Teacher Preparation > Supporting Practicing Teachers > Browse Professional Development Programs > SFSU SF-ROCKS Teacher Workshop

A part of the SERC Teacher Professional Development Program Collection

Teachers studying an outcrop during the SF-ROCKS summer workshop.
SF-ROCKS teachers examining an outcrop.
Photo courtesy of SF-ROCKS
Page prepared for SERC by Jennifer L. B. Anderson, Ph.D.

Summer Teacher Workshop for SF-ROCKS (Reaching Out to Communities and Kids with Science in San Francisco)


Program Type:
Professional Development Workshop (one week)

Program Size:
6-10 practicing teachers
Audience: 9th grade teachers



Lisa White, Ph.D.
Project Director, Principal Investigator, (Contact Info)
Department of Geosciences at San Francisco State University


Program Summary


This workshop serves as a training institute for 9th grade science teachers who are new to the SF-ROCKS program. During the workshop, geoscience faculty introduce the SF-ROCKS lesson plans and projects. Teachers learn how the SF-ROCKS program works, investigate the three main lesson units ('The Watershed', 'Rocks, Plate Tectonics, and Geologic Mapping', and 'The Rain Gauge Project'), and participate in field trips where they collect samples and learn to use the materials.


Resources about the development and design of the SF-ROCKS program are also available.

How is the program structured?

The SF-ROCKS website contains the outline and associated links for this professional development workshop. Teachers work with faculty and students throughout the week, learning about the available lesson plans and other resources that SF-ROCKS provides. Teachers also collect samples while on field trips and perform analyses in the same manner that they will have their own students perform.

The teaching materials used in this workshop are those lesson plans developed by the SF-ROCKS program. These can be found and downloaded from their lesson plans webpage.

Who is involved?

This workshop is offered by the SF-ROCKS program to train teachers in the use of SF-ROCKS lesson plans and materials. High schools that participate in the SF-ROCKS program send their 9th grade science teachers to this summer workshop to learn about the program. The workshop is only offered if there are teachers new to the SF-ROCKS program. Teachers receive a stipend for their participation in this workshop and five follow-up Saturday seminars throughout the year.

How is the program evaluated?

Further assessment of the SF-ROCKS program and how the teachers are using it in their classroom is achieved through surveys, as well as direct observation by the undergraduate student interns who work with the teachers throughout the year. Also, faculty participate in field trips with the students and teachers and so have the opportunity to interact and talk with the teachers on a regular basis.

References and Notes: