FAQ2019-10-21T10:46:48-05:00

6th-12th grade students and their Teachers from public, private and home schools in the United States can participate.

$400 for the year-long, job embedded professional development.  Usually schools pay for this cost out of professional development funds or Perkins or Title 1 funds.

Just like you wouldn’t expect a sports team to work without equipment, supplies, trained & compensated coaches, Science Coach Teachers can’t achieve success with high-level science projects without the following:

  1. Student consumable supplies fund – $800 for high school and $400 for middle schools. Funds should have a streamlined process for ordering.
  2. Teacher Coach compensation for non-school hours – $2,000  (Head Coaches earn $3,000)

Yes.  All first-year coaches must attend a one-week training session in the summer which are currently held in St. Louis the 2nd and 3rd week of July each year.  Training costs are $1,500.  An alternative for out-of-state teams is to pay for a Science Coach trainer to come to your location for 3 full days of training.  (Actual expenses of the trainer’s travel would be billed equally amongst the team member schools.)

$3,200

  • $400 Science Coach year-long job-embedded professional development fee
  • $2,000 Teacher Coach stipend ($3,000 if a Head Coach)
  • $800 Student consumable supplies ($400 if a middle school)

$1,500 for a week-long training course – which includes access to the Science Coach 12-module curriculum.

Yes.  As of July 2019, these federal funds can now be used to pay for STEM programs.  Here are a few sources of documentation of these recent changes:

Perkins V references STEM as an allowable use of local funds.

A notable change in Perkins V modifies the previous definition of CTE to include “career exploration at the high school level or as early as the middle grades,”1 defined as grades five through eight. This revision marks the first time that Perkins funds can be used for comprehensive CTE programs in those grades, allowing districts to consider Perkins V funds for implementation of 6th-8th grade Science Coach programs

Section 135 (20 U.S.C 2355(b)(5)(M)

(M) supporting programs and activities that increase access, student engagement, and success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields (including computer science and architecture) for students who are members of groups underrepresented in such subject fields;

Providing professional development for teachers and other practitioners is a required use of Perkins funds. These funds can be used for the summer week-long training and the annual $400 job-embedded professional development opportunity.

Perkins V maintains a focus on aligning CTE with industry needs. A key change with the reauthorization is a new reference to “employability skills.” Now, states and districts can intentionally incorporate programs that teach skills like problem solving, communication, collaboration, and other in-demand, transportable skills that are critical to students’ success in college and are proven to be the most demanded and valued in the job market.2   The Science Coach program measures these skills in a very unique and quantifiable manner (see the measurable outcomes in the following FAQ) and has dedicated components of our curriculum which specifically teaches integration of the scientific methodology into a student’s everyday life.

  1. 20 U.S.C. § 2032(5)(D) 2. The Power of Transportable Skills: Assessing the Demand and Value of the Skills of the Future. Project Lead The Way and Burning Glass Technologies, 2019, www2.pltw.org/TransportableSkillsReport.

Title 1 Funding – ESSA – Every Student Succeeds Act

ESSA provides considerable flexibility for states and stresses the importance of equitable access to a high-quality STEM education. There are nine titles in the ESSA, with two of those titles containing significant support for Science Coach programs. Local and state rules may influence how your school or district can utilize ESSA funding, so school leaders should work with their district CTE leadership to apply for and secure funding under the titles below.

Title I Part A – Title I Part A provides funding to support schools with a high number of students from low-income families, but funding is also meant to ensure all students meet rigorous academic standards regardless of economic status. In schools where more than 40 percent of students come from low-income families, schools may use the funding on schoolwide programs that improve achievement for all students.

Title II Part A  – One of the purposes of Title II funding grants is to increase student achievement through teacher professional development. Districts and schools can use Title II Part A funding in a variety of ways to support Science Coach Professional Development including recruiting, teacher training, and innovative pay structures such as paying the teacher compensation for the after-school work. According to the federal statute and guidance, specific activities may include: • Providing professional learning opportunities to STEM educators. • Supporting STEM educators as they implement new courses, such as computer science and engineering. • Providing differential or incentive pay for educators in high-need subject areas, such as STEM, to serve in high-need schools, or to reward the work of teachers and leaders who have demonstrated effectiveness in improving student outcomes in STEM areas.

