Drexel STEM students get opportunity to earn teacher certificates | The Triangle

Drexel STEM students get opportunity to earn teacher certificates

The Drexel University School of Education received a $1.2 million grant to provide undergraduate students the opportunity to earn their teaching certificates in fields related to science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

The National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Scholarship program will give 24 Drexel undergraduates a pre-service teacher education to prepare them for teaching science and mathematics to middle grade students, which consists of grades four through eight. Students will go through the DragonsTeach Middle Years program to earn certificates.

DragonsTeach began at Drexel in 2014 with the National Math and Science Initiative Grant. This program allows STEM students to earn a teaching certification while continuing in their major. DragonsTeach allows students to go into Philadelphia schools to gain experience with teaching at all different levels. The DragonsTeach Middle Year program began in 2016, allowing students to earn certification in teaching English. But with this grant students will be able to earn certificates for mathematics and science education.

The project will use recently discovered knowledge in scientific, mathematical and education fields to support the 24 candidates as they focus on understanding the background and experiences of the students they are teaching. The goal of the project is to connect science, mathematics and engineering lessons to the personal experiences and cultures of students in high-need areas. The intent is that the new teachers will be able to make use of the background of each student in the classroom.

Leading the project is Sheila Vaidya, a professor in the School of Education.

“There is a strong need for middle grades STEM teachers in urban school districts, and this project will help us prepare more young men and women to fill these roles,” Vaidya told DrexelNow.

To receive scholarship, candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Current Drexel sophomores or juniors who are interested in receiving a Noyce scholarship should reach out to Vaidya at [email protected].