Science STEM Teacher Leadership

St. Louis Public Radio: Program aims to improve science education

Maria Nellie Kvapil, 9th grade biology teacher in Alton, Texas, works in a WashU lab.

Natalia Cantu attaches electrodes to a cockroach leg and taps its spiky hairs with a paintbrush.
The neurons in the leg fire rapidly in response, appearing as sharp peaks and valleys on her smartphone.

Cantu, who teaches ninth-grade biology in Edinburg, Texas, is in her second year of Washington University’s Master of Science in Biology for Science Teachers program. As part of the program, high school teachers from across the country do hands-on lab work to improve their own knowledge of science, in the hopes that they can help spark an interest in their students.

Dozens of teachers have earned their Master of Science in Biology for Science Teachers since the program began in 2005. The majority of coursework can be completed online, allowing teachers to earn their degree while working full-time.

Several teachers in the program, including Cantu, work in low-income communities near the U.S.-Mexico border.

To read entire article visit the St. Louis Public Radio website.