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6/26/12 - MSU-organized tech program enhances skills of regional teachers

Nearly 40 teachers from throughout north and east central areas of the state are recent graduates of a Mississippi State-led summer workshop titled "TIME: Technology Initiative in Manufacturing and Engineering."

A collaborative effort among the university and East Mississippi and Itawamba community colleges, the recent two-week program focused on the high-technology skills today's students need to compete in the global economy.

Training was provided under the guidance of MSU's Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology, with funding by a National Science Foundation grant.

In addition to classroom lectures, the workshop involved hands-on exercises and tours of local industries that showcased skills and stressed the importance of mathematics, science and technology in the workplace.

"TIME gives educators from across Mississippi opportunities to work with industry representatives, learn about integrating technology into their classrooms, and enhance curricula with workplace skills that employers expect today's graduates to have," said Teresa Gammill, MSU assistant vice president for research.

Twenty Golden Triangle teachers gathered for the training on EMCC's Mayhew campus, while 18 from throughout Northeast Mississippi met at the ICC Tupelo campus and its Belden Center.

"Students need to see why math and science are important, and understand the workplace skills that are necessary when seeking high-tech jobs," said Crystal Newman, EMCC project coordinator.

As part of the TIME sessions at EMCC, teachers toured the PACCAR, Mississippi Power, Aurora Flight Sciences, and Severstal facilities.

Touring and shadowing industries provided participants opportunities to see how math and science are being used in the specific workplaces. They then returned to the classrooms to revise their lesson plans, incorporating skills learned during the visits.

From the revised lesson plans, information gathered and shared by the teachers will be passed on to classroom students during the fall semester and into the future.

Lee Oswalt, ICC project coordinator, said the Northeast group also toured Philips-Daybrite, Auto Parts Manufacturing Mississippi and General Atomics facilities.

The 2012 TIME workshop graduates include (by locale):

COLUMBUS--Lee Davis and Debbie Lowe, Columbus Middle School.

LEE COUNTY--Liane Cates, Guntown Middle School; Laura Honeycutt, Mooreville and Saltillo high schools; and Karen Irwin, Saltillo High School.

LOWNDES COUNTY--Jason Forrester and Ann Richardson, Caledonia High School; Belle Hickman, Holli McBrayer and Vernessa Staples, New Hope High School; and Mary Phinisey, Tiffany Phinisey and Vanessa Staples, West Lowndes Middle School.

MONROE COUNTY--Lanie Crowder and Leslie Wood, Smithville High School; Beth Livingston, Hatley School; and Linda Isbell and Bryan Loague, Hamilton High School.

NOXUBEE COUNTY--Thelma Brooks-Geeter, Vijayan Chellanian and Water Lane, Noxubee County High School.

PONTOTOC COUNTY--Allison Armstrong and Rich Dilling, North Pontotoc High School; Lisa Buckner, Sheree Collins, Brandy Higgason, and Savannah Pratt, South Pontotoc High School; Amy Collins, Pontotoc Ridge Career and Technology Center; and Mindi Stout, North Pontotoc Middle School.

STARKVILLE--Mitzi Alpe, Starkville Academy; April Dill, TIME lead teacher Cindy McLaughlin and Patty Newsom, all of Millsaps Career and Technical Center; and Ginger Tedder, Starkville High School.

TUPELO--Susan McNutt, Tupelo Middle School.

WEST POINT--Vonda Hudson, West Point Career and Technical Center; Sheryl Wicks, West Point High School; and Jon Zarandona, Fifth Street Middle School.

Jim Laird | University Relations

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