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STEM Teacher Training Programs from National Math & Science Initiative

By The Room 241 Team May 8, 2013

It is no secret that American students are constantly falling behind in core classes, including math, the sciences and English. While many factors contribute to the problem, the main challenge is that teachers need better training. The National Math and Science Initiative offers great STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teacher-training programs that help combat this problem and prepare the nation’s students for STEM-related careers. These programs are all designed to follow the requirements outlined by the Common Core State Standards initiative.

These comprehensive programs are designed to give students the tools they need to succeed in math, science, technology and English. Designed to fit into the schedules of working teachers, each program consists of 12 day-long classes taken over a three-year span.

Programs for middle and high school students

The National Math and Science Initiative offers several STEM training programs for teachers working with students in middle school and high school. The initiative believes that early intervention and an early foundation are important parts of making sure that students are prepared for college programs in math and science, especially in light of the increasing demand for employees to have STEM training.

One of these programs is Middle Grades Math STEM teacher training, a comprehensive program designed to show teachers the skills students will need as they progress from sixth-grade math all the way to learning calculus. While the training does not necessarily require that the teachers understand calculus, it aims to help teachers understand why each concept is important and how students will apply this foundational knowledge in the future.

Each module covers a specific aspect of middle school math. For example, the first module covers the concepts of areas and volumes. Teachers walk through lessons and learn some of the same skills that their students will have to learn. They also work in groups to understand some of the pitfalls and teaching strategies they can use to help their students gain essential skills. The other modules work the same way, and some of the units include modules on graphs and diagrams, analysis of functions, and limits.

English program targets Common Core Standards

The National Math and Science Initiative also offers an English program, which covers the Common Core Standards in 12 day-long classes taught over three years. The program shows teachers how to help students learn to analyze and understand complicated texts. The program breaks down the skills into 12 techniques that include generating text-based responses, connecting devices to meaning and linking characterization to meaning.

Each of the STEM teacher-training courses offered, which includes middle grades math, high school math, English, middle grades science, physics, biology, and chemistry, follows the Common Core curriculum standards and gives teachers the skills they need to better introduce their students to the concepts they need to succeed in college and enter technology-related careers based on their training in math, engineering and the sciences.

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