Illinois teachers are learning how to create science lessons that provide inspiration for tomorrow’s scientists and engineers.
Over the summer, teachers from Naperville and Aurora schools met with STEM professionals and college professors to learn how to relate their math and science lessons to jobs for today and the future.
The program is called Project SMILE (Science and Math In Line with Engineering) and places teachers into businesses and college laboratories where STEM skills are applied in everyday settings. It is funded by a $500,000 two year grant from the Illinois State Board of Education.
Having conversations with guest speakers helped Naperville teacher Kim Brouch understand the real world applications of science. “I really want to bring that, even to my little first graders,” she said.
“I realized that we need to teach the kids that what we’re learning in school translates into jobs. It translates into problem-solving,” said fifth grade teacher Arlene Plaza.