The Initiative for Schools, Industries and the Sciences (ISIS) is a professional development and technology loan program originally developed for secondary science teachers in 1996. Over the years, the program has expanded its horizons to include secondary mathematics teachers and elementary teachers. Since its inception, 210 teachers and 29,812 students have participated in the program from 49 schools located in 28 school districts throughout six counties in Northwest Indiana (Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton, Jasper and Starke).
The professional development programs for teachers are graduate level summer courses at Valparaiso University. Although specific topics vary each summer, the courses are technology-based and focus on inquiry-based learning approaches in teaching science and mathematics that are aligned with the Indiana Academic Standards. During the summer courses, teachers learn to use scientific instruments, equipment, and computer technology, and they develop inquiry-based lesson plans and projects using technology to implement during the school year in their classrooms. The equipment that teachers learn to use in the program is delivered to them at their schools during the school year based on their requests. Technical support and instructional assistance in the classroom are also provided when needed.
Engage K-12 teachers in high quality professional development training activities to:
Provide K-12 students with technology-supported inquiry-based learning experiences in order to: