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College of Arts and Sciences program creates research opportunities for Treasure Valley teachers

Collage of three Boise State professors
Marie-Anne de Graaff, Jenée Cyran and Leonora Bittleston

Innovative Science Partnerships for Investing in Regional Education, or INSPIRE, is a program to offer Treasure Valley middle and high school teachers research opportunities with Boise State faculty and students. Local teachers can get practical research experience in biology, geosciences, physics and chemistry, helping them to stay on the cutting edge of their fields over the summer.

The program allows teachers to reflect on their classroom practices and participants will finish INSPIRE in the fall with hands-on lab experience they can bring to their own classrooms, improving K-12 learning in the Treasure Valley.

In addition to one-on-one time with researchers, teachers will participate in cohort meetings focusing on the transition from teacher to researcher. They will reflect on the differences between scientific practice in the lab and the classroom. They will also receive actionable ideas to bring inquiry-based teaching strategies back to Boise-area schools.

The first cohort features program director Marie-Anne de Graaff (biology), Jenée Cyran (chemistry and biochemistry) and Leonora Bittleston (biology). They will mentor teachers from Lake Hazel Middle School, Mountain View High School and Fairmont Junior High.

INSPIRE is possible thanks to the Partners in Science 2.0 grant from the Murdock Charitable Trust. The College of Arts and Sciences Research and Creative Activity Hub administers the program.

Treasure Valley teachers can sign up now to participate in future cohorts. In-service teachers commit to lab work for two summers and receive $6,500 per summer. Teachers in training are eligible for $5,000 per summer for two summers.