What is CSI: Coaching Science Inquiry in Rural Schools?

CSI is a professional learning opportunity for middle and high school science teachers (grades 6-12) in rural communities offered through the National Center for Research on Rural Education (R2Ed) at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

The program offers a two-week summer institute in Lincoln, Neb., and ongoing technology-delivered coaching that focuses on guided scientific inquiry as content and an instructional strategy.

CSI explores the impact of science inquiry training on both teacher and student outcomes.

The program will randomly assign teachers to either receive science inquiry training or maintain their current instructional practices.

What are the benefits?

Participants will develop instructional strategies that foster student understanding of the inquiry process and allow for differentiated instruction in a single classroom. Teachers and coaches will collaborate to create classroom-ready lesson plans that meet teachers' individual needs, school district benchmarks and inquiry standards.

While receiving inquiry training, teachers will earn a stipend of approximately $2200. Participants traveling more than 60 miles one way to the summer institute will also receive gas and lodging stipends. Those not assigned to inquiry training will earn a stipend of approximately $400. All teachers will eventually have access to inquiry-based lesson plans.

What is required of participants?

Teachers randomly assigned to receive inquiry training in year one will attend a summer institute in Lincoln, Neb., June 3-6 and June 10-13, 2013. The project requires participation throughout all 8 days of the institute.

Participants will be required to periodically complete questionnaires and video-record lessons. In addition, participants randomly assigned to receive inquiry training will be required to participate in technology-delivered support sessions with instructional coaches.

Does my school qualify for the study?

CSI is open to middle and high school (grades 6-12) teachers practicing in schools that the U.S. Department of Education has defined as rural. Click here to download a list of these schools.

I'm interested! What should I do next?

Please provide some basic contact information by clicking here. Upon receiving your information, we will contact you to discuss the project and answer any questions you may have.


CSI Unit Plans (Password Protected)
Kicks2/CSI Comparison
CSI Personnel Bios
2012 Participant Demographics


Student Achievement Grants


Play CSI Video