The Thompson Earth Systems Institute (TESI) was established in October 2018, and awarded funding in 2019 for the moonshot initiative: Scientist in Every Florida School (SEFS).
Mission: The mission of the SEFS program is to engage Florida K-12 students and teachers in cutting-edge research by providing science role models and experiences that inspire the future stewards of our planet.
Background: SEFS is one of just eight projects awarded funding through a $17 million University of Florida moonshot initiative, aimed at tackling some of society’s most urgent issues. Scientist in Every Florida School has the potential to impact nearly 2.3 million K-12 students and 1000s of teachers statewide.
Participating scientists must have a research focus related to Earth systems—air, water, land and life — which is in line with TESI’s mission to advance public understanding of environmental issues.
- To match scientists with K-12 public schools in Florida, with a focus on Title I schools
- To provide Florida public school teachers with useful resources and support in the classroom
- To build long-term, collaborative partnerships between teachers and scientists through a statewide professional learning community
- To provide high-quality professional development opportunities for Florida public school teachers
- To provide Florida K-12 public school students with experiences rooted in current Earth systems science research and science role models
- To inspire the next generation of environmental stewards
- K-12 teacher professional development & resources
- Scientist classroom visits
- Facilitating teacher-scientist relationships
- COVID-19 Response: Digital On-Demand K-12 Resources
- Broader Impacts for Scientists
Interested in participating?
Visit our Home page to learn more.
Hover your mouse over the map below to see how many scientist classroom visits have been completed in a particular county during the 2020-2021 school year.
This program is open to all Florida public K-12 teachers statewide. To schedule a scientist visit to your classroom (in-person or virtual) fill out our “Request a Scientist” form.
…My goodness, we had a WONDERFUL TIME! ALL of us are so thrilled with our virtual field trip experience, and our students on their way to lunch were talking and sharing what they learned. And absolutely, when there is a will…there’s a way! You and UF made this experience possible for our students and teachers too!
4th-grade teacher, Miami-Dade County
…Thank you for the BEST professional development I have ever attended. The content was perfect for all grade levels and the scientists presenting were amazing. Everyone involved from the professors to the grad students were so friendly and patient and truly loved sharing their research with all of the teachers. I feel so rejuvenated and can’t wait to go back to school and share what I learned with students and colleagues…
11th and 12th-grade biology and environmental science teacher, Marion County
…Working directly with my scientist was so meaningful on both a professional and personal level. He is an expert in translating science into practice. I came away with concrete activities and further developed my own understanding. Looking forward to connecting and bringing scientists into my classroom...
10th-grade science teacher, Palm Beach County
…I was exceedingly impressed at the interaction between my students and the scientist. Thank you so much for this opportunity and I look forward to future Zoom or face to face meetings with UF Scientists in Every Florida School again. I am a strong advocate for this outreach…
7th and 8th-grade teacher, Escambia County
…Thanks for the feedback! So glad to hear that students were motivated by the experience. We are so fortunate to be able to connect our schools with scientists. Thanks for taking advantage of the opportunity that the Thompson Earth Systems Institute and the University of Florida have provided our district…
K-12 STEM Director, Lee County