The advancement of science and engineering in the 21st century will, to a large extent, determine the economic growth, quality of life, and the health and security of our nation. The prosperity of the scientific enterprise, in turn, hinges on the preparation of highly qualified, diverse, and motivated learners at every stage of the academic pipeline.

Teachers Toward this end, science teachers need sustained and meaningful opportunities for professional growth and renewal, and the development of leadership skills and capacity as they continue to address the challenge of improving the quality of student learning. The EnLiST program is designed to provide such opportunities for K-12 science teachers, and we are hopeful that you will be interested in participating. Funded by the National Science Foundation, EnLiST is a partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana School District #116, Champaign Unit 4 School District, and Thornton High School District #205.

The EnLiST partnership aims to build the capacity of a new generation of science teacher leaders who, armed with cutting edge content knowledge, a strong pedagogical repertoire, and entrepreneurial spirit and mindset, can effectively contribute to the transformation of science teaching and learning in their classrooms, schools, and districts. EnLiST will focus on the areas of physics and chemistry at the high school level, and physical sciences at the middle and elementary school levels. EnLiST will start in the Summer of 2009 with an intensive 2-week content-based workshop designed for high school chemistry and physics teachers.

Middle and elementary school teachers will be brought into the program in subsequent semesters as the scope of the project broadens and learning networks are formed. To ensure meaningful and sustained professional development, EnLiST participation entails a three year commitment and features summer institutes on the University of Illinois campus, as well as a continuation of school-based leadership and opportunities for innovations within the classroom setting. Over the course of the three years, EnLiST participants will:

  • earn no less than $3,000 in stipends
  • receive high quality professional development in science content, pedagogy, and leadership
  • opportunities to earn graduate credits
  • receive a Leadership Certificate from the University of Illinois

Participants will also receive support for engagement in leadership roles at the classroom, school and district levels in implementing innovative instructional opportunities that are thought to increase student learning. As a teacher leader, participants will also be serving as a model of innovation for colleagues.