Season 3, Episode 2

How science strengthens literacy and language development

In our second episode of the season, we continue finding ways in which science is overlooked and how it can be better utilized in schools—and as an ally to other subjects!

We sat down with Susan Gomez Zwiep, former middle school science teacher and senior science educator and staff advocate at BSCS Science Learning. She shared past experiences and research that shows the benefits of integrating science and literacy, as well as strategies for applying these ideas in the classroom.


Meet our guest(s):

Susan Gomez Zwiep

Susan Gomez Zwiep began her career in science education as a middle school science teacher in Los Angeles where she spent over 12 years working in urban schools. Prior to joining BSCS, Susan worked at California State University, Long Beach as a Professor of Science Education.

Susan has also worked as a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance, providing high-quality professional development in science and mathematics for K12 educators, including the CA NGSS Early Implementer Initiative. Susan consistently works toward establishing equitable access for all students to rigorous, inquiry-based science instruction and supporting teachers in their journey to become advocates for students, science education, and their own professional development.

Meet our host: Eric Cross

Eric Cross is a seventh grade science/technology teacher, grade level lead, and digital learning innovator for Albert Einstein Academies, International Baccalaureate schools. He is also an adjunct professor of learning and technology at the University of San Diego and a Google certified innovator. Eric earned a bachelor’s degree from Azusa Pacific University and a Master of Education from the University of San Diego. He had 17 years of experience working with at-risk youth and underserved populations before becoming a middle school teacher. By building relationships with students, colleagues, and the community, he has become an empowered leader in and out of the classroom. Through meaningful learning experiences centered around student agency, STEM has become accessible to students through highly engaging lesson design, thoughtful integration of digital tools, and culturally relevant pedagogy.


When we used science as a context for language development, kids were talking more, kids were writing more, kids were engaged. - Dr. Susan Gomez Zwiep