Elementary School Science Team

Carolyn Gencarella

Elementary School Content Specialist


Carolyn brings a wealth of teaching experience at the elementary level and a deep interest in science instruction to the SFUSD Science Team.  Her experience as a general classroom teacher in elementary schools on the peninsula and in San Francisco spans the grade levels, PK-5.  Before joining the Science Team, Carolyn spent seven years as the Science Resource Teacher at Alvarado School in SFUSD. As an active member of the Exploratorium’s BaySci Master Group, she has extensively examined and practiced the use of academic discourse and notebooking as strategies to develop literacy skills within the science curriculum, particularly for English Language Learners  Carolyn holds a Multiple Subject Credential with CLAD certification as well as a Single Subject Credential in Foundational Level General Science.

Carolyn believes that a strong science program is rooted in purposeful, cross-curricular, inquiry-based activities that engage all students in the learning process.  As a team player, she values and respects the professional knowledge and expertise that all teachers bring to the table and looks forward to working with staffs in SFUSD to elevate science instruction in our district.

Claudia Scharff

Elementary School Content Specialist


Claudia was a Spanish bilingual science resource teacher and a third through fifth grade teacher at Alvarado for eight years. She co-lead a 4th and 5th grade girls science club with UCSF scientists and the support of the Science and Health Education Partnership (SEP) for three years and taught City Science to third grade teachers.  Claudia was a coordinator at SEP for five years and particularly enjoyed working with teachers and scientists to address the needs of English Language Learners through science, as well as working with high school interns placed in UCSF science labs.  She thinks that hands-on science and engineering investigations make the best springboard for developing language and math.  There is no better way to get an otherwise shy child to talk, or an otherwise active child to focus, than to observe how a snail behaves when faced with an obstacle, or what happens when you squeeze lemons into red cabbage juice, or discover how to build a circuit with two lights! In her free time, Claudia likes to play in the water and the mountains, and with her two young children.

She is very happy to be part of the science team with its breadth of experience, interests and fun-loving personalities, and is especially excited to begin implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and to educate our most curious and creative minds to marvel at the world and solve the problems we all face.