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2012 Noyce Teacher Scholarship recipients (left to right) Tony Taylor, Sara Winn, Andrew Rendon, Alyssa Davis, Nolan DeMent, Melanie Furnia, Sean Walker, Laura Patterson and Jose Amaya.

COLLEGE STATION --

Sixteen junior and senior mathematics and science majors at Texas A&M University preparing to become teachers have been selected to receive the prestigious National Science Foundation-funded Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and related teaching careers.

Texas A&M junior physics major Sean Walker; senior chemistry majors Andrew Rendon and Madeline Tipton; senior mathematics majors Jose Amaya, Alyssa Davis, Nolan DeMent, Rebekah Dolan, Addison Folsom, Melanie Furnia, Yaneira Gonzalez-Vergara, Courtney Jenkins, Laura Patterson, Tony Taylor, Ashley Wernke and Sara Winn; and senior nutritional sciences major Alyson Vanek were recognized April 13 during a luncheon hosted by the College of Science and featuring both university and Texas A&M University System officials.

Created in response to the nationwide shortage of qualified K-12 educators in STEM areas, the Noyce Scholarship -- the largest bestowed by the college -- offers each recipient $10,000 per year under the condition that they agree to teach mathematics or science for two years in Texas public schools for each year they accept the scholarship. Six of this year's honorees -- Amaya, Dolan, Folsom, Rendon, Tipton and Wernke -- are two-time recipients.

"The Texas A&M University Noyce Scholarship Program is our conscious effort to bolster the statewide teacher workforce with bright, young STEM educators who are eager to make a difference at the secondary level," said Dr. Timothy P. Scott, associate dean for undergraduate programs in the College of Science. "Our goal is to place eager, dedicated Aggie teachers at the helm of the public school systems. The Noyce Scholarship is our way of thanking them for their passion for furthering STEM education."

This year's 16 recipients share something in common beyond being STEM majors. Each is affiliated with Texas A&M's aggieTEACH Program, a nationally peer-reviewed teacher recruitment model designed to produce more certified mathematics and science teachers -- positions in high demand statewide and nationally. A collaborative effort between the College of Science and the College of Education and Human Development, the program has helped position Texas A&M as the state leader in mathematics and science teacher production for the last six years, according to the Texas State Board for Educator Certification.

"The hands-on training and real-world experience that aggieTEACH offers our students is vital to their effectiveness as educators," Scott said. "It's my belief that these students here today have proven that they are more than ready to prepare our next generation of leaders."

To be eligible for Noyce Scholarship consideration, students must be full-time undergraduate STEM majors, maintain a 3.0 GPA and be enrolled in an educator certification program.

The scholarship's namesake, Robert Noyce, was a pioneer of semiconductor development and inventor of the integrated circuit, or microchip. The overall scholarship program seeks to improve public education by providing funding to institutions of higher education to support scholarships, stipends and academic programs for undergraduate STEM majors and post-baccalaureate students with STEM degrees to help prepare them for teaching careers.

An additional 50 students were recognized at the ceremony as direct beneficiaries of a STEM Teacher Prep Academy grant awarded last year by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). The grant provides $4,000 scholarships to sophomores and juniors who commit to the two-year program to earn a mathematics or science teaching certification at the middle or secondary level. Texas A&M's STEM Academy is intended to increase the number of effective mathematics and science teachers in Texas with a curriculum that infuses current technology with STEM content.

"The STEM Academy is an excellent opportunity for our pre-service teachers to help better prepare them for the 21st century classroom," said Jennifer Whitfield, aggieTEACH Program manager and a senior lecturer of mathematics. "They will learn about cutting-edge technology while working side-by-side with an experienced mentor teacher who can give them a realistic perspective on what practices will work best with actual students."

Click here for more information on the Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.

To learn more about the aggieTEACH Program, visit http://aggieteach.tamu.edu.

For more on the STEM Teacher Prep Academy, visit http://aggieteach.tamu.edu/stem-academy.shtml.

-aTm-

Contact: Chris Jarvis, (979) 845-7246 or cjarvis@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Timothy P. Scott, (979) 845-7362 or tim@science.tamu.edu

Jarvis Chris

  • STEMming the Tide

    2012 STEM Academy members, pictured with program administrators.

  • Master Mentors

    (Left to Right:) Laura Wilding (8th grade mathematics, College Station Middle School), Eric Eike (chemistry, Bryan High School) and Christie Brod (8th grade science, College Station Middle School), three of the 25 mentor teachers currently involved in Texas A&M's STEM Academy. Each affiliated teacher receives a 32MG iPad2, $75 in apps and a $1,000 stipend to participate in the two-year project.

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