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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 undergraduates, 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
  • Outreach: ICE organizes demo programs and hands-on chemistry camps for school children
  • Dissemination: ICE disseminates exemplary ideas via kits and publications; 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 tell 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 is involved with programs for undergraduate students. Every summer several Research Experiences for Undergraduates programs are available.

ICE has a many materials to enhance education about nanoscience because we served as the Education and Outreach arm for NSEC, the University of Wisconsin–Madison Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC), which was one of 16 centers funded through the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSEC program built infrastructure for nanotechnology research and education across the country.

The ICE programs that collaborated with NSEC include: