Field Testing for Seeds of Science • Roots of Reading

The Lawrence Hall of Science’s Great Explorations in Math and Science program (GEMS), developer of the new Seeds of Science • Roots of Reading series, seeks teachers in grades 2 and 3 to be part of the field test for the Seeds of Science • Roots of Reading curriculum during the January through March 2005 period. We are conducting concurrent evaluation and research trials along with the field test, offering an exciting opportunity for effectiveness data, as well as requiring coordinated effort from everyone involved. The role of the field test teacher is absolutely essential to the success of the materials and the field test and issues of timing will be of concern to all. Please read all of the information on this page and if you can commit to this exciting program complete the application form at the bottom of the page.

Program Description
Requirements for Participation
Criteria for Selection
Application Procedures

The Program

Seeds of Science • Roots of Reading is an NSF-funded instructional materials development project designed to address the urgent need for materials developed collaboratively by science education and literacy experts that provide students with opportunities to engage in inquiry-based science learning within a context of core literacy development. The program is a joint collaboration between the Lawrence Hall of Science and the Graduate School of Education at the University of California at Berkeley. Carolina Biological Supply Company is providing the field trial materials and will publish the curriculum. The trial units are built on revision of existing GEMS guides, updated and expanded to take advantage of advances in science instruction and thoroughly integrated with literacy instruction and science readers in order to create a new and coherent science/literacy program. The completed units will represent a state-of-the-art, scientifically-based and research-validated curriculum, addressing current science and language arts standards.

The initial development will be of three units for Grades 2–3: Shoreline Science (earth science with some life science), Terrarium Investigations (life science with some earth science), and Designing Mixtures (physical science). Each unit will provide about eight weeks of instruction, with five 45-60 minute sessions per week. At this time we are ONLY recruiting for the Terrarium Investigations unit. Each unit will include:

  • A specially formatted teachers guide detailing science and literacy development activities for 40 instructional sessions.
  • Nine illustrated informational student readers. Reader content is coordinated with and designed to be fully integrated with the science inquiry activities. Ten copies of each reader will be included in the field trial kit.
  • Science notebooks or journals.
  • An assessment system.
  • A materials kit to support activities outlined in the teacher guides.

Because we are conducting research on the effectiveness of the materials, some field testers will be requested to teach a control unit consisting of the existing GEMS unit, Terrarium Habitats, and some will be asked to serve as comparison classrooms.


Please review all of the information described on this page with your school principal before preparing and submitting an application. Requirements of field test teachers are noted below:

  • Agree to teach the Terrarium Investigations unit, the Terrarium Habitats unit or to serve as a comparison classroom starting no earlier than January 2, 2021 and completing no later than April 1, 2005.
  • Provide regular feedback through an on-line form.
  • Submit original student work related to the unit.
  • Agree to administer pre- and post-tests to students, and return completed tests to GEMS.
  • Complete a comprehensive questionnaire and submit to GEMS upon completion of testing each unit.
Agree to allow classroom observations by an independent evaluator or GEMS staff member.
  • Agree to telephone interviews with an independent evaluator.
  • Have Internet access.
  • Have the signed approval of the school principal regarding all of the above.
  • Acquire signed consent forms from 90% of parents.


Field test teachers will be able to keep test kit materials, and will be provided either a monetary stipend or a final version of the complete unit tested, including materials kits, once they are in production.


Selection Criteria

Field test teachers must be teaching a 2nd or 3rd grade class (or a combined 2nd-3rd grade class) that meets daily throughout the 2004-2005 school year, and be capable of providing critical analysis and feedback on classroom implementation of the material. Teachers will be selected based upon the following criteria:

  • Strong interest in teaching an integrated science and literacy unit;
  • Evidence that the school will support your participation in the field test;
  • Signature of the school principal authorizing your use of Seeds of Science • Roots of Reading activities and materials in your teaching. This is a national field test and teachers from all schools are encouraged to apply.
  • Commitment to providing thorough and timely feedback.

We will of course be very interested in insuring a wide diversity of situations—urban, suburban and rural; ethnic diversity; and number of English language learners, etc.

Field Test Application

To join our team of field trial teachers, download an application form. Mail (or fax or e-mail) the completed Seeds of Science • Roots of Reading 2004-2005 National Field Test application to the address provided below. All application materials must be received by November 8, 2004.

Mailing Address:

GEMS, Lawrence Hall of Science
Att: Cheryl Webb
University of California, # 5200
Berkeley, CA 94720

FAX # 510 643-0309

Please contact us if you have any questions by phone at 510 643-1129 or e-mail Cheryl Webb.

Lawrence Hall of Science    © 2004 UC Regents. All rights reserved.    Contact GEMS    Updated October 14, 2020