National Science Foundation (NSF) TEACH! SouthCoast Initiative
Announcing a new CUSP program: the National Science Foundation (NSF) TEACH! SouthCoast initiative (NSF TSC). The press release is below. Stay tuned to this page as new details are released. Please contact Tyra Lopes Mendes (firstname.lastname@example.org) if interested in more information.
UMass Dartmouth awarded $2.86 million by National Science Foundation to improve science and math education
This grant, awarded to the Center for University, School, and Community Partnerships, will focus on teacher development in New Bedford, Fall River, and Wareham
UMass Dartmouth’s School for Education, Public Policy, and Civic Engagement (SEPPCE) has been awarded a $2.86 million grant from the National Science Foundation aimed at improving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.
“Creating first-rate science and math learning opportunities in high-need school districts is both an economic and moral imperative,’’ said UMass Dartmouth chancellor Jean F. MacCormack. “We are excited to collaborate with our partners in the community to equip educators with cutting edge knowledge and strategies to excite their students about math and science.’’
SEPPCE’s Center for University, School, and Community Partnerships (CUSP) was awarded the six-year $2.86 million grant as part of a collaboration with SEPPCE, the University’s College of Engineering, the Ocean Explorium in New Bedford, and the New Teacher Center in Santa Cruz, CA. Under the program, teachers in New Bedford, Fall River and Wareham will undergo intense and accelerated training in the teaching of STEM subjects and be required to serve in SouthCoast school systems with a demonstrated need for improvement.
This grant award follows the recent announcement of a partnership between UMass Dartmouth, the Ocean Explorium, and the Global Learning Charter Public School to establish charter school classrooms in the downtown Ocean Explorium to excite students about science and regional history.
“With this grant, we will prepare and support STEM educators in engaging their students, fostering higher achievement in the classroom, while also learning new lessons about teaching engineering to a new generation of students,” said CUSP Director Karen O’Connor. “Well-informed and inspired teachers can make a difference that has an enormous ripple effect among students and colleagues.” O’Connor continued, “the collaborative effort of the University and our partners can help transform the aspirations of students for college-level and career-oriented success in the STEM fields, particularly engineering.”
NSF TSC will be overseen by CUSP Executive Director Karen O’Connor in collaboration with Dr. Tesfay Meressi, Associate Dean of the School of Engineering; and Mark Smith, executive director of Ocean Explorium in New Bedford. The program director is Tyra Lopes Mendes, who has directed a school-embedded teacher licensure program at CUSP for the past four years.
Targeted schools include: Fall River, New Bedford, and Wareham middle and high schools, along with the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School in Fall River, and the New Bedford Global Learning Charter Public School. While in the schools, the teachers will conduct research that identifies successful teaching strategies.
In early fall, CUSP will begin recruiting candidates for a NSF TSC program start date of June 2012. Once accepted into the program, Teaching Fellows will earn an Initial Teaching License and a Master of Arts in Teaching within 15 months. This is an accelerated schedule that includes a full year of teaching residency in a high-need school. The grant will cover the program participants’ coursework expenses and other professional learning experiences. Each Teaching Fellow will receive a $10,000 annual salary supplement while fulfilling a four-year teaching commitment in a high need school district.
The NSF TSC grant also includes funding for a select number of Master Teaching Fellows from partner districts to earn a graduate-level 12-credit Teacher Leadership Certificate, as well as a $10,000 annual salary supplement while they are fulfilling a five-year teaching/mentoring commitment in a high need school district. Master Teaching Fellows and Teaching Fellows will complete at least one summer internship in a SouthCoast STEM-related business or non-profit.
The project will also contribute to broader innovation in education by way of in-depth data analysis, which will uncover direct relationships between teacher preparation and student achievement. With the program’s requirement that participants not only complete coursework, but also conduct and share their own research, the program will contribute to advancing teaching and learning in STEM classrooms. In addition, the program is contributing to the development of a Technology/Engineering teaching license at UMass Dartmouth, meeting an urgent regional need.
Congressional delegation praises UMass Dartmouth NSF TEACH! SouthCoast initiative:
“If we’re going to win this century, we’ve got to excel in math and science, period,” said Senator John Kerry. “This is a direct investment in keeping Massachusetts ahead of the pack in life sciences, research, and innovation.”
“This is really exciting news for Bay State schools,” said Senator Scott Brown. “Equipping our teachers with advanced training and new tools for their classrooms means our children will have access to high quality education in math and science.”
“I am pleased that the National Science Foundation has recognized the excellent work being done at UMass Dartmouth to help improve math and science education in our local schools,” said Congressman Barney Frank, whose district includes Dartmouth and New Bedford. “This investment of federal funds will provide long-lasting benefits to our teachers, schools and communities.”
“It’s essential that we prepare our students for the realities of the 21st Century economy,” said Congressman Jim McGovern, whose district includes Fall River. “Federal funding to improve STEM education is an important component of that effort. I want to commend UMass Dartmouth and their partners for their innovative approach to this issue.”
“Investing in STEM education better prepares our students for the science and technology jobs of tomorrow,” said Congressman Bill Keating. “UMass Dartmouth will use this award to support teachers and students throughout Southeastern Massachusetts, resulting in long lasting economic benefits for the Commonwealth