Science Education

A Chico State student shows an elementary student a chart while they learn about planets at the Gateway Science Museum.


The Department of Science Education is a small, vibrant, multidisciplinary science education department in the College of Natural Sciences. Our department is dedicated to preparing future science teachers and informal science educators and offers the only undergraduate program within the California State University system designed specifically for the preparation of future middle school science teachers. Our faculty strive to promote culturally inclusive learning spaces where diversity of thought and expression are valued, respected, appreciated, and celebrated.

Our department values a classroom culture that respects and fully values the strengths and differences of all students; where everyone has the opportunity to share points of view, offer ideas, and be recognized for their contributions. Small enrollment courses lend to opportunities for one-on-one interaction with faculty, class-embedded early teaching experiences, and research opportunities with faculty mentors that can lead to conference presentations and publications. Become part of the next generation of science teachers and educators to advance excellence and equity in STEM education.


Students in our program will experience

  • Collaborative student workspaces and dedicated student lounge and all the features of a new state-of-the-art science building.
  • Learning science and science teaching by doing science coupled with hands-on early teaching experience.
  • The local natural areas for environmental research and education such as the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve.
  • Class field trips and site investigations that apply scientific and engineering practices to ask questions and solve problems.
  • The National Science Teachers Association (student chapter). Our student club offers a great way to
    • Meet other students interested in teaching science (all disciplines/levels).
    • Practice strategies for teaching science.
    • Learn about science education scholarships and internships.
    • Participate in NSTA student chapter-sponsored events.
    • Build confidence and skills for presenting at the NSTA’s annual conference.
    • Participate in outreach efforts to foster interest and knowledge about science in the local community.


According to the California Department of Education, "Science is one of the most acute teacher shortage areas, making job prospects very strong. Over the next decade, California is projected to need more than 33,000 science and math teachers."

The need for well-educated science teachers has never been greater. In response to our nation's necessity for cutting-edge science educators, the CSU system has made a long-term commitment to increasing the number of science teachers. As a result, the Department of Science Education strives to meet those needs by offering a program geared toward an innovative future in science education. Come in to discuss your goals and get started on your journey toward a fulfilling career in science education.