Home Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education (IISME)

Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education (IISME)

Program that Works


IISME's main program, paid summer fellowships, places teachers into industry, lab, or government work sites for the summer.

IISME provides support, such as peer coaching, workshops, grants, and an electronic network, during the summer and school year, to help teachers transfer their summer experience back to their students and colleagues.

Target Population

K-16 teachers (all subjects but especially science, math, and technology) in the San Francisco Bay Area, expanding to other California locations in 2008.


IISME aims to improve math, science and technology education by providing industry-based professional development to teachers and faculty.

Program Highlights

  • Teachers gain hands-on, practical experience and work sites gain employees with university degrees and an average of eight years of teaching experience.
  • According to the 2007 IISME Annual Report, 95 percent of mentors said the program was worthwhile and benefited their department and company/ institution; 99 percent of Teacher Fellows said that their fellowship elevated their enthusiasm for teaching.

The Facts

Fellowships have been awarded to teachers from 600 Bay Area schools. In 2007, 188 fellowships were awarded to teachers from 152 schools.
Teachers receive a stipend of $7,400-$8,200 for 8
West (California)


Higher Education

  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Stanford University
  • Santa Clara University
  • San Jose State University


  • Applied Materials
  • IBM
  • Intel Corporation
  • Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company
  • Silicon Valley Leadership Group
  • Synopsys

Non-Profit / Philanthropy

  • Amgen Foundation
  • Genentech Foundation for Biomedical Sciences
  • Oracle Education Foundation
  • S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation


Evidence of Impact

Studies show that IISME fellowships encourage teachers to remain in teaching at twice the rate of their peers and that they promote lasting relationships with their sponsor organization and a network of scientists.

IISME Teacher Retention and Program Impact 1985-2000: An IISME-commissioned study of the impact of IISME on teacher retention and long-term outcomes found that fellows stayed in teaching at higher rates than peers. Participants also reported the fellowship had a strong impact on their knowledge of their subject area.

Partners in Education: The IISME Experience 1985-1990: An IISME-sponsored review of the first six years of IISME found that over 90 percent of teacher fellows rated IISME among the top 10-20percent of their professional development experiences, and 80-90 percent of Teacher Fellows rank “increased self-confidence” as one of the most important outcomes of their IISME experience

Two IISME-sponsored studies.
In 1986, San Diego formed a fellowship program for teachers patterned after IISME. In 1987, Los Angeles followed suit. In 1988, IISME received a grant from the Hearst Foundation to support replication efforts. IISME’s program is now a model for over 75 such programs, commonly referred to as SWEPTs (Summer Work Experience Program for Teachers), which operate in various parts of the country.

Evaluation of Scientific Work Experience Programs for Teachers: Current Practice and Future Directions.

Contact Information

Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education
5301 Stevens Creek Blvd.
P.O. Box 58059; MS WO
Santa Clara,  CA  95052
(408) 553-2249

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