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Area math teachers learn new skills for the classroom

8/4/2010 —
Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus; the Intermediate Unit One Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education; and the Southwest Pennsylvania Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network have partnered to develop a three-year, professional development program for area math teachers. The program is designed to help math educators, in grades three through eight, develop better mathematical content knowledge; apply the content within the classroom through research-based teaching strategies; and connect to authentic math experiences for students through business, technology and engineering partners.

Nancy Tsupros, director of STEM Programs at IU1; Amy Lewis, coordinator for IU1; Joseph Segilia, Penn State Fayette’s director of Outreach and Continuing Education; and Liz Nilsen, coordinator of the Southwest Pennsylvania STEM Network worked together to complete and develop the program. Educational sessions began last week at Penn State Fayette and continue this week.

Nicole Hill, a math instructor at Penn State Fayette, has been in charge of creating the curriculum for the program. Hill, Janae Betters, a current high school math teacher at Laurel Highlands, and Harry Lynch, a retired high school math teacher, are working with a total of 55 math educators for the three-year endeavor. Educators participating in the program work in Washington, Fayette and Greene Counties in seven underperforming public school districts and one non-public school.

Segilia explains, “Through this program, educators will be able to improve their math teaching skills, which will give their students better opportunities for being prepared for college and future careers. In all, students and teachers will have an easier time understanding math.”

“There were 10 grants given throughout the state for programs in math and science education,” said Tsupros. “Our focus for the program would be on math and building a foundation on algebra for young students, beginning even in kindergarten. We have worked with Penn State Fayette in the past and we are excited to work with them again.”

Math Academy

From left: Carol Bolz, learning support teacher for fourth grade at Jefferson Morgan, and MaryAnn Hensel, learning support teacher for K through sixth grade at Connellsville, work on a measuring project as participants in a professional development program for area math teachers being offered at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus. (Photo credit: Christine Cox)
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