AWC to hold free training for science teachers

October 27, 2009

By hammersmith

AWC to hold free training for science teachers

Arizona Western College is offering free teacher training, thanks to a collaboration with Yuma Private Industry Council.

The two institutions teamed up to help train kindergarten through eighth-grade science teachers to maximize best classroom practices, said Joann Linville, AWC vice president for learning services.

YPIC, a nonprofit agency that matches county job seekers with employers, is the grantee of a $5 million award from Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED), a project of the Department of Commerce, and a $2 million award from Community-Based Job Training of the Department of Labor.

The grants are to be shared among Cochise, Pima, Santa Cruz and Yuma counties. Teacher training is offered through Cochise College, Pima Community College and AWC.

Each site offers professional development in five different science disciplines. The courses given at AWC include life, earth and physical sciences of the desert southwest, basic weather process and the ocean’s influence on climate. The goal is to train 300 teachers among the three sites, Linville said.

“But ultimately the ones who really benefit from this training will be the students because it will prepare them in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum. These are the critical fields needing qualified personnel today and on into the future.”

Linville said the earlier students are well grounded in the sciences, the more likely they will be able to handle high school and college level courses. And since science can typically be a stumbling block for primary grade students, focusing teacher training on these subjects is especially relevant, she added.

Teachers who are interested must be residents and employed as public school teachers in one of the aforementioned counties.

The first step is to contact Brenda Basurto at YPIC at 329-0990 to enroll. Then call AWC’s Donna Lay at 344-7605 to register. For a complete listing of courses, go online to YPIC will inform teachers of all the documents they must bring.

WIRED is also in the process of developing teacher training for mathematics, which will be offered in the spring. For those who do not register in time for science courses, they will be offered again next year.

“We’re excited to be a partner in this grant and offer this opportunity to teachers in Yuma County,” Linville said. “At AWC we have an elementary teacher education program so this is a natural extension of our commitment to teacher education.”

William Roller can be reached at or 539-6858.  Source: