Monterey Bay Science Project

Program Website:

Contact: Director, Joyce Hill (, 831-459-4074)

Target Audience: K-12 science teachers in the Monterey Bay area (primarily Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Monterey, and San Benito counties)

Applicable to: all STEM researchers

Program Description:

The Monterey Bay Science Project (MBSP) is a collaborative program of Monterey Bay area regional schools and universities, bringing together K-12, college, and university faculty in a variety of institutes, conferences and yearlong programs. It offers professional development opportunities for teachers in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Monterey, and San Benito counties. MBSP is one of 19 California Science Project sites supported by the state of California and administered by the University of California Office of the President. MBSP is a program of UCSC's Life Lab Science Program and is housed in UCSC's Education Department.

MBSP’s main goals are:

  • to study and explore effective approaches to teaching science, within a climate that supports reflection and critique
  • to foster the development, over time, of teachers’ capability for leadership within schools and within a larger educational arena.

MBSP offers support to teachers of students in grades K-12 through a variety of events including:

  • Summer Institutes, which usually focus on curriculum based around a field trip to a local site. The workshops usually take place over five days and include 10-20 teachers.  The 2013 institute focused on implementing the Common Core math and English and Education and the Environment Initiative curriculums in science classrooms at Elkhorn Slough Estuarine Reserve.
  • Annual one-day conferences generally in the spring.

MBSP is interested in developing new activities and can offer recruitment of local teachers, course credit to teachers, and curriculum coaching and coordination by an experienced K-12 teacher (director Joyce Hill).

Because MBSP is part of UCSC, MBAMP invites UCSC researchers from all STEM departments to contribute to its activities.  

Number of Teachers Served Annually: 6-20 teachers at summer institutes

How Researchers Can Contribute:

  • Discuss your research in a seminar (~ 1 hour) at a Summer Institute workshop or conference.  This seminar should use language suitable for a general public audience.  At most events, teacher participants will then discuss how to apply the knowledge they gained with their students. 
  • Serve as an expert consultant to teachers at MBSP events.
  • Provide a research experience for local science teachers in your lab.  MBSP can recruit and screen teachers, and the teachers can serve as teacher-leaders for later MBSP events.
  • Contract with MBSP for MBSP to develop K-12 curriculum based on your research.
  • Help lead and support a new one-day conference, week-long Summer Institute workshop, or other program.  A new Summer Institute may use the academy model, where teachers teach students in the morning and plan, analyze, and discuss their teaching in groups in the afternoon.  MBSP is also interested in developing a program similar to its previous NSF-funded Language Arts in Science Education at Rural Schools (LASERS) program (1995-2001), which included a six-week summer school in which teacher-leaders worked with migrant students to model how science can be used as a way to develop academic English.