iSTEM is a Mathematics & Science Partnership (MSP) grant for middle school science teachers in the Rock Island County, Illinois region. Teachers participated in a two-week summer institute during the summer of 2013, multiple follow-up sessions during the 2013-14 school year, and a second summer institute in 2014.
The main goals of the project are:
1) To help science teachers gain an in-depth understanding of the Next Generation Science Standards;
2) To introduce middle school science teachers to new technologies which will enable them to incorporate the Scientific and Engineering Practices of the Next Generation Science Standards into their classrooms; and
3) To deepen middle school science teachers' content knowledge and increase their ability to use Crosscutting Concepts to make connections across all science disciplines.
The iSTEM Middle School program partnered with their iSTEM High School counterparts in order to work on action plans for NGSS curriculum and NGSS dissemination back at their districts.
Teachers partnered with scientists and engineers in order to relate NGSS lessons with the real world. iSTEM teachers toured numerous facilities at Deere & Company Headquarters, saw robots in action at Genesis Systems Robotics, and toured and met with scientists and engineers at Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory among many other "real science" experiences. Teachers used sensors and data collection devices to integrate the latest technology and data analysis into the high school classroom. Teachers collected samples and studied water quality - pictures below include sampling at the Mississippi River, touring at Fermilab and at Deere & Company.