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Public Service Research Program

Photo: Environmental Education Liaisons

Science Education Outreach Program

See Sample Syllabus Below


Program Information: The Science Education Outreach Program (SEOP) is a group internship designed to engage undergraduate students in K-12 and community outreach efforts, with emphasis on sharing the excitement of learning and doing science. The program has a dual structure: 1) a seminar consisting of presentations and hands-on practice that all students jointly attend, and 2) separate sections that focus on specific topic areas and involve outreach visits to schools, outdoor or community sites. Participants should expect to spend an average of six hours per week for two units of academic credit. Some travel to neighboring communities may be required and car-pooling will be arranged; teamwork is emphasized, and individual schedules are accommodated as best as possible.  No formal training is necessary, and participants can be from any discipline or year at UC Davis. SEOP is offered annually as a two-three quarter sequence usually starting in fall. A new sequence begins spring 2012. Quarters enrolled in after the 2 unit initial one are usually taken for one unit.

Attend the weekly presentation series: This series provides participants with effective education and outreach methods and strategies that can be applied in schools or community-based education programs and settings. UC Davis faculty, graduate students, and community educators lead interactive sessions on topics such as inquiry-based learning, experiential learning, curriculum design, understanding audiences, assessment, exhibit design, and outdoor education.

Participate in one of the topic-based sections:  Each topic-based section is led by a facilitator or graduate student teaching assistant, meets independently, and has its own science or environmental content focus and target audience. Topics vary by year and have included water conservation, animal health, human health, gardens, and climate change and energy. Within these sections, students job shadow educators and apply what they have learned from the weekly seminars. Students work in teams to design and test inquiry-based science activities and implement these in schools or non-formal education programs and sites. Section meetings, team meetings, and outreach visits are established, taking into account student schedules. Requirements vary by section, but generally include a short individual paper and a team activity write-up.

Continue to participate for a second and third quarter:  SEOP continues a second quarter where students implement activities in outdoor or indoor settings. Students usually sign up for one unit and participate at their site on a weekly basis. Again team work, engagement, and reflection are emphasized. A short reflection paper is required.

Sample Syllabus

Spring 2012 is in preparation and will be similar to this syllabus from Winter Quarter 2010

Jan 8                SEOP Orientation
Rm 2363          Questioning strategies
                        Sections meetings

Jan 15              Becoming a Reflective Practitioner        
Rm 2368/72     Experiential Learning

Jan 22              Curriculum Development -Backward Design
Rm 2363          What do you want the learners to learn?

Jan 29               Understanding Audiences
Rm 2368/72     Cultural differences, different learning styles

Feb 5               Engagement vs management as a teaching strategy
Rm 2368/72     Age differences

Feb 12             Backward Design Application
Rm 2362/66     Class work session

Feb 19              Authentic Assessment
Rm 2368/72     How will students/audiences show what they have learned?

Feb 26              Effective Pedagogy in a Standards-based World
Rm 2368/72     What's a Rock Activity

Mar 5               Differences in Outreach Sites & Delivery Modes
Rm 2363          Application to different modalities and settings

Mar 12             Inspiring Children through Narrative
Rm 2368/72     Final Reflections & Transition to spring quarter

Participants will receive training and practice in:
*  Communication and presentation skills
*  Design of stimulating hands-on activities and exhibits
*  Latest teaching methods in science and other kinds of outreach
*  Strategies for working with all ages

* Attend all Friday sessions and section meetings. 
* Participate in school, fieldsite visits, and/or community outreach events. 
* Participate in developing outreach projects and write-ups.
* Write an individual 3-5 page reflection of your outreach experience.
* Carry out additional section assignments.

Directors:         Joyce Gutstein, & Martin Smith,
Time/Place:       Fridays, 1-3 pm, Academic Surge; Section & outreach times TBA
Credit:              2 units of EDU 92 or EDU 192

2009-2010 Topic Sections

WaterWays; Nature Club; There's No New Water; Climate & Energy; Curb2Creek