For Immediate Release
March 8, 2007
Math and Science innovations take center stage at Capitol Showcase
Illinois Mathematics and Science Partnerships Program brings teachers, scientists and others together to improve teaching and share research
Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois State Boards of Education (ISBE) and Higher Education (IBHE) are joining with mathematicians, engineers, teachers and scientists today at the State Capitol to showcase research partnerships and how they are improving teaching in classrooms around the state. The Capitol Showcase of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Partnerships (IMSP) brings participants together to share their research findings about how they learned and how it changed their teaching in classrooms.
“Our partnerships are beginning to realize their serious responsibilities for today’s students and tomorrow learners, by facing the realities of teaching in a 21st century classroom dealing with new technologies that are emerging everyday,” said Christopher Koch, Interim State Superintendent. “The IMSP program creates a bridge and opens doors between our K-12 teachers, colleges, universities and the private sector.”
The IMSP program was created as part of the No Child Left Behind Act, and over the past four years the partnerships have provided outstanding opportunities for professional development in mathematical and scientific inquiry, problem solving and technological design. The partnerships have been created with local districts, colleges, universities and a wide diversity of Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics (STEM) leaders in Illinois. The focus on STEM education by scientists, mathematicians and engineers is rapidly becoming a focus for assuring that our students are well-prepared for future careers and as global citizens.
“One of the most important policy issues facing Illinois and the nation is the production of STEM leaders to remain competitive in the global environment,” said Judy Erwin, IBHE Executive Director. “The Board of Higher Education NCLB partnerships provided extensive and intensive professional development to Illinois teachers last year, focused in the high-need STEM disciplines. These research-based professional development activities helped equip Illinois schools with highly qualified teachers, the key ingredient to student achievement.”
The IMSP program will serve approximately 700 teachers in more than 68 counties. The budget in Fiscal Year 2007 for the IMSP program is approximately $6.3 million.
Twenty IMSP partnerships are continuing their work through this school year and presenting at the Capitol Showcase and are as follows:
- The Champaign Unit 4 Nanotechnology Teacher Enhancement Program (CU4NTEP) is a collaboration between Community Unit School District #4, the Center for Nanoscale Chemical-Electrical-Mechanical Manufacturing Systems (Nano-CEMMS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Education for Employment System #330, Parkland College, and the Army’s Construction Engineering Research Laboratory.
- The Chicago Public Schools Middle Grades Mathematics/Science Teacher Leadership Institute is providing in-depth professional development in middle grades mathematics and science for three groups of 30 teacher-leaders each year for three years. Mathematicians from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and scientists from Loyola University of Chicago (LUC) are included in the partnership.
- The Chicago Academy of Sciences, notably sharing the expertise from the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and the UIC, will be working with elementary teachers from Chicago.
- The partnership between the Christian-Montgomery Regional Office of Education and the ROE #40 for Calhoun, Greene, Jersey, and Macoupin Counties includes STEM leaders from Blackburn College, and Hurst Rosche Engineering Company.
- Leaders from the University of Illinois in Champaign are working with teachers from Champaign, as well as teachers from Bradley-Bourbonnais, integrating astronomy and biology concepts directly in mathematics understandings and applications.
- DePaul University in Chicago plans an innovative Masters of Science degree program for public and private Chicago middle school teachers in tandem with their NASA Center resources.
- The LUC-Chicago Public Schools Physics Project creates a comprehensive, three-year program providing 30 CPS teachers with content background to receive an endorsement in physics as they are studying and applying the latest physics and educational research which will lead to Master’s degree credentials.
- Des Plaines Community Consolidated School District #62 and the North Cook Intermediate Service Center is partnering with 3 school districts, National Louis University, Oakton Community College and the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce.
- East Richland School District #1 in Olney has teamed with three other rural districts, including a local private school, Eastern Illinois University (EIU) and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to expand their existing partnership with the Embarrass River Management Association.
- EIU partners with elementary teachers, mentored by colleagues from their own middle or high schools throughout central Illinois with special technologies associated with environmental sciences.
- Staff members from the Mt. Vernon office of the Hamilton-Jefferson Regional Office of Education are working with teachers in neighboring counties with Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale and Northwestern University.
- The Lee-Ogle Regional and Rock Island Offices of Education have collaborated to replicate and extend their very successful IMSP programs in two separate programs with Northern Illinois University (NIU) and Western Illinois University (WIU).
- LUC, through its Center for Science and Math Education which includes the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education and Departments of Biology, Natural Science and Physics, will work with middle school teachers from Chicago Public Schools.
- Teachers from Chicago, Roxana, Rochelle, Peoria, Havana, Des Plaines, Goreville, Rushville, Calumet City, Knoxville and Troy participate in a project organized through the Peoria County Regional Office of Education, with Caterpillar, Walgreens, SIU, NIU, Bradley University, WIU, focusing on Mathematics and Science concepts as they relate to the Transportation, Distribution and Logistics career clusters.
- Proviso Township coordinates a partnership with LUC’s Departments of Chemistry and Physics and the UIC Departments of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science and Texas Instruments leading toward certification in mathematics and science for teachers in their six feeder districts.
- St. Clair and the Monroe-Randolph Regional Offices of Education have planned a partnership with Camp Wartburg, Lindenwood University and 60 teachers from 18 districts.
- The Madison County Regional Office of Education and SIU in Edwardsville plans work with Collinsville teachers who are leaders in the pre-service master teacher program, creating a program with partners from the Schools of Engineering and Education and Boeing Corporation and incorporates National Board Certification components.
- The University of Chicago and Yerkes Observatory will be working with the Will County Regional Office of Education and 24 of their teachers and a dozen other teachers from around the state in a 3-year international astronomy project.
- Staff from the Regional Office of Education in Ullin will coordinate the partnership with the Regional Offices of Franklin/Williamson Counties and Jackson/Perry Counties to serve 35 teachers with experts from SIU in Carbondale.