Institute for Chemical Education: Overview
Communicating Science—that's what ICE is all about. We are a national center for science educators to develop and disseminate ideas. Our efforts are evident in kits and publications, in programs for students and for teachers, and in research in chemical education. Since its founding in 1983, ICE has led the drive to help teachers revitalize science in schools throughout the United States. From "approachable" science for K–3 teachers (Super Science Connections) through nanoscale exhibits for the public to research experiences for teachers, ICE has something for you:
- Materials: ICE creates and distributes new materials for teaching and learning
- ICE carries out research in chemical education
- ICE develops demonstrations and hands-on activities
- Workshops: ICE sponsors workshops for teachers
- Outreach: ICE organizes laboratory and demo programs and chemistry camps for school children
- Dissemination: ICE disseminates exemplary ideas via publications and kits; we also have online publications in PDF format.
- Nanoscience: whether teaching or learning about the nanoworld ICE has many resources to get you started
All of ICE's programs emphasize hands-on science, taught interactively as a means of helping students develop powers of observation and problem solving. ICE aims to stimulate the scientific curiosity of all teachers and students, not just those traditionally well served by our educational system. ICE's goals are to:
- make science hands-on at all levels
- enable teachers to become better teachers, not merely telling them what to do
- draw ideas from what teachers say they need
- develop and distribute materials that are usable and affordable for the average teacher in the classroom
- encourage incorporation of cutting-edge scientific research, such as nanoscience, into the chemistry curriculum
More than 3700 teachers of kindergarten through college have attended workshops at ICE headquarters, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, or at other locations across the country.
ICE serves as the Education and Outreach arm for NSEC, the University of Wisconsin–Madison Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC), which is one of 16 centers funded through the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The goal of the NSEC program is to build infrastructure for nanotechnology research and education across the country.
The mission of NSEC's Education and Outreach program is to develop new scalable teaching and learning programs, methodologies, and communities aimed at cultivating a diverse next generation of nanoscientists and engineers. NSEC seeks to excite and educate underrepresented groups, build communities of nanoscience and engineering educators through teacher professional development, foster new means of communicating science and engineering research accomplishments to the K-12 community, and design new teaching models to make nanoscience and engineering more inclusive for students with physical and learning disabilities.
The ICE programs that collaborate with NSEC include:
- Informal Science Education Exhibits
- Teacher Workshops
- Independent Laboratory Access for the Blind
- Today's Science for Tomorrow's Scientists
- Online Nanoscience for Teachers
- REU: Research Experience for Undergraduates
Programs that are supported through NSEC funds will show the NSEC logo on the program page.
Support for ICE programs comes from the University of Wisconsin-Madison
and through grants from National Science Foundation.