NIU Science Teaching Experience and Practice for Undergraduate Participants (STEPup)

Share your passion for science by participating in a paidone-week science teaching experience in a local high school. The program's primary goal is to introduce individuals to the field of education and teaching, with opportunities to examine and evaluate a career as a high school science teacher in a diverse school.

The STEPup program runs from January 7-12, 2024. Participants will stay at the hotel located in the Holmes Student Center on the NIU campus for the entire week.

Participant Benefits

  • $600 stipend
  • Complimentary hotel room and meals
  • One week of training on teaching methods from NIU Secondary Science Educator Licensure faculty
  • Opportunities to observe lab-based science classes at a local high school
  • Mentoring from current science teachers
  • Experience designing and teaching a hands-on science lesson to high school students


  • Current student at a community college or four-year college
  • Minimum 18 years old

Community college students interested in exploring science teaching as a career are highly encouraged to apply.

Application deadline –  November 1, 2023.

Apply Today

2024 Tentative Schedule

Participants spend the week learning science content and how to teach that content to high
school students, as well as applying those skills in an actual teaching experience within three
high school classrooms. For more information, see the tentative schedule below or contact Paul Fix.

Date Time Activity
Jan. 7 Noon-2 p.m. Move-in to NIU
3:30-5:30 p.m. Program overview
5:30-6:45 p.m. Dinner and keynote address
Jan. 8 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Observe at local school
3-5:30 p.m. Deep dive into science topic
6 p.m. Dinner and discussion/activity
Jan. 9 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Observe at local school
3:30-5:30 p.m. Basic science methodology/Work on teaching plans
6 p.m. Dinner and discussion/activity
Jan. 10 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Observe at local school
3:30-5:30 p.m. Work on teaching plans/poster presentation
6 p.m. Dinner and discussion/activity
Jan. 11 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Teach lesson at local school
3:30-5:30 p.m. Finalize presentation
6 p.m. Dinner and discussion/activity
Jan. 12 9-10 a.m. Presentations
10-11 a.m. Reflection
11 a.m.-noon Program wrap-up
Noon Lunch

NSF Logo

The program is funded by grant #2151059 from the National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program and will run through 2027

Contact Us

Educator Licensure, Secondary Science
Paul Fix, Director
LaTourette Hall 207