New science scholarship stems student opportunities
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 09:10
The Colleges of Science and Technology and Education are collaborating to give Armstrong students a unique opportunity. Armstrong was granted the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program for students majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree from Armstrong and later a master of Arts in teaching degree.
Upon completion of these two degrees, recipients of the STEM scholarship will have a great chance of becoming K-12 STEM teachers.
The two colleges partnered with the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System and local YMCAs, allowing Armstrong students to interact with local school systems as teacher assistants and tutors for low-income students in the regional area.
After completing the STEM bachelor’s degree and the MAT, students may be placed into a high-needs school for a minimum of two years, for each year the student received the loan.
“Many schools in Georgia are considered high-need schools,” said Delana Nivens, assistant dean of the College of Science and Technology. “The Chatham County school system has partnered with Armstrong to get students into the classroom and experience teaching, opening the door for more teachers, highly qualified teachers.”
Although the program is based around Chatham County, students are not required to teach in the area.
Robert Gregerson, dean of the College of Science and Technology, is thrilled to be granted another scholarship funded by the National Science Foundation.
“[The] first scholarship, S-STEM, is for students interested in STEM fields without wanting to be educators,” Gregerson said. “STEM Teacher is for STEM students wanting to become educators.”
“[The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program] is the first grant program, where majority of the money is for the students,” Nivens said.
Over $900,000 out of the $1.2 million will go directly to the students.
“Students may receive up to $10,000 a year for three years that the student participates in the program.”
There are three different transitions within the STEM Teacher program: Fellows, Scholars and MASTER Scholars. Fellows are freshmen and sophomores who are exploring the option of teaching. Scholars are juniors and seniors who have decided to become STEM teachers, and MASTER Scholars are students who graduated with a science degree and are pursuing a MAT at the College of Education.
Gregerson and Nivens both agree the STEM Teacher Scholarship benefits Armstrong but is most valuable to the students who receive the scholarship.
“Students will less likely face financial hardships, which will make it easier for students to progress, graduate, and go into their working field,” Gregerson said.
“Teaching internships are difficult for many students because of the commitment to being in the school,” Nivens said. “This scholarship helps these students.”
“There has been a greater push for STEM Teachers to recognize STEM students in high school to set them on the right path, even before entering college,” said Sherry Lester, a mathematics teacher in a Georgia high-needs public school.