Middle School Science Academy

MSSA Logo

About the Middle School Science Academy

What? A 3-year program designed to provide middle school science teachers with research experience, enhanced scientific content knowledge and up to 9 hours of graduate credit in science

When? Early summers of 2008, 2009 and 2010

Who? Open primarily to middle school science teachers from Topeka and Kansas City Kansas Public Schools

Where? Sites for experiences vary from summer to summer—likely to include Lawrence, Topeka and Kansas City

Why? Curriculum structured around district standards, teachers will receive a stipend for participation and up to 9 credit hours of graduate credit in science

Program Description

The Middle School Science Academy—Research Experiences project is a collaboration involving the faculty and staff of the KU Center for Science Education, the Topeka Public Schools and the Kansas City Kansas Public Schools. The purpose of this project is to provide participating middle school science teachers with substantial enhancements of their science content backgrounds, experience with applying research-based pedagogy in instruction, and a clear grounding in the nature and practice of the scientific enterprise. In order to accomplish these goals, teachers will participate in three distinct experiences designed with input from university content and educational experts and district teachers and personnel:

  • Summer 2008: Four-week immersion in modern scientific or engineering research in a laboratory at KU appropriate to the interests of the teachers.
  • Summer 2009: Two weeks of content instruction in university-level science coupled with collaborative project-based curriculum development.
  • Summer 2010: Two weeks (June 7-18, 2010) modeling of research-based pedagogical methods and instructional technology, and practice in implementing these teaching strategies.

Funding and Support

Funding for MSSA-RE is provided by the Kansas Board of Regents. The program is supported by the Kansas City, Kansas and Topeka Public School districts. Participants will be paid $1,600 for the two week (10 days), hands-on research experience from June 7 through June 18, 2010.

Additional Classroom Support

Teachers in the MSSA-RE program will have the additional opportunity to serve as a Mentor Teacher for a KU graduate student in math, science or engineering. Each Graduate Fellow will work with the Mentor Teacher in the classroom 10-12 hours a week during the school year. Graduate students will provide content expertise while assisting with math or science lessons and instruction. Stipends for serving as a Mentor Teacher range from $2,000 to $4,500.


KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times