Arizona Science Center to host training program for local teachers

In response to the need to expand access to high-quality professional development for Arizona’s science teachers, Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St. in Phoenix, launched the Science Teacher Residency (STaR) program earlier this year.

This STEM teacher training program, which Helios Education Foundation supported, provides instruction and mentoring to third through eighth grade teachers at no cost to them.

The next cohort focused on life science will begin in late January, but applications are due by Friday, Dec. 8, according to a press release.

Participants in the Arizona Science Center’s June cohort of the Science Teacher Residency program. (Submitted photo)

The three-year grant from Helios Education Foundation seeks to remove all barriers, many of which are cost-related, for teachers who are looking for STEM training.

The STaR program relieves the financial burden, covering all costs related to attendance, including travel, materials and a stipend equivalent to funding a substitute for their classroom.

In order to provide resources to underserved students in the state, participants in the STaR program must be educators who work in Arizona schools that qualify for Title I services, have a large Latino and/or Native American population and/or are located in rural Arizona, a release states.

The hands-on program starts with five days of instruction at the Science Center from expert facilitators and content specialists.

This training focuses on correcting common misconceptions about STEM subjects that are often taught in the classroom and giving participants the tools to take those same lessons back to their schools.

Teachers also participate in two days of field trips at local businesses to showcase the practical application of STEM and connect them with professionals who use STEM in their jobs every day.

The goal, a release states, is for those professionals to later be guest speakers in their classrooms, or to help coordinate class visits to their workplace.

“At the beginning of this training I realized I had some misconceptions about project based learning, STEM, the five E’s of science (engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate) and the EDP,” Veronica Ramirez, third grade teacher at Biltmore Prep Academy, said in a prepared statement.

“Attending this training made it very clear that all of these are connected in some way. The activities we participated in helped me clear some of the misconceptions I had and in turn made me excited about implementing these science processes into my teaching.”

Participating teachers also receive a year of individualized mentoring and coaching as part of STaR. The goal for the program is teachers will walk away with all materials needed to create lesson plans to effectively teach what they learned.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment