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Math Science Partnership

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The Mathematics and Science Partnerships (MSP) program supports partnerships between the mathematics, science, and/or engineering faculty of higher education institutions and high-need school districts.  The primary goal of the program is to increase student achievement through increasing teachers' content knowledge and instructional skills. In Montana, eight individual MSP projects have achieved this goal through focused, high-quality professional development that is coordinated between the local school districts and the institutes of higher education linked to the grant.  The MSP is a formula grant program that funds state awards based on student population and poverty rates.  It is administered by the Academic Improvement and Teacher Quality Program under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), Title II, Part B. Please explore the work of the Montana MSP projects by clicking on the tabs below.

Individual Projects:

Broadwater and Bozeman Math (B&B)

The Broadwater to Bozeman (B&B) continuation project extends the objectives of the original Gallatin to Glacier project, which introduced 24 middle grades teachers from six districts to algebraic and geometric thinking, mathematical inquiry, and instructional coaching. The B&B project continues this work with teachers in Townsend and Bozeman, focusing on four objectives: to deeply study mathematical content; to embed inquiry-based learning in classrooms; to promote collaborative teacher learning; and to strengthen the relationship between prospective mathematics teachers at MSU and area middle schools. 

The Broadwater to Bozeman project page is under construction.

Big Sky Transition to and Framework for Science Inquiry (BIG SKY)

Frameworks for Inquiry: BIG SKYFrameworks for Inquiry is a project providing professional development (PD) to a group of high school chemistry teachers in Western Montana. Teacher PD is accomplished by having the teachers develop curriculum materials for use in their classroom and enabling teachers to measure changes in student scientific reasoning skills and content knowledge. As a result of the project, teachers have improved their content and pedagogical knowledge, they have employed improved materials and methods in their classrooms, and student content knowledge and scientific reasoning skills have increased. A full year of groundbreaking original inquiry-based high school chemistry curriculum materials has been developed and classroom tested. Big Sky Transitions to Inquiry is a project providing PD to science teachers at Missoula’s Big Sky High School who teach required freshman and sophomore science courses. The teachers have learned inquiry teaching methods, and they have transformed their curriculum materials so that they align with inquiry methodology.

Clark Fork Watershed Education Program (CFWEP)

The Clark Fork Watershed Education Program, now formally called Cfwep.Org, is based out of the Department of Technical Outreach at Montana Tech.  Cfwep.Org has held two consecutive MSP projects, the first designed for middle school and high school teachers, was called the Clark Fork Science Partnership.  This project was funded for a three-year continuation with East Middle School.

The second MSP project held by Cfwep.Org was initiated in 2008 and was designed to be a blended learning model of professional development for teachers in grades 3-6 throughout southwest Montana.  The project included teachers from small rural school to AA districts.  The online modules were developed by STEM faculty from Montana Tech and Education Faculty from UM-Western and MSU. 

The Clark Fork Watershed Education Program page is under construction.

Developing Math Leaders (DML)

The Developing Math Leaders (DML) grant began in 2005 and involves Middle School Mathematics teachers from Riverside Middle School in Billings, MT. Riverside is a Title I Middle School with approximately 500 students.  Fifty-five percent of the Riverside student population receives free or reduced lunch. The goal of the DML grant was to improve student academic achievement through the use of common assessments and a focused curriculum. During the 2010-2011-school year, teachers from Riverside Middle School also began mentoring teachers at Lewis & Clark Middle School as a part of their journey.

For the past 3 years, teachers from Riverside have been meeting as a Professional Learning Community (PLC) once a month throughout the school year.  The district math coach has facilitated the PLC meetings. During the PLC meetings, the following components were examined or addressed: 1) Professional Development articles or videos focusing on topics ranging from differentiated instruction to motivating students; 2) Celebrations of accomplishments; 3) Data discussions; and 4) Review and revision of common assessments.

Math Through Inquiry (MTI)

The overall vision of the Continuation 2 of Math Through Inquiry:  Hands On / Minds On (C2MTI) Project was to build leadership skills and content knowledge of teachers participating in a mathematics Professional Learning Community (PLC) at Newman Elementary School.  In turn, this led to increased student success in mathematics courses by building students’ conceptual understanding.  In order to meet this vision, Newman Elementary set the following goals:  1) strengthen the existing mathematics PLC and 2) improve student academic performance in mathematics in grades four through six.

During the 2010-2011 school year the teachers met one day each month as a PLC and received content instruction from STEM faculty.  During this time, teachers also worked collaboratively to revise, implement and analyze common assessments and student interventions.  Each intermediate grade teacher received classroom coaching and mentoring from the grant math coach four times during the school year. STEM faculty from Rocky Mountain College provided content and pedagogical support via direct instruction during PLC time, through e-mail, phone calls, and by participating in a classroom coaching cycle. 

The Math Through Inquiry project page is under construction.


Partnership to Reform Inquiry Science in Montana (PRISM)

The Partnership to Reform Inquiry Science in Montana (PRISM) grant seeks to develop and strengthen the pedagogical and content understandings of teachers associated with science in all partner schools within the Region III Southern Montana Alliance for Resources and Training (SMART).

Science and Inquiry Learning in the Classroom (SILC)

The Science and Inquiry Learning in Classrooms (SILC) Project is a K – 8 teacher professional development grant to improve student academic achievement in the areas of science inquiry, physical sciences, life sciences and Native American culture.  The grant is implemented through the combined partnership of the Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake and Montana State University-Bozeman in collaboration with the Bozeman and Helena School Districts, and surrounding rural schools.  This three-year grant was funded beginning in 2008 by US Department of Education Title II B money through the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

Math Science Project: Montana


MSP Grant Application

The Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) is offering a competitive Math Science Partnership (MSP) Mini Grant up to $20,000 for mathematics professional development.

