WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $1,950,034 grant to the University of Maine to support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in rural Maine. The grant will support 22 fellowships for recent STEM graduates or current STEM professionals to further their knowledge base and become certified STEM teachers in rural, high-need Maine schools.
“In today’s rapidly changing world, STEM education has never been more important,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “This grant will help empower our next generation of STEM educators as they work to equip rural Maine students with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.”
This project, titled “A Model NSF Teaching Fellowship Program to Improve STEM Teacher Recruitment, Preparation, Professional Development, and Retention in Rural High-Need Schools,” aims to address a mathematics and science teacher crisis in rural, high-need areas. The fellowships enabled by this grant will start with two years of mentoring and professional development, followed by a transition into STEM leadership development. This process will include observing and analyzing the teaching strategies of UMaine faculty through the existing NSF-supported University Course Observation Program. The lessons learned from the design of the program will be presented at scientific conferences and in academic journals.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports research, innovation, and discovery in order to provide a foundation for economic growth in America. Founded in 1950 by an act of Congress, the NSF is an independent federal agency that works to advance the frontiers of science and engineering so that our nation can develop the knowledge and cutting edge technologies needed to address current and future challenges.