Latest News

  • NISE Grants

    Need funding for travel in order to present at a national conference? Want to attend the NISE Conference but your school doesn't fund out-of-district PD? Need financial assistance to run a summer STEM workshop? NISE is offering grants that might be able to help. NISE's grant program supports STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) professional development activities for K-12 educators in the greater Chicago area. Eligible expenses the grant would cover include: reasonable travel, registration fees, and materials.

    Download the NISE Grant Overview and Application...
  • Model Water Tower Competition

    The Illinois Section of the American Water Works Association, the Westmont Public Works, and Laura Riley of Westmont Junior High School are looking for middle school teams for their annual Model Water Tower Competition. The competition requires students to design and build a working water tower with specific size and height requirements. The models are judged based on 5 categories including: cost efficiency, hydraulic efficiency, structural efficiency, design ingenuity, and interview presentation. The competition requires little of the classroom teacher's time, but success of the student is directly dependent on the student having the opportunity and encouragement to enter. Some options include (but are not limited to): an after school club, STEM Club, STEM class, or a classroom learning experience.

    For more information...
  • Fermilab Educator Workshops

    Fermilab educator workshops provide K–12 teachers with proven classroom activities and strategies for teaching challenging topics in an engaging way. All are taught by master teachers. Our mid-level workshops also prepare educators to teach Fermilab classroom units. A mid-level teacher who wishes to bring students to Fermilab for the field trip programs—Beauty and Charm, Particles and Prairies, Phriendly Physics, and The Prairie, Our Heartland (which replaced From Beneath the Ashes)—must take a workshop to qualify.

    March 3, 2017: NGSS SEPs Institute (K-9)
    June 19-21, 2017: The Prairie - Our Heartland Teacher Workshop (3-5)
    June 19-23, 2017: Summer Secondary Biology Institute (9-12)
    June 19-23, 2017: Summer Secondary Physics Institute - Modern Physics, Fermilab, and NGSS (9-12)
    June 22-23, 2017: Insects at Work in Our World (1-2)
    June 26-30, 2017: Summer Secondary Physics Institute - Waves, Sound, and Optics (9-12)
    July 17-21, 2017: Beauty and Charm Teacher Workshop (6-9)
    July 24-28, 2017: Energy and Ecosystems Teacher Workshop (6-8)
    July 31-Aug 4, 2017: Phriendly Physics Teacher Workshops (K-5)

    For more information...
  • NSTA Awards and Recognition Program

    The annual NSTA Awards and Recognition Program recognizes exceptional and innovative science educators. The 20 different awards have various eligibility requirements with some requiring NSTA membership, others are open to all science teachers, and some are for students only. If you have a star science educator you wish to honor, an outstanding science student you want to recognize, or you wish to submit an application, please consider the NSTA Awards and Recognition Program.

    This year educators in Illinois have an additional award to consider. The eligibility for the Robert E. Yager Award rotates between NSTA regions every year. This year the Illinois district, which includes Wisconsin and Iowa, is eligible for the award. Please consider nominating a science teacher or submitting an application for the 2017 Robert E. Yager Award.

    The application deadline for all but one of the NSTA awards is December 15, 2016; The Shell Teaching Award deadline is January 6, 2017!

    The recipients will be honored during a black-tie dinner gala on March 31, 2017 in Los Angeles, California, at the NSTA National Conference on Science Education. The NSTA Awards and Recognition Program is sponsored in part by Bio-Rad, DuPont/Pioneer, Northrop Grumman Foundation, PASCO, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Shell, Vernier Software & Technology. Sponsorships for the NSTA Awards help support the science educators and their science educational programs, professional development and proactive efforts in the science education field.

    For more information...
  • Free Teachers's Day at Accelerator Conference

    FREE Teachers’ Day at the 2016 North American Particle Accelerator Conference, Wednesday October 12th, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM, Sheraton Grand Chicago. Would you like to see and experience a new world of scientific research? See and feel scientists in action? Understand how accelerators work and the variety of research that they do? Build simple yet fascinating devices (a magnetic accelerator and a tube train) that illustrate the electrodynamic principles behind particle accelerators. And of course, take these devices with you for your own classroom? We are looking for 50 high school teachers interested in expanding their understanding of physical and accelerator science. Advanced registration is required. Opportunities come to first come, first serve. Contact: Tim P. Kulak,

