Math and Science Concepts Minor (MSTQE)

[Concepts in Integrated Math and Science with Pedagogy Minor]

Heather Nissenson-Patay, MA, Program Director

Note: The math and science concepts minor is undergoing curricular and structural modifications.  Please see program director.

The Math and Science Concepts Minor (MSTQE)  is designed for undergraduate students interested in developing deep and broad based literacy in math, physical and life sciences and technology.  Most students in the program go on to major in education and many elect to become teachers of math and general science. Others go on to teach in informal education, in museums, libraries, zoos, environmental education and other venues.   

The structure of the MSTQE program is unique in that it builds on a "Bridge" partnership with two of the community colleges within the Chicago City College system.  Truman and Wright College recruit students and their professors of math and science to participate in the MSTQE program at Northeastern Illinois University.  This distinctive feature helps to build a population of diverse candidates within the program and demonstrates the cooperation between the college and university faculties and systems.

Education majors may use the minor to meet the content course requirements of the Illinois State Board of Education in math, life and physical science. In addition, the Math and Science Concepts Minor is accepted by the College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences as a recognized content minor.

Integrated math and science course pairs provide students with opportunities to interact with professors and classmates to investigate and co-construct knowledge.  The program emphasizes: observation, mathematical reasoning, scientific inquiry technology, individual, collaborative and group exploration, connections to real world problems and construction of investigative design models using concept mapping as well as computer concept and agent modeling.  The courses in the Math and Science Concepts Minor focus on content specific knowledge and content specific pedagogical knowledge.  All of the courses provide students with the opportunity to think about how the math and science content they are studying at the undergraduate level could be used to make the teaching and learning of math and science as future educators both engaging and effective.

The Math and Science Concepts Minor Program is a Consortium program in which faculty and students from Wright College, Truman College and Northeastern Illinois University teach and study together. The goal of the Consortium is to create a pipeline to increase the number of individuals, including those from diverse backgrounds who become effective teachers of math, science and technology. 

Math and science courses are block scheduled.  Math and science faculty members integrate their content and develop joint interdisciplinary assignments and projects.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Students may demonstrate that they are eligible for MSTQE through satisfactory completion of MATH-149 and MATH-150. Recommendations and referrals from math instructors will also be considered.

  • Students must have placed into Basic Academic Writing I or have a recommendation from an English or NEIU ESL instructor.

  • Students must complete an interview and advising, program-planning meeting with the program director or assistant.

  • Students must sign a program agreement regarding their understanding of and willingness to meet and participate all program requirements.

Program Requirements: Students are Expected To

  • Register for and participate concurrently in both courses in each course pair.

  • Participate in the workshops and study groups that are integrated with each of the  course pairs (called Guided Inquiry or GIL).

  • Participate in the bi-weekly reflection, peer mentoring and Advisory Sessions held throughout their course of study in the Math and Science Concepts Minor.

  • Complete assignments and projects that involve a range of experiences including experiences with children and emerging adolescents, field and clinical experiences, as well as data collection, research and/or other “real world” experiences.

  • Mentor children and emerging adolescents in school and area science fairs, judge science fairs and conduct and complete their own inquiry project.

  • Agree that while most classes are held on the main campus of Northeastern Illinois University-some may meet in partner community agencies, field sites, schools, or community colleges.

  • Understand that the learning experiences in the content courses are inquiry, problem and process based. All courses require work that utilizes the following: Solving Problems, Working in Teams, Written, Oral Communication and Argumentation, Literacy and English Language Arts Connections, Using Technology, Assessing and Reflecting on Their Own and Their Classmates Learning, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Competency and Real World Applications of Math, Science and Technology including Issues of Equity and Social Justice.

  • One criteria for advancing to the capstone courses includes achieving positive assessments of professional and 21st Century dispositions.

  • Create a portfolio documenting growth and learning during their study and experiences in the Math and Science Concepts Minor Program. 

Minor Course Requirements

Math and science courses in the course pairs must be taken concurrently. Course blocks should be taken sequentially. Requests to take courses in a different sequence must be approved by the program advisor and director. The program is standards based and learning experiences build on one another in a sequence. 

