About PESI Tucson

Who Is PESI?   

Partners for Equitable Science Instruction (PESI) is a nonprofit 501(c) organization started by retired science education specialists who spent many years at the school district level providing teachers with professional development and support. PESI’s mission is to advocate for and support equitable science instruction for all students in Tucson schools. The primary way to achieve this goal is to support student learning through professional development for teachers and administrators.

PESI Board 

Gail Paulin,  Thea Canizo

PESI Leadership

Debbie Black & Esther Witt – Co-Presidents

Becky Cavazos & Marleen Lyon – Past Co-Presidents

Caryl Crowell – Secretary

Peggy Herron – Treasurer

Barbara Casanova – Communications Coordinator/Website Manager

PESI currently has about 300 supporters, both retired and current educators and university personnel, involved with science outreach.  As agents of change, we work with teachers, principals, school board members, TUSD leadership, the mayor of Tucson, Cooper Center for Environmental learning and UA College of Education.

 PESI’s first big project was an Arizona Community Challenge Grant funded by the US Forest Service (USFS) and the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management (AZDFFM). The grant offered professional development for teachers in the areas of ecosystems connected to water conservation and the benefits of trees.  PESI Volunteers travelled to local Tucson area schools to offer guidance and support for the lessons associated with the grant.  Such a fabulous and rewarding experience for everyone involved!

PESI Volunteers, with the direction and guidance of Meg Gebert,  worked all summer and beyond on updating the TUSD Science Kits for grades K-6.  The science kits were cleaned and materials were restocked.  Some of the grades received new science kits which were inventoried and prepped for use for the 2021 school year.

PESI Instructors Caryl Crowell, Becky Cavazos and Stephanie Pederson, presented a Life Sciences Workshop in collaboration with Colin Waite from Cooper Center for Environmental Learning.  The participants were able to get closer to nature as they experienced Camp Cooper’s 3rd grade field trip porgram.  The workshop included hands on activities, hikes and classroom instruction.  The team met their goals of helping improve classroom science instruction and were defintately able to get teachers excited about field trip experiences with their students.

PESI’s latest project was a four-part series of online Zoom classes called Observing Nature; Nature Journals & The Intersection of Science, Literacy and Art.  Nature journals were used to help teachers expand their students’ understandings of the natural world.  Science journaling gives students a place to generate, expand, document and explore observations, ideas and reflections. The ZOOM classes were presented by PESI Instructors Rachel Carpenter, Caryl Crowell, & Stephanie Pederson in collaboration with the Cooper Center for Environmental Learning, and with financial support from the Davis Memorial Scholarship Fund.  Participating teachers received a $150 stipend for their attendance and participation in all four Zoom sessions.

CONTACT PESI to find out how you can get involved!

Partners for Equitable Science Instruction provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.