Midwest Science Modeling Institute

Teacher(s) - Phil Culcasi & Jim Stankevitz
School(s) - Wheaton Warrenville South
Grade(s) - 9th - 12th; possibly 6th - 12th


Goal / Objective - The main objective with the project was to find materials and licensing fees for District 200 teachers who are attending summer modeling workshops at Wheaton Warrenville South High School during summer 2016.  The foundation provided materials and fees for 10 teachers currently employed by CUSD200 (or will be for Fall 2016) so they may attend the workshops at no cost. The two-week institute is organized in partnership with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Aurora University

Impact - CUSD200 teachers from Wheaton Warrenville South, Wheaton North, Hubble and Edison are attending workshops that are being facilitated by science teachers at South.  Aside from District 200, the Summer Science Modeling Institute has attracted teachers from 64 different schools, 12 states and four countries (USA, Canada, Egypt & Dubai).  Two of the workshops have waiting lists.  We have added a 5th workshop due to high demand from physics teachers.  This workshop will be held in conjunction with Lane Tech High School in Chicago.  We have plans to include a workshop for middle school teachers and even one for students in the summer of 2017.

Conservatively, each teacher who attends the workshop will have 100 students during the 2016-2017 school year.  That means in District 200 alone we are impacting the science (and STEM) instruction of over 1,000 students.  If you add teachers from outside the district that number grows to over 12,000 students that can possibly be impacted in this school year alone.  Multiply that by the number of students encountered in the 30 year career of a teacher and the number can begin to be a bit staggering.

The most significant achievement of our project is that a  teacher created and teacher driven model of professional development (by teachers, for teachers) has continued to expand and grow over the course of five consecutive summers (almost two decades if you include Mr. Stankevitz’s 26 workshops to date).  We began with one workshop of 28 teachers.  We are hosting 5 workshops this summer, with plans to add a middle school teachers and a student modeling workshop next summer.  WW South has hosted over 400 teachers in five years and we expect to keep growing.

Daily Herald article


Do you know a Community School District 200 educator who would like to apply for a Student Excellence Grant? The Foundation offers a Fall and a Spring grant cycle each year. Please feel free to share information regarding grant procedures with any District 200 educator. Classroom teachers, administrators, LLC Directors: any staff member with student contact is eligible to apply!

To read about other grants that have been provided to educators, click here.


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