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Supporting Teacher Scholars through Education and Professional Development in Place-Based Education

This project aims to serve the national need for high-quality science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers. Specifically, this project is designed to increase the number of highly effective STEM teachers in high-need K-12 school districts in Colorado. At least 80% of school districts in Colorado serve rural communities and have trouble recruiting and retaining STEM teachers. To address this need, the project will recruit undergraduate STEM students, provide them with scholarships, professional development, mentoring, and other supports as they pursue their STEM degrees, become certified teachers, and begin their teaching careers. The project includes a central goal of providing these Noyce Scholars, as well as in-service teachers, with professional development focused on Place-Based Education. Lessons based on Place-based Education principles include a goal of promoting civic engagement, and are locally relevant, practical, and transdisciplinary. The project intends that professional development in Place-based Education will help in-service and new STEM teachers design lessons that engage their students in meaningful inquiry activities, and also help the new teachers become more familiar with and rooted in their new school community. An additional feature of the project is its focus on recruitment of new STEM teachers by supporting potential candidates in discipline-specific educational coursework. The anticipated outcome of this project is to prepare 32 highly qualified STEM teachers for high-need Colorado school districts. These new teachers will help to fill critical shortages of these teachers in rural areas of Colorado.

Status: Current

PI: Meena Balgopal

PI Institution: Colorado State University

Source of Funding: NSF

Funding Program: Division Of Undergraduate Education

Award Amount: $732,201.00

Start Date: 10/01/2020

End Date: 09/30/2025

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