The Northern Indiana Science, Mathematics and Engineering Center

Summary May 6, 2004


1. To enhance the science and mathematics abilities of teachers in the St. Joseph County Schools, utilizing model and inquiry based learning - to combine content and teaching methods; and to become the support center for community-driven education in sciences, mathematics and engineering at the pre-college level for all grades from kindergarten to high-school graduation.

2. To coordinate local programs already existing within the local colleges and universities.

3. To become the support center for pre-college science and mathematics learning and teaching for the local community, and a pilot model for the State of Indiana.

The Center and its programs are being developed at the University of Notre Dame, in partnership with Saint Mary’s College, Indiana University at South Bend (IUSB), the St. Joseph County School Systems, and other community educational institutions. We are looking for financial support in large part from federal sources (the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Education), with initial and other support from Notre Dame, the State of Indiana, and private companies (Siemens, Lilly, etc), and local institutions. The initial Notre Dame outreach part of NISMC is being operated under the umbrella of the Kaneb Center as the Notre Dame Educational Outreach Center.


Academic Institutions:

University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, Indiana University at South Bend (IUSB) 

School Corporations:

South Bend, John Glenn, New Prairie, Mishawaka, Penn-Harris-Madison

Other Institutions:

TAMS (Chicago), ETHOS (Elkhart), St. Joseph County Park District

Initial Programs

A. 10th March 2004 pilot meeting organized by NISMC - a one day visit of TAMS (Teachers Academy of Mathematics and Science, Chicago) personnel to explain their school-based process for the introduction of inquiry-based learning, attended by 40 people from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’’s, IUSB, and the St. Joseph County schools. The conference identified the science and mathematics needs of the local school systems, and also introduced the school-based initiative for inquiry-based learning.

B. Summer 2004 Teacher Workshops

Four one week-long workshops for St. Joseph County Teachers. The Center (NISMC) has put together a support package, for teachers from the South Bend and John Glenn Schools. $50K is needed for the complete 4 week program.

C. Siemens Foundation Summer Program for 2004

Support for high school teachers and students in 8 weeks of programs in high energy

physics and nanotechnology at Notre Dame. The high-energy part is an extension of the existing Quarknet program already operating at Notre Dame (Professor R. Ruchti). The nanotechnology part is a development from a small pilot program of the summer of 2003 (Professor G. Bernstein) A proposal (for $50K) has been submitted to the Siemens Foundation.

D. Spring, Summer, Early Fall 2004 round-table “partner-workshops”

A series with all the expected partners: ND, St. Mary’s, IUSB, St. Joseph County School Districts, and local institution: to develop the long-range program and comprehensive proposals to the NSF for the NISMC.

E. Siemens SMART Fellows Program - summer 2005 (Science and Mathematics and Research Training Fellows)

Training for teachers to become the first SIEMENS SMART Fellows for the South Bend Schools. In succeeding years at the summer workshops these initial Siemens SMART Fellows will become role-models and facilitators for the rest of the South Bend schools. A pre-proposal has been submitted to the Siemens Foundation.

Other possible and probable related CENTER programs at the University of Notre Dame. some of these are already operating, some in the initial supported stage, some in the idea stage.

1.      Quarknet (high school teachers and students), a national physics outreach program

2.      REU programs (principally college students), supported by NSF

3.         The Northern Indiana Science Fair, each March at the ND Steppan Center

4.         The Lego League, a national program, with a ND operational center.

5.         The ND Nano center - has an outreach program for local high schools.

6.         Science nights: throughout the year, at the ND planetarium and new /old telescopes.

7.         JINA - the Joint Institute for Nuclear and Astrophysics - has outreach programs, for kindergarten through graduate education, and is providing support to NISMC; details can be found at

8.         Other ND summer programs for students: Architecture Discovery Program; Summer Introduction to Engineering; Summer Experience.

9.         Parent program for participating schools - a future outreach program

10.       Community Science Museum - a future outreach program

Funding needs by program (chronological)

Year 2004

1.         Development meeting; March 10, 2004                                                         $1,000

2.         Siemens 2004 Outreach Initiative: Engaging High School Science Teachers and Students in Science and Engineering Research                                                                                             $50,000

3.         Summer 2004 Teacher Science Institutes                                          $45,500

4.         Organizational roundtables (June to December)                                            $4,000

                                                                        Total needs                 $100,500 


Present funding through Notre Dame:

Kaneb Center: $1,000 (March 10, 2004 meeting at Giovanini Commons)

Dean of Science: $10,000       Dean of Engineering: $10,000

JINA (Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics) Outreach: $5000

Murgatroyd Research Foundation (private): $5,000

Siemens Foundation summer 2004: $50,000 requested - ( funding received: $19,000)

Provost’s Office:         $50,000 per year for 2 years


We continue to search further for local funding.


Year 2005

1.         Siemens Science and Mathematics and Research Training (SMART) Fellows


2.         Summer 2005 Teacher Science Institute                                                        $55,000

3.         Roundtable outreach meetings (January to June)                                           $4,000

4.         Principal funding to establish the NISMC                                           about $2.5M

            (Early 2005 deadline for proposal to NSF MSP program, plus 2 other NSF programs, Graduate teaching fellows and Teacher professional continuum, deadlines June and September 2004)


Deadlines for relevant National Science Foundation support:


1.         Graduate teaching fellows (GK12)                 deadlines -5 May and 2 June 2004

            The ASTOUND program, letter submitted by Karen Morris (ND)

2.         Teacher professional continuum (TPC)          deadlines -25 May and 10 Sep 2004

3.         Maths and Science Partnerships (MSP)         deadlines - ? End of 2004, early 2005

In each case the first deadline is for a pre-proposal or letter of intent, and the second is for the full proposal. The rfp’s of the first two have been issued, and we have already done considerable work in the initial writing and preliminary planning. Each pre-proposal consists of 6 pages of description, but with a detailed budget for the program. There is not yet an rfp issued for the 3rd one. Karen Morris is the lead developer for the first NSF proposal, and has submitted a letter of intent to the NSF. NISMC partners will develop the 2nd pre-proposal before May 24th and develop the final document during the summer of 2004. We anticipate annual budgets of the order of $100,000 to $450,000 for each of the three proposals.

The principal purposes of the partner workshops of this summer will be to develop the understanding and needs of all partners in putting together the three NSF proposals by their respective deadlines. The workshops will also continue to develop communications within the program partners, and identify STEM needs within the local communities.