The magazine for Western Washington University

Supporting the next generation of science and math teachers

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A new $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation will help WWU address the shortage of highly qualified math and science teachers in Washington state.

“We hope to attract the best possible people out there into becoming science and mathematics teachers by offering to help support their education – whether they are incoming students or professionals still working in their areas of expertise,” says George “Pinky” Nelson, director of WWU’s Science, Mathematics and Technology Education program and co-director of the grant.

The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program will provide 61 $10,000 scholarships to both undergraduates and professionals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who want to become teachers. After graduation, scholarship recipients must commit to teaching math and science in a high-need school district for two years for each year they received the scholarship.

“Someone who has always wanted to teach and bring their science or mathematics knowledge, expertise and experience into the classroom would be a perfect fit for one of these scholarships,” says Bruce Larson, WWU professor of Secondary Education and the administrator for the grant.

In addition to scholarships, the grant gives freshmen and sophomores who are considering a career in math or science education a chance to work with summer school students in Whatcom County’s rural Mount Baker or Meridian school districts.