    For more information...
  • CPDU / PD Hour Requirements

    The Illinois State Board of Education now requires approved professional development providers to record the educator's Illinois Educator Identification Number (IEIN) for all PD hours. NISE will not be able to issue Professional Development (PD) Hours (formerly CPDUs) without the educator providing the IEIN prior to the event offering PD Hours/CPDUs. Unfortunately, NISE is unable to "lookup" the educator's IEIN on their behalf. Since all approved providers will require this number going forward, it is highly recommended that educators lookup their number and have it readily available for future events. The number can be located by either contacting the appropriate district personnel in charge of licensure tracking or logging into the ISBE "Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS)" using the educator's login (

    For more information...
  • NISE 2016 Call for Presenters

    Northern Illinois Science Educators is pleased to invite you to present at our third annual conference, NISE 2016: Implementing and Assessing NGSS, on Monday, November 14, 2016 at the NIU Conference Center in Naperville, IL. All K-16 science educators and pre-service science educators are invited to submit a proposal to present. The day will bring science educators together to collaborate and share ideas and methods for best practices in science education.

    For more information...
  • ISBE Released NGSS Video

    NISE Director and NGSS Writer Carol Baker is working with ISBE to create a set of NGSS videos for science teachers. The first video was released this past week and is an overview/introduction to NGSS. More videos are being planned for the fall.

    For more information...
  • Save the Date for NISE 2016

    Northern Illinois Science Educators (NISE) is pleased announce our third annual NISE Conference, NISE 2016: Implementing and Assessing NGSS, to be held Monday, November 14, 2016 at the NIU Conference Center in Naperville, IL. All K-16 science educators and pre-service educators are invited to attend. The day will be filled with more than 60 presentations on topics from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to technology in the science classroom.

    For more information...
  • Achieve Begins Releasing PE Bundles

    Over the summer, Achieve began the rolling release of NGSS bundles. As a response to the many questions that Achieve and the writers received about how to organize the Performance Expectations into units, a group of writers and other educators created NGSS bundles. These are meant to be examples of how PEs could be organized to create curriculum for a specific subject or grade level. These bundles are only meant to be one example of how PEs could be organized/arranged. Emphasis is on creating connections between PEs so that students use multiple PEs as they answer an over arching question or solve a problem. Science teachers are also able to see how the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) and Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs) are utilized in lessons to address three dimensional learning.

    To see the bundles that have been released...
  • Free NGSS mini-Workshops

    The Northern Illinois Science Educators is please to invite you to our FREE spring mini-workshops. These workshops are designed for all science teachers, K-12, with a focus on Energy in NGSS. Participants will be able to work through 2-3 lessons aligned with an NGSS energy Performance Expectation for their grade level or HS subject. Workshops will be four hours long: the first hour will be a review and update of transitioning curriculum, instruction and assessments to meet NGSS. Then, participants will break into grade/subject groups (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, HS Biology, HS Chemistry, HS Physics) and work through activities and lessons. Time will be allowed for plenty of sharing and discussing the implementation of NGSS. Finally we will come back together as a group for a short sharing and wrap up session.

    In cooperation with Lewis University, 3 CPDUs will be offered.

    We are offering two identical, FREE mini-workshops:

    NISE Spring Evening Mini-Workshop
    When: Tuesday, April 12, 2016 from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
    Where: Hinsdale South HS, 7401 Clarendon Hills Road, Darien, IL 60561

    NISE Spring Saturday Mini-Workshop
    When: Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 8:00 am to 12 noon
    Where: Hoffman Estates HS, 1100 West Higgins Road, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

    We are limiting each breakout group to 30 participants, so register today to reserve your spot! We look forward to seeing you in April!

    To register, complete this form! (Registration Closed)
  • ISBE Announces a Science Test

    In today's Weekly Superintendent's Bulletin from the Illinois State Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Tony Smith announced a NGSS aligned statewide science test for 2015-16. The assessment will be for public school students in grades 5, 8, and 10. The full article is in the Weekly Superintendent's Bulletin.

Did You Know?

  • Twitter Handles
    NISE has created a list of popular science education related Twitter Handles. The list includes general topics discussed and typical meeting times. The list includes topics that have a not only focus on national topics but also local topics too.[more]
  • NISE Educator Resources
    NISE has a created several dynamic spreadsheets listing various resources for science teachers of all levels including lesson ideas and materials, professional development, awards and grants, and publication. This is maintained by NISE with teachers and providers suggesting additions to the lists.[more]