Sand Creek Middle School STEM teacher James Brown was one of 10 math and science leaders from across the country chosen to serve as 2018 STEM Teacher Ambassadors.
The selection was made by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). The ambassador program aims to expand the teacher leader’s knowledge of key K–12 STEM education issues and hone their interpersonal skills so that they can communicate important messages more effectively with education stakeholders.
“At the heart of the NSTA/NCTM STEM Teacher Ambassador program are dedicated teacher leaders who have thoughtful insights to contribute to the national education dialogue,” said Dr. David Evans, NSTA Executive Director. “During their ambassadorship, the STEM Teacher Ambassadors will work with various education stakeholders to lend their voice and unique classroom perspective to bring greater awareness about the importance of high-quality STEM education. We are proud of this year’s group of STEM Teacher ambassadors and look forward to working with them.”
“As the groups that represent the interests of math and science educators, we share a mission to provide them with a voice,” said Ken Krehbiel, NCTM Executive Director. “We look forward to offering opportunities throughout the year for the ambassadors to share their stories with influencers and thought leaders.”
The ambassadors—all recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST)—participated in an intensive communications, media, and policy training created by NSTA and NCTM designed to expand the classroom teacher voice at the local, state, and national levels.
During the weeklong training in Washington, D.C. in June, the ambassadors met with thought leaders to discuss major issues including key federal STEM programs, professional learning and growth, equity, standards, and assessments. They received rigorous media training and learned how to conduct media interviews and write op-eds; communicate more effectively and deliver important messages to the public; communicate new research results in STEM education; engage with local and state officials; and use social media to amplify messaging.
This year’s cohort of teacher leaders was chosen from a pool of more than 125 PAEMST winners. The ambassadors were selected on the basis of several criteria, including showing evidence of teacher leadership; a solid background in education; and displaying a strong interest in growing as a professional STEM educator.