History of the San Francisco Collaborative

The SF Science Collaborative was started by the SF Ed Fund back in 2006. This group of science informal educational organizations and San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) joined to form the collaborative because they all served San Francisco Unified students, teachers, and families. This large group of over 30 organizations met on a monthly basis to keep each other informed, to collaborate, and to plan how to better serve the underserved students and families of SFUSD. Several meetings that year consisted of discussions about the participation levels of schools/teachers across the district and mapped this information. Some Collaborative members worked to connect the California Science Standards to field trips and activities offered by organizations in the Collaborative. Other members began discussing best practices and sharing these. We also looked at the feasibility of large scale teacher/principal events.

By 2007-2008, this group was no longer supported by the SF Ed Fund and collaborative members Jessica Neely (KQED QUEST) and Helena Carmena (Cal Academy of Sciences) worked to sustain the group. Committees continued to meet and the way in which organizations presented Science Standards to teachers was examined more closely. We represented ourselves with a table at Presidio Teachers’ Night and had a raffle of items donated by SFSC organizations; began discussion of a web site as a one- stop shop for learning about and planning science- related trip. Other committees continued to meet.

2008-2009: The Collaborative continued with committee meetings and a leadership team was assembled to try and do the larger planning for the collaborative and to communicate with the complete membership; Elementary Family Science Night was planned and held at Flynn Elementary School. With over 100 students and family members attending it was considered a success.

2009 -2010: We met to discuss and plan Middle School Science Night and this was planned and held at James Denman Middle School. After the Science Night, the San Francisco Science Collaborative went into a period of dormancy.

Nik Kaestner, Director of Sustainability at SFUSD, convened many past SF Collaborative members and new community organizations to join the Ecoliteracy Group (sustainability and environmental education groups that serve San Francisco Unified School District). This committee had many of the similar goals as the SF Collaborative including aligning programs to the standards and dealing with transportation issues.

In Fall, 2010, science leads at SFUSD wanted to bring the SF Collaborative back together and it was decided to combine the two groups.
The two groups came together to form one group to consolidate our efforts.