STEMteachersNYC is a teacher-led not for profit organization dedicated to supporting educators of various STEM fields through professional learning opportunities. Our network of STEM teachers (950+) continues to grow as we further our engagement with school communities and partners across the country.
STEMteachersNYC was founded in 2011 by a group of physics teachers as a local affiliate of the American Modeling Teachers Association. Under the leadership of Dr. Fernand Brunschwig, it has grown from an initial group of 25 to more than 950 teachers. Program offerings have grown from 8 weekend workshops and a single summer workshop, to 21 weekend workshops and nearly a dozen simultaneous summer workshops. The impact of these workshops is significant. Since 2012, we have presented over 160 workshops that have attracted over 3500 teachers to intensive professional development experiences. Our long-term goal is to reach 25% of the region’s 21,000 STEM teachers and impact over 500,000 students.
Our Approach: Teacher-Led Professional Learning
Since 2011, we have conducted over 160 excellent STEM teacher workshops
Our workshops are developed for and by teachers, and aim to cultivate a community of STEM professionals across disciplines
There are now 850+ STEM teachers in our membership from around the tristate area
In 2017 we expanded further to include the elementary school level with support from 100kin10
Our members' school within the NYC region
In order to develop teachers skilled in active learning and modeling, we conduct two types of intensive professional development workshops:
- 3-hour weekend workshops based on Modeling InstructionTM and other active engagement methods during the school year, and
- 2 – 3 week Modeling InstructionTM workshops in the summer as part of the American Modeling Teachers Association’s (AMTA) national effort to increase the number of highly-qualified STEM teachers
PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITY
Our workshops are the foundation of a growing professional learning community of more than 850 teachers that also operates online. Teachers get to know each other initially face-to-face, establishing the trust and confidence that underlies all genuine colleague and mentoring relationships, and building the foundation for a willingness to ask for help and to give it when asked.
We define success in three ways:
- The extent to which STEM teachers can enact “active engagement” and modeling in learning while in “student mode” in our workshops,
- The extent to which teachers can articulate, and/or elicit from others, a deep understanding of active engagement teaching techniques, key STEM concepts, student preconceptions and perspectives, and other pedagogic content knowledge while in “teacher mode” in our workshops,
- The extent to which STEM teachers actively participate in our online community in supporting and communicating with colleagues.
Pioneering innovative hands-on approaches to science and math education
Activating Student Learning
Since the summer of 2015 we've organized Leadership Development Workshops in collaboration with American Modeling Teachers Association for 27 hand-picked master-teachers, each year, from across the country to address the national shortage of qualified Modeling Workshop leaders.
In 2015 we started offering professional development opportunities in middle school science to address the needs of teachers who teach this instrumental age group.
Recent studies show teachers who utilize methods learned in our workshops improves student learning
INTERACTIVE ENGAGEMENT VS. TRADITIONAL METHODS
Figure 1. High school student mechanics survey data comparing traditional vs. modeling instructionTM
A study by Richard R. Hake at Indiana University revealed impressive gains in a pre/post survey involving 6,542 students enrolled in high schools and colleges. Looking at active methods versus more traditional strategies (lecture-demonstration), Hake found an average increase of 48% average gain in achievement for students receiving instruction using “interactive engagement methods.”
Source: Hake, R. (1998). Interactive-engagement versus traditional methods: A six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses. American Journal of Physics, 66(1), 64–74.
Figure 2. Pre and posttest student FCI percentages by Master of Natural Science degree program teachers
In a study at Arizona State University, researchers spent 9 years evaluating the professional development of in-service teachers enrolled in science teaching courses that use modeling instructionTM. The study revealed a 36% average gain in achievement amongst the students of teachers “utilizing interactive engagement methods.”
Source: Hestenes, D., Megowan-Romanowicz, C., Osborn Popp, S., Jackson, J., & Culbertson, R. J. (2011). A graduate program for high school physics and physical science teachers. American Journal of Physics, 79 (9), 971-979.
Research on STEM Education
COMPUTATIONAL MODELING PHYSICS FIRST
KID TALK TEACHER TALK (KT3)
Inspiring New Organizations
Since our launch, we have fostered development of and continue to guide sibling STEMteacher organizations in Phoenix AZ, Dallas TX, and Bridgeport CT.
Contact us to learn more about setting up a Professional Learning Community in your area!