Science Coach measures the following outcomes:

21st Century Skills

  • Persistence: 70% of students who start the Science Coach program will complete a project. 60% of students will declare 1 or more failures having been experienced while doing their project.
  • Resilience: 40% will enter and compete in more than one competition. 60% of students display increased self-confidence due to their Science Coach experience.
  • Collaboration: 50% of the student presentation boards will cite assistance from 1 or more people.

Recognition

  • 10% of students who participate in a fair, will move on to the next level science fair competition
  • 3% of students will advance to the ISEF (Int’l Science & Engineering Fair)
  • 60% of students will receive awards for their project
  • 50% of coaches will have students compete in next level fairs and 10% of them will win awards at these competitions

Integration

  • 70% of the students will be able to demonstrate how to use scientific processes to address a real-life situation.
  • 60% will have used an interdisciplinary approach of 4 or more school subjects in their project creation
  • 85% of students will receive a passing grade or higher in their STEM research class (Impact Genome: STEM Proficiency)
  • 70% of the students will express an intention to declare or have declared a STEM-related postsecondary major

To achieve maximum compensation, teachers are required to have a minimum number of students based on two factors: 1) their school size   2) the number of years they are in the Science Coach program. Teachers can have less than this number of students, but they will received a pro-rated compensation.

School Size 1st Year of Coaching 2nd Year of Coaching 3rd Year of Coaching
Small school (<200 students) 3 Students 4 Students 5 Students
Medium school (201-800 students) 4 Students 6 Students 8 Students
Large School (801 students and up) 5 Students 8 Students 10 Students

The most common way to use the Science Coach program is integrated into existing classes.  The stipend actually helps compensate  Coaches for significant out-of-school time, both in the project preparation, working with students, and attending competitions.

 

There are VERY few exceptions in which we allow the waiving of stipends. These include alternative classroom implementations where 100% of the project is completed in the classroom and coaches who have received a monetary award from the Society for Science in the Public Advocates program.

The application can be completed at: https://biostl.getfeedback.com/r/mhSnAyQe  We seek Maverick teachers who:

  • Are comfortable with not knowing all the answers
  • Are resourceful – looking for more tools in their toolbox
  • Are persistent
  • Are OK with chaos
  • Can be a good mentor – can handle fragile souls of kids, supportive, cheerleader, know when to step in and when to not,
  • Believe in capability of kids
  • Have some real research experience to draw upon – have lived this
  • Ask why
  • Act as a facilitator, not an instructor
  • Embrace just-in-time teaching
  • Have experience with doing Science Fairs (not required)
  • Are a strong advocate for science fair projects

If this sounds like you, then you’d make a perfect Science Coach! Apply today https://biostl.getfeedback.com/r/mhSnAyQe

Start forming your team.  Find 3-5 teachers who also want to do high-level science research in their classroom. These teachers can be from public, private or home schools within about an hours drive of each other.  Multiple districts can participate in one team.  Contact Science Coach when you have your team or if you need help connecting to other potential coaches from your area.  We also have a ‘virtual team’ for those teachers located in very rural areas.

No, Science Coach does not screen students. We leave that to each school/teacher to select students they believe will be a good fit with the Science Coach system.

