5523 Views (as of 05/2023)
  1. John Pecore
  3. University of West Florida
  1. Melissa Demetrikopoulos, Ph.D.
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/1Piu8IFNGNSk5/bibliography/40979939/public/?sort=date&direction=descending
  3. External Evaluator for Noyce Project
  5. University of West Florida, Institute for Biomedical Philosophy

Educating STEM Majors to Teach in High-Need Schools

NSF Awards: 1660615

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)


In order to recruit and retain high quality STEM teachers, collaboration and community support is crucial. Collaboration between the Education and STEM departments resulted in the development of 5 content rich BA degrees within STEM disciplines that included education courses and field work necessary for students to obtain teacher certification as undergraduates.  As an essential component of teacher development, community involvement and commitment is a key aspect of the program.  Scholars are mentored by a team of community educators through a variety of experiences (i.e. classroom teaching, experiential internships, citizen-science research). This integrated approach to building STEM teachers promotes broad support from the community.

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Discussion from the 2019 STEM for All Video Showcase (18 posts)
  • Icon for: John Pecore

    John Pecore

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 09:19 a.m.

    Hi, I'm John Pecore, Associate Professor and Askew Institute Research Fellow at the University of West Florida.  My colleague Dr. Demetrikopoulos and I are facilitating this conversation about our video STEM Teaching Through Community.  Our NSF Robert F. Noyce funded project provides internships for students interested in pursuing STEM teaching degrees and undergraduate scholarships during students' junior and senior years with a commitment to completing the program and teaching in a high needs school district after graduation.  Our goal is to recruit highly qualified STEM majors and graduate middle and high school STEM teachers that are debt free and committed to teaching.  It takes a community to prepare a teacher. This video presents our community partnerships which are vital to the recruitment and development of future STEM teachers.  We look forward to hearing and answering your questions about community partnerships for recruiting and developing STEM teachers.

  • Icon for: Christopher Lee

    Christopher Lee

    May 13, 2019 | 08:57 p.m.

    Professor Pecore and Dr. Demetrikopoulos,

    This is a great program. My degrees are in electrical engineering and I currently teach information technology. Since high school, I was always engaged in some form of teaching, but I never considered it as a career until about six years ago. If I had been involved in a program such as this in high school, I probably would have made different choices and entered teaching much earlier. I especially like the aspect of involving several community partners to create an village that makes the students feel supported in the idea of entering the teaching profession.

    Question: What are you thoughts on implementing such a program at the community college level? I've been at Florida State College at Jacksonville for only two years. I've been thinking about ways to develop joint projects between our School of Information Technology and our School of Education.

  • Icon for: John Pecore

    John Pecore

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 09:31 p.m.

    Hi Christopher,

    Thanks for viewing our video and asking a great question.  We partner with Pensacola State College (PSC) to offer internships to dual enrolled high school as well as freshman and college students.  The video of students learning science in the water is from our partnership with PSC.  The high school/college students are enroll in a marine biology and oceanography course (OCB2000/L and OCE1001/L) for one high school and three college credits.  Students are introduced to marine life, marine biological communities, marine ecology, and chemical, physical, and geological oceanography. The course includes lectures, labs, field training, and service learning hours, where students teach marine biology concepts to upper elementary and middle school students visiting the marine science station.

  • Icon for: Kristen Reed

    Kristen Reed

    Senior Project Director
    May 14, 2019 | 08:00 a.m.

    I love your video and your program looks amazing! It was inspiring to see the dedication and commitment of the interns in the video vignettes. They will bring a wonderful energy to STEM classrooms. How far along are you in the project? Do you have plans to be able to sustain this work after the grant funding ends?

  • Icon for: Melissa Demetrikopoulos, Ph.D.

    Melissa Demetrikopoulos, Ph.D.

    External Evaluator for Noyce Project
    May 14, 2019 | 08:39 a.m.

    Hi Kristen, 

    Thanks for your interest in our project.  

    This video is at the end of Year 2 of this specific Noyce Award, and Year 3 of the project.  A number of steps have been made to institutionalize the project including approval of developed courses and approval of BA options for STEM majors that allows them to obtain both a BA in a STEM field and Education within 4 years of study.   This represents a large collaborative effort that has brought together the STEM and Education programs across campus.  

    Furthermore, this project has strengthened relationships between the partner organizations that will facilitate ongoing collaboration.  


  • Icon for: Stephanie Arthur

    Stephanie Arthur

    Graduate Student
    May 14, 2019 | 09:44 a.m.

    I love the emphasis on the community component; great video! Here in Hillsborough County, we work hard to develop those relationships but we are severely understaffed and underfunded. We are making connections with local businesses and community members, but we see a start difference in support from community to community. The Noyce program has provided much-needed funding for our USF Master of Arts in Teaching STEM scholars to work in our high needs schools. I am curious to know what your most impactful recruitment approach is for bringing STEM students to the field of teaching.

  • Icon for: John Pecore

    John Pecore

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 11:15 a.m.

