Tess Carlson, the founding science teacher for Mission Bay Hub, demonstrates how to meter a pipet for students on April 29, 2024, in San Francisco.

Science Work-Based Learning Experience in Mission Bay Hub

Mission Bay Hub in the San Francisco school district offers high school students career exploration opportunities in health and life sciences. Students spend half the day learning science disciplines and participating in work-based learning experiences that demonstrate real-world applications.

Program director Erik Rice emphasizes the importance of creating supportive conditions for both students and teachers to facilitate deeper learning. A survey indicated that while nearly all teachers believe in preparing students for future careers, many feel unprepared due to a lack of resources and industry experience.

The program features interdisciplinary learning, with students engaging in projects that combine science and English, such as writing narratives with scientific content. Activities include hands-on experiments, guest speakers from nearby universities, and site visits to local labs.

Science teacher Tess Carlson appreciates the collaboration with her co-teacher and the integration of work-based learning into the curriculum. She finds the model of having two teachers for longer blocks more sustainable and conducive to professional development. Despite the challenges of curriculum design, Carlson enjoys creating engaging content, particularly in neuroscience, and benefits from ample prep time.

The program also provides teachers with significant planning time, allowing for real-time adjustments and collaboration. Rice highlights the improved quality of life for teachers, with designated planning periods built into the school day, enabling them to manage administrative tasks and take breaks. This approach helps create a more sustainable and effective teaching environment.