Education rolls out $500,000 in scholarships

Friday, September 30, 2005

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- To help fill Texas' continuing need for quality high school mathematics and science teachers, the University of North Texas will use a National Science Foundation (NSF) award of almost $500,000 provided by the Noyce Foundation to fund a four-year scholarship program.

The NSF Noyce Program honors the late Dr. Robert M. Noyce, the scientist credited with the invention of the integrated chip. The chip, in turn, led to the personal computer revolution. This program is dedicated to the improvement of mathematics, science instruction and literacy in American public schools.

Over the next four years, this funding will support the UNT Science and Mathematics Robert Noyce Scholarship Program, a joint effort by Denton, Richardson and Irving Independent School Districts and the North Texas Rural School Consortium. The scholarships will provide $7,750 a year to UNT students preparing to teach secondary mathematics and science. As a condition of the scholarship, recipients must teach two years in high-needs school districts.

"Expertise in a science or mathematic discipline is important for in teaching students," says Pam Harrell, UNT assistant professor of teacher education.

Harrell, leader of a team of five faculty members from the College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences, who worked together to create the scholarship program, says a science or mathematics teacher "must have the ability to help students build upon their understanding of a subject."

Other UNT faculty members who proposed the scholarship are Lee Hughes, lecturer in biological sciences; Kay Littler, lecturer in physics; Diana Mason, associate professor of chemistry; and Kirk Weller, associate professor of mathematics.

Weller says that given the critical shortage of qualified science and mathematics teachers in Texas, particularly in high-need urban and rural school districts, the UNT Robert Noyce Scholarship Program seeks to prepare a committed, diverse group of science and mathematics teachers to help address the shortage.                                 

Scholarship recipients will include individuals with science and/or mathematics backgrounds, including current and transfer upper-level students, post-baccalaureate and graduate students, and career-changing professionals.

Applications will be accepted starting in October and a committee will select the winners. Four students will be accepted for the spring semester beginning in January, 2006. In the second year, 16 scholarships will be awarded. In the third and fourth years of the program, 17 scholarships will be awarded each year.

For more information and scholarship applications, contact The Noyce Scholarship office at (940) 565-3627 or e-mail noyce@unt.edu.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

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