Total Possible Compensation: $2,000

  1. $100 Onboarding completion – Flat amount for 100% completion of entering the teacher profile information in the Science Coach Online Portal, submitting your W-9 and electronic payment information (if applicable) and signing the electronic participation agreement.
  2. $300 Student Recruitment – Pro-rated amount based on entering the participating students and those students completing the initial survey which collects their email address, group/individual project type and pre-project survey questions. The Target Number is determined by counting the number of project. For example, if you have three students doing a group project, their three surveys for the one project would only count as one toward the Target Number goal.
  3. $300 ISEF Paperwork Submission – Pro-rated amount based on submission of the Target Number of project’s ISEF paperwork into the Science Coach Online Portal “Box”, which is the location of storage of all documents.
  4. $300 Competition Registration – Pro-rated amount based on marking in the Science Coach Online Portal the non-school juried competition name in which each project was registered. Proof of registration should be retained by the Coach and may be randomly requested for verification.
  5. $300 Competition Participation – Pro-rated amount based on the TOTAL NUMBER of competitions actually attended.  To obtain maximum compensation, the total number of non-school juried competitions entered must equal the Target Number of projects.  For example, if your Target Number of projects are 5 and you have 3 projects that entered a total of 5 competitions, you will have met this goal.
  6. $100 Top Award Recipient – Flat amount for any one project receiving a 1st -3rd place at a national/international competition, a 1st place at a regional competition or a special award at a national/international competition.
  7. $400 Quarterly Coach Meeting Attendance – Pro-rated amount based on the in-person, full meeting attendance at the quarterly coach meeting with your team members. (Note, virtual conferencing is an acceptable fulfillment of this Milestone when the travel distance is greater than 1 hour one-way.) Head Coaches are responsible for marking and verifying full meeting attendance.
  8. $100 Student Final Survey – Flat rate amount for 100% completion of the final student survey required for the students who actually competed.
  9. $100 Teacher Final Survey – Flat rate amount for the Teacher Coach’s completion of the final survey.
  • Recruit students to complete high-level science projects and have them submit their International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) paperwork.
  • PROJECTS must register in a juried science competition outside of their school. (Note, up to 3 students can work on one project.)
  • PROJECTS must compete in at least one juried science competition outside of their school.
  • Cooperate with the Head Coach and other Teacher Coaches.
  • Attend Quarterly in-person meetings. (Note, virtual conferencing is an acceptable fulfillment of this Milestone when the travel distance is greater than 1 hour one-way.)
  • Communicate with the Head Coach as frequently as needed but at least once a month via email or phone.
  • Provide a completed W-9 form (Attachment 1) which can be manually written or typed using the fillable PDF from https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf or within the online Science Coach Portal.
  • Document the student supply purchasing in the Science Coach Online Portal, and, if student project funds are distributed by Science Coach, follow the receipt submission guidelines provided by the Head Coach.
  • Submission of requested data via the online Science Coach Portal.

The Head Coach is a teacher who has had years of experience doing high-level science and has had at least one student win at a national/international competition.  Suggested competitions could include ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair) or  NJSHS (National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium) and others as determined by Science Coach. Head Coaches can receive a maximum of $3,000 based on the milestone achievements listed below:

