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UW College of Education Launches Competition to Spark Interest in Teaching

University of Wyoming - WY TeachThe University of Wyoming College of Education and UW Trustees Education Initiative (TEI) have partnered with Mursion, a company that develops virtual reality training simulations, to present the inaugural College WYTeach competition.

UW and Wyoming community college students who are freshmen or sophomores and interested in becoming teachers can participate in the contest. The top three participants will be awarded scholarship money to UW or a Wyoming community college.

In Wyoming and across the nation, schools are experiencing a shortage of teachers. The WYTeach competition was developed to get students interested in teaching careers and provide a stream of highly qualified teachers into classrooms. This exposure will provide students the opportunity to practice their professional skills and put their teaching abilities to the test by leading a class of students inside a virtual reality simulation.

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.

WYECON at UW is Partner on $2 Million Grant to Support Early Childhood Education

This article and photo originally appeared on the University of Wyoming website and are reprinted with permission.

Child practicing writing on lined paper

The Wyoming Early Childhood Outreach Network (WYECON) at the University of Wyoming is a partner in the Early Childhood State Advisory Council that recently was awarded a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.

“Families, young children and early childhood educators in Wyoming have experienced the negative impacts of a lack of funding and disconnected or nonexistent systems of support for too long,” says WYECON Director and Associate Lecturer Nikki Baldwin. “Research has long recognized how vital early experiences are in shaping children’s lives, and now leaders in Wyoming acknowledge that we must create a new vision for supporting our youngest children, their families and those who care for and educate them.”

The funding will be used to help the council use existing resources more efficiently; encourage partnerships among child care and prekindergarten providers, Head Start programs and state and local governments; and improve transitions between early childhood programs and school systems. The yearlong project will include the development of an in-depth strategic plan and a comprehensive statewide birth-age 5 needs assessment.

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