- Year 2018
- NSF Noyce Award # 1557309
- First Name Paige
- Last Name Evans
- Discipline Other: STEM, STEM
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, firstname.lastname@example.org; Donna Stokes, University of Houston dwstokes@Central.UH.EDU; Leah McAlister-Shields, University of Houston, lymcalis@Central.UH.EDU
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 second year of the UH-LIFE Grant, the partnership continued with Wharton County Junior College (WCJC) and the first two courses were offered at the WCJC campus. Various recruiting efforts were made which included classroom visits and the creation of promotional materials. Noyce scholarship and internship committees met on a regular basis and included faculty members of the Departments of Physics, Mathematics, and teachHOUSTON. Recruiting strategies were implemented in key classrooms and posted on various websites.
Two courses were taught at Wharton County Junior College during the fall 2017 and spring 2018 semesters.
The scholarship committee awarded 17 scholarships during the fall semester and 19 scholarships during the spring 2018 semester to 26 unique individuals. Approximately 58% have a mathematics major, 27% have a biology major, 8% have a geophysics major, 4% have a chemistry major and 4% have a mathematical biology major. There are 19 females and 7 male with 54 % Hispanic, 23% Caucasian, 15% Asian, and 8% African American.
The internship committee interviewed 25 students and awarded 10 internships in the amount of $1800 each during the current reporting period.
A Two-Week Noyce Internship Institute was created and implemented where interns were prepared to serve as camp counselors and teaching assistants in a summer STEM camps for underserved students.
The Research Methods Course was transformed to include inquiries more applicable to preservice STEM teachers.
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 Research Methods 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 through 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.