The Northern Indiana
Science, Mathematics and Engineering Collaborative
Guided Inquiry is our Focus
Recent news and additions Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all NISMEC friends!
ATTENTION: NISMEC Summer 2013 workshops at Notre Dame, Morton H.S., Hammond, at South Bend Schools and at University High School.
|Budget uncertainties are resolved: we will offer a 2-week modeling workshop in
Chemistry at University High School in Carmel (July).
Also an extra Guided Inquiry workshop for middle school science teachers (August) - (go to forms above)
22 February 2013:
Gordon's brief presentation at the NDerc Forum at Notre Dame
on Saturday, 23 February, 2013 [ppt file here]
17 February 2013:
"University educators want students who can write, research, and think: students who are open minded, passionate, and curious.
These qualities are snuffed out under the drive for high scores on standardized multiple-choice tests under No Child Left Behind." So say
public and private school teachers in a recent letter publicized in the Washington Post. They focus on the loss of time in school for non-NCLB subjects - we think science at all grades suffers also!
13 February 2013:The annual NDERC meeting
"Collaborating for Education and Research Forum VI" will be held at the University of Notre Dame's Jordan Hall of Science on Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 from 8:30am to 2pm. Please register at the NDERC website (http://erc.nd.edu/).
9 February 2013:The annual HASTI Meeting just finished at Indianapolis (6-8 Feb).
Here are five ppt files of our meeting contributions: first the list of all the NISMEC-associated talks; and the ppt-files for the 4 workshops of Gordon Berry:
1- Galileo (all grades); 2- Modeling Overview (high school);
3- ISI extensions (middle school);
4- "Reading an Object: example-Alpacas" (all grades);
Terri Hebert's "Science and Stories" (docx file);
and Joe Bellina's two talks (pdf-files): Process Skills; and Science Notebooks.
For the other talks, contact the primary speakers (some of the files may be added in the near future).
18 January 2013:Important comment on the reduction of physics in the course selections of the NGSS - The New Generation Science Standards:
From Jane Jackson (jane.jackson@ASU.EDU);
"I am disturbed at the marginalization of physics in the NGSS model course maps in Appendix J. I see it as harming the spread of research-based programs such as Modeling Instruction. We all need to give feedback...."
8 January 2013: Mini-workshop in Kokomo: Friday evening/all day Saturday, 25-26th January 2013: "The Indiana HS Biology Modeling Curriculum: reports and next steps".
Please contact Gordon Berry (email@example.com) if you want to attend and/or for registration (Preliminary schedule ).
7 January 2013:Are these meaningful grades? Read today's New York Times article on grading the schools of each state
by the "Studentsfirst" education reform organization. It is interesting to read that Tony Bennett, the ex-Sperintendent of Schools for Indiana is preparing to be Florida's education commissioner.
Here is the original report giving Indiana a C+.
7 January 2013: News on NISMEC proposals/grant-writing: - score 2 up, 2 down (better than the ND Championship football team!)
Wins: 1 - The American Physical Society: "Physics And Instructional Resources": to James Keating, Washington HS (SBCSC) and NISMEC (Gordon Berry)
2 - The Indiana Commission on Higher Education: "Improving Teacher Quality": to Hammond School City, East Chicago School City, Gary Community Schools, and NISMEC (Gordon Berry) for Modeling in HS Biology and ICP
Losses: 1: The National Institutes of Health: SEPA program - Indiana Biology Modeling - NISMEC (Gordon Berry).
2 - Indiana Math Science Partnership - Evansville Vanderburgh Schools, Decatur Schools, and NISMEC (Gordon Berry) for Modeling in HS Biology and ICP
9 December 2012: The National Fluid Power Association challenge (NFPA) - 7 December 2012
South Bend Schools Intermediate Centers competed at Steppan Center, Notre Dame (competition details at
the NFPA website)
Worth reading: NAEP Report relating Vocabulary Skills to Reading Comprehension.
| Five trophies were awarded, one for each of these categories.
