How will my teachers benefit from an MSI graduate course?
The Museum’s science teacher education courses can provide your teachers with science content and teaching strategies directly relevant to their classroom curriculum.We offer academic year and summer sessions all at NO COST to teachers selected to participate.
Museum courses target fourth- through eighth-grade educators with limited experience teaching science. MSI makes it an effort to prioritize schools in high-needs communities.
Courses provide a broad background in science, are designed in accordance with Illinois and national science education standards (NGSS) and complement Museum exhibits and resources. Participating teachers will actively engage in sessions designed to improve their science instruction, enhance science content knowledge, provide them with inquiry-based curriculum materials/lesson plans, and develop additional classroom instructional strategies. Participating teachers will be better equipped to promote student achievement and foster a positive attitude toward science and science-related (STEM) careers.
When do sessions take place?
Academic year courses meet six times during the school year for five or six graduate credits. Actual session dates can be found on the individual course pages. During academic year courses, the Museum reimburses schools for the cost of a substitute teacher for sessions held on school days.
Summer courses meet over five consecutive days for three graduate credits.
What do teachers receive?
During each course, teachers receive lesson plans and materials to replicate activities back in the classroom. Teachers in the academic year courses also receive a free field trip, which includes funding for a bus and a Learning Lab program for students. See a sample session agenda and classroom lesson.
Teachers can also earn graduate credit from the Illinois Institute of Technology or Valparaiso University in Indiana.
How can teachers participate?
To participate in MSI courses, teachers must apply and be selected to enroll. Teachers are recruited in pairs to ensure shared resources at schools. Applications are accepted in the spring and late summer.
What courses do you offer?
We currently offer these four courses:
Who has participated?
Since the program’s inception, teachers at over 265 schools – mostly Chicago Public Schools – have participated. Ten schools have participated for at least five years: Brenneman Elementary, CICS-Bucktown, Gallistel Language Academy, Hanson Park Elementary, Locke Elementary, McPherson Elementary, Portage Park Elementary, Sawyer Elementary and Zapata Academy in Chicago and Heritage Middle School in Berwyn.
Teachers credit MSI courses with showing them how to make science fun and exciting for their students. Here’s just some of the feedback we’ve received:
“Because of the ample supplies the Museum has so generously provided, I feel well equipped to provide hands-on instruction with the science concepts we are learning. The student success stories are endless, as rarely a day goes by that I do not hear, ‘I love science now.’ “
-- Julianne Riedele, Hans Christian Andersen Academy, Chicago
“I cannot get over the lab materials we receive after each session. It demonstrates how complete the program is, given that you give us curricula, guide us during the workshops in how we may teach many of the lessons, and give us everything we need to put them to use in the classroom. “
-- Melissa Resh, Young Women’s Leadership Charter School, Chicago
The Center aims to inspire the next generation of inventors and innovators with programs that empower teachers, engage the community and excite students.
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