Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

BEST in the news Heading link

Darrin Collins, a UIC doctoral student and science teacher at Englewood STEM High School, has been part of the BEST program for the last four years.

The University of Illinois Chicago College of Engineering and College of Education has received $1,077,409 in federal grant funding to host a summer biomedical engineering program that has trained 58 Chicago Public School science teachers over the last 7 years.

The grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, part of the National Institutes of Health, supports the Biomedical Engineering Experience for Science Teachers program.

About the Program: Heading link

The College of Engineering and College of Education aims to continue this summer research program for CPS high school teachers in summer 2022. The summer research experience will provide an opportunity for pre-engineering and science teachers to spend time in biomedical engineering research labs and use the experience to create a curriculum for use in their own classrooms. The six-week program matches teachers to a laboratory under the guidance of College of Engineering research-active core biomedical engineering faculty mentors. These lab opportunities are in diverse areas that include 3D printing laboratory equipment, tissue engineering, biomedical imaging, brain activity monitoring, rehabilitation engineering, bioacoustics, biomaterials, and mechanics of the pulmonary system. In partnership with College of Education faculty who are recognized experts in curriculum design and teaching in secondary education, and in particular, teaching of secondary science in urban schools, participant-tailored curricular mentoring in weekly workshops will focus on principles of effective planning, instruction, and assessment to be directly connected to teachers’ classroom curriculum.

The BEST program was developed by Miiri Kotche (College of Engineering) and Jennifer Olson (College of Education) in an effort to create a bridge between the colleges of engineering and education and build on the strengths of each college to support CPS teachers’ development of pedagogical content knowledge. This summer research experience delivers both in-depth content and pedagogy to teacher participants so they can make meaningful connections to their classroom professional practice. The cross-department collaboration is central to teacher participants’ development and learning in this summer research experience, as they will benefit from both the expertise of biomedical engineering researcher faculty and educational design experts in an innovative approach that stresses the importance of content and pedagogy in teaching practice.

Jennifer is a clinical assistant professor in Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education. She coordinates Secondary Education programs and teaches curriculum, instruction, & assessment courses to undergraduate and graduate secondary education students. Jennifer’s research focus on urban high school reform is informed by nine years of teaching in Chicago Public Schools, giving her an informed perspective of how policy moves from theory to practice. Jennifer received her PhD in Urban Education Policy Studies in 2013 from University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Olson’s current research interests include urban high school reform, urban teacher preparation, school turnaround, and student voice.