Mathematics courses in the Math and Science Minor support student understanding and ability to use concepts in the National Council of Mathematics Standards for Teachers, the Common Core Standards in Mathematical Practices and Mathematical Content and the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences Mathematical Education of Teachers and the Illinois State Board of Education Professional Educator Content Standards in Mathematics.

Science courses in the Math and Science Concepts Minor support student understanding and ability to use concepts in the Next Generation of Science Standards, the standards for teachers of the National Science Teachers Association, the work of the National Academy of Science, the National Research Council, and the Illinois State Board of Education Professional Educator Content Standards in Science.

Block I

MATH-280
PHYS-108
Geometry Concepts For Educators
and Physics Concepts For Educators
8
MATH-281
CHEM-108
Number Concepts For Educators
and Chemistry Concepts For Educators
8
Total Hours16

Block II

MATH-147
BIO-105
BIO-104
Statistical Concepts For Educators
and Environmental Biology Lab
and The Changing Natural Environment (Special Section for the Math/Science Concepts Minor students)
8
Total Hours8

Block III

MATH-145
BIOS-110
Algebra Concepts For Educators
and Introduction To Biology For Educators
8
Total Hours8

Block IV

MATH-380
BIO-299
Calculus Concepts For Educators
and Ecology Concepts
7
MATH-381Concepts In Discrete Mathematics For Educators 13
Total Hours10
1

Program require student to also complete a course in Earth Science.

Cognate Courses 

SOC-104Schools And Society3
PEMT-342TCooperative Learning In Adventure Education3
HLED-199Health & Wellness Of The Emerging Adolescent Student3
Total Hours9

List of Recommended Electives 

  • GES-305 Geography And Map Skills For Teachers
  • TESL courses (supports effective language arts teaching and counts toward the TESL endorsement)
  • ENGL-390 Young Adult Novel

BIO-104. The Changing Natural Environment. 3 Hours.

Attitudes toward the natural environment. Exploitation of the natural plant and animal communities and the effects of overpopulation and increasing pollution of the environment on the biological world. Lecture only. (Does not fulfill major or minor requirements in Biology.).

BIO-105. Environmental Biology Lab. 1 Hour.

This course provides a field and laboratory experience to accompany the MS Concepts Minor Section of "Changing Natural Environment". Data collected in the field and laboratory will be used for analysis in the paired MATH-147 course in statistics and probability. The field and lab course will focus on the process of science-from exploratory and inquiry based laboratory field work to scientific communication and presentation skill. Technology will be threaded throughout the course. Topics include diversity and viability in nature, ecosystem services, and flows of matter and energy. This course is linked to BIO-104 and MATH-147.
Prerequisites: (BIO-100 minimum grade of C or BIOL-100 minimum grade of C) and (MATH-180 minimum grade of C or MATH-199A minimum grade of C).
Corequisites: BIO-104, MATH-147.

BIO-299. Ecology Concepts. 3 Hours.

This course provides a foundation in core ecology concepts as they relate to the practice of middle school teaching. A quantitative perspective will be stressed and topic will be analyzed using tools from calculu, technology, conept and agent modeling whenever possible. Course will focus on scientific inquiry methodology and process, from exploratory and inquiry-based laboratory and field work to scientific communication and presentation skills. Topics include population growth, competition, and flows of matter and energy. This course is linked to MATH-380.
Prerequisites: BIO-100 minimum grade of C or BIOL-100 minimum grade of C and (BIO-104 minimum grade of C or BIOL-104 minimum grade of C) and (MATH-380 minimum grade of C or MATH-199X minimum grade of C).

BIOS-110. Introduction To Biology For Educators. 4 Hours.

Designed specifically for prospective elementary and middle grades teachers, this inquiry-based biology course meets current and relevant content standards in biology for educators as well as NEIU College of Education science course requirements. Prior knowledge in chemistry, physics, and mathematics is integrated. Content includes cell/molecular biology, evolution, genetics, organismal biology and bioengineering. During laboratory/field experiences, students will continue to develop proficiency with scientific methods, experimental design, data collection and analysis, and communication. Mathematical applications include statistics and algebra. For students in the Math and Science Concepts Minor program (MSTQE), content is linked and integrated with MATH-145. Prerequisite: MATH-149 or above, or ACT Math Score of 25 or higher, or NEIU MPT of 35 or higher.
Prerequisite: (MATH-149 - 499 or MATH-149A - 499Z or NEIU Math Placement Result 35 - 45 or ACT English 25 - 36 or Accuplacer College Level Math 031 - 120).
Corequisite: MATH-145.

