Who are we?

The Sacramento Area Science Project (SASP) is an educational partnership between the University of California, Davis, and California State University, Sacramento. Our mission is to provide high quality professional development services to improve the teaching and learning of science in the greater Sacramento region. SASP is a regional site of the California Science Project, one of the California Subject Matter Projects.

Currently, SASP provides support to teachers, schools, and districts in understanding and implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) related to science and the technical subjects. Our goal is to improve student understanding of science by improving the teaching of science. Our programs focus on improving teacher understanding of science content and the pedagogical approaches needed to effectively teach science to all students.

We encourage teachers to reflect on their instructional practices, focus on student ideas, and collaborate with their peers to improve student learning. We provide teachers with exemplary lessons, new ideas, and the classroom tools necessary to support student literacy in science. In fulfilling our mission, the two universities work closely with schools, school districts, science centers, county offices of education, community colleges, public and private organizations, and science educators to increase the quality of science instruction and student achievement.

Click here to read our original SASP Statement of Purpose from 1992.

Research Base

  • Instruction in specific reading strategies can increase content learning across discipline areas (Bereiter & Bird, 1985; Moore & Scevack, 1997)
  • Repeated exposure to writing activities can lead to both greater content knowledge and improved writing ability (Bean & Steenwyk, 1984; Brown & Day, 1983)
  • Taking the time to allow students to verbally articulate their understanding of the content helps them understand the material (Thier & Daviss, 2002; Hill & Flynn, 2006)
  • Effective science instruction includes opportunities for students to engage in inquiry, and to engage in scientific discussions to construct explanations (Gallas, 1995; Lemke, 1990; Rosebery, Warren & Conant, 1992; Wilkinson & Silliman, 2000)