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Science Education

  • Available as major (B.S. degree) with minors in Earth and Space Science Teaching, Chemistry Teaching, and Biology Teaching
    Open the world of science for inquisitive young minds. Challenge and inspire them to find the answers to their questions. Lead them in their discovery of the world around them. Provide hands-on activities and learning experiences that take them beyond the pages of their textbooks. Become a science teacher.

  • Science education at Olivet is an integrated effort of the School of Life and Health SciencesCollege of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education. In this program, you will become a professional who influences lives. If you want to teach high school science, this is the major for you.

    By the time you complete this program, you will know science, understand students, communicate well and have teaching experience. You will be prepared to teach introductory and advanced science courses at the high school level.

    At Olivet, you can:

    • Learn the best methods, plans and strategies for teaching science classes to elementary school students.
    • Develop your skills and sharpen your knowledge for teaching science classes to high school students.
    • Practice teaching science to students in area public schools.
    • Write, test, revise and adapt lesson plans that make science fun and instructive at the same time.
    • And so much more!

    By no later than your sophomore year, apply for admission into the Teacher Education program to get the full benefit of the Science Education major. Complete core education courses and core science courses plus courses for the science concentration you choose: chemistry or earth and space science.

    Prepare for your career by observing and practicing science teaching in public school classrooms. For your student teaching semester, work with a high school science teacher under the supervision of a science faculty member.

    You will prepare a personal portfolio to demonstrate your effort, thought, abilities and development. You, your professors, and even potential employers will be able to see your progress.

    Course requirements are designed to equip you to meet the “Science Content-Area Standards” as identified by the State of Illinois. The program is also designed to meet the 10 standards of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). All required courses have been aligned with these standards.

    Obtain a science endorsement so you can teach science in elementary and middle schools. In Illinois, for example, the Elementary Teaching certificate may be endorsed for grades 5-8 or the Secondary certificate may be endorsed for grades 6-8 in the following science areas: Biological Science, General Science and Physical Science. Olivet will prepare you for those certifications.

    Teach science in a public or private school. We will prepare you in four years to teach introductory science classes required by the State of Illinois (biology, chemistry, earth and space sciences, environmental science and physics). You will also be ready to teach advanced courses in your area of concentration: biology, chemistry or earth and space sciences.

    Putting knowledge to work

    Be an active member of the ONU student chapter of the National Science Teachers Association, the largest organization in the world committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.

    Volunteer for the ONU Mobile Science Academy. Develop, plan and present science lessons, demonstrations and activities in area classrooms, assemblies and public events.

    Before your student teaching experience, you will complete between 100 to 130 hours of field experiences. The Teacher Education Program will assist you in securing the school placements for all your field experiences. Our Student Education Association (SEA) is an organization to help you do additional “educational service” activities each academic year.

    SEA empowers you and other future educators to invest in the lives of the next generation. Through professional and social activities, you will bond with other students, faculty and educators who are already working in their chose careers. SEA is the largest student organization on campus with more than 200 students who take part in activities each year. We make a major impact in the surrounding school districts and community!

    Your student teaching assignment gives you experience in taking on more responsibilities for directing the learning activities of a group of students in a “real-world” classroom. The minimum time is 60 full official school days. You will be supervised by a classroom teacher, the principal of the school, and the University Supervisor. A faculty member will observe you on site. This is a time for you to grow, learn and develop as a teacher.


    If you are a person who:

    • enjoys explaining science concepts to those who are younger than you
    • scans news headlines for recent scientific developments
    • reads Scientific American or while you eat breakfast
    • has seen every episode of “Bill Nye the Science Guy”
    • explained science experiments to other students in your school classroom or lab
    • answered your science teachers’ questions before anyone else could raise his/her hand
    • wants to understand why things happen the way they do

    then consider a career as an elementary school, middle school or high school science teacher.

    With the renewed emphasis on science education in the United States, the demand for qualified science teachers continues to grow. All public schools require teachers to be certified in order to teach science.

    As a science teacher, you are likely to earn a higher salary than teachers of other subjects. You are also more likely to find a job in a place where you want to live. Teaching a subject matter you love and finding joy in helping others make new discoveries are some of the greatest rewards.

    Possible career options include: High school science teacher, middle school science teacher, science coordinator, biology teacher, environmental science teacher, science magnet school teacher, life science teacher, science composite teacher

    This is a brief overview of what the School of Education, Department of Chemistry and Geosciences and Department of Biological Sciences offer to students. For more detailed information about procedures and requirements, go to the online catalog.

  • Science Education Right Image
  • Learn the best methods, plans and strategies for teaching science classes to elementary or high school students.