Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) at Jacksonville State University received $235,936 from the Mathematics and Science Partnership grant program. The grant award period is from October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013. The AMSTI initiative is funded through the Alabama State Department of Education. The primary purpose of the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative at Jacksonville State University (JSU) is to raise student achievement by providing instructional support that builds capacity in AMSTI schools and fosters sustainability at the school level.
The goals of this project are to 1) expand math and science professional development opportunities and instructional support services provided by AMSTI JSU within the AMSTI JSU In-service Region and to provide experiences in in-service education that model effective teaching strategies to be used by teachers in Grades K -12, and to promote an awareness of and an interest in current educational research; 2) provide a strong collaboration and instructional involvement between colleges/departments of education and with individuals from the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) faculty; in-service activities with teachers of math and science; and 3) improve and expand training of math and science teachers, including training such teachers in the effective integration of technology into curricula and instructional and mentoring them as they begin to use this technology in their lessons.
These goals will be accomplished by providing professional development that has meaningful math and science content, incorporates technology and models research-based instructional strategies. AMSTI JSU will collaborate with school personnel to determine specific instructional needs and develop a framework for addressing these needs through mentoring, Professional Learning Teams and/or professional development designed to improve and sustain instructional skills. AMSTI JSU will use videoconferencing to bring STEM faculty and math and science teachers in Grades K-12 together to increase the teachers' subject matter knowledge and improve instructional skills. AMSTI JSU will provide math professional development that provides experiences in effective teaching strategies and provides opportunities to read and study current research. The math professional development will focus on implementing strategies from Ongoing Assessment Project (OGAP). Math teachers from partnering schools will participate in additive reasoning, multiplicative reasoning, fractional reasoning or proportional reasoning sessions according to their grade level. AMSTI JSU will partner with ASIM JSU to provide science teachers professional development opportunities to increase their content knowledge in engineering, science and technology and to excite interest in STEM careers in the traditionally impoverished east central Appalachian region of Alabama. The first year of the partnership will focus on eighth grade students at high needs middle schools and will be open to all schools wanting to participate in a robotics program. Our mission is to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science, technology, and math through participation in a sports-like science- and engineering-based robotics competition. Student interns from JSU's Technology and Engineering Department will be paired with teachers as the eighth grade students learn about building robots.