Troy University AMSTI Site Hosts Summer Institute for Teachers

Posted: Friday, 20 June 2008

ANDALUSIA/DOTHAN – Nearly 800 math and science teachers are spending part of their summer vacation mapping the length of the human digestive track, observing chemical reactions and learning journaling techniques through the Alabama Math, Science, Technology Initiative (AMSTI) site at Troy University.

The two-week summer institute, which is being held at Andalusia Elementary School in Andalusia and Honeysuckle Middle School in Dothan, provides intense professional development for K-12 math and science teachers. The program focuses on inquiry-based, hands-on activities teachers can take back to their classrooms.

Troy University’s AMSTI site provides math and science teachers with classroom materials and resources that not only actively engage students, but also build the content and knowledge base of educators. The activities make it possible for teachers to rely less on textbooks in the classroom.

According to Nadine Scarborough, director of AMSTI at Troy University, the teachers train with grade-specific, subject-specific materials.

“Every AMSTI model is connected to the Alabama course of study in math and science,” Scarborough said, “so there is no doubt teachers are covering the content the State of Alabama requires.”

Sabrina Thomas, a kindergarten teacher at Banks School in Pike County, said the program will help teachers build a foundation for their students.

“We are doing the activities our children will be doing,” Thomas said.

AMSTI Instructor Becky McCoy said the activities the teachers take back to their students are beneficial.

“Students are better behaved, more engaged and motivated,” McCoy said.

AMSTI, which is designed to improve math and science test scores in the state, serves 47 schools in 11 counties through its Troy University site, according to Scarborough.

“Since 2005, we’ve trained approximately 1,300 teachers,” Scarborough said. “As a result, 20,000 students have benefited.”

For more information about AMSTI, contact Nadina Scarborough at

Editor’s Note: Troy University’s AMSTI summer institute wraps up next week. Members of the media interested in covering the institute are welcome to visit Honeysuckle Middle School in Dothan or Andalusia Elementary School in Andalusia June 23-27 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information, contact Inga Oberst or Holly Keith at 334-983-6556, ext. 1-217.

Note: Holly Keith of Opp is a journalism major at Troy University. She is currently interning in the Office of University Relations.

Kellie Folger

Participants in the Troy University AMSTI summer institute show that learning can be fun. Pictured (front row - left) are Cathy Leger, of Coppinville Junior High; Laura Bridges and Jennifer Faniel, of Headland Middle School; (back – left) Donna Sanders, of Ariton High School; Gerid White, of Geneva Middle School; AMSTI Trainer Jahn Ryan, Sparkman School; Betty Booker, of Honeysuckle Middle School; and Lauren Lott, of Coppinville Junior High. Photo by: Inga Oberst/Troy University

Kellie Folger

Kristie Reaves (left), a teacher at Banks Middle School in Pike County, and Chris Kirkland, a teacher at Zion Chapel High School in Coffee County, experiment with chemical reactions using an activity called “Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble.” The teachers joined nearly 800 others participating in the Troy University AMSTI site’s summer institute. Photo by: Inga Oberst/Troy University