The directors of ISLS have collaborated from the surrounding North East Ohio colleges and Universities which include Hiram College, Kent State University and The University of Akron. Their combined efforts have created a program that is continually evolving into an unprecedented motion towards science education revival in Ohio. Along with improving the high school education experience for students, they have given high school teachers opportunities to gain new ideas about teaching and shown college students the impact of their knowledge. By instilling all aspects of the academy into their daily lives, the directors are directly transforming Ohio's and the world's next generation of scientists and educators.
Near Peer Mentors
A critical component of the learning community, the near-peer mentor serves as a bridge between student and teacher. As each member of the community participates equally in learning and the sharing of knowledge, the near-peer mentor is able to use his/her training to be a facilitator of this process. Mentors are undergraduate students with academic backgrounds in education, science, or both. The internship provides opportunity to apply their knowledge in a teaching environment, yet they are never the sole leader of the group. It is the students’ and school teachers’ roles to teach the mentors as much as it is the mentor’s role to facilitate a learning environment for all.
High School Students
High school students are the foundation of the Igniting Streams of Learning in Science institution. The students obtain an abundance of knowledge about themselves, others and the nature around them. The students focus on their relationship with the environment, their community, with others and the impact that others have on the environment. By the end of the course, the students leave with a vision of changing their impact on the environment and science education. It is a goal of the ISLS program to encourage students to pursue further education and future careers in science or education fields.
High School Teachers
Although the "teacher" role is not well defined during the institute, it is the teachers who must facilitate the students' development of each learning object during the following academic year. The teachers' involvement is not only to create a learning environment for students, but it is also an opportunity for professional growth, developing new ideas, and for transforming Ohio's schools. Every teacher enters the program as a primary mentor for the high school students, but most leave with a greater appreciation for how they can be mentored by the near-peer mentors, directors, other faculty, and their own students.
Higher Education Faculty
Scientists, educators, and industry professionals facilitate hands-on learning through instruction in their fields of expertise throughout the institute. Their involvement is crucial to providing learning communities with the skills and knowledge necessary to take the institute experience back to their respective schools and develop effective learning objects.