Applied Math Program

AMP! ProgramThe Applied Math Program (AMP!) aims to improve science and math teaching in Houston-area middle schools by providing intensive professional development for teachers and helping them create engaging learning experiences for their students. Developed in collaboration with Rice University, the cross-disciplinary curriculum helps teachers strengthen the skills they need to inspire, motivate and engage students in the classroom, improving student performance by building connections between math and science concepts.

"We've done quite a lot of research about connecting math and science, and much of it shows that students see their schools as very compartmentalized," said Dr. Carolyn Nichol, director of the Rice Office for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Engagement, which developed AMP! "They don't see the connections between their math and science classes which often impacts their ability to be successful."

The AMP! program is closely modeled after the successful ConocoPhillips Rice Elementary Model Science Lab. Fifteen pairs of Houston-area eighth grade teachers — one math and one science teacher from the same school — complete an intensive 40-hour training session at the AMP! Summer Institute held on Rice University's campus. The training sets the foundation for a year-long professional development program, in which pairs of teachers work together to address the interdependency between their subjects and to develop students' conceptual knowledge by providing more opportunities for them to cultivate effective reasoning skills.

Over the course of the academic year, teachers meet six times to continue to explore connections between mathematics and science and develop skills to enhance learning in their classrooms.