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Name of Collaboratory :


Bay Area Science Education Collaboratory


URL :  

Collaboratory Status :

Operational   Start Date : 2002 End Date : Info Last Updated : Wed, Dec 8 2010 1:00am PST

Primary Collaboratory Function :

  Virtual Learning Community  

Secondary Collaboratory Functions :


Domain(s) :

  HUMANITIES >Teacher Education >Elementary Teacher Education
HUMANITIES >Teaching Fields >Science Education

Brief Description of the Collaboratory :


The Bay Area Science Education Collaboratory is an online learning and teacher professional development environment for improving science education in the San Francisco Bay Area. The concept approach that was used was one of co-designing a web-based, open source educational collaboratory with and for use by a regional community of teachers, parents, science and museum educators, and students. The collaboratory has been specifically co-designed with and for use by science teachers to "bridge the gap" between museum and other informal science centers and formal science education. The Bay Area Collaboratory supports San Francisco Bay Area (as well as other California) science teachers and students, parents, museum educators, and other informal science providers by collectively helping teachers and other users easily find and aggregate the best standards-aligned, web-based learning and teaching resources from multiple Bay Area science-technology and children's museums, aquariums, zoos, and other "best of the Web" resources for use in formal science education in the classroom. The initial target audience for the Collaboratory has been San Francisco Bay Area middle grades science teachers (grades 4-8). This focus was catalyzed by extremely low levels of California student performance in science at the 5th and 8th grade levels on the National Assessment of Educational Progress in 2000.

The collaboratory has been designed as more of a "community knowledge/learning garden" than a portal. In other words, it needs to be seeded, tended and nurtured, harvested and "weeded" by a community of users in order to be healthy and to continue to serve the needs of the middle grades science teaching community.

Using the community garden metaphor, the Collaboratory consists of four major parts or components:

1. Seeds

The seeds of the Collaboratory come from multiple Bay Area science museums, zoos, aquariums, and science research centers with web resources, as well as other informal science learning centers. Each museum tends to have its own pedagogical framework, as well as a particular focus for its educational goals and programs.

2. Soil

The CA state science standards are the "soil" into which the science content "seeds" from different museums need to be planted so they can grow into learning resources teachers can harvest.

3. Harvesting Educational Fruits and Vegetables

The Collaboratory has several different kinds of resources that can be used by teachers, parents, and students depending on needs and curricular focus: Lesson and Unit Plans, Hands-on Demos and Activities, Homework, Projects, Field Trips and Virtual Tours, Assessment, and "Best of the Web" Resources.

4. Irrigation and Weeding: Nexist Wiki Topic/Subject Maps and Standards Matrix/Database


Access to Instruments :


Access to Information Resources :

  The educational information aggregated by the collaboratory is freely available from their Website.  

Access to People as Resources :


Funding Agency or Sponsor :

Hewlett Foundation
Foothill College
Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College
S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation
San Jose Unified School District

Notes on Funding Agencies/Sponsors:

Organizations with Funded Participants:
Organization name:
Approx # of participants:
Description of organization's role(s):
A Schmal Science Workshop
Founder, project director, CEO, Webmaster, usability, advisor, board member
Foothill College
   Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College
School development coach
Rockman, et cetera
Silicon Valley Education Foundation

Notes on Participants/Organizations:
The core Collaboratory team consists of Dr. Rick Berg, Eileen Clegg, Susanne Commisso, Frona Kahn, Jack Gottsman, Jack Park, and Dr. Sherman Rosenfeld. They also had consultants who were part of their design team: Alan Bernard, Bill Daul, Bob Kahn, Dr. Loretta Kelley, Dr. Valerie Landau. They also had an Educational Advisory Board consisting of 12 members: Dr. Mike Berman, Herb Kohl, Krishen Laetsch, Dr. Ida Oberman, Professor Emeritus Larry Lowery, Dr. Bonnie Marks, Steve Mayer, Judy Scotchmoor, Dr. Art Sussman, Dr. Herb and Marlene Thier, Bernie Trilling, and Professor Mattanjah de Vries. There were several participating Bay Area science-technology and children's museums, and the over 100 dedicated Bay Area science teachers who served as design partners, contributors and users.


Communications Technology Used :


Technical Capabilities :

  Key Articles :    

Project-reported performance data :

  The collaboratory has over 100 dedicated Bay Area science teachers who are have been their design partners, contributors and users.  
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