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Teach Science & Mathematics launches video on National Teacher Appreciation Day

STEM teaching has a nice "ring" to it in this Beyonce-approved music video

STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics) teachers received a boost to their “cool” factor with the “All the STEM Teachers” parody of Beyonce’s hit song “All the Single Ladies…Put A Ring On It” released today, May 5, 2015, in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Day.

Recently, the University of South Carolina College of Education enlisted help from across its campus and from students and teachers at C.A. Johnson High School in Columbia to create the fun parody music video. The musical dance video features lyrics and choreography rewritten to focus on the importance of STEM teaching in the U.S., spotlighting the career choice as one that is fun, high-energy, and innovative. The producers of the video hope it will “go viral” today and generate more dialogue about one of the most critical and rewarding career paths open to today’s generation of young people. Currently, the nation is experiencing a shortage of science and mathematics teachers in our middle and high schools. The shortfall has been the subject of much attention from educators and lawmakers alike.

The song was re-recorded by C.A. Johnson Biology and Chorus Teacher, Chanda Jefferson. 

“This was such a fun project for me,” says Jefferson. “I was able to combine my passion for singing with my love of teaching to help promote a career that is vital to our students’ future.”

Jefferson, who was selected as Teacher of the Year at her school, is a 2010 Biological Sciences and 2011 Master of Teaching graduate from the UofSC College of Education. When Ed Dickey, UofSC Department of Instruction and Teacher Education and leader of the Teach Science and Mathematics effort, heard about Jefferson’s singing and teaching talents, he jumped at the opportunity to include her in this project.

“We wanted this to project to be as genuine as possible,” says Dickey. “We didn’t want to use hired talent—we wanted real students to be a part of our message. When Chanda told us her high school biology students were interested in playing the role as students in the video, we were excited to have the opportunity to include them.”

C.A. Johnson wasn’t the only collaboration on the video project. The University’s School of Dance Program was another vital partner. The School of Dance’s Director Susan Anderson gathered a team of her best dancers and asked graduate student, Brandy White, to lead the choreography for the video. Students and faculty from the UofSC School of Journalism and Mass Communications also contributed to the production.

“Our number one goal with this video was to shine a bright and positive light on teaching careers,” said Dickey. “Playing off the hit Beyonce song, we intend to connect with a younger generation interested in science and math. Communicating through the use of a fun viral video is more likely to reach and impact our target audience than traditional means of communication.”

Through Teach Science and Mathematics, the College of Education offers opportunities for careers in both middle and high school teaching. A unique opportunity for those who want to teach at the high school level is the ability to earn two degrees in just five years as part of the Master of Teaching (M.T.) degree. Those who want to learn more should visit www.TeachScienceandMathematics.org or call the College of Education at 803.777.6732 to speak to an advisor who can assist further.