STEM Equity

NMSI Launches the GM New Teacher Academy to Train Over 1,300 STEM Teachers of Color

The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) has announced the GM New Teachers Academy, an initiative to train over 1,300 Black, Latinx, and Indigenous first-year STEM teachers of grades 3 through 12.

With a gift of $300,000 from General Motors, $25,000 from Micron, and a donation from 3M, the new academy will begin in the metro Atlanta area and include teachers of color in Georgia, Alabama and other Southern regional HBCUs in the South.

The training will be based on NMSI’s Laying the Foundation program, which emphasizes pedagogical and STEM content support needed for effective instruction. It will help new teachers gain expertise and build leadership skills so they can help their students with subject matter and personal skills.

According to research by Johns Hopkins University, "Black students who'd had just one Black teacher by third grade were 13 percent more likely to enroll in college — and those who'd had two were 32 percent more likely.” However, the teacher workforce (79.3% White), does not reflect the student population (almost 50% Black, Indigenous, or a person of color in the public schools, according to a study published in 2020 by NCES).

"The new GM Teacher Academy further solidifies NMSI's commitment to increasing access and equity in STEM education," said Michelle Stie, vice president of teaching and learning at NMSI. "From climate change to health and economic growth, our most pressing challenges require problem-solving skills rooted in STEM. The collaboration with GM and other committed donors reflects our shared values and commitment to providing opportunities for underrepresented communities. Together, we will bridge the gaps, cultivate talent, and nurture a thriving ecosystem that fosters innovation and progress."

“We’re thrilled to work with NMSI to launch the General Motors New Teacher Academy in metro Atlanta,” said Terry Rhadigan, vice president of corporate giving at GM. “From software and hardware to design and data, our industry continues to evolve. Investing in STEM teachers is an investment in our collective future.”

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.