March/April 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 6

IISME (Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education)

Posted: Monday, December 3rd, 2012

by Eric Lewis

Eric:  What exactly is IISME?

Shari:  IISME is a non-profit organization founded in 1985 that seeks to transform teaching and learning through industry-education partnerships. IISME exists to address the critical need for a strong, highly skilled workforce in math, science and technological fields. This industry-education partnership focuses on teachers as the primary agents for effecting meaningful change in mathematics and science education.  Our IISME Summer Fellowship Program is a program that places eligible K-16 teachers of all subjects into industry and research settings for the summer. Teachers work full-time for eight weeks, complete a project for their Fellowship Hosts, and are paid $8,200 for their work. Teachers also spend 10% of their paid time focusing on how they will transfer their Summer Fellowship experience back to their students and colleagues.

Eric:  Who can apply?

Shari:  Teachers are eligible to apply for the IISME Summer Fellowship Program if they meet a series of requirements.  First, teachers need to teach in our service area. Bay Area teachers must currently teach any grade, K-16, full-time in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz or Solano Counties.  IISME is also currently expanding into new regions in California. Teachers in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego Counties are eligible to apply for a small number of Fellowships that will be available in those regions in summer 2013.  All teachers must be contracted to teach full-time during the following school year in the IISME service area.

We are always looking for teachers who are committed to teaching.  Eligible teachers will have completed at least two years of full-time teaching in any discipline by June of the current school year and be committed to continuing to teach for at least the next three years.

Finally, teachers need to have the necessary documents to work in the US in a non-teaching job and be available full-time during standard business hours for the Fellowship period. 

Eric:  What kinds of things have teachers done for their summer work?

Shari:  Each year we place between 150 and 200 teachers into a wide variety of different settings and Fellowship opportunities all around the Bay Area.  The Fellowships span areas such as marketing, laboratory science, website development, and curriculum development, just to name a few.  Once approved, teachers have the opportunity to see all available positions and express interest in the ones that appeal to their professional development goals.

Eric:  What are the requirements for fully completing an IISME Fellowship?

Shari:  IISME Fellows are required to complete an eight-week Fellowship, working 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week during standard business hours.  At least six weeks of any Fellowship must be held during the core eight week Fellowship period (June 17th – August 9th).  Besides completing the Fellowship project assigned by the Host organization, teachers will need to attend a variety of other meetings during the summer.

Besides the work completed for the Host organizations, teachers will need to design and implement an Education Transfer Plan (ETP) for applying the summer experience during the academic year. Earning a passing score on the ETP rubric is required for the Fellow to earn all grant money and be eligible for future IISME Fellowships.

The ETP lies at the very core of the Summer Fellowship Program and brings the Fellows experience back to their students and school.  It is completely up to the Fellows to decide which ETP option meets the needs of their classroom or school. Also, our Host organizations invest in this program because they want to see each teacher transfer new knowledge, ideas, skills, and real world connections back into the classroom as a result of their summer positions. This is an important part of what makes the Fellowship Program successful.

Eric:  If you could add any new areas of work (businesses, locations, etc.) what would they be?

Shari:  We are always looking for new partners in both the business and research communities.  We would love support making new connections to people in San Francisco corporations and research labs in order to discuss the IISME Summer Fellowship Program and the possibility of hosting teachers.  We are trying to break into social media companies and add more from the biotechnology/health sector, but would be happy to work with any industry sector. 

Eric:  Any suggestions and next steps for teachers?

Shari:  The application process for summer 2013 will open in early December. Teachers who would like to be notified when applications become available can sign up here: http://goo.gl/FrThF.  The application process is done completely online at the www.iisme.org website.  We will be offering a number of Application Support Sessions in early 2013 that will provide insight into the program and the application process.  Signing up to attend a support session will answer any questions an attendee may have regarding the program and will increase the chances of a teacher being selected for a 2013 Fellowship position.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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