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Scholarship Seeks Science Teachers from Liberal Arts Schools

America certainly needs more qualified science and math teachers, but what role can liberal-arts schools and students play in helping to address the shortage? That’s the research component of a new, three-year $897,000 National Science Foundation scholarship grant awarded to Bryn Mawr College, the women’s college in suburban Philadelphia.

Bryn Mawr Professor of Mathematics Victor Donnay

Ostensibly, most of the money — which comes from the NSF’s Robert Noyce Teacher/Scholar Program — will fund the two-year scholarships, which are available to math and science majors at Bryn Mawr and its sister school, the coed Haverford College. The intent is to encourage STEM majors to consider careers as K-12 science and math teachers. The awards will help support the recipients as they complete their senior year and then a fifth year of study for their educational requirements.

In exchange for the scholarship, recipients must spend two years teaching in a “high-need school district,” but the program will also give them mentoring and professional-development support during those two years. Math professor Victor Donnay is the principal investigator for the research aspect, which will also look at the barriers students face, and the support they receive, when they opt for careers teaching science and math.

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