teachers on the roof

Since the Academy began the TISS program in 2009, we have supported:

  • 207 teachers
  • 57 schools
  • 9 local districts, as well as several charter and independent schools.

We estimate the cumulative impact of this kind of teacher support since 2009 has reached over 23,000* students with improved science education.



Click on the markers on the map to see school names and a sampling of teacher testimonials. Use your mouse to zoom in and out on the map.

Report from our Evaluators


Since 2012, a team of researchers from SRI International’s Center for Technology in Learning has served as developmental evaluators to the TISS program, studying teacher experiences in the program and their subsequent impacts on science teaching identity, confidence, competence, reflection, and collaboration. What follows is a summary of findings on TISS’s impacts on its teacher participants.

Case Study: "Maxwell Elementary"

Indira and Ilana

Maxwell Elementary School began participating in TISS in 2011, with a small group of teachers in Cohort 3, and has sent teachers to TISS in each subsequent year through Cohort 6. During the 2015-2016 school year, SRI International conducted interviews with the teachers at Maxwell to better understand individual growth by TISS participants, in addition to collective change at the school. (Please note – “Maxwell Elementary” is a pseudonym to protect the anonymity of the actual school studied.)

Case Study: "Posey Elementary"

Teachers planning

In 2010, Posey Elementary School began sending teachers to participate in TISS. Since then, four pairs of teachers have completed the two-year program, each in separate cohorts. This case study aims to parse out the impacts TISS has had on Posey, both its teacher participants and the school as a whole. (Please note – “Posey Elementary” is a pseudonym to protect the anonymity of the actual school studied.)

Research in the Classroom

Molly and Nick

From 2013-2015, the Academy's Teacher Institute partnered with Stanford's SCALE program and SRI International to complete a Discovery Research K-12 project sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

*These estimates are based on the following assumptions, grounded in an external evaluation completed by Rockman et al in 2014:

  • 35% of TISS teachers teach K-3rd grade and 65% teach 4th-7th grade
  • K-3rd class size averages 20 students
  • 4th-7th class size averages 34 students

Additionally, the estimates assume:

  • Most teachers have continued to teach in their grade band since participating in the program
  • Attrition from teaching is equal to or less than 2 teachers per cohort per year

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Teacher Institute on Science and Sustainability

Each year, a cohort of 30 teachers begin this two-year professional development program for 3rd–5th grade teachers.

The Teacher Institute on Science and Sustainability is also generously supported by an anonymous donor, Mary Austin and Brewster Kahle, the Hearst Endowed Fund for Science Education, and Union Bank Foundation.