- Overall Champion (First place) - team #4 - Clay IC
- Portfolio Champion - team #2 - Brown IC
- Team Challenge Champion - team #10 - LaSalle Academy
- Design Champion - team #6 - Edison IC
- Teamwork - team #11 - LaSalle Academy
13 November 2012: Check out this South Bend Tribune article about the successful "How Does It Work" expo last weekend - one highlight was the hands-on bicycle exhibit of the Honeywell airplane brake systems, built here on South Bend's west-side
30 October 2012: A helpful article about "responsive classrooms" and the need for professional development
which helps interactions between students and teachers and between students and students - part of our own message in guided inquiry and modeling classrooms...
9 October 2012: Upcoming Events - save the dates:
7 October 2012: HASTI 2013, 6-8 February - we just submitted abstracts for six 45-minute sessions at the winter HASTI nanual meeting in Indianapolis:
you can read all the abstracts here.
|-> 26-27 October <- ETHOS Science Center will be hosting its Annual Science Spectacular at 2521 Industrial Parkway, Elkhart
| -> 10-11 November <- at Union Station, in downtown South Bend,
for MSTCi's "How Does it Work". Displays and hands-on activities
have been put together by area businesses and local educators organized by MSTCi for children and adults that will engage them in critical thinking relating to science, technology, engineering and math.[Clik
here or on pic]
This is MSTCI's first opportunity to raise awareness of how knowledge of STEM impacts our local workforce.
We are planning a 1.5 day meeting for Indiana Biology modelers in January 2013 - the meeting will be a Friday evening and all day Saturday at a hotel and high-school in Kokomo; we have funds for hotel accommodation and travel allowances for teachers from the north and south -
keep checking back at NISMEC for more details, as they become available..
2 October 2012: Teachers: are you ready for a Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship? You can receive $10,000 for a six week summer project in 2013.
Application information can be found here. The deadline for submission is 2 November 2012 - 100 Fellowships will be awarded - go for it!!
30 September 2012: I am sure you teachers agree with these two articles:
5 Biggest Lies About America's Public Schools: by Kristin Rawls,
and The War against teachers: by Laura Clawson
30 August 2012: [back from a short vacation!]
Please check out the fruits of our summer labors - (1) first year biology modeling, and (2) 5th-8th grade ISI improvements:
the teachers in the two sets of workshops were all great "workshoppers" to give us some incredibly useful ideas for the classrooms...
Forty-five additions to the 5-8th ISI kits from the two Intermediate center workshops; while the two two-week biology modeling workshops (at Notre Dame and at University HS in Carmel) yielded an almost complete first year biology modeling curriculum - an incredible set of achievements!!
The biology modules for the latter are still being uploaded to our new biology modeling website, but all will be ready to use shortly.
It is essential to try out these examples in your classrooms - we need to get some feedback on improvements and changes, especially as we move on through the school year
- the focus of these hands-on, experiential curricula is always to help students learn, to enjoy learning, and to connect their learning to the realities of their everyday world.
Please send in your comments for change/improvements on any of these modules, or other helpful nuggets from your learning classroom - we will publish them here so that other teachers can try them out..
28 July 2012: HURRAH!!
The NISMEC summer-2012 workshops (all 6 PD workshops plus two weeks of "Sensing Our World") have been successfully completed: just this coming week's Summer Science Camp for SBCSC 5-8th grade students remains.
During the coming weeks, we will gradually be adding the resulting curriculum pieces plus other items that were completed during these workshops.
First, we have the teacher-note clarifications and extensions to the ISI 5th-8th grades kit curriculum. We will be trying them out at the SSC this coming week;
you can find them all in this ISI-support spreadsheet; the high school modeling results will be added shortly...
1 June 2012: The deadlines for applications to our modeling, intermediate center and SOW workshops have passed:
we have been very gratified by all the responses, and every workshop is fully prescribed - THANK YOU for your confidence in our programs -
we will be contacting you all during the coming week with details about the individual workshops.
One more personal item in which you might be interested: Mary Hynes-Berry (my wife) has just published a book about aspects of student engagement in the classroom:
although focused on the early K-5 grades, her ideas are relevant to hands-on science (and other) classrooms at all grades,
including high school and adult - for more information check her website about the book
"Don't Leave the Story in the Book.." or elsewhere.
14 May 2012: Read and comment on the newly-released science standards
- we will be discussing them in detail at all the NISMEC summer workshops.
