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UW Professor Named ASTE Outstanding Science Teacher Educator of the Year

Andrea BurrowsThe associate dean of undergraduate programs in the University of Wyoming College of Education is the recipient of the Outstanding Science Teacher Educator of the Year Level One Award.

Andrea Burrows, a professor in the UW School of Teacher Education, received the award during the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) 2021 International Conference, which took place virtually Jan. 14-15. As part of the award, she received a plaque and a cash award from Carolina Biological Supply Co., and she will be recognized in the awards issue of the ASTE newsletter.

The award recognizes the individual achievements and contributions of ASTE members in the first 10 years of their careers. Burrows has inspired pre-service science educators at UW for over nine years. She has won past awards from ASTE, including the 2019 John C. Park National Technology Leadership Initiative Fellowship and the Innovation in Teaching Science Teachers Award in 2020.

“I am truly honored that ASTE would choose me as the 2021 Outstanding Science Teacher Educator,” Burrows says. “My goals as a science teacher educator include continuing research to discover the workings of interdisciplinary spaces involving STEM and providing high-quality professional development for K-20 teachers to use what we are learning. This award provides recognition of the value of this type of interdisciplinary work.”

Burrows was selected for the award based on numerous achievements throughout her career, including the $1.2 million National Science Foundation (NSF) Noyce grant she leads to recruit students with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) backgrounds into the teaching field. This novel program has helped recruit and support 51 secondary science and mathematics teachers since 2013. She also co-leads a $1 million NSF Computer Science for All grant, which has provided teacher professional development and support since 2019.

Another reason for her selection is her research history, which has resulted in 30 peer-reviewed publications, five book chapters, two edited books, more than 150 peer-reviewed conference works, and 42 awarded grants totaling $9.2 million, with $3.4 million as principal investigator. Much of Burrows’ research centers on integrated STEM, partnerships and professional development outreach. Her work helps future and current teachers integrate STEM techniques, concepts and theories from across all disciplines to support K-20 student learning.

“Dr. Burrows is a shining example of a professor who combines amazing teaching abilities, strong community service, critical research, scholarship and grant work to provide the best possible education for our UW students and the state of Wyoming,” says Leslie Rush, interim dean of the UW College of Education. “I’m so pleased that the Association for Science Teacher Education has recognized her excellence with this award.”

Burrows has served in many external leadership roles, including as co-editor of CITE (Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education) Journal Science; associate editor of the Journal of Science Teacher Education; and associate editor of Computers in Education Journal. Additionally, she has served as a board member of ASTE; chair of three American Educational Research Association special interest groups (SIGs); program chair and chair of the American Society for Engineering Education’s Pre-College Engineering Education Division; and chair of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education Science Education SIG.

Burrows also has shaped science education as Wyoming’s Code.org regional partner director and as the WyCS (Wyoming Computer Science) Hub co-director. Additionally, she served on the committee that helped form the new Wyoming state computer science standards, and she regularly partners with the Wyoming Department of Education and the Wyoming Professional Standards Teaching Board.

“I want to thank everyone involved in this success: UW, my collaborators, K-20 teachers and students, community members and the ASTE colleagues who have been a part of making improvements for science teacher education and moving the field forward,” Burrows says.

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