The Alabama, Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) was designed by a Blue Ribbon Committee comprised of lead teachers, administrators, higher education representatives and business leaders. The Initiative was based on research of best practices for math and science and strongly supports National and State standards.
AMSTI provides three basic services to help students learn by DOING math and science:
1. Comprehensive Teacher Professional Development
2. All of the equipment and materials needed to deliver high-quality, activity based instruction
3. On-site, regular support providing mentoring and follow-up assistance to individual teachers in inquiry instruction by our math and science specialists
There are strong reading and writing connections within the AMSTI science and math modules. Literature is included in many kits. Reading strategies advocated by the Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI) are included in AMSTI training. Math and science notebooks/journaling are also important components of training.
To become an AMSTI school, K-12 grade schools go through a competitive application process for acceptance into the program. Each school must agree to designate a planning/ implementation team and a lead teacher in math and one in science. They must guarantee a minimum of 80% of the teachers of math and science will participate in the two-week Summer Institute for two years. They must also agree to serve as a demonstration site for AMSTI.
For the last few years, an outside evaluator has been comparing test scores between AMSTI and non-AMSTI schools. On every test (SAT, ARMT, ADAW, AAA and the AHSGE) AMSTI schools have out preformed non-AMSTI schools. The U.S. Department of Education is also doing a $2,995,016 longitudinal (5 year) research study on the effects of AMSTI instruction. This is expected to be a landmark study. There will also be a "study" of the study. The initial results are in and things are looking great!
During AMSTI-UAB's third year, we are working with 900 teachers in 40 schools in 7 different systems. To date, AMSTI is in 45% of schools statewide.