8 May 2012: Here is the US News ranking of
22,000 public high schools
from 49 states and the District of Columbia.
(Nebraska did not report enough data to be included in the rankings.)
Check out Indiana's "best schools"!
26 April 2012: As we wait for the national science core standards,
here is some interesting reading about the new wave of "Education Standards":
A Framework for K-12 Science Education;
The Standards for Mathematical Practice;
Concern Abounds Over Teachers' Preparedness for core-Standards;
Empowering Students with Digital Reading;
[web references within articles] -
more discussions on these topics will take place in our summer 2012 workshops (see below to register).
21 April 2012: The issues, challenges and prospects of "Virtual Education";
A brief commentary by Gordon Berry on a two-day conference on
these topics that took place in New Delhi on Feb 24-25, 2012. Although the focus is on post-secondary education, there are surely lessons to be learned in this area for K-12 education,
especially as more technology becomes available to teachers and students.
20 April 2012: As feared, additional funding for some of our summer workshops has not been obtained - hence, we have reduced the number of modeling
workshops to the four listed below - chemistry and biology at Notre Dame and at the University High School in Carmel. There are plenty of teacher-spaces still available, although for the Notre Dame workshops,
priority has to go the the South Bend School District teachers (as stipulated from our ICHE funds). Our maximum number of teachers in each workshop is 20, so please apply ASAP to assure your place.
You can find the Modeling workshop application form and more information
The Intermediate Center/Middle School workshop dates have also been finalized - the dates have been selected to accommodate the ISI workshop schedules for the
SBCSC teachers: the dates are as follows:
Notes for the Intermediate Center/Middle School workshops:
||11-15 June (Mon-Fri)
|| 3-day 12-14 July (Thurs-Sat)
|IC student summer camp
||Robinson Center, Kroc Center
||30 July - 5 August: (Mon-Fri)
1 - Stipends for GI workshops = $100/day;
2 - Registration: $10 registration fee - returned at workshop - before 26 May, 2012;(By check to Gordon Berry or Tracy Slattery; payable to University of Notre Dame)
3 - Focus Topics: Developing questions in the GI classroom, notebooks and use of Vernier probes
4 - GI/Vernier workshop times: For (a) and (b) 8:30 am till 4 pm each day
5 - GI student summer camps: children attend in the mornings 9 am till noon; teachers attend 8:30 am - 3 pm: afternoons: analysis of morning sessions;
2-4 camps, each with up to 30 students (separated into grades 6,7,8) and 6 teachers per day -
possible locations: Robinson Center, Kroc center, Charles Martin Center, other?...teachers must have attended GI-workshops - can sign up for any number of days;
Notre Dame Contact:
Gordon Berry, Physics Department, University of Notre Dame Notre Dame IN 46556
SBCSC Contact: Tracy Slattery, SBCSC; firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Please find the workshop registration form HERE.
18 April 2012:
(GO) STEM! Summer camp at USI (Evansville, Southern Indiana) to all current 8th through 11th grade girls!
|Location: University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, Indiana & Holiday World Splashin' Safari, Santa Claus, Indiana
Eligibility: Open to girls entering the 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade in the Fall 2012.
Fee: $125/participant, includes lodging, meals, and park admission. Fee is due upon acceptance into the program. Damages to university and/or the property of Holiday World Splashin' Safari will be the sole financial responsibility of the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the liable participant.
Deadline to Apply: Monday, April 30, 2012
More information and the application at
Allison Grabert '02, SwISTEM Interim Director www.swistem.org
University of Southern Indiana 812/228-5019 Fax: 812/465-1052 email: email@example.com
20 February 2012: Announcements will be made shortly about the joint
Math-Science Partnership program of NISMEC and South Bend Schools for Intermediate Schools Science Teachers.
Dates and details of the summer workshops providing extension support for the Indiana Science Initiative will be announced shortly.
19 February 2012: Summer 2012 - Another year of SOW - Sensing our World -
NISMEC is again sponsoring this popular program of a week of hands-on science learning for middle-school students:
This year's session has been scheduled for the week of 9 - 13 July, 2012. If we are overloaded with eligible applicants (as we were last year),
we have reserved space and instructors for a second week - 16-20 July, 2012.
