UW Receives 1.2 Million Dollar NSF Grant

7 Oct , 2013  

While the official award site and information is now available, you can also find the SWARMS award abstract below. Should you have any questions, comments or media requests please contact Dr. Andrea Burrows at aburrow1 [at] uwyo [dot] edu.

SWARMS (NSF Grant #1339853)

Sustaining Wyoming’s Advancing Reach in Mathematics and Science (SWARMS) is certifying seventy (70) new mathematics and science teachers over a 5-year period (2014-2019). SWARMS is a Noyce, Phase I, collaboration project joining four distinct groups to enhance Wyoming’s pool of mathematics and science teachers. The four groups include: 1) The University of Wyoming (UW) among the College of Arts & Sciences (A&S), College of Education, and the UW Science and Mathematics Teaching Center; 2) Northwest College, 3) Military partners including: UW Office of Veteran Services, Francis Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming National Guard, and Wyoming Air National Guard; and 4) High-need partner school districts including: Big Horn, Fremont, Goshen, Laramie, Hot Springs, Natrona, Uinta, and Washakie.

SWARMS leverages and extends existing UW collaborations with the Wyoming Department of Education, community colleges, military partners, and high-need partner school districts. Responding to Wyoming’s critical need to dramatically enhance the number and quality of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers in high-poverty, low-performing schools, SWARMS is expanding the post-baccalaureate program to leverage military veterans and holders of STEM graduate and undergraduate degrees. SWARMS targets mathematics, biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics graduates.

SWARMS provides Noyce scholarships or stipends to support the development of 70 teachers with strong STEM backgrounds as a result of military experience or baccalaureate degrees in a STEM discipline, as well as obtainment of a secondary teaching certificate. SWARMS is iteratively testing new recruitment strategies, reorienting post-baccalaureate teacher certification classes, nurturing a community cohort model, and implementing best practices in early career mentoring programs while targeting a diverse candidate population. Up to twelve hours of post-baccalaureate work towards certification can be applied to a master’s program in Curriculum and Instruction in UW’s College of Education. These 70 Noyce Scholars are mentored in the first few years of their teaching careers through yearly cohorts, on-site visitations, community-based blog interactions, face-to-face interactions, and electronic newsletter spotlights and distribution.

The 5-year goals of SWARMS include: 1) Engage and nurture the UW community of scholars as partners in filling the STEM pipeline’s demand for highly qualified science and mathematics teachers in high need secondary schools; 2) Recruit a diverse group of talented military veterans and individuals who hold graduate and undergraduate STEM degrees; 3) Prepare 70 highly qualified, Wyoming certified, secondary science and mathematics teachers to teach rigorous content through inquiry-driven approaches steeped in integrated STEM; 4) Strengthen and expand innovative programs (post-bac) and test new recruitment techniques for targeted prospective teachers; 5) Promote science and mathematics teacher retention in high need schools by developing learning communities to support cohort groups based on best practices in early career teacher mentoring; and 6) Study and iteratively build SWARMS for sustainability, replication, and dissemination.

SWARMS, Sustaining Wyoming’s Advancing Reach in Mathematics and Science, is committed to certifying future mathematics and science teachers of Wyoming in order to sustain growth and build upon local STEM talent to develop future generations of STEM-literate youth.

SWARMS is Funded in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant No. DUE-1339853.

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