The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is launching the UALRTeach Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, thanks to a nearly $1.2 million five-year grant from the National Science Foundation.
The program, a partnership with Henderson Middle School in Little Rock, UALR Children International and the Museum of Discovery, aims to improve Arkansas’ early education opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through a teacher-preparation initiative.
The collaboration, financed by the NSF’s Robert Noyce Scholarship Program, will address Arkansas’ shortage of science and mathematics teachers, particularly in high-need schools.
Tony Hall and Gail Hughes will lead the program.
Scholarship funds will be available to UALR junior and senior STEM majors who intend to teach in a high-need school for at least two years.
Program participants will teach enhanced inquiry-based mathematics and science lessons to students at the high-needs Henderson Middle School, developing their own skills while engaging young people with STEM concepts and activities.
The grant will also help launch the Noyce Internship Program, where upcoming sophomores and juniors, will spend four weeks during the summer leading educational presentations, tutoring and learning at Children International, the Museum of Discovery and other partner sites. Positions will be paid, allowing students to support themselves while honing their teaching and professional skills.
Biannual UALRTeach Professional Development days will be held for teachers-in-training and STEM educators. Additionally, through observation and assessment, UALR scholars will study the effects of experiential learning on STEM teachers-in-training — an area currently without much scholarly research.