The announcement, other details and the application forms can be found at
the SOW website.
18 February 2012:
1-Modeling workshops in June and July 2012
|6/18 - 6/29
||Develop - 2 weeks
||Indy - Univ HS
||Intermed - 2 weeks
|7/9 - 7/20
||Intermed - 2 weeks
|7/16 - 7/27
||Indy - Univ HS
||Berry + Hicks
||Develop - 2 weeks
You can find the Modeling workshop application form and more information
Please return the form and registration fee as early as possible to ensure a place in your requested workshop.
17 February 2012:
|Summer 2011 - NISMEC Summer workshop follow-up files/pages
|High school - Physics, Chemistry & Biology modeling|
|Middle school - Using Vernier probes with science kits
10 December 2011: At our second successful Saturday 1-day Modeling workshop on Dec 3, we had a group of enthusiastic chemistry and biology modeling teachers from northern Indiana:
the essential business included reports on events in the classrooms this Fall, and difficulties in convincing administrators about the modeling process - it is clearly important that principals and parents understand the activities of the children:
we need to keep all parties "in the loop". We also agreed on optimum workshop schedules for the coming summer - funding all will be difficult - more news about that later in the month:
timing, registration fees, stipends, instructors were discussed. We need to coordinate with the requests coming out of the November 12 workshop.
28 November 2011: A Saturday 1-day Modeling in Chemistry and Biology workshop takes place on
Saturday, December 3rd at The University of Notre Dame Physics Department (Nieuwland room 202)
- 9 am to 3:30 pm (lunch provided).
26 October 2011: A Saturday 1-day Modeling in Physics, Chemistry and Biology workshop takes place on
Saturday, November 12 at The University High School in Carmel - 9 am to 3:30 pm (lunch provided).
Click here for the AGENDA;
please let me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Laura Slocum (email@example.com) if you are planning to come (all high-school science teachers of Indiana are welcome). We
will be discussing progress this school year, and plans for the summer 2012.
A similar workshop will take place at Notre Dame on Saturday, 3 December 2011.
27 September 2011: "A good principal makes a good school" is a truism that is stated often - but how is a "good principal" defined?
A recent New York Times article contains some good definitions...
15 September 2011: This year's Notre Dame Forum, "Reimagining School: to Nurture the Soul of a Nation", is a yearlong discussion on the profound and
challenging questions that shape the national debate on K-12 education.
Further info at "The ND Forum site"
September 26, 7 pm: Gov. Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, founder of the Foundation for Excellence in Education.
September 28, 3:30 pm: Wendy Kopp, Teach for America, Bishop Gerald Kicanas, Tucson Diocese,
Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers, Juan Rangel,UNO charter school network.
12 September 2011: In addition to the Vernier Labquests and probes now available at the Notre Dame library for all teachers who attended the workshops,
we bring your attention to another classroom hardware source - NDLIGHTS -
||This partnership between the Notre Dame Colleges of Engineering and Science makes donations to schools in need of laboratory equipment: part of our catholic mission of sharing equipment
no longer used in the Notre Dame laboratories: the instrumentation is tested, and experimental scenarios and training to match the high school science curriculum are provided.
Contact Michelle Joyce at (574)631-2786 or firstname.lastname@example.org
31 August 2011: Just to note that we have settled on dates for our Saturday modeling workshops: the first will be on November 12th at
University High School for modeling participants (physics, chemistry and biology) from central and southern Indiana; the
second will take place on December 3rd at the University of Notre Dame - please reserve those dates - we expect to discuss what is happening in the modeling classrooms, and also discuss plans for
the coming year and especially next summer - more details on the Saturday workshops will follow shortly.
6 August 2011: We have now completed all the 2011 workshops, and we are beginning to put the information from the workshops
on the website:
1. For High School Modelers: The Chemistry modeling introductory modeling workshop and the beginning of our first-year biology modeling curriculum,
including the lesson modules from the Marian and Notre Dame workshops. Click here
for details, including some pictures and the schedule for Levi Torrison's introductory chemistry modeling workshop (at Notre Dame and at USI, Evansville).
