Five questions for Patrick McGuire
March 31, 2016
Academia provides Patrick McGuire with a good work-life balance, allowing him to devote time to research, teaching and service. That balance is especially important now because McGuire recently became a father.
Declan Thomas McGuire was born at 8:43 p.m. March 3.
“Having an infant has truly been life-changing!” he said. (He answered emails at 3 a.m. one day.) “My wife, Jayme, and I are simultaneously thrilled and terrified to be new parents. This is our first child so we have a lot to learn about parenting. However, we are truly excited and blessed to begin raising our son in Colorado.”
McGuire is an assistant professor of teaching and learning in the College of Education at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Since 2012, he has been co-director of the UCCSTeach Program, a secondary mathematics and science teacher preparation program based on the national UTeach model.
After graduating from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh with degrees in mathematics and secondary education in 2004, he taught high school math. During one summer, he worked part-time as a research assistant at Carnegie Mellon’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute, developing content for an intelligent tutoring system project, ASSISTments. He said that working with a group of extraordinarily intelligent faculty members and graduate students inspired him to pursue his doctorate at the University of Virginia.
In the fall of 2010, he came to UCCS.
“I was drawn to the UCCS College of Education due to unbelievably welcoming colleagues. Many of the faculty members, staff and students I met went out of their way to make me feel like a part of the campus community. I knew it was the right fit,” he said. He also was confident that UCCS would offer the healthy work-life balance that he wanted: “Colorado is a pretty sweet place to call home!”
McGuire said the growth potential of the campus also attracted him.
“I could almost feel the growth happening during my campus visit,” he said. “The energy was contagious. Over the past five years, I have witnessed the development both in terms of increased student enrollment, new programs and, of course, the physical growth evidenced by campus construction. I wanted to be a part of a growing campus community and felt I was joining the campus at a very opportune time.”
Continued on CUConnections.
UCCSTeach partners with 100kin10, hopes to increase certified science and math teachers
(via The Scribe)
March 28, 2016
Low pay and long hours of teaching have left middle and high schools with small numbers of teachers educated in sciences other than biology.
In Barack Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address, he called for 100,000 improved Science, Technology, Engineering and Math educators.
On Feb. 17, 100kin10, a national organization that works with other schools to increase science and math teachers in the U.S., partnered with UCCS program UCCSTeach and Colorado Geographic Alliance.
According to Tom Christensen, co-director of UCCSTeach, there is a shortage of teachers in middle school and high school who are well trained in science and math.
“This is a national problem. The 100kin10 group as well as our UCCSTeach group are both trying to produce more well-prepared science and math teachers. That’s the big issue,” he said.
Vickie Newkirk, program coordinator for UCCSTeach, said the goal of UCCSTeach is to have content-rich teachers in the classroom.
Christensen said the other issue and reason to have programs such as UCCSTeach is recruitment of teachers.
“How do we get people to become excited about being teachers, once they become teachers how do we keep them in the schools? It isn’t going to be the salary, I’m afraid. The pay for teachers isn’t that good.”
UCCSTeach started in fall 2010, and Christensen said 120-125 students are taking classes in the program.
Students can get a science or math degree in addition to the UCCSTeach program that will provide students with a teaching license.
Before the program, three to five students graduated with a teaching license in addition to their science or math degree.
Since the program started, Christensen said up to 15 students graduate with a teaching licensure and a bachelor’s degree through the UCCSTeach program every school year.
Newkirk said she believes there is a lack of participation of teachers in these fields.
Continued on The Scribe.
UCCSTeach Alumnus Andrew Simmons Featured on KRDO News Channel 13
(via Vista Ridge High School: "VRHS Physics Teacher Explains Hydrogen, Atomic Bombs")
Jan. 6, 2016
Andrew Simmons, physics teacher, described the difference between nuclear weapon systems Jan. 6 at Vista Ridge High School in District 49. Simmons was interviewed by Greg Miller, a journalist with KRDO News Channel 13, the ABC affiliate for Southern Colorado.
Following reports that North Korea detonated its first test of a hydrogen bomb, Simmons, who recently retired after 22 years in the U.S. Air Force, described how hydrogen bombs differ from the more commonly understood atomic bombs.
"Basically the difference between the two bombs is the way the energy is deployed ... a hydrogen bomb deals with a process like our sun does. It deals with what's called nuclear fusion," he said.
"A normal nuclear bomb that we're all used to thinking about, one that uses maybe uranium or plutonium, that deals with a process called fission."
The first-year physics teacher, who once conducted in-flight fueling missions as a KC-135 Stratotanker commander, instructor and trainer - he ushered nuclear weapons on several occasions - says hydrogen bombs are difficult to develop and detonate, which is why many doubt North Korea's reports.
Simmons graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1991 with a degree in bioenvironmental engineering. After retiring, he earned his teaching certificate through the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. He was a student teacher at Skyview Middle School.
"When we go through the academy, we get a pretty extensive background in all of the sciences - engineering sciences - and physics was one of them that I had a lot of experience in," said Simmons.
"I utilized a lot of those principles when I was a pilot in the Air Force."
Simmons' interview was scheduled to air at 5 p.m.
Click here to watch the video
Laura Horner Awarded Scholarship
Sept. 1, 2014
Laura Horner, a junior at UCCS, was named a 2014 winner of the STEM Teachers Scholarship from AFCEA, sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Chapter. Students actively pursuing an undergraduate degree, graduate degree or credential/licensure for the purpose of teaching STEM subjects at a U.S. middle or secondary school are eligible for the $5,000 scholarship. The scholarships are made possible by generous contributions from Booz Allen Hamilton, Terremark Worldwide, AFCEA International and several of AFCEA's regional chapters.
UCCSTeach and CU Teach Featured in University Foundation Magazine Creating Futures
"We produce some of the best science in the world here, yet we were graduating so few science teachers," says CU-Boulder faculty member Valerie Otero. Innovative CU-Boulder and UCCS programs are demonstrating the value of K-12 teaching careers.
Click here to read the article.
UTeach Highlighted on NBC Nightly News
Building a new generation of math and science teachers: UTeach, a program that recruits math and science majors to be secondary teachers, is now being replicated across the country. NBC’s Rehema Ellis reports.
Click here to watch the video.
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UCCSTeach Student Ryan Johnson Wins National Award
UCCSTeach student Ryan Johnson (Chemistry major), won the Research (Student) category at the 2012 UTeach Institute - NMSI Conference in May in Austin, Texas. His poster presentation was titled "Keeping Manitou Springs Weird...Through Lead Poisoning? Analysis of Spring Water Via Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry."
The presentation connected directly to his work with Dr. Weiss and the Incline Friends group. The award was highly competitive as it included students from the 35 other UTeach Institute replication sites from across the nation.