Science and CSU

Students’ drive, Noyce program help CSU prepare top-notch science teachers




Noyce draws science majors in, sets them up;

in podcasts, 2 describe path to classroom career

With California facing a projected shortage of more than 30,000 math and science teachers, the CSU has nearly doubled its production of well-prepared math and science teachers since 2005.

Boosting this acceleration is the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. It encourages talented majors in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and professionals in STEM careers to become K-12 math and science teachers.

NSF supports more than 30 active Noyce projects on 17 different CSU campuses, totaling roughly $26 million in awards. In exchange for the support – which includes scholarships, stipends (up to $15,000 per year), training and workshops, Noyce participants commit to teaching for a time in a high-needs school.

In these podcasts, two Noyce Scholars from CSU Long Beach – among hundreds in the CSU who personify the effort – describe the forces that led them to science teaching.

Margarita Velasco is a student-teacher and Maelanie Galima, taking a break from a Ph.D program, has her first high-school teaching job. Both are at Pioneer High School in Whittier, Calif.

Listen to Margarita Velasco (at right, with Professor Laura Henriques) on her love for science and student-teaching at Pioneer High School (5:08) (The transcript is posted here:

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Listen to Maelanie “Lanie” Galima on the key elements of science teaching: patience, passion, a capacity to understand (3:55) (The transcript is posted here:

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On March 25-27, Cal State Long Beach hosted the Noyce program’s 2011 Western Regional Conference, which included more than 30 workshops on topics such as incorporating research into curricula, working with homeless students, developing climate-science literacy, and “Survive and Thrive – Setting the Stage the First Week of School.”

According to NSF Program Manager Joan Prival, “Through the Noyce program, math and science teachers are inducted into the profession early on. They’re put in touch with excellent teachers and given a real picture of some of the challenges they’ll face.”

Meet some other Noyce Scholars in the CSU (click on names for profiles):

Shane Phillips, CSU Long Beach

Katherine Prentice, CSU Northridge

CSU Noyce Scholar Katherine Prentice

Crystal Shaw, CSU Northridge

Chris Duran, CSU San Bernardino

Want to learn more?

— Sean Kearns