Spotlight on Education: Educational grant helps prepare STEM majors to teach

GW's STEM teacher training program helps DC schools. (ABC7)

At Coolidge Senior High in Northwest D.C., college students are playing an important role in the classroom. 19-year-old Taylor Stonebarger is a sophomore at George Washington University and explained, "I get to work in a couple of different settings trying out different activities with the kids using science articles; hopefully getting them interested in a couple of different areas of science."

Larry Medsker, a professor at George Washington University tells ABC7 News "At the National Science Foundation they've been encouraging teacher prep programs to bring in more students who actually have a degree in the STEM area."

Now the National Science Foundation and the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program are providing a way to help train college students majoring in fields related to science, technology, engineering and math through an initiative known as GW Noyce.

The program is expected to assist 25 George Washington University students, by offering an annual education grant of $20,000. Medsker, who is also Director of the GW Noyce program, continued "It's about $1.4 million for five years mostly for school scholarships and to help the students get involved in teaching at schools with a high need for STEM teachers."

The scholarships are open to juniors and seniors at George Washington. GW Noyce exposes them to workshops, seminars and projects that provide the training needed to teach in high-need schools.

Upon completion of the program, students can apply for a license to teach in D.C. Public Schools. Ashley Parker, a tenth grader at Coolidge stated "I think that it's a very good idea because a lot of students in this school, I feel, need a lot of help."

The GW Noyce program trains college students to teach kindergarten through twelfth grade.

This story has been updated Monday, January 8, 2017

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