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Center for Mathematics and Science Education WebsiteExcellence in Science Instruction (eSCI)
Sacramento State 

eSCI- Excellence in Science Instruction

Excellence in Science Instruction (eSCI) is a collaboration between the Elk Grove Unified School District and the Sacramento Area Science Project, funded through a California Mathematics and Science Partnership grant (Cohort 5), to provide a cohesive set of professional development services designed to improve science instruction in grades 3-5. One hundred teachers in grades 3-5 received professional development over three school years (2008-2011) impacting roughly 6,900 students.

Project Goals

1. Improve science instruction by enhancing teachers content knowledge and pedagogical repertoire.
2. Engage teachers in the lesson study process to reflect on practice, work collaboratively in site-based teams, review CST data, develop science lessons that are aligned with California Content Standards and SBE-adopted curriculum materials, and apply formative student assessments.


Each program year, the Sacramento Area Science Project will provide 60-hours of intensive professional development through summer and winter institutes, and 24-hours of facilitated lesson study during the school year.

Evaluation and Research

Teacher teams were randomly assigned to either treatment (receiving professional development) or control groups. An independent evaluation of the eSCI program will be conducted utilizing a longitudinal experimental design where the students of treatment and control teachers will be followed from the 3rd to the 5th grade. The program impact will be measured using CST scores for the 5th grade science test, and science content assessments for 3rd and 4th grade designed for the project.

Four outcomes will be studied using six measurement instruments. Teacher content knowledge, classroom practice, student achievement, and institutional change and sustainability will be measured using science content assessments, concept inventories, teacher surveys, classroom observations, program observations and CST scores for the 5th grade.


Tammy Null, Project Director, Elk Grove Unified School District, (916) 686-7757, TNull@egusd.net


California State University, Sacramento Mathematics Project (CSUSMP) Website  Sacramento Area Science Project (SASP) Website  Excellence in Science Instruction (eSCI) Webpage  Innovations in Science Instruction Through Modeling (ISIM) Webpage  Science in the River City (SIRC) Webpage  California Science Teachers Association Webpage