Utilizing NSF's Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship to Increase Funding for Geoscience Education

PDF versionPDF version

The Education and Human Resources Directorate within the National Science Foundation (NSF) manages the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, which grants funding to institutions looking to entice STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors and professionals to become K-12 teachers. The funding is used to support these STEM majors and professionals as they earn teaching credentials, as well as support any STEM teacher to train to be a Master Teacher.

Over the past three years, an average of $51 million per year has been awarded to projects submitted to the Noyce Scholarship Program. The bar graph displays the amount of money spent on these different STEM focus areas, as well as the number of projects funded in these areas. Most of the projects have a general STEM focus, meaning these future teachers can have a background in any STEM discipline or multiple specified disciplines (i.e. math, chemistry, and physics), but some focus on specific science or math disciplines. The pie charts identify the percentage of the total funding that was spent on projects that recognize the geosciences as a part of their STEM focus, based on the abstracts written for the awarded projects. In 2011, one project and, in 2012, two projects were predominately focused within the geosciences.

The Noyce Scholarship Program could be a good source of funding to help answer the need for more quality earth science instructors in K-12 education, especially considering that the development of the Next Generation Science Standards includes Earth and Space Sciences as a disciplinary core idea. To learn more about this funding program, visit http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5733. Also, on January 30th, 31st, and February 8th, NSF will be hosting webinars discussing the Noyce Scholarship Program; the proposal deadline for FY2013 is this spring.

STEM Focus of Noyce Scholars

Percent Geoscience of Noyce Scholars

STEM focus of NSF's Robert Noyce Scholarship funding and percentage applied to projects recognizing the geosciences. Source: NSF's online award search.