CHEM-108. Chemistry Concepts For Educators. 4 Hours.

This course covers the basic principles of chemistry including atomic theory, solution chemistry, organic and biochemistry, states of matter and its various physical and chemical properties, appropriate use of nomenclature, chemical bonding, and use of quantitative calculations based on chemical equations including scientific notation, significant figures and dimensional analysis. The historical development of how chemistry contributes to our civilization will also be considered. Elementary chemical principles will be used to explain the behavior of synthetic polymers, toxic substances, food additives, cleaning products and other chemically manufactured materials. Issues of contemporary critical technologies such as biomaterials, natural products, alternative fuels, bioremediation, fuel cells, green technology, bio-defense and smart materials may be examined. This course is aligned to the ISBE Standards for General Science Educators, National Science Teachers Association Standards and the Next Generation of Science Standards. Course outcomes include developing students' ability to apply knowledge of chemistry to a variety of real world problems and settings with particular emphasis on scientific inquiry, the nature of science, civic engagement and applications to teaching. CHEM-108 is an interdisciplinary lab-oriented course that integrates concepts from the life, physical, social sciences, and mathematics and is linked to MATH-281.
Prerequisites: (MATH-180 minimum grade of C or MATH-199A minimum grade of C) and (MATH-280 minimum grade of C or MATH-199G minimum grade of C).
Corequisite: MATH-281.

MATH-145. Algebra Concepts For Educators. 4 Hours.

This course focuses on algebra concepts and is designed to meet the needs of educators. Some of the concepts covered will be linear, quadratic, exponential and logarithmic functions, systems of equations and introduction to trigonomic functions. Problem solving, development of algebraic thinking and modeling simple and complex linear systems with and without technology will be emphasized. Written assignments and reflections on the learning process will be introduced as appropriate. Algebra concepts will be taught in the context of real world problems and applications. This course has been designed keeping in mind the NCTM teacher standards, Common Core Mathematical Practices, content and ELA Standards in Mathematics and the ISBE mathematics teacher standards and the content and pedagogy necessary to prepare teachers to be developmentally responsive teachers of math and science. Course is linked and integrated with the MSTQE Bios 110.
Prerequisite: MATH-150 minimum grade of C or MATH-151 minimum grade of C.
Corequisite: BIO-199.

MATH-147. Statistical Concepts For Educators. 4 Hours.

This course has been designed keeping in mind the NCTM teacher standards, Common Core Mathematical Practices, Content and ELA Standards in Mathematics and the ISBE mathematics teacher standards and the content within the paired interdisciplinary science course. There will be three principle components of the course: 1) descriptive statistics, 2) basic probability theory and central limit theorem, 3) applied statistics in the form of confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. Contemporary critical technologies such as data warehousing and mining, and concept modeling may be considered. This course is linked with BIO-104 Environmental Biology, and BIO-105Environmental Biology Lab.
Prerequisite: MATH-141 minimum grade of C or MATH-108 minimum grade of C or NEIU Math Placement Result 30 or ACT Math 22 or ACT Math 23 or ACT Math 24 or Accuplacer College Level Math 020 or Accuplacer College Level Math 021 or Accuplacer College Level Math 022 or Accuplacer College Level Math 023 or Accuplacer College Level Math 024 or Accuplacer College Level Math 025 or Accuplacer College Level Math 026 or Accuplacer College Level Math 027 or Accuplacer College Level Math 028 or Accuplacer College Level Math 029 or Accuplacer College Level Math 030.
Corequisites: BIO-104, BIO-105.

MATH-280. Geometry Concepts For Educators. 4 Hours.

