Artwork for podcast Science Modeling Talks
Episode 56 - Amanda Whitehurst - "Training and Equiping Teachers for STEM"
Episode 561st May 2024 • Science Modeling Talks • Mark Royce
00:00:00 00:39:43

Share Episode


Mark and Amanda talk about her background as a middle school teacher, the STEM master's program she took at ASU, which introduced her to modeling instruction and eventually led her to found the Cactus Caucus, which advocated for funding for teachers to recertify to teach physics, chemistry and other high-needs areas in Arizona schools. They talk about her move from teaching to the Arizona STEM Acceleration Project at ASU, how this project works, and about building community among our teachers.


Amanda Whitehurst Amanda Whitehurst spent thirteen years teaching third through eighth grade in Arizona Schools with a Masters of Engineering in STEM for Middle School from ASU. She was a founding board member as well as former Vice President, President, Past President, and Executive Officer of STEMteachersPHX, an Arizona based professional development non-profit that works to de-silo teachers in STEM subjects and develop communities to support high-quality teaching in classrooms. Amanda Co-Founded the Arizona Cactus Caucus which successfully developed a coalition for $1.2M in legislative funding for the 3-year STEM Teacher Professional Development Pilot Program which the Arizona Dept. of Education adopted as the “Get Set for STEM” scholarship program to increase the number of high school physics teachers in Arizona and increase the access of students of all grade levels to high-quality STEM education. She is currently the Co-Principal investigator and Senior Program Manager for the Arizona STEM Acceleration Project; a $10M grant from the Arizona Department of Education which in its first year supported over 450 STEM teachers across Arizona and impacted almost 90K students.


[6:05] Amanda Whitehurst, on modeling at the middle school level compared to high school level: "there's a lot more scaffolding that has to go on in terms of getting kids to do that discourse and that dialogue. But there are fewer bad habits that you have to break from them from as well." [7:57] Amanda Whitehurst "I would say that modeling really gave me the tools to teach in the way that I'd always wanted to teach, but couldn't figure out how to implement effectively. " [21:24] Amanda Whitehurst "if teachers have connections to each other and they feel supported, that they're more likely to stay in the profession." [29:14] Amanda Whitehurst "one of the values of this project is that so much that teachers do, and so much the professional development organizations do is for the love of students. But that always ends up to mean they're doing it for free. And one of the values was that your time is worthwhile and you deserve to be paid for your time."


Download Transcript Ep 56 Transcript Links Arizona STEM Acceleration Project Website | Facebook | Instagram




More from YouTube