Institute for Teachers, as well as ongoing stipend support for their participation in the program during the following two Academic Years. (The Exploratorium Teacher Institute regularly communicates with local school districts; should there be a conflict with the Summer Institute dates due to professional development, planning or teaching dates/events already scheduled in your district or school, please reach out to us at

The Teacher Institute is committed to building and supporting a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community. Educators of color and educators working in public schools, especially Title I schools, are encouraged to apply.


About the Teacher Institute

The Early Career Science Teacher Program Is part of the Exploratorium’s Teacher Institute. Founded in 1984 by a group of physics teachers and museum scientists, the Teacher Institute has provided thousands of secondary science teachers professional development through our Summer Institutes, Saturday workshops, conferences, and other teaching and learning programs.

The Teacher Institute's mission is to create and support a collaborative community of teachers, at all levels of their careers, through professional development that joyfully emphasizes the teaching and learning of science as a process for understanding the world around us.

We believe that:

  • Learning is joyful.
  • We learn science by doing science.
  • All of us are both teachers and learners.
  • Science classrooms should be anti-racist and equitable spaces.

The Teacher Institute is committed to building and supporting a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community. We are committed to prioritizing teachers of color and teachers who work with students from underserved communities.

Please email if you have any questions.