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SF Bay IMSS Profile

SF Bay Integrated Middle School Science Project (IMSS)


The San Francisco Bay Integrated Middle School Science Project (IMSS) Targeted Math-Science Partnership is a partnership - between California State University, East Bay (CSUEB), the East Bay Science Project, the Alameda County Office of Education, the Santa Clara County Office of Education, the Contra Costa County Office of Education, and local school districts - that is developing and studying a comprehensive teacher professional development model designed to transform science teaching and learning in underperforming middle schools serving predominately low-income, underrepresented minority students.

Grounded in an extensive body of research and evidence based best practices, the IMSS is engaging students and teachers in authentic discovery as active members of a science professional learning community with federal research laboratory and industry scientists, disciplinary faculty and educational specialists. The project is preparing fifty-one middle school science master teachers and three regional science leaders/coaches who are impacting approximately 432 teachers and 69,000 students over the life of the project. In addition, thirty-six district and site administrators are participating in the professional development activities and are providing the master teachers with release time and other resources to support the project goals. The preservice program at CSUEB is being modified to include additional science content knowledge and preparation on the use of inquiry-based learning in middle school science courses. Four new science courses are begin added to the preservice program and the program is being aligned with the new California Foundational Level General Science Credential.

The IMSS project expects the following outcomes: 1) To increase the quality of middle school science teachers by increasing their science content knowledge and stimulating their sustained use of inquiry-based pedagogies. 2) To create, assess, and refine exemplary investigative science instructional case modules and to distribute these modules through an online professional development community maintained in MERLOT and the NSF-funded National Science Digital Library. The instructional case modules are being developed in the context of disciplinary research being conducted by disciplinary faculty and scientists at federal and industrial research laboratories. 3) To have statistically significant gains in middle school students' science achievement as measured by the California Standards Test (CST). 4) To develop leadership models and infrastructure that lead to sustained institutional change in all core partners in the project. 5) To recruit and prepare forty-two middle school science teachers from underrepresented groups. 6) To rigorously study the impact of inquiry-based learning and teacher professional development on student achievement in middle school science.