The University of South Alabama has received a $1.4 million grant to train current and future teachers in math, science and technology skills. The Alabama Math Science and Technology Initiative is funded through the No Child Left Behind program.
Some 250 south Alabama educators will benefit from extensive math, science, and technology training this summer. The University of South Alabama will be the location of a new Alabama Math Science and Technology Initiative Master Site. AMSTI is the Alabama Department of Education's initiative to improve math and science teaching statewide.
Initially, the USA AMSTI Master Site will train teachers and administrators in the Baldwin and Mobile County School Systems this summer and lend support throughout the school year.
The new USA program will also change the way math and science are taught at the university level. The USA AMSTI Master Site will work with schools in Mobile and Baldwin Counties this summer. Prospective teachers will be trained on AMSTI materials and will have opportunities to participate in AMSTI Schools. Future plans also include expansion to other schools within the South Alabama inservice region.
University of South Alabama 's Dr. Phillip Feldman, chairman of the College of Education 's Department of Curriculum and Instruction and director of field services, wrote the winning grant. "The University of South Alabama College of Education is committed to the long-term preparation and continuing education of our teachers," he said. "We're grateful to the Alabama Department of Education, and particularly Dr. Richardson, for making this idea a reality for our area."
State Superintendent of Education Ed Richardson said, "We are very pleased to announce the expansion of AMSTI to the southern region of the state. AMSTI training ensures all participating teachers receive high-quality, standardized professional development in the specific curriculum which improves instructional methods and techniques used in the classroom."
AMSTI was designed by a blue ribbon committee composed of K-12 educators, higher education representatives, and business leaders. The initiative calls for the establishment of 11 regional MASTER sites across the state. The first AMSTI Master site was opened in 2002 at the University of Alabama Huntsville. In 2003, a second AMSTI Master site was initiated at the University of North Alabama in Florence.
Each site selects schools to become AMSTI Schools through a competitive process. AMSTI Schools agree to send their entire math, science, and technology teaching staff and their administrators to a two-week AMSTI Summer Institute for two consecutive summers. Currently there are 41 AMSTI Schools in Alabama.