Since 1989, the Science Institute has been conducting workshops for Chicago Public Schools teachers, parents and students funded by both government and the private sector. These workshops -- such as “Creating the Critical Mass for a Chain Reaction of Change,” "The Fun, Beauty, and Challenge of Science,” "Hands-on, Minds-on, Feet-on' Science and Mathematics Enhancement Seminars: A Road To Success,” "Science Workshops for Teachers and Parents,” "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child” -- have been designed to enhance science and mathematics knowledge of teachers, parents and students and have an intensive summer-long workshop component and follow up sessions throughout the academic year.
The objectives of these workshops are to:
(1) Assure that teachers will have a basic understanding of environmental science by learning concepts in biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, mathematics and technology as outlined in national, Illinois, and Chicago standards;
(2) Improve teachers' pedagogical content knowledge; and
(3) Have teachers encourage students to pursue careers in science, mathematics and technology.
Information about the 2009 workshop (pdf download) and application form (pdf download).
(1) professional development activities to enhance knowledge and teaching methods in science, mathematics and technology; classroom implementation of materials developed in workshops and evaluation of their effectiveness;
(2) involvement of school administrative personnel to promote institutional integration of program activities to enhance success;
(3) developing networks of teachers from different levels and diverse cultural and religious backgrounds; and
(4) dissemination of the program to other schools.
Teachers receive continuing professional development credits and graduate credits (if needed).
Activities are conducted in the schools and at Columbia College Chicago.
Teachers have created professional partnerships in which they share experiences, successes and failures in the classroom
Teachers collaborate in the development of new ideas and different ways to learn and teach in the classroom
Teachers invite colleagues to the workshops, expanding the influence of the workshops inside and outside of the starting clusters.
From Under The Umbrella
Once a month, all the teachers in our network receive a newsletter prepared by the Science Institute which announces local and national educational news, upcoming Science Institute events, other educational events, opportunities for teachers, free or low cost teacher resources, and other items of interest to teachers.
As part of the workshops, teachers are taken on a number of educational scientific excursions.
Teachers Leading Teachers
A "Teachers Leading Teachers" component was established in conjunction with a number of our teacher workshops as a method of spreading the effectiveness of the project to other Chicago Public School teachers who do not directly participate in the workshops.
The Science Institute regularly presents symposia featuring renowned scientists including Nobel laureates who are experts in different fields of science. Chicago Public School teachers are invited to attend these symposia and many of these scientists participate in our summer workshops.
Science Visualization and Communications Laboratory (Vizlab) - renowned, state of the art computer and new media laboratory
Basic Science Research Laboratory - NSF-funded lab for cell and molecular biology projects including cancer biology
Equipment Loan Program - lends equipment, books, videos, chemicals, supplies, and many other educational materials to teachers and to non-participating teachers in their schools.
American Chemical Society - Teachers are invited to attend monthly dinner meetings of the American Chemical Society - Chicago Section, at which the lecture topics often pertain to information useful in their classroom instruction. Teacher registration to these meetings is paid by the Science Institute.