This course focuses on the concepts of plane and solid geometry and trigonometry. It is designed to meet the needs of math teachers in accordance with the NCTM teacher standards, Common Core
Mathematical Practices, Content and ELA Standards in Mathematics and the ISBE mathematics teacher standards. The topics include basic definitions and properties of plane and solid figures, congruence, similarity, constructions, measurements, transformations, Pythagorean Theorem, right angle trigonometry and the unit circle. Problem solving using manipulatives, calculator and computer programs is emphasized throughout. Writing assignments as appropriate are also part of the course. This course is linked with PHYS-108.
Prerequisite: MATH-141 minimum grade of C or MATH-108 minimum grade of C or NEIU Math Placement Result 30 or ACT Math 22 or ACT Math 23 or ACT Math 24 or Accuplacer College Level Math 020 or Accuplacer College Level Math 021 or Accuplacer College Level Math 022 or Accuplacer College Level Math 023 or Accuplacer College Level Math 024 or Accuplacer College Level Math 025 or Accuplacer College Level Math 026 or Accuplacer College Level Math 027 or Accuplacer College Level Math 028 or Accuplacer College Level Math 029 or Accuplacer College Level Math 030.
Corequisite: PHYS-108.

MATH-281. Number Concepts For Educators. 4 Hours.

This course has been designed keeping in mind the NCTM teacher standards, Common Core Mathematical Practices, Content and ELA Standards in Mathematics and the ISBE mathematics teacher standards and the content and pedagogy necessary to prepare teachers to be teachers of math and science. A wide range of topics across number theory and measurement will give the students a grasp of the depth and breadth of mathematics outside the traditional course structures. Problem solving, estimation, measurements and construction of simple theories of numbers will be treated with and without the use of technology. Writing assignments will supplant the assignments typically found in a mathematics course. This course is linked with CHEM-108.
Prerequisite: MATH-141 minimum grade of C or MATH-108 minimum grade of C or NEIU Math Placement Result 30 or ACT Math 22 or ACT Math 23 or ACT Math 24 or Accuplacer College Level Math 020 or Accuplacer College Level Math 021 or Accuplacer College Level Math 022 or Accuplacer College Level Math 023 or Accuplacer College Level Math 024 or Accuplacer College Level Math 025 or Accuplacer College Level Math 026 or Accuplacer College Level Math 027 or Accuplacer College Level Math 028 or Accuplacer College Level Math 029 or Accuplacer College Level Math 030.
Corequisite: CHEM-108.

MATH-380. Calculus Concepts For Educators. 4 Hours.

Course is designed keeping in mind the NCTM teacher standards, Common Core Mathematical Practices, Content and ELA Standards in Mathematics and the ISBE mathematics teacher standards and the understanding that many of the students are preparing to be mathematics teachers. Course emphasis is on developmentally responsive conceptual knowledge, content specific knowledge and pedagogical knowledge. Course will focus on real applications including applications to study of ecology and change and on process not procedures. Topics are consistent with a standard calculus course and include: analytical geometry, limits and derivatives, differential equations, polynomials, applications, integration, series, fundamental theorem of calculus. This course is integrated with NEIU BIO-299.

MATH-381. Concepts In Discrete Mathematics For Educators. 3 Hours.

Designed especially for teachers, this course provides a foundational experience in discrete mathematics through an emphasis on topics in graph theory. Students will learn about mathematics as an active process of making conjectures, testing ideas, and proving conclusions. Special emphasis is given to mathematical communication, problem-solving, and applications to the sciences. Topics include: the Four Color Theorem, trees, digraphs, bipartite graphs, planar graphs, Platonic solids, Euler and Hamilton circuits, the P+NP Problem, algorithms and combinatorial explosion. Students will first learn the mathematics and then explore how it connects to developmentally responsive school curriculum.
Prerequisite: MATH-380 minimum grade of C or MATH-199X minimum grade of C.

PHYS-108. Physics Concepts For Educators. 4 Hours.

A laboratory oriented course that integrates concepts from geometry, algebra and trigonometry. Central concepts of physics (the laws of mechanics and electricity, the properties of light, atoms and nuclei) and how they are applied in the modern world (rockets, electric motors, optical instruments, automobiles, fuel cells, alternative fuels, stationary i.e. power plant and non-stationary i.e. aircraft, green technology etc.) are investigated. Issues of smart materials, celestial mining, nanotechnology, quantum computing and other contemporary critical technologies may be investigated. Discussion may include topics and concepts related to robotics, kinematics and dynamics of particles and rigid bodies and electrostatics, electric fields, electric potentials, currents, magnetic fields, wave motion. Basic concepts of geology, meteorology, oceanography and the solar system may be threaded throughout. Course content is aligned to the National Science Teachers Association and the dimensions of the Next Generation of Science Standards. PHYS-108 is linked to MATH-280.