Arizona Science Teacher Advancement and
Research Training Program
AZ START is a professional development program that links the state's K-12 science teachers with the science research infrastructure throughout the state. Through coursework, research internships, curricular and community support, the project's goal is to update, refresh, and rejuvenate biology teachers, providing them with quality experiences that build their strengths as science teachers. The program was funded in June 2007 by a grant from Science Foundation Arizona.
The AZ START program is a partnership between the three state universities, Arizona's community colleges, the Arizona Agriculture Experiment Stations, a series of industrial partners, and the Research Corporation. Each of these organizations supports the teaching of science through outreach and teacher development programs. AZ START aims to link these institutions and to coordinate many of their programs, providing professional growth opportunities for teachers in communities throughout Arizona. All of these programs work toward a common goal: Enhancing the science competence and retention of science teachers who have made Arizona their home.
AZ START consists of three components:
- To update and refresh Arizona teachers' knowledge in the rapidly changing biological sciences, program staff and affiliates will develop online courses on topics that are directly relevant to the middle- and high-school biology curriculum. Courses will be available to teachers both during the school year and during summers.
- In recognition that teachers have difficulty in teaching about scientific inquiry because few of them have directly engaged in the process of inquiry, the program will enable teachers to work with faculty at the state universities and research partners in government and agricultural resource agencies throughout the state in paid summer research internships.
- The program will build on these partnerships to develop an infrastructure that continues to support educators and provide resources that enable them to implement cutting-edge techniques in their classrooms.
As AZ START projects are developed, announcements and recruitment will occur via several existing science teacher networks throughout the state. We particularly aim to reach teachers in rural areas of the state that are not well served by the universities in the central corridor of the state.
For more information on AZ START and upcoming activities, please email or telephone program co-investigators Lisa Elfring (520 621-1671) or Nadja Anderson (520-626-4664).