Montana MSP Mini Grant Project, 2014-2015


MSP Program

The MSP program is a formula grant program to the states, with the size of individual state awards based on student population and poverty rates. The Montana OPI is responsible for the administration of this program and through the grant award process works to give districts, and mathematics and science postsecondary education faculty, joint responsibility for improving math and science instruction through high quality professional learning. The STREAM program is the current math focused MSP grantee and provides embedded professional learning for teachers in grades 4-7.

2014-2015 MSP Mini Grant Description:

The successful partnership awarded this grant will work with STREAM to create a professional development module which will extend the grades serviced to include 8th grade. The partnership will work closely to align and coordinate goals with STREAM, increasing the reach and capacity of the program.


Partnerships of local education agencies (LEAs) and postsecondary institutions may apply for the grant.


Grant applications must be received by 5pm on November 30, 2014.

Questions? Email or call 406-444-3538.

Montana MSP 2013-2015 Projects

Juneau Awards $2 Million to Improve Math and Science Instruction

September 28, 2012, Superintendent Denise Juneau announced two competitive grant awards through the Mathematics and Science Partnerships Program--one for mathematics and one for science. Each program will receive $335,178 per year for three years.

"We know that many of the jobs of tomorrow are going to require our students to have a solid background in science, technology, engineering and math, and we need to make sure their education in our public schools is preparing them for higher education and to compete for jobs in a global economy," said Superintendent Juneau. "Providing Montana teachers with high quality training and the skills they need to engage students in science and math is critical to improving the skills of our students."

The two projects will improve K-12 students' math and science skills and the instructional skills of math and science teachers by: providing high-quality training for teachers; collaborating and coordinating with the Montana Regional Education Service Area (RESA) network, and supporting the Montana Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Initiative. Additionally, these partnerships will give school districts and higher education faculty joint responsibility for improving Montana's math and science instruction.

Math Project Grantee:
Montana Common Core Standards for Mathematics (MCCSM)
Bozeman Public Schools and Montana State University, Dr. Jennifer Luebeck, Director

This project will create a model for statewide training of K-12 teachers implementing the Montana Common Core Standards for Mathematics. In the first year of the project, MCCSM will prepare training materials for middle school teachers (grades 4-8) and train its first group of teachers through an in-person workshop, online trainings and a summer academy. In year two of the grant, those teachers trained in year one will provide training to their colleagues with the support of mentor teachers, the RESAs and MCCSM staff. In years two and three, the project will expand to more communities, new grade levels and add an assessment component. The goal for the three years of the grant is 150 teachers trained and supporting the implementation of the Montana Common Core Standards for Math.

Partners: Montana State University, University of Montana, Bozeman Public Schools, Montana Learning Center, Montana Council Teachers of Mathematics, Anaconda School District, Arlee School District, Box Elder Public Schools, Charlo School District, Conrad Public Schools, East Glacier Park Grade School, Hot Springs School District, Kalispell Public Schools, Target Range School District, Terry School District, and the five Montana Regional Education Service Areas

Science Project Grantee:
Montana Partnership with Regions for Excellence in STEM (MPRES)
Montana Tech of the University of Montana and Montana State University-Billings, Rayelynn Connole and Dr. Ken Miller, Co-Directors

The Montana Partnership with Regions for Excellence in STEM (MPRES) is designed to build upon two previous successful Montana Science Partnership grant projects to improve K-12 science student achievement and teacher instruction and incorporate the Framework for K-12 Science Education. The project aims to develop Teacher Trainers who will work across the state through face-to-face and online trainings. Twelve teachers who have previously participated in Math Science partnerships projects will be recruited as trainers and will complete a year-long program of professional development in the first year of the grant. During the second year, the 12 trainers will each recruit five teachers to receive professional development with four of these teachers becoming trainers for their region, additional teachers will be trained in year three. The goal for the three years of the grant is a total of 152 teachers provided with high-quality professional development in science.

Partners: Montana Tech of the University of Montana, Montana State University-Billings, Montana Education Consortium, Alliance for Curriculum Enhancement, Billings Public Schools, Butte School District #1 and the five Montana Regional Education Service Areas

Office of Public Instruction Contacts for this Announcement

Jael Prezeau
Content Standards and Instruction Director

Jean Howard
Mathematics Instructional Coordinator

Professional Development Models

Please check back for additional Professional Development Modules.

The concept of a Blended Model for professional development involves utilizing various forms of educational experiences and engaging participating teachers, students, university educators, administrators, and industry experts in a variety of ways rather than using just one approach such as a face-to-face workshop. MSP projects who implemented this approach using on-line interactions, workshops, and instructional coaching found great success with their participants. Some of the focus within the Blended Model included science content instruction, inquiry learning and Native American culture.

Science and Inquiry Learning in the Classroom (SILC)

Math Science Project: Montana


Indian Education for All

 Visit Indian Education for All


References to teaching Native American culture are found throughout the Montana Standards. Dr. Walter Fleming, Head of Montana State University's Native American Studies Department was an excellent addition to the SILC project. Dr. Fleming provided Native American cultural content instruction associated with science topics during Inquiry Academies held throughout the project. Whenever possible, cultural topics were selected to coincide with and were integrated with selected science topics. Other experts were also enlisted to provide insights on Native American culture. Topics included:

  • colors;
  • the sun;
  • eclipses and native people;
  • myths and legends;
  • factors that influence Native American culture;
  • tribes in Montana; and
  • Native Americans and the myth of scientific life.

Math Science Project: Montana

Math Science Project: Montana

Math Science Project: Montana