Published 9:25 am Thursday, January 24, 2019

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AMSTI lessons allow students  greater knowledge of standards


Brewton Middle School students are repeating the benefits of additional hands-on math, science and technology labs, thanks to all science teachers becoming AMSTI trained.

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Bre Morris, who teaches seventh grade science is an AMSTI trainer and Jessica Butts, who teaches fifth grade science, will finish her training to be able to train other teachers in the coming month.

“For a school to have one certified AMSTI trainer on staff is an accomplishment,” said BMS assistant principal Leah Fuqua. “When a school has two certified trainers on staff, it makes quite an impact on the students’ level of science instruction.”

Talk to Morris and Butts and there is excitement in their voices when they discuss the level of education and understanding they are able to give to their students with the AMSTI labs.

“I actually brought AMSTI here,” Morris said. “I came from Escambia County.”

Morris said the perks of having AMSTI is that the schools are provided with kits to conduct experiments free of cost to them.

“They send boxes with brand new items — crayons, tape, books, whatever is needed for the labs,” she said. “It’s really hard in the state to do labs because there is not funding for it,” she said.

They do a yearly experiment with butterflies and it would cost her $100 to $150, but AMSTI gives her a coupon and it’s free.

They also send microscopes and microorganisms for the students to view.

“With the new standards, the kids have to be hands-on,” Butts said. “They have to analyze and this allows them to.”

Both teachers said textbooks are old, but the kids get to benefit from the labs.

The lesson plans are provided and everything needed.

Through the AMSTI training, teachers have the opportunity to meet with other teachers to bounce around ideas.

Morris, who was a biology major in college and went back to school to get her teacher’s certification, said that she loves teaching seventh graders. She said that using the AMSTI helps students understand the information on the tests.

“When they get to the tests, they know this is what they did in the labs,” she said.

Butts was an elementary education major and found her way to teaching fifth grade science.

“BMS is the best atmosphere,” she said. “Hands down the best place I have worked. I love it. I feel like I learn something new.”

Both teachers said having supportive administrators and a superintendent helps them ensure that they can make sure all students in their classrooms grasp the standards.

The AMSTI lessons are set-up for different level students, so that it challenges all levels of students.