- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1851631
- First Name Beverly
- Last Name Smith
- Discipline Chemistry, Computer Science, Math, Other: Engineering Technology, Physics
Aimee Govett, ETSU, firstname.lastname@example.org; Mohammad Moin Uddin, ETSU, email@example.com; Michele Joyner, ETSU, firstname.lastname@example.org; Scott Kirkby, ETSU, email@example.com
Beverly Smith, ETSU, firstname.lastname@example.org; Aimee Govett, ETSU, email@example.com; Mohammad Moin Uddin, ETSU, firstname.lastname@example.org; Michele Joyner, ETSU, email@example.com; Scott Kirkby, ETSU, firstname.lastname@example.org
In the southern Appalachian region, there is a high need for high school teachers with strong backgrounds in STEM fields. Most undergraduate majors in these subjects are not interested in high school teaching as a career. There is a need to find effective ways to recruit such STEM students into the teaching profession. Research is needed to study how pre-teaching experiences such as participation in an internship program at science education organizations influences STEM student attitudes towards teaching.
We hypothesize that working as a teaching intern will lessen student fears about teaching as a career. In particular, we expect that with mentoring and training by experienced teachers, undergraduate interns will gain confidence in their classroom management abilities, their presentation skills, and their effectiveness as teachers. Furthermore, we hypothesize that the undergraduates will gain an appreciation of the rewards of teaching.
This Noyce program includes a summer internship program for STEM undergraduates at local non-profit science education organizations. The Noyce team will use regular journal entries written by the interns and a survey developed by the American Physical Society to investigate whether participation in such internships changes undergraduate attitudes towards teaching as a profession.
We anticipate that participation in an internship program will positively influence the attitudes of undergraduate STEM majors towards teaching as a profession. If such a result is found, it will support attempts to expand and sustain the internship program after the Noyce funding period has ended. Reports on student experiences as interns will be part of regular reports to the ETSU Advisory Board for STEM Teacher Recruitment, a group made up of highly placed administrators and officials from local school districts, industry, and other STEM education officials.
This Noyce program will help address the critical shortage of STEM educators in high-need fields in the southern Appalachian region and will create a group of teachers who are able to inspire future generations of teachers and scientists. This program will build a strong network and develop partnerships which will support the long-term goal of sending more highly-qualified STEM teachers into high-need schools. Regular presentations on the Noyce program to the STEM Teacher Recruitment Advisory Board will build support for the program, which will help in maintaining the components of the program after the Noyce grant has ended.