Posts Tagged ‘STEM’

Department of Education Releases New Discipline Guidance for Students with Disabilities

This weekly Washington Update is intended to keep members informed on Capitol Hill activities impacting the educator preparation community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Time is winding down in Congress as Members prepare for the summer recess. While there is always much to be done- we don’t expect much movement on FY2023 appropriations until the fall.  As always, your voice at the table is imperative to ensuring investments in the special educator and specialized instructional support personnel workforce remain at the forefront.

Summer Scholars Helps Develop Science Teaching

 

The University of North Georgia’s (UNG) Summer Scholars STEM Institute held throughout the month of June helped pre-service teachers in UNG’s College of Education gain experience in preparing lesson plans in science and engineering while focusing on English language learners. A nearly $300,000 National Science Foundation grant, which runs through 2024, helped fund the academy for 60 students rising into fourth grade through eighth grade at local area schools.

Interactive STEM Camp at MSU offers Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder Chance to Learn Physics, Consider College Options

(Photo by Grace Cockrell)

A group of young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder who are interested in science, technology and related fields are getting a new chance to learn about physics and other topics as part of an innovative camp at Mississippi State, which may be the country’s first of its kind.

MSU Assistant Professor of Physics Ben Crider is using a prestigious $600,000 National Science Foundation 2019 Career Grant to advance his nuclear physics research, which includes a highly interactive summer experience for students with autism that was delayed due to COVID-19.

MSU-led, NSF-Funded Project Aims to Strengthen Rural Educator Pipeline

Female teacher in front of classroom

(photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University) Partnership Middle School English class – MSU secondary education major Lauren Threadgill works with a class of seventh grade students as a student intern in the school.

A $2.4 million National Science Foundation grant supports a Mississippi State University-led project that aims better prepare educators for teaching in rural settings. 

Mississippi State University is leading a nationwide project with the goal of better preparing educators for teaching in rural settings.

With $2.4 million in support from the National Science Foundation, the project entitled “Investigating STEM Teacher Preparation and Rural Teacher Persistence and Retention” brings together 14 universities to address workforce challenges in school settings, particularly for STEM teachers in rural areas. The project examines how educator preparation programs impact future STEM teachers’ intentions to teach in rural schools, as well as their retention rates at rural schools once they are in the workforce. Studies have shown that in addition to struggling to recruit teachers, rural schools have the highest rates of teacher attrition, with higher attrition rates occurring in the southern U.S. and in schools that serve low-income and minority students.

Bringing Science Back Home: Ph.D. Candidate Tiffany Hamm Works to Expand STEM Access

This article originally appeared on Syracuse University School of Education website and is reprinted with permission.

Tiffany HammTiffany Hamm, a fourth-year science education doctoral student, formerly taught earth science in her hometown of Bronx, New York. She chose the School of Education to pursue a Ph.D. because she wanted to do more in the field. Making science accessible is key, she says, both in her pursuit of a doctorate and for the next generation.

“Bringing science back to the community in a tangible way can help students of color and students of underrepresented backgrounds gain interest,” Hamm says. “We need to keep showing different faces in science, keep diversifying the science field, and diversifying images of scientist and their contributions.”

AACTE Participates in STEM Roundtable with Department of Education

STEM education. Science Technology Engineering Mathematics. STEM concept with drawing background. Magnifying glass over education background.AACTE is a member of The STEM Education Coalition whose mission is to raise awareness among policymakers about the critical role STEM education plays in enabling the United States to remain the economic and technological leader of the global marketplace of the 21st century. The Coalition recently participated in a roundtable discussion with Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten and Assistant Secretary of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development Roberto Rodriguez on how best to advance STEM education for all students. Meredith Kier, associate professor of science education at the College of William and Mary, represented AACTE at the round table. 

Below is a summary of the discussion:

A Congressional Success for Rural STEM Education

STEM education. Science Technology Engineering Mathematics. STEM concept with drawing background. Magnifying glass over education background.

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation, endorsed by AACTE—the Rural STEM Education Research Act (HR 210.) The legislation supports research and development to increase access to STEM education opportunities in rural schools and to provide teachers with the resources they need to teach more effectively.

The bill also directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop a prize competition to advance research and development of creative technologies for expanded broadband access. This bill further provides for assessments of Federal investments in rural STEM education to be conducted by the National Academies and the Government Accountability Office. The bipartisan legislation was introduced by House Science Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) and passed the House with bipartisan support.  It is unclear if the Senate will approve the bill.