  1. $100 Onboarding completion – Flat amount for 100% completion of the team entering the teacher profile information in the Science Coach Online Portal, submitting your W-9 and electronic payment information (if applicable) and signing the electronic participation agreement.
  2. $300 Student Recruitment – Pro-rated amount based on the team entering the Team Target Number of participating students and those students completing the initial survey which collects their email address, group/individual project type and pre-project survey questions.
  3. $300 ISEF Paperwork Submission – Pro-rated amount based on submission of the Team Target Number of project’s ISEF paperwork into the Science Coach Online Portal “Box”, which is the location of storage of all documents.
  4. $300 Competition Registration – Pro-rated amount based on the Team Target Number of projects which the team complete the competition name in which each project was registered in the Science Coach Online Portal. Proof of registration should be retained by the Coach and may be randomly requested for verification.
  5. $300 Competition Participation – Pro-rated amount based on the Team Target Number of competitions actually attended.  To obtain maximum compensation, the total number of non-school juried competitions entered must equal the Target Number of projects.  For example, if your Target Number of projects are 5 and you have 3 projects that entered a total of 5 competitions, you will have met this goal.
  6. $100 Top Award Recipient – Flat amount for any one project receiving a 1st -3rd place at a national/international competition, a 1st place at a regional competition or a special award at a national/international competition.
  7. $400 Quarterly Coach Meeting Attendance – Pro-rated amount based on the in-person, full meeting attendance at the quarterly coach meeting with your team members. (Note, virtual conferencing is an acceptable fulfillment of this Milestone when the travel distance is greater than 1 hour one-way.) Head Coaches are responsible for marking and verifying full meeting attendance.
  8. $100 Student Final Survey – Flat rate amount for 100% completion of the Team Target Number of final student surveys required for the students who actually competed.
  9. $100 Teacher Final Survey – Flat rate amount for 100% of the team’s Teacher Coach’s completion of the final survey.
  • Work with teacher coaches to support them to effectively coach students to create high quality science research which are entered into juried competitions.
  • Work with teachers to help them submit their ISEF paperwork.
  • Help teachers find and register in at least one juried science competition outside of their school.
  • Track the results of your own students who competed in the juried science competitions outside of their school in the Science Coach Online Portal.
  • Provide a completed W-9 form which can be manually written or typed using the fillable PDF from https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf .
  • If your coaches are submitting purchase requests through you, you will use the Science Coach Online Portal to track the student supply receipt submission/purchasing. (Spread out available funds evenly among teachers for “first requests” Unused funds could be available for anyone for second request.)
  • Hold a quarterly meeting with your team in person.
  • Have a phone or in-person conversation each month (August – March) with each Teacher coach.
  • Send at least one email each month (spaced out from the call) to each Teacher coach to touch base with them and get feedback on status, challenges, etc.
  • Help teachers find access to the necessary lab and equipment needed.
  • Be familiar with the status of your coaches and support them to complete their required milestones.
  • Sign off graduate credit paperwork and assign a grade.

We want every interested school and teacher to participate and will work with you to figure out a way. That might mean starting out with a smaller team in the first year and growing over time. Let’s think creatively. Your school may already have some of the scientific supplies, which would decrease your Science Coach costs.

Did you know that Science Coach can be paid through Perkins and Title 1 funding? Funding rules were changed to allow 5th-12th grade STEM programs as allowable expenditures starting  with the 2019-2020 school year.

We’re also happy to work with you in identifying funding opportunities and crafting requests from foundations, companies, and individual donors in your community.

Schools implement Science Coach in a variety of different ways – during classroom, alternative classroom, after-school clubs, FFA groups, etc. Science Coach leaves it up to the school/teacher to determine when and where it is offered to students.

The beauty of Science Coach is that students lead their own research. Projects can be anything related to science research. Teacher Coaches are there to equip, mentor, and coach students as they learn about and move through the scientific process. Teachers also help students apply and integrate what they learn into their lives and see how the scientific process can be applied in a variety of ways.

Science Coach has great respect for PLTW and is currently conducting a pilot where the Science Coach curriculum/program is integrated in the PLTW Capstone project by providing students an opportunity to conduct a high-quality research project that can be entered into a juried competition.

This is up to each school and how they pay teachers. Science Coach actively encourages schools to pay stipends pre-tax so it is not subject to retirement and other expenses. However, if Science Coach pays the stipend, it is always paid pre-tax by direct deposit and Coaches receive a 1099.

Simply put, yes. Doing high-level research projects requires an investment of teacher time. Teachers and students also need adequate supplies in order to complete projects. Science Coach is also always making improvements to our curriculum and system. To have access to the latest updates, ongoing professional development, and mentoring from other teachers, schools must pay Science Coach’s annual fees.

Ideally, each student should complete their own project. However, if several students are interested in researching the same idea, Science Coach allows up to three students to work together on the same project.

Testimonials

“The Science Coaching program has provided my students the resources necessary to conduct science fair projects and has helped me be a better teacher.”
– Ben Martin

“Being a Science Coach has been a very rewarding experience. I feel much more confident and knowledgeable about helping my students achieve success when doing independent research. Many of my students have won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in the Mastodon Art/Science Regional Fair as well as special awards ranging from scholarships to the opportunity to apply for additional science fairs, including the International Science and Engineering Fair. ”
– Amy Kimbrell, High School Science Teacher and Science Coach, Crystal City, MO.