Create a Plan

The SSEC’s Science Education Institute for Leadership Development and Strategic Planning convenes leadership teams comprised of state-level leaders, district and school administrators, teachers, and community partners. Teams represent key stakeholders that are integral to the success of a new science education program.


Step One: Explore research on the learning and teaching of science to inform a new, shared vision of inquiry-based, hands-on science education.

Participants develop a collective body of knowledge through sessions exploring the current landscape of science education, research behind how students learn, and data supporting the work of the SSEC. Armed with this understanding and a shared experience with inquiry-based, hands on science, leadership teams collaboratively develop their vision for science as a guiding principle to support their work throughout the week and once they return home.

Step Two: Participate in a simulation investigating how individuals view change to develop strategies for instigating change.

The Making Change Happen™ board game simulates the implementation of a new program within a school system. During the simulation, teams will work together to explore and understand how to create and sustain change within a community. This will help teams to identify facilitators and inhibitors of change in their own schools or districts and create strategies to address different obstacles.

Step Three: Identify and incorporate the five pillars of the LASER model into a system-wide, five-year strategic plan for improving K-12 science education programs.

Leadership teams explore the five pillars of the LASER model for systemic reform: curriculum, professional development, assessment, materials support, and administrative and community support. Research-based sessions incorporate inquiry-centered teaching practices followed by planning time for teams to assimilate their new knowledge into a draft strategic plan. By week’s end, leadership teams conceptualize their strategy for addressing these five elements when they return home. Often, this strategy is a draft five-year strategic plan, but it is dependent on the team’s needs. Either way, it should reflect realistic goals for the team moving forward.

Step Four: Exchange knowledge with other professionals committed to improving education for all students.

Attending a strategic planning institute enables teams to grow their professional network by providing time for planning within their team and community. Individuals and teams also have opportunities to connect with others from different regions that are facing some similar challenges in implementing science education. Additionally, this work couldn’t be completed without the support of faculty presenters dedicated to spending the week with participating leadership teams. These faculty members are former participants themselves and are handpicked for their ability to share their own expertise and lessons learned.