The Alabama Science in Motion (ASIM) Program is a visionary educational program established in 1994 by the Alabama Legislature. Learning science requires an understanding of the scientific method, which is acquired through “hands-on,” “minds-on,” laboratory activity. Equipment, knowledge of the discipline, preparation time, and motivation are essential elements of an effective laboratory program. ASIM is a network of resources designed to provide the equipment, discipline training, and preparation support needed to run an effective secondary science laboratory program.
ASIM also incorporates a strong teacher-training component. Each site provides 15 days of teacher training. Summer training is designed to update and strengthen content knowledge, to familiarize teachers with the use and operation of ASIM equipment, and to model teaching strategies that are successful with a broad range of students. Follow-up workshops during the school year allow teachers to “fine tune” their knowledge and to share suggestions and experiences from the classroom. Initially, the ASIM Specialist might lead the laboratory activity. The ultimate objective is for the teacher to lead the lab, or for the ASIM Specialist and teacher to team-teach the lab.
This program provides the opportunity for instruction and laboratory activities that many students would never experience without ASIM. As a result of these opportunities, Alabama students should be better prepared for postsecondary education or entry into the work force.