Bryan A. Brown Recognized with AACTE Book Award for Science in the City: Culturally Relevant STEM Education

Science in the City CoverAACTE is pleased to announce Bryan A. Brown’s Science in the City: Culturally Relevant STEM Education, as the recipient of the 2021 AACTE Outstanding Book Award. Brown is being presented with the award at today’s virtual AACTE 73rd Annual Meeting Awards Forum.

Science in the City: Culturally Relevant STEM Education, published by Harvard Education Press in 2019, examines how language and culture impact effective science teaching. In the book, Brown argues that teachers need to understand how cultural issues intersect with the fundamental principles of learning, and that science education can thrive if it is connected to students’ culture, backgrounds, identities, and language.

Improving Practices in STEM Teacher Preparation TAG Meeting

Invited Speakers Talk About Courageous Action

TAG FlyerThe call to action to engage our collective consciousness by resisting hate and restoring hope through courageous action is now. After the summer of racial reckoning, institutions have re-examined mission and vision statements for what many consider a watershed moment with “talk of transformation, roadmaps, and “action steps” toward sweeping curricular reforms (Bartlet, T, 2021). The Improving Practices in STEM Teacher Preparation (IPSTP) Topical Action Group (TAG) likewise responds to the call by reimagining TAG activities and engaging members to reflect, reimagine, and take action through STEM teacher education. 

To start the work for envisioning courageous action, the IPSTP TAG has invited scholars to share their work in socially just and equity-sustaining STEM practices. The invited speakers include Angela Calabrese Barton of the University of Michigan, Edna Tan of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Tanya Maloney of Montclair State University, and Kathleen Schenkel of San Diego State University.

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.

Cal State LA receives NSF grant to enhance STEM teaching in urban schools

Photo: A screenshot of Cal State LA student-teachers interacting virtually with avatar pupils in a simulated classroom. (Credit: Cal State LA)

California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA ) has been awarded a three-year, $586,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to train future teachers in math and science instruction using a simulation lab.

The grant will establish Simulations for Minority Interactive Learning Environments (SMILE): A Design and Development Project at Cal State LA. The project will feature a simulation lab that will help prepare elementary teachers who will work in high-need urban schools to offer a successful learning experience in math and science.

Researchers will also study the integration of the use of mixed-reality virtual simulations in teacher preparation across several courses in the university’s Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Program. Faculty in Cal State LA’s Charter College of Education (CCOE) will create scenarios and develop scripts specifically intended to teach STEM concepts.

Clinically Rich Programs in New York: Teacher Residency Pilot at the College of Staten Island

This article is part of a series on clinically rich teacher preparation in New York State, coordinated by Prepared To Teach at Bank Street College. The text is adapted from their latest report, Making Teacher Preparation Policy Work: Lessons From and For New York, and shared by the featured institution.

Teacher Residency Pilot Participants at the College of Staten Island

The College of Staten Island (CSI) enrolls many diverse first-generation college students. A number of these students support their families and themselves, working multiple jobs and limiting expenses while studying—making it impossible to pursue a traditional student teaching pathway that includes a semester of unpaid, full-time student teaching. Seeing that many students were effectively being excluded from teacher preparation, the College and its partner schools set out to create a teacher residency that paid students for their time spent in classrooms, providing an accessible path to a teaching career.

Clinically Rich Programs in New York: Urban Teacher Residency at the American Museum of Natural History

Children visiting science museum

Photo Credit: Denis Finnin, AMNH

This article is part of a series on clinically rich teacher preparation in New York State, coordinated by Prepared To Teach at Bank Street College. The text is adapted from their latest report, Making Teacher Preparation Policy Work: Lessons From and For New York, and shared by the featured institution.

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) may be most well-known for its long history of scientific research, and for its expansive galleries featuring casts of dinosaurs, or dioramas from around the world, and the 94-foot long Blue Whale suspended in the Hall of Ocean Life. However, for just as long as the museum has been engaged in educating the public about scientific phenomena through visits, the museum has been supporting teachers and teaching. Since just after the museum opened in 1880, the museum offered lecture courses for teachers, broadening offerings by the 1920s. In the late 1930s, the museum offered a preparation program for teachers interested in using out-of-school learning experiences in their classrooms. Today, the museum offers a wide range of professional development opportunities for teachers in science, as well as works in partnership with cultural institutions around the city to support science teacher development.   

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