The History of AIMS

 

It all started with a group of passionate educators…

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The AIMS Education Foundation began with a National Science Foundation grant in the early 1980s to develop math and science activities to engage students in relevant and meaningful learning. Over the years of the grant, a group of 80 teachers wrote activities that were combined into books which became the first AIMS Products. A hallmark of the AIMS approach was the seamless integration of math and science - a truly interdisciplinary approach that gave us our name: Activities Integrating Math and Science. AIMS was doing “STEM” work before it was “STEM”, and has continued to produce these hands-on engaging math and science activities for an international market of educators for over 30 years. AIMS also provided training and professional development to educators across the country who were using our materials.

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After decades of resource development and professional learning for teachers, our newly formed AIMS Center has spent several years exploring ways research can improve math and science education in the Central Valley. We recognize that the world has become increasingly complex, requiring new ways of learning, thinking, and communicating. It has become more important than ever for our youth to learn to solve grand challenges, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of complex information. These are the types of skills and dispositions that students learn by engaging in science, technology, engineering, and math—subjects collectively known as STEM.

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Yet today, perceptions exist about who can and cannot participate in STEM fields—and we face challenges in preparing and supporting local teachers to skillfully and creatively teach those subjects. That’s why AIMS has set a priority of increasing participation in these vital fields across the Central Valley.

We believe that innovative mathematics and science education can shape the ways we understand, participate in, and transform our world. We support playful, imaginative, creative, human-centered, and socially-informed approaches to teaching and learning mathematics and science, and policies and practices that are culturally-relevant and transformative for our Central Valley. But we also know that we can’t do this work alone. There are many others who are passionate about seeing these ideals become reality. That’s why we’re committed to local research-practice partnerships that support creative engagement with students, teachers, families, and communities. This is our history…we invite you to join us in creating the future.