AMSTI program shows success with recent study - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

AMSTI program shows success with recent study

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At Simmons Middle School in Hoover, students are using their hands as well as their brains to learn more about math and science.

"They enjoy learning, it gives us an opportunity to delve deep into a lot of the content," Simmons seventh grade science teacher, Chris White says. "It helps the kids to think through their problems as well as ways of solving things, I think it's great."

Simmons Middle School is just one of 650 schools across the state that participates in the AMSTI program. The program was designed to improve math and science studies in schools by
using hands on and inquiry based teaching. A recent study commissioned by the U.S. Education Department shows the results reflect what the program set out to do.

The study shows, over one year students with AMSTI teaching receive what amounts to an extra 28 days of math. Take the program for two years, those extra days of learning more than double.

The study also shows an improvement in student achievement in tests. Teachers and administrators say AMSTI makes children "want" to learn math and science as well. Now, Dr. Thomas Bice, State Superintendent of Education says its time to take the program across the state.

Brice says, "The theory and the process behind AMSTI can help students move forward in math, science and technology in those STEM areas, and this gives us the validation we need to take this to scale across our state."

Bice says right now, the state spends about $26 million a year to cover fifty percent of the schools that are a part of this program.  He says it would cost $50 million over five years.

While he says the money sounds like a lot, he says that eventually schools would be able to sustain on their own, and less funding would be needed.