UNL NSF Robert Noyce projects highlighted by AAAS for program's 20th anniversary


The AAAS Noyce team is featuring current and past Noyce work and accomplishments in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the NSF Noyce Program. As follows are the featured Nebraska projects:

TRACK 1: Scholarship & Stipends

Longitudinal Evaluation of Noyce Science Teachers to Determine Sources of Effective Teaching, Noyce Award #1540797 (2015-2020)

Mission: The purpose of this grant was to provide stipends to graduate students in the Master of Arts with emphasis in science teaching (MAst) program, a 14-month secondary science teacher education and MA program that educates highly qualified secondary science teachers to teach in high-need school districts. Pre-service teachers in the MAst program earned at least a bachelor’s degree in their science content area, many of whom were career-changers.

Graduated MAst Science Teachers: 30

Publications: Longitudinal research conducted through this project from 2015-2019 investigated effective science teaching. It included multiple publications, dissertations, and conference presentations.
For more information about the research associated with this project, go to: https://cehs.unl.edu/tlte/nsf-noyce-science-teacher-grants/.

Accomplishments: These new, highly qualified Noyce scholars have have taken on leadership roles in their school districts and been thoughtful practitioners in their work in high-need schools and districts.

Systemic and Cultural Change: As a result of the research (e.g., Lewis, et al, 2021) in this project, we have increased the number of science courses that all pre-service science teachers in the teacher education program must take (over what the state requires).

Impacts: Through the two UNL Noyce Track 1 grants (10 years), we supported 90 people (science majors and career-changers) to become certified and highly qualified to teach science.

School District Partners: Lincoln and Omaha School Districts


TRACK 3: Master Teaching Fellowships

Meeting Needs of Diverse Students through Science Teacher Leadership in Nebraska, Noyce Award #2050650 (2021 - 2027)

Mission: The purpose of this grant is to support three cohorts of Noyce Master Teacher Fellows (MTF) in earning an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in science education leadership, National Board Certification, and also designing and carrying out teacher leadership projects focused on increasing equitable science education for diverse students as well as contributing to expanding and strengthening the professional statewide network of science teachers.

Master Teacher Fellows supported to date: 11

Accomplishments: Recruited 11 MTFs for Cohort 1 and 9 MTFs for Cohort 2 (to start in January 2023) from across Nebraska who are dedicated science teacher professionals. MTFs will earn their Ed.S degree and National Board Certification. Also, they have begun working in statewide working groups focused on increasing the quality of Nebraska science education.

School District Partners: Omaha, Lincoln, and Grand Island Public Schools

For more information about the MTFs:

Lewis, E. B., Rivero, A., Lucas, L, Musson, A., & Helding, B. (2021). Setting empirically informed policy benchmarks for physical science teaching. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 58(8), 1238–1277. https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.21709


NebraskaNOYCE, Noyce Award #1035268 (2011 - 2017)

Mission: Support K-12 mathematics teacher leaders to positively impact mathematics teaching and learning in high-need districts statewide.

Graduated Master Teacher Fellows: 30

Publications: 7

Accomplishments: All of the Master Teaching Fellows (MTFs) stayed in education, and most have stayed connected to each other. Some have shifted out of the classroom to serve as district mathematics supervisors or even college faculty preparing the next generation of teachers.

Recruitment & Retention Strategies: Treat teachers as professionals and provide opportunities for teachers to feel they are having an impact beyond their own classroom.

Systemic and Cultural Change: Our program helped institutionalize the practice of co-teaching graduate courses for K-12 teachers with faculty and MTFs (or other master teachers).

Impacts: By nurturing a community of K-12 mathematics teacher leaders, even though the grant funding has ended, most of the MTFs continue to seek out leadership opportunities to make a positive impact on equitable mathematics teaching and learning statewide.

Acknowledgements: All of our MTFs and the major school partners who supported our work: Lincoln, Omaha, and Grand Island Public Schools. Also thanks to the original PI team: Jim Lewis, David Fowler, Steve Swidler, Ira Papick and Wendy Smith. And a huge thanks to Lindsay Augustyn, the Assistant Director and Communications Director of the Center for Science, Mathematics, and Computer Education.

School District Partners: Lincoln, Omaha, Grand Island, Scottsbluff, Fremont, Arapahoe, Wood River, Superior, and Falls City Public Schools

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