KSU receives $2.85 million NSF grant

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Grant will fund scholarships to recruit, train chemistry and physics teachers KENNESAW, Ga. (Sept…

Georgia (Sep 2, 2010)

KENNESAW, Ga. (Sept. 2, 2010) —
Kennesaw State University has received a $2.85 million grant from National Science Foundation to help meet a growing need for highly qualified middle and high school science teachers locally and nationally.
Through the NSF’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, KSU’s College of Science and Mathematics will create the Recruiting and Retaining Teacher Leaders in Physics and Chemistry project.
The project is designed to recruit professionals currently working in science and math careers to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching. The scholarship program will also reach out to science teachers with at least three years of experience for a leadership program.
Using money from the federal economic stimulus package, both initiatives are designed to prepare better science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers.
Charles Amlaner, vice president for research and dean of the graduate college, said there is a critical need for teachers proficient in STEM disciplines at the state and national level. “This is ten times the size of an average NSF grant because the need is that great,”Amlaner said. “KSU has been answering that need for at least 10 years, and now this grant positions the university as a national leader in STEM teacher preparation.”
Starting in December, KSU will use the $2.85 million to recruit 32 participants, provide scholarships and develop a teacher leadership program, said Greg Rushton, an associate professor of chemistry who also directs the project.
Noyce Teaching Fellows can receive a maximum of $50,000 and are required to work in a Georgia high-needs school district for at least four years. Noyce Master Teaching Fellows will receive a $10,000 stipend each year for five years for professional development. Teachers will come from five regional school districts – Cobb, Paulding, Fulton, Gwinnett, as well as Atlanta Public Schools.
“This project will help address Georgia’s critical shortage of secondary physics and chemistry teachers by developing a pipeline of STEM professionals into teaching careers,” Rushton said. “It also capitalizes on KSU’s strong institutional commitment to the state’s K-12 community and the faculty whose passion and expertise are devoted to its teachers and students.”
The Georgia Institute of Technology is an institutional partner along with the Metropolitan Regional Educational Service Agency. The American Chemical Society will market the scholarship project to its 161,000 members.
The current grant is KSU’s largest Noyce award and will continue the success of two previous grants. In the 2009-2010 academic year, approximately 15 STEM teachers participating in Noyce scholarship funded programs at KSU will complete their initial teaching certification requirements.
In 2008, Rushton received $750,000 to recruit and train physics and chemistry teachers among KSU and Georgia Tech undergraduate STEM majors. Additional funding was later added to include biology majors. 
Desha Williams, assistant professor of math education at KSU’s Bagwell College of Education, received the second Noyce grant in 2009. She is using the $896,000 award for the Increasing Mathematics Teachers for ALL Students program to train middle and high school math teachers to work with culturally diverse students. In its second year, IMTAS is on track to surpass its goal of training 36 teachers.
The NSF’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program provides funding to institutions of higher education to provide scholarships, stipends and support to recruit and prepare STEM majors and professionals to become K-12 teachers.
For more information about the Recruiting and Retaining Teacher Leaders in Physics and Chemistry project, contact professor Rushton at grushton@kennesaw.edu


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu