- Year 2017
- NSF Noyce Award # 1557309
- First Name Paige
- Last Name Evans
- Discipline Math
Donna Stokes, University of Houston, dwstokes@Central.UH.EDU; Steven Bark, University of Houston, sbark@Central.UH.EDU; Catherine Horn, University of Houston, chorn@Central.UH.EDU
Paige Evans, University of Houston, email@example.com; Arianna Ibarra, University of Houston, firstname.lastname@example.org; Kechi Watson, University of Houston, email@example.com
Providing a solid foundation in science|technology|engineering|mathematics (STEM) is important in the education of future physicists/engineers/computer scientists/chemists/medical doctors who can contribute to scientific discoveries. The Noyce program, STEM Teacher Preparation at the University of Houston: Learning through Informal and Formal Experiences (UH-LIFE), will increase the number of highly qualified teachers, particularly those from underserved minorities, certified to teach in the critical needs areas of grades 7-12 mathematics and science in high needs schools in metropolitan Houston and across the United States. In addition, UH-Life may facilitate higher retention rates in the teachHOUSTON program thereby increasing the overall number of qualified STEM teachers produced by University of Houston.
Major goals of UH-LIFE include partnering with Wharton County Junior College; offering summer internships and scholarships; developing biology and chemistry inquiry courses; and creating a Noyce Professional Development and Mentoring Institute for undergraduates and graduates.
During the first year of the UH-LIFE Grant, the infrastructure was set up to achieve the proposed goals of the camp. A partnership was established with Wharton County Junior College and various recruiting efforts were make which included classroom visits and the creation of promotional materials. Additionally, a Noyce scholarship committee was formed from faculty members of the Departments of Physics, Mathematics, and teachHOUSTON. The committee created a scholarship application and recruiting strategies that were implemented in key classrooms and posted on various websites. Furthermore, an internship committee was formed from faculty members of the Department of Mathematics, teachHOUSTON along with the Executive and Program Directors of the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp. The internship committee created an application and interviewed applicants.
During the first year, the following was accomplished:
* The first course was taught at Wharton County Junior College during the spring 2017 semester.
* The scholarship committee awarded 9 scholarships in the amount of $6,000 each during the current reporting period to 33% mathematics majors and 67 biology majors. The scholars consist of 8 females and 1 male with 44 % Hispanic, 33% Caucasian, 11% African American, and 11% Asian.
* Ten summer internships were awarded in the amount of $1800 each during the current reporting period. Internships were awarded to students who were freshman or sophomores majoring/minoring in math or science who expressed a desire to teach.
* The Biochemistry course (BCHS 4397) was taught during the spring 2017 semester to 17 students. The course composition by major was 6 Biochemistry, 9 Biology, 2 Biomedical Sciences (Honors Program), and one from Biomedical Engineering. Of these students, 6 were members of the teachHOUSTON program.
UH-LIFE has the potential to provide 40 highly qualified secondary STEM teachers to the diverse Greater Houston Area. Future teachers will be better prepared to enter the classroom through the informal and formal learning opportunities; the biochemistry inquiry course; early field experiences; and an atmosphere supportive of new teachers. The partnership with WCJC will increase the numbers of potential STEM teachers and serve as a model for partnering between two year and four year institutions in preparation of STEM teachers. Products developed UH-LIFE will be disseminated locally, nationally and internationally to advance the understanding of the recruitment, preparation, and retention of secondary STEM teachers, particularly those from underserved minorities, as well as promote best practices for learning STEM content and inquiry-based teaching and learning.