    Hi Stephanie,

    At UWF, we have made great efforts in involving the community.  We have an advisory group made of community members and work together as a community to develop teachers.  Any university decisions regarding teacher preparation are brought before the group for input.  We listen to what they have to say about improving teacher development.  One of our goals is to recruit students early into the program.  We provide students with a small stipend to take the introduction to teaching course and provide paid internships to work with our STEM mentors at informal learning centers and summer camps.  Having a quality STEM mentor early in the program seems to be most impactful.  A quality STEM mentor is one that is a highly effective teacher and nurturing mentor.

  • Icon for: Rachel Garrett

    Rachel Garrett

    Senior Researcher
    May 14, 2019 | 07:38 p.m.

    I'm impressed at the way you've drawn from local resources to develop a program that meets your local needs! Have you gained that others can learn from in terms of how to build up that kind of collaboration across organizations which may have some differences in approaches/priorities?

  • Icon for: Melissa Demetrikopoulos, Ph.D.

    Melissa Demetrikopoulos, Ph.D.

    External Evaluator for Noyce Project
    May 16, 2019 | 07:16 a.m.

    Dear Rachel, 

    The most important aspect of a successful collaboration is communication including communication about expectations.  In addition it is important to take the time to learn about the strengths of all of the partners.   

  • Icon for: Cynthia Callard

    Cynthia Callard

    Executive Director/Professor
    May 14, 2019 | 08:41 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your project through this video!  I really appreciated hearing about, and seeing, some of the great work that you are doing to support the development of high quality STEM teachers.  It sounds like a great partnership with high schools and departments in your college.  I am curious about the STEM mentors that you mentioned in your project description and in one of your comments above.  Are the mentors practicing teachers?  What kinds of experiences do the Scholars and Mentors engage in? Can you say more about what you meant above about "having a quality STEM mentor early in the program seems most impactful?"

  • Icon for: John Pecore

    John Pecore

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 09:23 p.m.

    Hi Cynthia,

    Thank you for commenting on our video.  We have a variety of STEM mentors and some are certified teachers. The scholars and mentors engage in a variety of experiences throughout the program. Prior to becoming scholars, students have the opportunity to participate in an internship.  Each internship site provides a STEM mentor to work with the interns on providing different experiences for engaging STEM lessons to mostly 5-9 grade students.  

    Noyce scholars are required to complete a citizen-science project in a collaborative team (two Noyce scholars, one research faculty, and one practicing middle or high school STEM teacher).  After learning about and participating in the university research faculty's project, the team develops lesson plans to engage middle/high schools students in the project.  You can view the invasive aliens project at (https://uwf.edu/ceps/departments/teacher-educat...).  I hope to highlight this part of the project for next years video showcase.

    Good teachers are not always great mentors.  Education week published a nice article in 2014 on qualities of a great teacher mentor. (https://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2014/09/30/c...).  A quality STEM mentor is a highly effective teacher aligned with the teaching philosophy of the program and exhibits the qualities of a great mentor.

  • Chasidy Hobbs

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 15, 2019 | 02:08 p.m.

    Got my vote! What an amazing program, thank you for all you do for our community! 

    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    John Pecore
  • Icon for: Melissa Demetrikopoulos, Ph.D.

    Melissa Demetrikopoulos, Ph.D.

    External Evaluator for Noyce Project
    May 16, 2019 | 07:08 a.m.

    Thanks Chasidy!

  • Icon for: Shelly Rodriguez

    Shelly Rodriguez

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2019 | 08:21 a.m.

    Hi John, great video. It is wonderful to see what fellow Noyce program are up to!

  • Icon for: Melissa Demetrikopoulos, Ph.D.

    Melissa Demetrikopoulos, Ph.D.

    External Evaluator for Noyce Project
    May 17, 2019 | 09:20 a.m.

    Dear Shelly, 

    Thanks for viewing our video.  Your micro-credential program looks like an interesting approach to engage the scholars.   


  • Icon for: Patricia Marsteller

    Patricia Marsteller

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2019 | 08:57 a.m.

    super project. wish we had one like it.

  • Icon for: Melissa Demetrikopoulos, Ph.D.

    Melissa Demetrikopoulos, Ph.D.

    External Evaluator for Noyce Project
    May 17, 2019 | 10:02 a.m.

    Thanks Pat, 

    There are several features of this Noyce project that would be useful to replicate including making the institutional commitments to develop the BA STEM tracks collaboratively with the Education program, and the development of teaching opportunities with their partners for underclassmen (including dual enrolled students).   Since this project can trace its original roots to Atlanta within your supportive umbrella where John and I first began to collaborate two decades ago, it would be great to develop a project like this there.  


  • Icon for: Ivetta Abramyan

    Ivetta Abramyan

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 20, 2019 | 02:44 p.m.

    Hi Melissa and John, 

    Wonderful project! As someone who teaches Oceanography, I think it's vital to incorporate hands-on activities and field labs. It makes such a huge difference in the way students learn and how much they retain. Thanks for all you do in preparing STEM teachers of the future. 

    I also really like the way you filmed your video with the aerial shots. 

    Keep up the great work! 

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.