OCEP Receives Baxter Grant for Science Education

OCEP Receives Baxter Grant for Science Education

BaxterNorthwestern University’s Office for Community Education Partnerships (OCEP) received a $560,000 grant from Baxter International Inc. for science education programs across the Chicago area and the northern suburbs.

The grant will be used to further equity in STEM, particularly science and engineering, education in the region and to help develop a pipeline to STEM careers, said Amy Pratt, assistant dean for OCEP a program within the School of Education and Social Policy.

The Baxter Center for Science Education uses a direct-to-teacher model to connect students and educators to real-world scientific ideas and experiences by providing professional development, equipment, and classroom support.

The evidence-based model was designed based on the experience and expertise of SESP’s Office of Community Education Partnerships and Chicago Public Schools’ Lindblom Math & Science Academy and Department of STEM, which partners with Baxter to create lasting change in the classroom.

Aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the program focuses on bringing more engaging, practice-based learning experiences to students using hands-on life science activities.

Since 2009, the Baxter Center for Science Education has hosted 53 workshops and trained 1,193 teachers from 292 schools in CPS and the greater Chicagoland area, reaching an estimated 100,920 students per year.

Teachers who have been trained in a workshop can borrow a Baxter Box, a free box of portable lab equipment that can be checked out online. Last year the Baxter Box program saved schools an estimated $150,000 in materials and equipment costs.

Growing at CPS and Beyond

In partnership with CPS, the Baxter Center for Science Education is designing a new Biology Teacher Leadership Program to reach the entire network of CPS biology teachers and students. The program will train 20 to 30 teacher leaders in a newly-designed core biology course. Each teacher leader, in turn, will train 10 to 15 additional teachers.

In the Fall of 2018, the partnership will open a new Baxter Center North hub at Round Lake High School to support STEM education and career pathways for students in Round Lake and surrounding communities. 

Teachers: Learn how to get trained, get supplies, and get support from the Baxter Center for Science Education website. 

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 7/2/18