The two Vernier Labquest 2011 workshops for the SBCSC Intermediate Center science teachers (grades 5-8).
Note that the lesson plans from the 2010 workshops can also be found here.
5 April 2011: We have completed the transfer of our large collection of Vernier modules and other science teaching equipment
(for grades 5 thru 12) as a "Special Collection" in the Notre Dame Libraries. This will make it possible for teachers to see what modules are available and to
order loan modules on-line - Opening Ceremonies took place in May 2011...
- the daily introductions (with examples)
- the notebooking files
- the homework
- the kit extensions and expansions (from workshops 1A and 1B)
- the Notre Dame Library Loan program and other helpful information
Professional Development sessions for Middle School Science teachers
5 March 2011: We have just received MSP funding for these programs for 2011 and 2012 - further information shortly...
"Middle School Science with Vernier" workshops will be held in June - the weeks beginning the 13th and the 27th June - more weeks(in July) will be added if necessary
We are coordinating 9 separate
Sponsored by the Indiana DOE, I-STEM, NISMEC and the Universities of Notre Dame, Marian and Southern Indiana
Modeling workshops for high school science teachers - June/July 2011
in Chemistry, Physics and Biology - open to all Indiana High School Science Teachers
1-week Introductory Programs in Chemistry and in Physics
2-week Intermediate Programs in Physics and Chemistry
1-week Developmental Programs in Biology
The $1000 REGISTRATION FEE is also being paid (for Indiana teachers) by courtesy of IN-DOE
Registration deadline: 30 May 2011:
for the application form and further details see Modeling PD in 2011 (MS2007 docx-file)
Or see Modeling PD in 2011 (MS2003 doc-file)
More detailed information about these workshops and especially the "Biology Modeling Development" workshops will be posted shortly.
The Arizona State University Modeling site and a wealth of Modeling information can be found at
Information Message - 18 May 2011 to attendees of the summer 2011 Modeling workshops
Listing - 18 May 2011 - of attendees of the summer 2011 Modeling workshops (sorted by workshop)
Our summer program for middle school students: Sensing Our World 2011 is a continuation of the JINA Sensing our World Program of the past few years;
with a new sponsorship from the Siemens Foundation and from NISMEC: This year we focus on "Science through Time".
The program for 6th to 9th grade students, takes place the week of June 20-24, 2011 at the University of Notre Dame:
Details of registration, etc can be found at: Sensing Our World 2011
Reports and descriptions of our Middle School workshops in the summer of 2010 at Notre Dame. These include lesson plans developed by the
participants for 5-8th grade science classes utilizing Vernier modules.
The Winter/Spring 2010 NISMEC Newsletter
At the Century Center - the Building Awareness Symposium - 27 October, 2009, 9 am to 5 pm
A symposium arranged by the Indiana Department of Education -
guest speakers include Chris Murphy,1st Source Bank, and Tony Bennett, Indiana Superintendent of Schools
Science, mathematics and arts guided inquiry lesson plans,
utilizing the Rickey sculptures exhibits in downtown South Bend and at the Notre Dame Snite Museum of Art.
July 13 - 17, 2009 Notre Dame Workshop on Introduction to Modeling in Physics and the Physical Sciences-
June 22-26, 2009 Notre Dame Workshop 2B on Guided Inquiry and Vernier Labquest Probes-
June 19, 2009 Ivy Tech Workshop on Middle School Mathematics - George Rickey Day-
June 1-5, 2009 Notre Dame Workshop 1B on Guided Inquiry and Vernier Labquest Probes-
The Fall 2009 NISMEC Newsletter
Other News and archived newsletters
Partner Institutions and Community Organizations:
Some NISMEC History
The Spring 2008 NISMEC Newsletter
Other News and archived newsletters
HASTI 2008 NISMEC talks
Beginning: First NISMC Meeting, 10 March 2004, at the Notre Dame Giovanini Center
------The Guided Inquiry Method (GIM) and Joe Bellina's remarks on Teacher Science Workshops
First NISMC Organizational meeting, 7 May 2004 at Saint Mary's Science Hall
An assessment test yourself and your class!
Some Children's and Science Museums
people have checked out this page according to the helpful people at: