Historical Review


Fermilab is a dedicated program laboratory operated by Fermi Research Alliance, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy. The Laboratory's mission is to conduct research in high-energy physics.

To fulfill its responsibilities to enhance science education, Fermilab established an Education Office in 1989 and opened the Leon M. Lederman Science Education Center in 1992. To assist in the fulfillment of these responsibilities, the Friends of Fermilab was founded in 1983. In 2002, Friends of Fermilab was renamed Fermilab Friends for Science Education. Under a Memorandum of Understanding and a Cooperative Educational Agreement, Fermilab Friends for Science Education seeks public and private sector support for precollege science education programs at Fermilab.

  • 1983 - 1990

    Summer Institute for Science and Mathematics Teachers: a four-week institute and academic year follow-on for high school biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics teachers to update teachers' content knowledge and instructional strategies.

    1983 - Present

    TRAC/Summer Research Experience: a summer research program for secondary teachers.

    1985 - Present

    Beauty and Charm at Fermilab: a midlevel particle physics instructional unit; a workshop for teachers to become familiar with the materials; a class visit to Fermilab to tour working areas and meet a Fermilab physicist.


    Problem Solving in Mathematics - Elementary and Middle School Seminar: a one-week program for teams of teachers.

    1987 - 1995

    Physics Mini-Courses: lectures by Fermilab physicists or physicists affiliated with Fermilab and demonstrations by master physics teacher based on the format developed in the Summer Institute for Science Teachers to update teachers' knowledge and instructional strategies.

    1987 - 1995

    Topics in Modern Physics: a teacher resource book on high-energy physics topics; a three- or four-week institute for teachers to update content knowledge, become familiar with the materials and improve instructional strategies.

    1989 - 1996

    Hands-on-Science: a traveling collection of interactive science activities with accompanying teaching materials available on loan to area elementary schools; a workshop for teachers to become familiar with the materials.

    1990 - 1994

    Down to Earth at Fermilb: a midlevel instructional earth science unit; a workshop for teachers to become familiar with instructional materials; a site visit to three designated earth science field study areas.

    1990 - 2005

    From Beneath the Ashes: interdisciplinary instructional materials to extend the educational impact of From Beneath the Ashes, a videotape in "The New Explorers" series; a workshop for teachers to update content knowledge, become familiar with the materials and learn new teaching strategies; a field trip to the Fermilab reconstructed prairie.

    1990 - 1993

    Summer Institute for Chicago Science and Mathematics Teachers:a three-week institute and academic year follow-on based on the format of the Summer Institute for Science and Mathematics Teachers for Chicago high school biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics teachers.

    1990 - 1993

    Summer Science Project: a three-week institute and academic year follow-on for midlevel science teachers to update their content knowledge and instructional strategies.

    1990 - 1993

    Teaching Integrated Mathematics and Science (TIMS): a three-year program for elementary and junior high school teachers to update participants' knowledge of basic science and instructional strategies implementing the TIMS classroom activities.


    Academy Hands-on Activities (AHA!): a two-week program for Chicago teachers in grades K - 3 to explore proven activity-based instruction, curriculum ingetration and to develop a year-long curriculum.

    1991 - 1995

    Outreach Activities: programs that support local science education enhancement programs. Activities may include inservice plans, consultation on curriculum and instructional projects and programs for students.

    1991 - Present

    Particles and Prairies: an instructional unit; a workshop for teachers to update content knowledge, become familiar with the materials and learn new teaching strategies; a unique opportunity for students to be scientists by doing research in the Fermilab prairie and by collaborating with students from other schools in ongoing research.

    1992 - 1994

    Catching the Sun: instructional materials for high school physics teachers using The New Explorers videotape Catching the Sun.

    1992 - 1994

    Fractals, Dynamics and Chaos (North American Symposium):a one-week symposium on fractals, chaos and dynamics to update midlevel teachers knowledge and instructional strategies.

    1992 - 1994

    NightLights: a weekend workshop on principles of astronomy for intermediate teachers; a site visit to four designated astronomy study areas.

    1992 - 2001

    Quarks to Quasars: more than thirty hands-on demonstration experiments that help student develop an understanding of Fermilab research, basic physics concepts and the process of science. Staff development incorporated into Beauty and Charm in 2001.

    1993 - 1996

    Illinois Leadership Institute: a three-year program of four-week summer sessions and academic year follow-on for teams of midlevel science teachers to develop and support the implementation of each school/school district's plan for restructuring their science program.

    1994 - 2005

    Leadership Institute Integrating Internet, Instruction and Curriculum, LInC/LInC ATC: courses for K-12 teacher-leaders on how to integrate Internet resources into the curriculum. The LInC resources were used with DOEACTS until DOEACTS was discontinued in 2011.

    1994 - 1998

    Technology Forum: a network of 12 school districts who work collaboratively on technology issues. The Fermilab Education Office plays a coordinating role.

    1995 - Present

    Fermilab Teacher Fellowship Program: a 9-12 month research appointment at Fermilab. Fellows are expected to be granted sabbatical leave from their school with partial pay.

    1995 - Present

    Technology Workshops: half-day and day-long programs for K-12 educators on a variety of topics.

    1996 - 2001

    Fermilab ARISE (American Renaissance in Science Education Program): a four-year program of summer institutes and academic-year follow-on to assist six schools apply the National Science Education Standards and the Illinois State Standards for Learning in a three-year high school science curriculum.

    1996 - 1999

    Handbook of Engaged Learning Projects: on-line K-12 classroom projects that demonstrate engaged learning and effective use of technology created in a summer institute by teachers.

    1996 - Present

    Phriendly Physics: three two-day workshops to improve K-6 teacher understanding of physics concepts relevant to the classroom curriculum. Topics include electricity and magnetism, ligth and heat, and mechanics.

    1999 - Present

    QuarkNet: a collaboration of 60 universities and laboratories to involve high school teachers and students in research activites so that students can learn fundamental physics in the context of particle physics research.

    2000 - Present

    Symposium on the Nature of Science: a symposium currently for high school teachers and their students. Speakers from different scientific disciplines describe their cutting-edge research demonstrating how scientific research is conducted.

    2004 - Present

    Summer Secondary Physics Institutes: four one-week institutes for high school physics teachers. Topics include mechanics, electricity and magnetism, waves, sound and optics, and astrophysics and relativity.

    2005 - Present

    Summer Secondary Biology Institute: a two-week institute for high school biology teachers. Participants develop a Strategy/Curriculum Notebook.

    2006 - Present

    The Prairie, Our Heartland: an instructional unit; a workshop for teachers to update content knowledge, become familiar with the materials and learn new teaching strategies; a field trip to the Fermilab prairie. This program incorporates science, language arts, mathematics, social science and more!

  • 1992 - 1998

    Preservice Education Interns: education and/or science majors from community colleges or four-year institutions serve as docents, explainers or teacher assistants in programs offered through the Fermilab Education Office.

    2001 - Present

    Preservice Student Program: undergraduates planning to enter the teaching profession with specialities in teaching science or mathematics from hold 10-week summer research internships. The nation program is supported by the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

  • 1984 - Present

    Classroom Materials: a variety of classroom materials, including videotapes, posters and instructional materials, developed in conjunction with or to enhance education programs.

    1984 - 1990

    Regional Videotape Library of Saturday Morning Physics: a videotape collection of the Saturday Morning Lectures.

    1984 - Present

    Professional Networks: sponsorship network organizations for area educators.

    1984 - 1995

    Resources for the Science Classroom: a database listing over 150 opportunities for area educators to enhance the teaching of science.


    The Best of the Summer Institute for Science and Mathematics Teachers: a collection of instructional materials developed during the program.

    1989 - 2001

    sciencelines: a quarterly newsletter for educators.

