Robert Abrams Memorial Grant

  • Robert D. Abrams

    Bob loved to teach. No matter where his professional career took him, Bob’s true love remained teaching. As a teacher and an administrator, Bob led by example and inspired teachers and students alike, to reach their fullest potential. His witty sense of humor and gregarious personality put those around him at ease, making each and every student and teacher that Bob interacted with feel welcome and valued.

    Bob had a smile and sincerity that was contagious. It brightened and motivated those around him. While Bob was a teacher, leader and mentor to many in the field of science education, his influence among those attempting to understand all that science brings is what will immortalize his passion and inspire others to emulate his love for science education.


    Bob was born in New Haven, CT but spent most of his life in Illinois. He lived in New Lenox for 11 years before passing away in May 2018 at the age of 42. Bob was survived by his loving wife and 3 young children.

    Bob was a graduate of Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois, and his Master's degree from Illinois State University.

    As a certified biology teacher, Bob began teaching at Bloomington HS. Eventually his career led him to Rich East High School and, after a year, he became the Instructional Leader for Science. While at Rich East, Bob successfully wrote for the Enhancing Education Through Technology grant where Rich East was awarded $830,000 to infuse technology into instruction. Within the Rich Township High Schools, Bob was also an Associate Principal and the Coordinator for Data, Assessment, and Grants. Bob ended his career as an Assistant Principal at Joliet Twp HS Dist 204.

    The Grant

    The goal of this scholarship is to provide at least two science educators (ideally 1 elementary and 1 high school) with the opportunity to participate in staff development when the lack of school/district funding would prevent that participation. As such, this scholarship will pay the registration fees for at least two science educators to attend the annual Northern Illinois Science Educators' (NISE) Conference. NOTE: More scholarships are typically awarded at the discretion of the NISE Board of Directors.

    Looking for a grant for a different activity, see the NISE PD Grant.


    Open to all science educators interested in attending the annual NISE Conference. NISE employees, leadership, and family members are not eligible.

    What’s Included

    Registration fees for the annual NISE conference. If applicantion requests school/district reimbursement of substitute fees, please provide justification.

    • More information, including selection criteria, available in the application.
    • Applications are requested at least 3 weeks prior to the conference but will be excepted later when possible.

    Application Process
    • Download and complete the NISE Grant Overview and Application: Grant Application v2019-4.pdf
    • Download and complete the NISE Grant Terms and Conditions: Grant Terms & Conditions v2019-4.pdf
    • In application budget section (Q2), just indicate you are seeking registration fees for the NISE Conference.
    • Email the completed documents to the email below. If you don't get confirmation that the application was received within a few days, feel free to follow up.


    Contact the NISE Conference Team -

More Info

  • About NISE

    NISE strives to provide professional development for suburban / urban K-16 science teachers in the Chicago area. [more]
  • Conference Details

    For more information on the NISE 2018 Conference, visit our conference information page. [more]