TEEMS AmeriCorps Program
T.E.E.M.S. (Technology, Engineering, Environment, Math and Science) AmeriCorps is a corps of mathematics and science majors trained in “Best Practices in Urban Education,” which includes effective tutoring and mentoring.
In 2012, Georgia’s graduation rate was ranked 48 in the nation. Today in 2017, Atlanta’s urban students still lag in terms of STEM performance.
It is our mission at the Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence to optimize the life opportunities of children and families in urban communities by ensuring the availability of a prosperous and equitable school environment. We believe that through our work we can create a world where all children have equal access to educational opportunities that prepare them to be academically excellent, culturally competent, and critically conscious.
The Alonzo A. Crim Center and AmeriCorps have collaborated to develop comprehensive day and after school programming for middle and high schools known as T.E.E.M.S. (Technology, Engineering, Environment, Math and Science). As you know, AmeriCorps Members are responsible for providing supplemental instruction and support in the areas of math and science during the school day. AmeriCorps Members also lead dynamic after school programming designed to provide homework assistance in math and science while creating fun strategies to learning.
The Technology Engineering, Environment Math and Science (TEEMS) AmeriCorps program, housed in the Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence at Georgia State University's College of Education, partners with urban elementary, middle schools, high schools, and educational organizations that seek to better prepare students in STEM areas.
The objective that focuses this work is related to an increase in student academic performance in STEM. The TEEMS AmeriCorps program deploys 25 AmeriCorps members as change agents who will affect school culture by providing effective instructional support in science, math and STEM education, thereby increasing long-term student efficacy and STEM academic achievement.
Members serve alongside formal and informal educators at local schools and community organizations as a way of strengthening STEM education at the site. The components of the T.E.E.M.S. AmeriCorps member's roles and responsibilities are as follows:
STEM Programming/Classroom Assistance: Each school based AmeriCorps member will be assigned to a mathematics or science classroom, or lab in which they will remain for the entire school year. The AmeriCorps members will serve with the lead teacher to assess the needs and support the learning of each student in the classroom. The school-based members will report to the school and their assigned classroom on a schedule established with their site supervisor and host teacher. They will be available throughout that time to their teacher and students. AmeriCorps members will primarily supplement the instruction provided by the lead teacher through small group instruction, individual instruction, co-teaching, activity facilitation, resource generation, and other related activities. They will not serve unsupervised with students, as there will always be a lead teacher/staff present.
After-School Programming: Center-based AmeriCorps members will help to facilitate after school programming daily from the time students arrive until the time the students are dismissed in conjunction with a supervising staff member. The after-school program will focus on homework assistance as well as reinforcement in math and science, and/or STEM education engagement. After-school service is planned and facilitated by the respective AmeriCorps member. At least one AmeriCorps member and one center staff member will be present during the afterschool program.
The program is focused on achieving at least 10% gains math and/or science in urban schools and community learning centers. Additionally, members are charged with engaging the community in service learning efforts throughout the program year.
Vanessa Pérez-Topczewski offers over 10 years of experience serving as bilingual student affairs professional with a demonstrated history of successful program management, strategic recruitment, retention and completion efforts, as well as advisement of students with diverse academic interests and backgrounds. Vanessa has earned an M.S. in Administrative Leadership, with a focus on Higher Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and her scholarly interests center on the experiences of underrepresented populations in higher education; specifically, issues around access, equity, and college persistence. Her passion is to continue creating and sustaining learning environments that foster support, inclusion and the development of the entire student.
For more information on TEEMS, Vanessa can be reached at 404-413-8430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Amna Tariq is final year MPH (Masters in public Health) student at Georgia State University with a program concentration in epidemiology. She is from Pakistan, where she completed her Bachelors in Dental surgery (BDS) and Bachelors in Sciences (BSC). She has worked as a mentor and a youth leader with the US embassy of Pakistan. Currently she serves as a program data manager with TEEMS AmeriCorps program and an Internee data analyst with the Georgia State Department of Public Health, in the Epidemiology section. Her interests lie in working with the marginalized and disadvantaged population, in the health sector, which she has done in the past with NGOs like the Real Medicine Foundation.
Kinyatta Trice is a second year doctoral student in the CEHD's Educational Policy Studies Program. Her concentration in the doctorate program is Social Foundations of Education. Prior to joining the TEEMS AmeriCorps staff, Kinyatta worked professionally in urban outreach for 10 years, and specifically in education outreach for 5 years. Her professional endeavors have included working with Georgia Institute of Technology’s CEISMC, Atlanta Public Schools and serving as an AmeriCorps Member.
Her education background includes an M.A. in African American Studies from Georgia State University and a B.A. in Political Science and African American Studies from Mercer University. Her research foci are racial identity formation, the effects of schooling on marginalized populations, attainment, and critical race theory. From her professional experience and education achievements Kinyatta has come to describe her work and orientation to education outreach as “the intersection of higher education, community outreach, and passion.”
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