ARLINGTON, Va.—The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a total of $6.9 million to 15 universities and colleges today to stem the loss of mathematics and science teachers in the nation's neediest schools.
The Robert Noyce Scholarship program, in its first full year of open competition, will fund the education of more than 650 new K-12 teachers and help them transition to the teaching profession. The scholarship is named for Dr. Robert Noyce, co-founder of Intel Corp and the scientist awarded the 1961patent for the integrated semiconductor.
Funds are provided to institutions of higher education to support scholarships, stipends and programs for students who commit to teaching in high-need K-12 schools. High-need school districts include rural, urban and tribal schools, and school systems with high teacher turnover. Scholarship recipients must agree to teach in a high-need school district two years for each year of scholarship or stipend support. Scholarship funds are made available to current undergraduate students of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, and baccalaureate of science holders who wish to become teachers.
"We're hoping this will create a cultural change so teaching becomes more attractive," said Joan T. Prival, the program's director at NSF's Directorate for Education and Human Resources. "It's also an incentive for those potential teachers already working in STEM careers.
Prival said the grants go a step further than just getting a new teacher their diploma. "We know that a large number of people drop out of teaching early on because of the difficulties associated with the first years of teaching," Prival said. "There's a lot of support for the recipients so they become successful teachers. This includes mentoring, continued support in the schools, and partnerships between the universities and colleges and the school districts. The grants provide for teachers to become fully credentialed where they serve."
The scholarship was funded through the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-368). Initial funding during fiscal year 2002 was limited to institutions with existing NSF grants.
The following are the Robert Noyce Scholarship program grants awarded this year:
Details on Robert Noyce Scholarship Program: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2003/nsf03544/nsf03544.htm#pgm_intr_txt
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 30,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 10,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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