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University of Arizona

Noyce Borderlands Master Teacher Fellowship

Significant advancements in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have resulted in global impacts on societal economics and educational infrastructures. Disciplines related to STEM continue to advance a competitive workforce as the demand for innovative responses to technical training and STEM related education emerge. The interdisciplinary integration of relevant curriculum throughout rural school districts in the United States remains in the forefront of educational reform for policy makers at all levels. There is considerable evidence that students in rural communities, and borderlands in general, have poor access to high quality, motivational, experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. 

In order to alleviate educational deficiencies that commonly exist in borderland regions of South Eastern Arizona, local school districts need access to funding, resources and technology that would cultivate diverse student-centered instruction and advance equitable literacy in engaged learning environments. Professional opportunities for STEM teachers are an integral component in accelerating this much needed transformation. 

As a STEM educator in Bisbee, Arizona, it is my personal goal to take on an active role in providing teachers and students in the Bisbee Unified School District (BUSD) assistance in accessing STEM related activities, curriculum, and best practices aligned with the State of Arizona College and Career ready standards. Over the past decade, I have participated in numerous grant funded projects designed to assess the extent to which locally based STEM resources are available to community members. These grass roots initiatives provided the means for me to collect data and contribute to a regional STEM based needs assessment. Having first hand access to this information motivates me to continue my STEM contributions to my school community.

I am interested in collaborating with collogues participating in the Noyce Borderlands Master Teacher Fellowship in order to support topics included the following framework as a foundation for STEM initiatives that I consider high priorities not only in Bisbee, but in the surrounding borderland region of South Eastern Arizona.   

(1) Teaching students critical thinking skills by incorporating Real-Life Science in secondary math classes through cross curricular collaborations and professional development for math and science teachers

(2) Provide secondary students with learning opportunities that are engaging and culturally diverse, with an emphasis in student well-being as schools resume in person learning as risks associated with the Covid-19 Pandemic decline.

(3) Assist in the design and implementation of an Integrated STEM curriculum offered within the Bisbee Unified School District that includes outdoor learning opportunities.

(4) Support STEM Education for K-8 within BUSD schools through vertical content and language integrated learning, demonstrated through the modeling of project based learning.

(5) Create and sponsor community based outreach events that connect families and educators in high quality, motivational, STEM experiences.  

PLEASE BE ADVISED: All of the STEM initiatives suggested above must be approved by the Bisbee Unified School District, as well as directors of the Noyce Borderlands Master Teacher Fellowship overseen by the University of Arizona before they are implemented. Goals for this project will be a work in progress over the next five years.