NSF Grants Aim To Increase K-12 Science and Math Teachers

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The National Science Foundation this week awarded nine grants aimed at expanding the number of undergraduates pursuing teaching careers in science and math. This week's grants, administered through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, range from $500,000 to $750,000. Thirty such grants have been awarded this year so far. Sixteen were awarded in 2007.

The goal of the Noyce program is to expand the number of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) majors pursuing roles as K-12 science and math teachers. The grant supports scholarships and other programs for undergraduate students "who commit to teaching in high-need K-12 school districts," according to NSF.

This week's recipients include California State University, Dominguez Hills ($750,000); the University of Texas at Dallas ($$749,255); City University of New York Herbert H Lehman College ($749,900); California State University East Bay Foundation ($750,000); University of Washington ($749,881); University of Wisconsin Oshkosh ($599,817); University of North Carolina at Greensboro ($746,300); California State University Long Beach Foundation ($500,000); and Santa Clara University ($750,000).

In the case of Santa Clara U, the grants will go toward 24 scholarships of $25,000 apiece. In exchange for receiving the scholarships, the university's undergraduates pledge to teach at least two years at the middle school or high school level in one of two designated "high need" local school districts.

Said Santa Clara U's Dennis Smithenry, an assistant professor of education and the grant’s principal investigator: "This grant responds to a critical need for highly qualified science and mathematics teachers, particularly in high-need school districts. It provides significant financial incentives to SCU undergraduates who decide to pursue a career as a science or mathematics teacher. It also allows SCU to strengthen and deepen the links between our undergraduate programs, our fifth-year teacher credential program, and our local school districts."

Santa Clara U reported that it expects the grants to double the number of graduates pursuing math and science teaching careers each year.

Further information about the grants, including abstracts from all recipients, can be found here.

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About the author:David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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