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Utah Collaborative for Equitable STEM Teaching

The Utah Collaborative for Equitable STEM Teaching project aims to serve the national need of developing highly effective science teachers who are skilled in creating equitable learning environments. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted traditional teaching environments and highlighted inequities in education, placing teachers at the front lines of social and educational change. This project seeks to equip secondary school teachers with the training and skills they need to support their students’ socio-emotional needs. The project leverages a network of university personnel, experienced teacher-mentors, and parents to support future science teachers as they navigate the challenges of teaching in high-need schools and build identities as science teaching professionals. The project seeks to empower future science teachers to positively impact students’ lives and increase teacher retention in education.

This project at the University of Utah includes partnerships with Salt Lake Community College and the Granite and Salt Lake City School Districts. Project goals include 1) preparing  31 biology, chemistry, physics, and geoscience undergraduate and post-graduate students for teaching careers by providing streamlined coursework, financial support, and mentoring; 2) reforming the science methods course to model three-dimensional instruction (integration of disciplinary core ideas, science practices, and crosscutting concepts) and equitable instruction through the lens of environmental issues; and 3) building a community that supports future science teachers from their undergraduate years, through induction, and beyond. The project also intends to support in-service teachers to develop expertise in creating equitable classrooms, mentoring, and 3D instruction, as well as to create new knowledge about how case-studies that integrate 3D instruction with environmental issues may bridge the divide between theory and practice. Broader impact aims of the project include using a focus on environmental issues to recruit a new generation of teachers who are adept at addressing environmental and social change.

This Track 1: Scholarships and Stipends project is supported through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program (Noyce). The Noyce program supports talented STEM undergraduate majors and professionals to become effective K-12 STEM teachers and experienced, exemplary K-12 teachers to become STEM master teachers in high-need school districts. It also supports research on the persistence, retention, and effectiveness of K-12 STEM teachers in high-need school districts.

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Last Updated: 12/12/23