Community Resources for Science


"CRS trains employees to work well with teachers, manage an elementary school classroom, and make a big impact with students in just a one-hour presentation.... They’re effective team-builders, either with employees who already work together or across departments. CRS does a good job of taking pictures, getting quotes from happy teachers and volunteers, providing reports that make it easy to keep up a dynamic internal communications campaign throughout the year."

-- Trina Ostrander, Manager, Public Policy & Communications, Bayer HealthCare

Program Type

Curriculum/Instructional Materials
Teacher Development/Training
Hands on/Project-Based

Target Audience

Teachers/Educational Leaders


Contra Costa


Pre-K - 5

 Accomplished link

Program Impact

Community Resources for Science (CRS) offers engaging hands-on science opportunities to roughly 1,100 elementary school educators and 25,000 students at more than 100 urban schools in San Francisco's East Bay. Vast majorities of participating teachers say CRS has helped them teach more science, teach it better, and get their students excited about science. With extra support, CRS could reach thousands more students in the next three years.


Program Overview

CRS connects and engages educators, students, and scientists in a vibrant and innovative web of science learning resources.

Our goal is simple: help K-5 teachers give students more opportunities to "do science" - to ask questions, test ideas, get their hands on real science activities.

Since 1997, CRS has developed an innovative set of information, support, and connection resources that increase the amount of science taught in K-5 classrooms. CRS provides timely information, personalized planning support, and in-class, scientist-led presentations, working directly with classroom teachers to meet their unique needs and increase their skill, confidence, and access to information and useful resources. We help teachers plan activities to meet a particular science standard, find field trips to a museum or outdoor education center, or connect them with the resources they need. Coupled with the information and on-call support, our scientist-volunteer-in-the-classroom program (BASIS) brings over 400 diverse, enthusiastic scientist teams into classrooms to do science and to talk about science as an exciting career. Teachers value the in-class professional development they receive from the scientists and say they see particular students engaged and succeeding at levels not observed with traditional instruction practices.

How To Get Involved

Each $10,000 grant allows CRS to serve 38 to 40 more teachers who in turn have an impact on more than 1,000 students. There are immediate opportunities to support CRS in California districts.In addition, CRS offers rich volunteer opportunities for professional scientists in California classrooms.

Funders and Partners

University of California, Berkeley, Department of Chemistry
Environmental Leadership Pathways, UC Berkeley, College of Natural Resources
Gateways STEM Network
Oakland Unified School District
Berkeley Unified School District
Berkeley Public Education Foundation


Teresa Barnett, Executive Director

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Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.