Santa Clara University


Science Education

The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant of $750,000 over five years to fund the Santa Clara University Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.  Under the leadership of principal investigator Dennis Smithenry, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Education, the proposed program involves a strong partnership between two local districts, East Side Union High and San Jose Unified, and a collaborative team at Santa Clara that brings together faculty from the education, science, math, and engineering departments. Over the course of the NSF grant, scholarships of $25,000 will be provided to each of twenty-four science, engineering, or mathematics undergraduates who are committed to earning their teaching credential and becoming a science or mathematics teacher at the middle or high school level.

Dr. Smithenry, with the supporting efforts of Co-PI's, Ruth E. Davis, Ph.D. (Engineering); Melissa C. Gilbert, Ph.D. (Mathematics and Computer Science); Craig M. Stephens, Ph.D. (Biology); and W. Atom Yee, Ph.D. (Chemistry and Dean, College of Arts and Sciences), developed a solid grant proposal—only 20 out of 103 submitted proposals were funded!

The strength of the proposal lies in the creation of an integrated support program that allows our Noyce Teacher Scholars to be mentored by STEM faculty, Education faculty, and master teachers from the local school districts throughout all phases of the program. By having continuous access to these experienced mentors throughout the program, Noyce Teacher Scholars can revisit previous concepts and confront new challenges all the while situating their learning within the context of becoming a successful teacher. Noyce Teacher Scholars will be able to tap into the expertise of the more experienced members of a learning community who understand the subject matter (STEM faculty), understand how to teach the subject matter (Education faculty), and understand how to teach within the context of a high-need school (master teachers).


    Dennis Smithenry PhD
   Assistant Professor of  
   Santa Clara University
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