Phase I: Staff Development Workshops

Requirements: High School Classroom Biology, Chemistry, or Physics Teacher

Schedule: M – F, June 10th – 14th (Chemistry), or June 24th – 28th (Biology), 2019, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m                                         (Workshop held at Occidental College)

Cost: $990

Application: Application Form   Hard Copy Application

This hands-on workshop is designed to provide professional development for the concepts, equipment, procedure, and curriculum integration of a series of seven chemistry, biology, or physics labs. Recognizing the need for interdisciplinary materials at the high school level, TOPS developed these labs to extend or replace labs typically done in high school, but with a cross disciplinary emphasis and a technological approach. Teachers will update their skills on modern laboratory experiments, become familiar with the equipment used to carry out these experiments, discuss and plan inquiry-based, standard-specific implementation of these labs along with the safety and classroom management issues involved.

Important Note: All application materials must be on file with TOPS by May 31st 2019 in order for an applicant to be given priority consideration. Incomplete and/or late applications will only be considered at the discretion of the TOPS administration. Those accepted to the TOPS Program will be notified on or before June 3rd, 2019.


Phase II: Van Visits, With In-Classroom Mentoring And Equipment Use By Students

Requirements: Completion of Phase I, Schools within 25 miles of Occidental College
Schedule: M – F, August 2019 through June 2020
Cost: $1,300.00
Application: To apply for Phase II please contact us directly at

Recognizing that a one-week workshop is insufficient to build confidence with new equipment and an obligation to maintain the equipment for continued use by all TOPS participants, the TOPS program provides mentored access/support to technological equipment with van visits. These visits will enable the trained teacher to carry out three of the TOPS labs with their students, with the assistance of an experienced TOPS resource teacher. On-going staff development in laboratory management and equipment use in the classroom environment will also be provided by the TOPS resource teacher.

Since the TOPS labs require two to four regular class periods to complete, this activity will involve several days of mentoring by the TOPS resource teacher. Working with the TOPS staff, teachers will schedule visits by the TOPS van, bringing any three of the labs a teacher has been trained on to the teacher’s classroom. Up to five classes may participate and TOPS will supply the equipment, supplies, and specialized chemicals needed to carry out the lab. The TOPS resource teacher will set up the labs, calibrate and troubleshoot the equipment, and prepare the chemicals for the lab.

Phase III: Lending Kits

Requirements: Completion of Phase I and Phase II
Schedule: To be arranged, M – F, August 2019 through June 2020
Cost: $700 per teacher
Application: Kit Reservation Form

After the first year of mentored participation, the TOPS program makes available a lending kit, which provides the specialized equipment and hard to obtain chemicals for each of the labs. Up to five of these kits may be scheduled per year, supplied for up to five classes. These are scheduled with the TOPS staff, delivered to the classroom, and remain for approximately one week for student use. The TOPS resource teacher remains available for assistance and consultation, but is not in the classroom on a regular basis.