This article explores school leadership for elementary school science teaching in an urban setting. We examine how school leaders bring resources together to enhance science instruction when there appear to be relatively few resources available for it. From our study of 13 Chicago elementary (K–8) schools' efforts to lead instructional change in mathematics, language arts, and science education, we show how resources for leading instruction are unequally distributed across subject areas. We also explore how over time leaders in one school successfully identified and activated resources for leading change in science education. The result has been a steady, although not always certain, development of science as an instructional area in the school. We argue that leading change in science education involves the identification and activation of material resources, the development of teachers' and school leaders' human capital, and the development and use of social capital. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 38: 918–940, 2001