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The Institute for Chemistry Literacy through Computational Science (ICLCS) is a National Science Foundation MSP Institute designed to increase the chemistry literacy and chemistry-related pedagogical skills of rural Illinois high school teachers through the use of authentic and near-authentic computational science tools.  We immerse the "ICLCS Fellows" and their students in new models of instruction, especially focusing on computers and their instructional uses, to improve student achievement and prepare students for 21st Century careers.

We do this through intensive, multi-year summer Institutes built upon existing, successful curricula and methods, enhanced with state-of-the-art science research data and applications for the 21st Century.

The Institute is designed to build teachers' competence and confidence in teaching chemistry, to use computational tools and methods in their curricula, and to create a community of practice among research faculty and high school teachers working together as colleagues to improve student achievement.

Vision, Goals and Outcomes

Our vision is to create a critical mass of highly effective rural high school science teachers for the 21st Century through 350+ hours of extended professional development consisting of (1) science content mastery; (2) use of computational science research and teaching tools; (3) advance placement mentoring; and (4) participation in the virtual professional learning community of practice.  We will accomplish this using a blended learning approach that consists of intensive, two-week residential summer institutes each year for three years backed by continuous online support.

The goals and outcomes of the ICLCS are:

  • Strengthen rural high school teachers' and students' understanding of chemistry within the context of 21st Century research.
  • Increase teachers' use of, and comfort with, computational and visualization tools.
  • Create a cadre of intellectual leaders who become advocates for excellence in science education.
  • Promote institutional change in the university and school district partners.
  • Decrease teacher isolation through the use of an online learning community.