“The results affirm Alabama’s investment in AMSTI as a premier professional development delivery system for STEM education. Alabama’s future is bright as these young minds are challenged to think critically and solved complex problems with no obvious answer –the 21st century skills business and industry are asking of our graduates”
-- Dr. Tommy Bice, Alabama State Superintendent of Public Instruction .
The Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) has trained some 20,000 teachers and administrators who serve more than 400,000 students in half of Alabama's K-12 schools. AMSTI students have made stunning gains amounting to 28 days of extra learning in math and 40 extra days in reading. With enough funding, AMSTI could reach 20,000 or more new teachers, and hundreds of thousands of students, in three years.
The program was designed by a Blue Ribbon Committee comprised of lead K-12 teachers and administrators, higher education representatives, and business leaders. AMSTI provides three basic services to schools: professional development, equipment and materials, and on-site support. Each AMSTI teacher receives 120 contact hours of subject and grade specific professional development during the Summer Institutes. Teachers conduct all of the hands-on activities they will eventually perform with their students at the institutes. Then, upon returning to their school, they receive all of the equipment and materials needed to engage their students in hands-on, activity-based instruction. As AMSTI is funded from a state line item in the education budget, there is no direct cost to the teacher, school, or school district for participation in AMSTI.
AMSTI has faced large cuts in state funding, leaving hundreds of Alabama schools on a waiting list to join the program. Other funders can help fill this gap. The cost to support a single school can range from $25,000 to $100,000, depending on the school's size and needs.
The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against CTEq's Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.
Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.
Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.
Ensure work is sustainable.
Demonstrate replicability and scalability.
Create high impact partnerships
Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.
Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience
Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.
Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.
Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.