Saint Joseph’s College of Maine has been awarded a five-year, $1,444,983 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Track 1 Robert Noyce Scholarship and Stipend Program.

The Growing Future STEM Teachers in Maine (GFSTM) project will provide two-year scholarships of $25,500 per year to a total of eighteen undergraduate juniors and seniors. The program will provide special supports as they pursue STEM degrees in biology, mathematics, or physical sciences, as well as secondary education certification.

“Saint Joseph’s College is deeply committed to educating the next generation of STEM teachers for Maine schools. STEM education remains the foundation and the number one priority for training Maine’s future skilled and educated workforce. By working with SMCC and schools across Maine, this project promises to draw more students into STEM-Ed degrees, provide teacher training with diverse populations, and plant seeds with current high school and middle school students to become future STEM teachers.”

St. Joseph’s College President James Dlugos

GFSTM is a collaboration between Saint Joseph’s and Southern Maine Community College, and a partnership with Bonny Eagle High School, Deering High School, Lewiston High School, Westbrook High School, Windham High School, Lake Region High School, and Old Town High School.

The Growing Future STEM Teachers in Maine project is designed to increase the number of secondary STEM teachers in an era when nearly a third of Maine teachers are 55 years old and nearing retirement, and to address the decades-old problem of Maine’s shortage of STEM teachers, in particular.

The project will also encourage students from high-need school districts to return to their communities as teachers and leaders of the next generation of science and math educators.

The first Noyce Scholars will be awarded scholarships in Fall 2020. The grant’s investigators and creators are Dr. Patricia Waters, Assistant Professor of Education, Dr. Emily Lesher, Associate Professor of Science, and SMCC’s Dr. Daniel Moore, Professor of Biological Sciences.