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Introducing PS3


PS3 Vision

The PS3 vision has four components:

  • building a sustainable long term teacher development model for science in the region that leads to an increase in the pool of well-prepared K-8 science teachers;

  • developing regional leadership capacity that provides and sustains high quality science teaching and learning;

  • ensuring that all children have an outstanding science program that prepares them for complex decision making, technological careers and productive citizenry; and

  • establishing science as the vehicle for underrepresented minorities and English Language Learners (ELL) to become successful students.

To meet these goals the project involves over a dozen San Jose State University engineering and education faculty, 26,000 K-8 students and 1,395 pre-service and in-service teachers. Taking a career-long view of professional development, PS3provides a continuum of learning opportunities for teachers and administrators beginning with pre-service training and new teacher induction as well as providing offerings for in-service teachers, leadership development and a masters degree program.

Professional Development Continuum to Enhance Science Teaching & Learning

Pre-Service New Teacher Induction In-Service Leadership

  • SJSU Methods class

  • Problem-based learning engineering course

  • Student teacher placement in rich science classrooms

  • Initial use curriculum training & coaching

  • District supervision & certification (BTSA)

  • Strategic planning for district-wide plans

  • Summer content & inquiry institutes

  • MS site-based programs with university partner professor & SRT


  • Certified unit trainers

  • Summer institute apprenticeships

  • Lead teacher coaching & facilitation skills

  • SJSU MA degree & internships

  • University seminars

  • District administrators symposium

PS3 grew out of the Bay Area Schools for Excellence in Education (BASEE) a project which supported elementary science for seven of the nine school districts over the past six years: Cupertino, Los Altos, Menlo Park, Mountain View-Whisman, Palo Alto, Redwood City and Santa Clara. With two new districts joining the collaborative—Newark Unified and San Mateo-Foster City—the project now works with middle schools in all nine districts plus elementary grades for the new districts.

Theory of Action

The NSF investment, in concert with local industry and school funding, will create activities that add value and contribute to multiple critical capacities of the local school districts and university; this increased capacity will in turn contribute to improved teacher knowledge and practice at both levels, K-8 and university. This improved instruction in turn will increase the degree to which students learn and appreciate science and mathematics, and raise the probability they will use their learning to choose career paths relevant to those disciplines.