Connecting Teachers and Students with Science and Discovery

The Office of Science Teaching Activities (OSTA) was formed by the College of Arts and Sciences in 1983 in response to the report, A Nation at Risk (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983, Washington, DC). The function of the OSTA is to coordinate all activities related to science and mathematics teaching within the College of Arts and Sciences and to serve as the College's liaison with the College of Education. Over the years OSTA has initiated many activities for K-12 teachers and students, and for undergraduate and graduate students at Florida State University. As well, OSTA faculty members are active in science and mathematics education research.

Mission Statement

The Office of Science Teaching Activities is dedicated to providing sustained support for science and mathematics teaching and learning partnerships throughout the University and K-12 education systems. By connecting partners with effective strategies, practices, and resources, the Office of Science Teaching Activities seeks to foster and maintain active engagement in high quality science and mathematics instruction to increase science and mathematcics literacy for all.

K-12 Student Outreach Programs

In partnership with the science and mathematics departments at Florida State, the Office of Science Teaching Activities has developed and offers many programs that engage K-12 students in science and/or mathematics learning. Many of these programs are award-winning with a history going back more than 30 years, yet all are updated and evaluated annually to keep their content current and to ensure that they employ cutting-edge, research-based teaching practices.

Teacher Professional Development Programs

The Office of Science Teaching Activities offers a host of teacher professional development experiences for preK-12 teachers and their administrators as well as for college teachers. These high-quality programs are designed to deepen the knowledge of educators about research-based best practices in science and/or mathematics teaching and learning. Participants experience these best practices as they strengthen their content knowledge and their pedagogical content knowledge. The professional development faculty members from the Office of Science Teaching Activities have strong science and science teaching backgrounds and demonstrated records of instructional excellence.

Teacher Preparation Programs

The Office of Science Teaching Activities offers three programs for individuals seeking to become science or mathematics teachers, one undergraduate and two graduate. The FSU-Teach program is an undergraduate teacher preparation program that is a partnership between the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Education that culminates in a bachelors degree with a double major--one in mathematics or science (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geosciences, or Physics) and one in mathematics or science teaching. At the graduate level students may pursue a Masters in Science Teaching, with a focus on secondary school (grades 6-12) science teaching or one with on community college science teaching.

Science Education Research

To further its mission of identifying and providing support for best practices in STEM teaching and learning, the Office of Science Teaching Activities engages in rigorous scientific research of STEM education practices. Such research is crucial to inform STEM education practitioners at all levels and to enable teachers to provide the best instruction to maximize their students' STEM learning. Results from these research projects are disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and at national and international meetings.