Opportunities for K-12 Teachers

Collaborating for Education and Research Forum

The Collaborating for Education and Research Forum

The Collaborating for Education and Research Forum is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the University of Notre Dame to foster a collegial approach to STEM education and research in Michiana. At this event, local K-12 administrators and teachers, along with faculty, staff, and students of local colleges and universities interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and research will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the local Forum.


DNA Learning Center

A hands-on science center devoted to modern biology education, the DNA Learning Center will prepare local elementary through high school students to thrive in the gene age. This advanced science education center will be the ideal teaching tool to inspire young students to pursue careers in science and to build a knowledge base that will extend into their educational and post-educational careers. As a licensee of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory DNA Learning Center in New York, the Notre Dame DNA Learning Center utilizes teaching methods, Internet technology and intellectual property of DNALC such as specialized DNA learning kits that include reagents, supplies, equipment checklists, lab instructions and manuals for learning modern biology.


The ICSB Summer Program for Educators

The Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Biocomplexity (ICSB) at the University of Notre Dame uses mathematical and computational modeling to run predictive simulations and suggest new biological experiments. Collaborating with science and math teachers from local high schools in Indiana and Michigan, the center is now hoping to expand the use of these models from the laboratory to the classroom. This program, in partnership with the Notre Dame Quarknet program, allows local high school students to experience a college environment while encouraging them to pursue studies in math and science.


The Northern Indiana Science, Mathematics and Engineering Collaborative (NISMEC)

Northern Indiana Science, Mathematics and Engineering Collaborative (NISMEC) teaches pre-college (K-12) teachers about a method of teaching called guided inquiry. Modeling, which resembles real scientific research rather than classroom fact-lectures, is a guided inquiry approach where groups of students conduct investigations, find different models to solve problems, and publish their work to the class using large white boards which illustrate their descriptive, pictorial, graphical and symbolic modeling of the problem.


Northern Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair (NIRSEF)

The Northern Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair (NIRSEF) is open to students grades 3-12 in schools in the counties of Elkhart, Fulton, Marshall, and St. Joseph. Participants explain their research to judges including STEM faculty, students, and professionals from Notre Dame and area community partners and compete for prizes and the opportunity to advance to the Hoosier Science and Engineering Fair in Indianapolis, IN. 



Notre Dame extended Research Community (NDeRC) teams K-12 teachers and students with graduate students for eight weeks of summer research in the graduate student’s area of expertise. The teams in the course of research discuss and plan how to improve local K-12 education. NDeRC also administers the BioEYES program, a one-week science activity, to more than 100 area K-12 classrooms where students study genetics and embryonic development of zebrafish. Teachers attend a summer institute to learn more about zebrafish and modern biochemistry lab techniques.


Notre Dame QuarkNet Center

The Notre Dame QuarkNet Center, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, brings together mentors and educators from the Department of Physics with local science teachers for a firsthand experience of current physics research. The relationships aid in developing curriculum and supporting K-12 science teachers.


Research Experiences for Teachers @ Notre Dame (RET@ND)

RET@ND provides opportunities for area teachers to work with our faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students in the College of Science. The on-campus experience supports teachers’ efforts to develop new curricular models for their classrooms.

Teachers as Scholars

Teachers as Scholars

Teachers As Scholars (TAS) represents a dynamic vision of professional development for K-12 teachers — and is a vital collaboration between public and private school teachers and the faculty at the University of Notre Dame. TAS offers content-based seminars, led by university faculty, that provide teachers the opportunity to discuss scholarly issues during the school day (9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.), when they are most available. The program offers a variety of seminars each semester in the humanities and social sciences.