Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program for USF Science Majors - Program Summary
The NSF Robert Noyce USF Scholarship Program for Science Majors at the University of South Florida will provide scholarships to majors in biology, chemistry, geosciences and physics to complete a 5-year Accelerated Program of studies that results in the bachelor’s degree in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and the Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree with certification in secondary science in the College of Education (COEDU). The Program will also include summer internships in STEM education research for undergraduate freshman and sophomore science majors. Thirty-six students will receive $10,000/year scholarships for two years, and 20 will each receive $5000 for participating in the summer internships. The objectives of the Program are to:
- Recruit 12 science majors per year for three years into the Accelerated Program to prepare them to teach science at the secondary level (grades 6-12),
- Prepare the science majors to teach using reform and evidence-based practices (NRC, 2012; 2013)
- Develop the science majors’ understanding of the nature of science (NOS) (Lederman, 2007),
- Improve the science majors’ ability to engage in and teach others how to engage in the practices of science engineering (NRC, 2012).
- Continue relationships with and provide support to Scholars throughout their first two years of teaching,
- Engage Scholars in ongoing activities and experiences designed to develop a professional learning community to provide long-term peer support.
- Engage 20 summer Interns in research experiences with science education faculty in CAS and COEDU.
Science majors selected will have demonstrated knowledge and understanding of science. They will participate in a common core of educational courses and disciplinary specific pedagogical courses designed to help them translate their subject matter knowledge into useable forms for teaching and encouraging students in grades 6-12 to excel in the study of science.
Intellectual Merit. The NSF Robert Noyce USF Scholarship Program for Science Majors will prepare undergraduate science majors to teach secondary (6-12) school science in high needs schools. The Program is a collaboration between the COEDU and the CAS at USF, and the Hillsborough County Public Schools. The Program is designed to prepare them to become teacher decision-makers who effectively, efficaciously and judiciously implement research-based practices in secondary science classrooms to improve the education of all students, especially culturally and linguistically diverse learners (i.e., English language learners, minority, and students of low socio-economic status). As part of the Program, the Investigators will conduct research on the development of professional learning communities and their implementation, as well as the ways in which the interns learn to engage in the science practices described in the Next Generation Science Standards. In addition, the evaluation conducted by Michael Howard will measure the effectiveness of the program, the qualification and effectiveness of the scholars and their retention rate.
Broader Impact. The NSF Robert Noyce USF Scholarship Program for Science Majors has as its goal to ensure the preparation of highly qualified science teachers through utilizing a five-year accelerated Bachelor’s to MAT in Science Education program. The Accelerated Program provides students in science majors an attractive, viable and rewarding career path in secondary science teaching. The Program will facilitate the efficacy of science education in high needs districts by supplying exemplary science teachers who deeply understand how to implement research-based practices in response to student, district, and community sociocultural characteristics and demands. Furthermore, the Program utilizes a cohort model with an intentional support network infrastructure designed to encourage mentorship, collaborations and success as candidates make the transition from students to teachers through the induction years.