Department of Biological Sciences

The Science Teaching Center: Grades 5-14

Provided by the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and Physics at Western Illinois University

The Science Teaching Center for Grades 5-14 is designed to support science teachers who teach at the middle school, high school, community college, or university level. At the community college and university level (i.e. Grades 13-14), our emphasis is to provide support for introductory level courses. The Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and Physics have been regularly hosting events for science teachers and their students in the states of Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa since 1980. During the past few years, we have begun to consolidate our efforts in order to better serve the teachers of our region. As part of that effort, we have started this website. The site includes information about events hosted at WIU, links to professional organizations, and links to science resource sites. If you know of other sites that would be useful to your fellow teachers, please let us know about them.

Contact Dr. Laura Barden-Gabbei (309) 298-1679 in Waggoner 374 for information about the Science Teaching Certification Programs. These programs are housed in their respective Departments (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics). Those students planning to transfer to WIU from another institution should note that these programs follow the University General Education requirements, not those of the College of Arts and Sciences. The programs also have a minimum GPA requirement higher than that of the University. Also please note: Any courses which are transferred from another institution carry only the credit hours with them, not the grade in the course. Grades of D and F are noted, grades of A, B, and C are not and are not calculated into the WIU GPA. Dr. Barden uses Western Online and e-mail to keep in contact with students and present more advanced information about the program. Students must be enrolled in the Teaching Certification Program to have access to the Western Online information.

"As our students prepare to become middle and high school science teachers, they engage in
a variety of research. This experience is critical in helping them develop a real sense of the
process of science as they prepare to teach their students what science is all about."
Dr. Laura M. Barden-Gabbei


Science Events Hosted at Western Illinois University

Fall Events

Biology Day

This annual high school student event is produced every fall by the Biology Department at Western Illinois University. It is designed to give high school students a chance to explore different facets of biology through attending presentations, participating in Biology Bowl, and participating in a quiz competition, encourage high school students to think seriously about attending college, and introduce them to the campus of Western Illinois University and the Biology Department

Pre-Engineering/Pre-Architecture Open House

This annual event is hosted by the Physics Department at Western Illinois University in Currens Hall 205. It is designed for high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing a 2+2 or 3+2 program of study in Engineering, or a 1+3 study of Architecture at WIU.

Physics Department Demonstration Show

For people of all ages. Held in Currens Hall, 205. An opportunity for our graduate and undergraduate students to show off the physics they have learned at WIU in a spectacular way!

Spring Events

Secondary Science Education Conference

This annual conference is hosted every spring by the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and Physics at Western Illinois University. In addition to support provided by the Departments, College of Arts and Sciences, and the University, this conference is also supported by the Illinois Science Teachers Association and the National Association of Biology Teachers.. It is designed to review recent advances in the sciences and introduce teachers to new concepts in teaching and laboratory experiences.

Science Olympiad

This annual event is designed to, "promote and improve student interest in science and to improve the quality of K-12 science education throughout the nation." This is accomplished, in part, by an all day event in which students of all ability levels compete in a variety of activities including such events as Robot Ramble, Bottle Rocket, Mystery Architecture, Forensics and many many more. For more information, click on the web link.

WYSE Academic Challenge Regional competition

For High School students. A test sponsored by the World Youth in Science and Engineering, headquartered at UIUC, ending with a statewide competition and opportunities for scholarships for engineering study.

Illinois Junior Academy of Sciences

The Region I Fair for the Illinois Junior Academy of Sciences is hosted each Spring at Western Illinois University.  More information may be found at the IJAS website.