Science Education Partnership

COVID-19 Contingency Notice
SEP has opened the application for Summer 2021, with the understanding that the final format of the program will depend upon evidenced-based understanding of the risk posed by COVID-19. If possible, the program will run as expected and described. However, given the pandemic, the program's format may be virtual, or a hybrid of virtual and on-campus. The program’s duration may also be impacted. We will provide updates as more information becomes available closer to the program start date. For more information about SEP's Summer Professional Development Program, please visit our Teacher PD page.

Partnering Scientists and Educators

The Science Education Partnership (SEP) exemplifies a true partnership between scientists and educators. Since 1991, SEP has paired research scientists with over 560 secondary school science teachers in Washington state. We believe that teachers and scientists both play a crucial role in promoting a greater understanding of biomedical research in our community and have much to offer one another. Through workshops and a summer professional development program , teachers learn molecular biology techniques and participate in laboratory research. SEP also helps mentor scientists refine their teaching skills and enhance their ability to communicate science to the broader community.

Read SEP's Statement Commitment to Equity and Justice.

Teacher Professional Development

SEP is available to all secondary science teachers in Washington state who are interested in learning more about molecular biology and want to bring the latest life sciences research into the classroom.

Scientists from Fred Hutch and other nearby research institutes are eligible to serve as mentors, including graduate students, post-docs, technicians and other scientific staff.
Register to become an SEP mentor!

Teachers working at a table together

Curriculum and Lessons

Our free, open-source lessons and units are geared towards high school biotech and biology teachers and focus on giving students opportunities to explore biotechnology and the social dimensions of research science.

Science education needs your support more than ever.

End-of-Year Science Education Fundraising Drive

Fred Hutch’s Science Education programs engage underrepresented high school and college students, particularly Black, Indigenous, and Latinx students, in biomedical research. Our student summer programs and internships reach over 130 underrepresented high school and college students each year. An additional 500 students visit our training labs each school year, engaging in hands-on labs as part of tours. The Science Education Partnership program provides professional development and support to teachers reaching 15,000 students/year. There has never been a more important time to ensure that we create equitable access to life sciences careers for young people from underrepresented backgrounds. Support science education for all with a gift!

About the SEP Program

Each spring, mentor scientists from Fred Hutch and partner research sites select teachers from the applicant pool to participate. Teachers and mentor scientists collaborate to design a research experience tailored to the teacher’s interests. The diversity of research projects over the past several years has included such topics as protein structure, DNA sequencing, yeast genetics, fruit fly development, and oncogenes. After participating and completing the Summer Session, teachers have access to SEP's Kit Loan Program, including complete lesson plans and all the biotechnology equipment, reagents and supplies needed to turn their classrooms into labs. Technical and scientific support is also readily available from program staff and scientists at the Hutch.

This arrangement often leads to partnerships that extend beyond the summer session, including classroom visits by scientists during the school year. These partnerships often help dispel some of the stereotypes commonly held concerning scientists and teachers.

To get updates on our programs and teaching resources, sign up for our mailing list.

Our Goals

Professional Development

We provide professional development for teachers to help broaden their understanding of life science research, enrich their pedagogical practices and support their growth as teacher-leaders.

Science Learning Resources & Support

We support engaging, challenging and relevant classroom learning experiences for all students by providing access to high-quality instructional materials developed by teachers and scientists, as well as the resources needed to explore life science concepts in a classroom laboratory setting.

Partnerships & Community

We encourage and support relationships between educators and scientists in an effort to build a vibrant life science community anchored in partnership and mutual learning.

Check out virtual talks, lab tours, and teacher workshops

Other Programs

Thank You to Our Funders

In addition to the support from Fred Hutch, SEP’s work is made possible in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH): Frontiers in Cancer Research (R25 GM129842), a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), and Pathways to Cancer Research (R25CA221770), a Youth Enjoy Science Award (YES/CURE), from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Additional donors and supporters help ensure the continued vitality of SEP, allowing science teachers to bring new science techniques and practices to their students. Together, we are cultivating the next generation of cancer researchers and are ensuring a broader understanding of, and support for, scientific research.


Recent Sponsors

Our recent efforts were generously funded in part by:

Dean Witter Foundation
Inspirus Credit Union
The Trudy Stack Endowment
The STRAWS Foundation
ZymoGenetics/Bristol Myers Squibb

Kit Loan Program Supporters

We acknowledge donations of materials to support our Kit Loan Program from:

Fischer Scientific
New England/Biolabs

Last Modified, February 04, 2021