Recognizing ITEST projects focusing on educators helping shape the lives of students worldwide
Teacher appreciation day originated in 1953 but it wasn’t established as a weeklong celebration until 1999. Many people aren’t aware that Mattie Whyte Woodridge, an African American teacher in Arkansas is the pioneer of teacher appreciation day. She wrote to every governor in the United States and eventually one of her letters landed on the desk of Eleanor Roosevelt, the rest is history.
Being a teacher has its complexities, and we often don’t give enough credit to educators. The pandemic has served as an insight of what it takes to be a teacher and the daily challenges they face as educators. Education is constantly evolving, and some teachers are often concerned about their work not aligning with next-gen standards.
The Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST), focuses on promoting STEM workforce development and contributes to related fields such as professional development. It’s extremely important to provide teachers with the tools they require to prepare and inspire the next generation. The month of May serves as an opportunity to show our appreciation and recognize the educators who shape the lives of students worldwide. Take a look at the following selection of ITEST publications, curriculum materials, instruments, and projects focusing on educators and professional development.
Elementary Pre-Service Teachers' Response-Shift Bias: Self-Efficacy and Attitudes Toward Science
Response-shift bias occurs when participants' initial constructs, such as self-efficacy in teaching science, are incomplete because they do not fully conceptualize something they have yet to experience. This study examines whether elementary pre-service teachers can consistently evaluate constructs such as self-efficacy and attitudes toward science throughout an elementary methods course.
Front-Loaded Confidence: The Efficacy of Hybrid Professional Development in an ITEST Geospatial Technologies Project
This virtual brief paper describes the efficacy of hybrid professional development used for the CoastLines Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) project. Over a three-year period, CoastLines introduced middle and high school teachers to the use of geospatial technologies as a tool for science instruction. Its hybrid professional development format included 40 hours of Webinars and an 80-hour summer institute. In response to formative feedback, the format was revised each year throughout the course of the project.
Impact of After-School Teaching on Elementary Science Preservice Preparation
This qualitative study examines data from eight elementary preservice teachers who transitioned into student teaching after participating in an alternative science methods course that included teaching afterschool science to elementary grade students. These eight participants had a chance to practice teaching inquiry-based science and reform their own thoughts about science teaching and learning through an 8-week afterschool science program situated within their elementary science methods course.
Increasing Student Interest and Attitudes in STEM: Professional Development and Activities to Engage and Inspire Learners
The iQUEST (investigations for Quality Understanding and Engagement for Students and Teachers) project is designed to promote student interest and attitudes toward careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The project targets seventh- and eighth-grade science classrooms that serve high percentages of Hispanic students. The project design, student summer camp program, and professional development model have led to successful increases in student performance.
A MULTI Approach to Engaging Students and Teachers in Effective STEM Education
This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase students' motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) by implementing a strategy that purposefully combines educational methodologies based on the Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment program.
Augmented Reality Experiences in 21st Century STEM Careers
The project will develop and research a series of next generation augmented reality (AR) digital learning labs and incorporate the labs into an existing curriculum, STEM 21. AR has been proposed as an effective means of motivating previously disengaged students through authentic experiences. By focusing the intervention in high schools with a large proportion of underrepresented students1, the project addresses the lack of opportunities for underrepresented youth to be engaged in rigorous STEM learning that incorporates emerging technologies, aligned with 21st century workforce skills.
Developing Digital Makers in the Coding Makerspace to Include Boys of Color in Computer Science Learning and Cybersecurity Workforce Development
This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase students' motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). The Coding Makerspace is providing hands-on digital maker projects and support for boys of color to earn certification in Python, the computer programming language related to cybersecurity. The Makerspace is also exposing boys of color ages eight and above to research-based and best practices in