    1989 - Present

    Teacher Resource Center: a collection of curriculum materials, books, multimedia, educational supply catalogs, periodicals and newsletters, reports on science and mathematics education, standards, assessment, equity and other topics; access to and can receive assistance with electronic bulletin boards and Internet resources; outreach resource and Internet awareness workshops, consultation assistance available upon request, a periodical holding list, bibliographies and telephone reference. A U. S. Department of Education Eisenhower National Clearinghouse Demonstration Site for the North Central Region is located in the TRC.

    1990 - 1996

    School - Laboratory Partnerships: collaborations with a number of school districts to provide inservice opportunities for teachers and science experiences for students.


    E-alert: biannual online newsletter for educators shares upcoming programs.

  • 1983

    Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA Workshop):created the IMSA proposal.


    Conference on the Teaching of Modern Physics: developed materials for teaching modern physics in introductory high school and college physics classes.


    Teachers Academy of Mathematics and Science Workshop:created the TAMS proposal.


    A Needs Assessment and Conference for Illinois Teacher-Leaders in Mathematics. Science and Technology Education: created a report outlining state goals for reforming science and mathematics education and assigned responsibility to states, schools and staff development program providers.


    Research Design Workshop: developed ideas for an education research agenda at Fermilab.


    New High School Curriculum Workshop: developed ideas for a coherent, three-year high school science sequence based on conceptual physics as the first course.


    The ARISE Workshop: developed a curricular scafolding for a coherent three-year high school science sequence based on conceptual physics as the first course.


    Symposium on the Nature of Science: presented sessions on scientific research on cosmology, evolution and particle physics and how that work embodies scientific inquiry. Teachers presented sessions on how those topics are taught as inquiry in the classroom

    2001 & 2002

    ARISE Implementation Workshops: created an implementation resource book with suggestion from the field for implementing a three-year coherent high school science curriculum based on mostly physics first

  • 1972 - Present

    Guided Tours: tours of the Wilson Hall 15th floor, including a slide show, and some of the technical areas.

    1980 - Present

    Saturday Morning Physics at Fermilab: a series of ten lectures, discussions and tours for area high school students.

    1980 - 1998

    Summer Youth Employment and Training Program: a nine-week career development program.

    1980 - Present

    Target: Science and Engineering: a six-week internship program for minority high school students.

    1982 - Present

    Cryogenic Show; Electricity Show: liquid nitrogen demonstrations and electricity demonstrations designed to turn on teachers and students to science.

    1983 - 1993

    Ecology Tours: guided tours of the Fermilab Prairie/Savannah.

    1983 - 1987

    INTECH Illinois Research and Development Corridor Young Engineers and Scientists Competition: a regional research competition for high school students.

    1984 - 2000

    Explorer Scouts: a planned program of career interest exposure in computing for eleventh and twelfth graders.

    1985 - Present

    Wonders of Science: a science show for area elementary school students held during National Science and Technology Week.

    1987 - 1995

    DOE High School Honors Research Program in Particle Physics: a two-week research program for gifted high school students from across the country.

    1990 - 1991

    Fermilab-EAL Science Experience: a one-week program of classes and tours for economically disadvantaged high school students.

    1990 - Present

    Science Adventures: inquiry-based classes for children and families.

    1991 - 1994

    DOE Science Bowl: a tournament style academic competition focused on science. The winning high school team is invited to compete at the National Science Bowl in Washington, DC.

    1992 - 1995

    Expanding Your Horizons: a one-day conference of inquiry-based workshops for midlevel girls.

    1998 - 2000

    The David Schramm Memorial Lecture: an annual lecture for midlevel and high school students and their parents. Topics will be selected from among the many interests of David Schramm, a former member of the FFSE Board of Directors.

    2002 - Present

    Scout Badge Program: guided by docents, scouts can earn badges.

    2005 - Present

    Ask-a-Scientist: this program to look behind the scenes includes a short talk, a tour and a chance to ask questions of the scientists in an informal setting.

    2005 - Present

    Family Open House: an annual party for children who bring an adult with them. Tours, hands-on activities, science shows, Ask-a-Scientist.