September 18, 2019—Berkeley, CA: The Learning Design Group at the Lawrence Hall of Science, the University of California Berkeley’s public science center, announces a collaborative project to expand access to high-quality professional learning and resources. This project serves California educators who use Amplify Science, a K–8 science curriculum designed for the Next Generation Science Standards. The Lawrence Hall of Science team collaborates with professional learning experts from WestEd—an educational nonprofit—and with three California school organizations: Lodi Unified School District, Palm Springs Unified School District, and New Heights Charter School. The team and its partners have received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Professional Learning Partnerships Initiative.
“The Lawrence Hall of Science is very excited to be part of this new initiative,” said Suzanna Loper, the Curriculum Director for the Learning Design Group. “To successfully implement the Next Generation Science Standards, districts need high-quality professional learning aligned with high-quality instructional materials. However, one-size-fits-all approaches for professional learning can’t meet the unique needs of every district.”
The partnership aims to develop a flexible suite of professional learning resources so that Amplify Science can meet the diverse needs of California districts at low cost or for free. An academy for professional learning providers will offer training opportunities and a network for professional learning focused on Amplify Science. These resources will be available for district staff, teachers, and nonprofit as well as for-profit institutions throughout California.
“This grant will allow us to collaborate with our expert partners to create new models and resources for supporting the diverse professional learning needs of science teachers in California and beyond,” said Loper.
A separate grant from the Professional Learning Partnerships Initiative was also awarded to Loyola University Chicago and to Chicago Public Schools for use with the Amplify Science materials in Illinois.