Supporting Teachers With Field Trips, Classroom Workshops, and More!

September 21, 2023

Picture a school gymnasium, except instead of kids playing dodgeball, it’s filled with the sights and sounds of discovery. The gym is transformed into a miniature science center! Students excitedly flit from one exhibit station to the next, observing and experimenting with physical forces like magnetism and electricity. This is a Phenomenal Physics science festival, just one of the many programs we offer to support teachers and provide hands-on science fun to students both at The Lawrence and in schools and community centers across the Bay Area. 

“We provide all of the materials to create a unique experience that students can carry with them throughout their educational journey.”

Ime Edokpayi, Associate Director of Community Engagement

Oohs and ahhs ring out as kids are wowed by the astounding experiments featured in our science shows and festivals. These programs offer an excellent opportunity for large numbers of students to simultaneously discover the wonders of physics, solve an environmental mystery, or explore several other science topics. Students follow their curiosity and explore our science festivals at their own pace, while science shows astonish with an interactive science presentation. The Lawrence On-The-Go vans deliver everything needed to dazzle and engage students from TK early learners to 8th graders.

“We had a fantastic experience with The Lawrence and are hoping to have them back at some point,” said one teacher after booking Build, Engineer, Invent! “Students loved the festival! Their interest was sustained, and it was a great exploration of a different type of thinking.”

The squish and squelch of slime fills a classroom as students experiment with the oozy concoction. For the first time since before the COVID pandemic, The Lawrence is delivering in-depth workshops to individual classrooms. Workshops cover subjects ranging from circuitry to hydraulics or even squid dissection. Our classroom workshops, like the rest of our school programs, are designed by our expert educators to align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

“Workshops offer a much deeper dive into content than what’s possible in a festival or science show, and we’re able to work with students on a more personal basis,” said Ime Edokpayi, Associate Director of Community Engagement at The Lawrence. “We provide all of the materials to create a unique experience that students can carry with them throughout their educational journey.”

The Lawrence also offers traditional field trips, allowing students to get out of the classroom and interact with our exhibits and activities. After the obligatory visit with Pheena the Fin Whale and the DNA sculpture on our plaza, pupils can head inside to explore the math and science of music with a twang in Making Music, solve problems with biotechnology in Hands-on Biotech, or engineer their own structures and devices in Design Quest. For the whole science center experience, teachers can even add a 3D film or Planetarium show to their field trip.

A Lawrence expert leading a professional learning experience for teachers
An expert from The Lawrence leads a professional learning experience for teachers.

Our support for educators goes far beyond field trips and school programs. The Center for K-12 Science at The Lawrence is dedicated to crafting lasting transformations in K-12 education systems, like districts and schools. We collaborate with teacher leaders, school leaders, districts, and community members to develop equity-driven practices that improve outcomes and make science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) accessible to all. The Lawrence offers customized leader support, consultation, and professional learning on how to support equity-driven STEM education in schools, such as increasing effective instructional practices in the classrooms for all students, facilitating networks of K-12 leaders, and supporting successful implementation of standards-aligned science instructional materials.  

“[The Center for K-12 Science] has been invaluable in increasing our understanding and developing our capacity, as well as creating connections with other districts,” said one district administrator. “It has been amazing in supporting our science vision, staff development, and now environmental literacy.”

Supporting K-12 schools and districts that nurture teachers and science programs that engage students is a large part of our mission to inspire and engage through science discovery in ways that advance equity and opportunity. Our NGSS-aligned school programs provide exciting new ways for pupils to explore and get in touch with their inner scientists, and our partnerships support leaders and lift up teachers to make lasting change in districts across the country. Next time your young scientist comes home raving about the cool scientist who visited their school or an exciting hands-on science activity they did in the classroom, ask them if they came from The Lawrence!

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