Sunday, May 21, 2017

How the National Science Foundation Supports Teachers- Teacher Appreciation Week 2017

I have been fortunate to secure funding or have served as a reviewer for all 6 of these NSF funded educational research programs dedicated to STEM education and the learning sciences. While each of these programs cover unique ground, there is some overlap or ways in which the grants or programs leverage off of each other. Nonetheless, here is a nice summary of NSF funded areas with a little description and links that might be interesting to look into. -Dr. Petrosino

Each year, during the first full week in May, Teacher Appreciation Week honors outstanding educators. The National Science Foundation (NSF) honors teachers during this week and throughout the year with grants, scholarships and initiatives designed to increase student learning, support innovative teaching approaches and promote best teaching practices. Here are a few of the ways in which NSF honors K-12 teachers and supports science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning:

Discovery Research K-12 (DRK-12)
NSF's DRK-12 program seeks to significantly improve how PreK-12 students learn and teachers teach STEM. The program uses innovative research and development resources, models and tools to address immediate challenges facing PreK-12 STEM education. It recognizes the interaction among assessment, learning and teaching while supporting five types of projects: (1) Exploratory, (2) Design and Development, (3) Impact, (4) Implementation and Improvement and (5) Conferences and Syntheses.

Excellence Awards in Science and Engineering (EASE)
The EASE program encompasses the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). PAEMST is the U.S.'s highest recognition for outstanding teaching in K-12 mathematics and science. NSF manages the awards on behalf of the White House.

Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST)
ITEST is a program that promotes PreK-12 student interest in STEM with an emphasis on information and communications technology (ICT). The program seeks to excite students about the future STEM and ICT workforce. ITEST supports development, implementation and selective spread of innovative strategies that increase student awareness of STEM and ICT careers, motivates students to pursue the education necessary to participate in those careers and provides students with technology-rich experiences that develop their knowledge of related content and skills. ITEST projects must involve students and may also include teachers.

Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering and Computer Science
This program brings knowledge of engineering, computer and information science and technological innovation to pre-college/community college classrooms. It enables K-12 STEM teachers and community college faculty to translate their research experiences and new knowledge gained in university settings into classroom activities.

Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program
NSF's Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program uses scholarships, stipends and fellowships to encourage talented STEM majors and professionals to become K-12 STEM teachers. The program's Master Teaching Fellowships Track (MTF) also offers awards to institutions to administer fellowships and programmatic support to experienced and exemplary K-12 STEM teachers.

STEM + Computing Partnerships (STEM+C)
As computing becomes an integral part of modern STEM practice, STEM+C addresses the urgent need to prepare students from the early grades through high school in the essential computational skills, competencies and dispositions. STEM+C advances the integration of computational thinking and computing activities from Pre-K-12.

--  Bobbie Mixon, (703) 292-8485