The Northern Indiana Science, Mathematics and Engineering Center (NISMEC)
Mission and Initial Goals for NISMEC
A community resource center providing professional development opportunities and resources for educators to enhance standards-based STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.
1. Provide advanced training of teachers to insure thorough mastery of subject matter and instructional skills. This applies to both new and current teachers at the elementary levels.
2. Focus on the school as the locus of change, including the principals, as well as science and mathematics teachers to upgrade the learning environment at the school.
3. Work with education departments in area universities and colleges to help restructure undergraduate training programs for science and mathematics teachers.
4. Facilitate the involvement of scientists and mathematicians in the activities of the Center. They will come from universities, colleges, museums and private sector research laboratories. The activities will include staff development, materials development (hardware and software), and a far-ranging interdisciplinary study of the science teaching process. Use of sabbatical leaves to the Center will be necessary.
5. Provide a focus through workshops, meetings and a curriculum and resource center to foster the collegiality of teachers, scientists, principals, museum directors and, in short, all parts of the science and mathematics education community.
6. Provide a strong assessment and evaluation program, with rapid feedback directly to the Center to assist in program improvements and management decisions.
7. Be an agent for change in public and private School programs. The Center, which captures the spirit of teaching needs, can become a model for making achievement the highest priority of these programs.
8. Conduct a research-based program which leads to the development and implementation of new mathematics and science curricula and instructional methods, including programs which are effective for rural, urban and suburban students with a wide range of backgrounds.
9. Become the center for all University outreach programs, science and non-science, to the local community; enhance their coordination, their visibility to both the community, and to the University faculty and staff.
We expect to enhance the understanding of Science for all members of the local community with programs for teachers, students, parents and all community members. Through a variety of outreach and network activities, the Center expects to serve as a prototype for school and community improvement across the State of Indiana, and subsequently for the entire Nation.
The center will stimulate a valuable integration and synergy of the science and mathematics outreach programs at the University of Notre Dame, at Saint Mary’s College, at IUSB and at other local educational institutions.