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Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
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Local science teachers selected for program at VT
Institute designed to change classroom methods
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Photo by Teri Ford: Callie Angle, a science teacher at Windy Gap Elementary, just returned from a four-week program at Virginia Tech, designed to enhance her ability to create hands-on lessons for her students.

Friday, July 25, 2014

By EMILY WOOD - News-Post Intern

Three teachers from Windy Gap and Dudley elementary schools have spent the last four weeks at the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA) Institute at Virginia Tech.

Callie Angle, Maryann Mitzel and Lisa Thornton were chosen for the program that is designed to change the way science is taught by enriching teachers' abilities to have their students examine "real world" issues by helping them shift from traditional classroom lectures to hands-on, problem-based learning.

In addition to the free, four-week program, each teacher will receive a $5,000 stipend; $1,000 in teaching resources, science materials, and web content for their classrooms; a master teacher assigned to coach them in their new teaching methods throughout the school year; and an all-expense-paid trip to the Virginia Association of Science Teachers Professional Development Institute in the fall.

A $34 million grant from the Virginia Department of Education made it possible for teachers from over 60 state school districts to attend the program, which ended July 24. VISTA is a year-long professional development project that includes enrollment in a free Elementary Science Institute program on the Tech campus.

The program also included the opportunity for students to attend a VISTA camp at Tech, which took place July 7 through 18. The camp allowed the teachers to practice the hands-on approach they had been learning.

For more information about the VISTA program, visit

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