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UR Warner School receives federal grant to advance STEM education in high-need schools  

UR Warner School receives federal grant to advance STEM education in high-need schools  

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The National Science Foundation has awarded a $3.25 million grant to the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education to support the creation of a regional professional learning network in the Northeast United States. 

The new Northeast Noyce Professional Learning Network is an initiative designed to foster the growth and support of educators in STEM, which encompasses science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It will serve as a hub for early-career STEM teachers to connect and collaborate with STEM colleagues across the region, including experienced master teachers, providing professional development opportunities to enhance K-12 teaching and learning.  

This network will complement STEM teacher development efforts at individual universities and school districts with professional learning activities that support the persistence and success of early-career STEM teachers, with a particular focus on high-need school districts, where many students from historically marginalized populations attend.  

The project, a partnership between the University of Rochester’s Warner School, the University of Massachusetts at Boston and St. Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania, will establish this network to offer a wide array of professional learning opportunities over three years, including: 

  • Regional Noyce conferences: Two annual regional conferences will bring together 300 Noyce scholars, fellows and leaders to exchange ideas and best practices.  
  • Professional learning communities: More than 60 PLCs will provide opportunities for 250 teachers to collaborate and share monthly insights on enhancing STEM teaching practices. 
  • Video clubs: Over 60 video clubs will offer 250 early-career STEM teachers, particularly Noyce teachers, a platform to share lessons learned from NSF-funded projects and strengthen their teaching methods.  
  • Coaching: 400 hours of one-on-one coaching will provide early-career STEM teachers with additional personalized support and guidance. 
  • Local professional learning institutes: Nine local institutes will evolve from the regional conferences, providing opportunities for Noyce scholars, fellows and alumni to engage in professional learning locally.  

The project will be led by the Warner School’s Center for Professional Development and Education Reform with its director, Michael Daley, who will serve as the principal investigator, leading the network with co-principal investigators Cynthia Callard, professor and associate dean for graduate studies (Warner School), Lisa Gonsalves, (UMass at Boston) and Tetyana Berezovski (St. Joseph’s University).  

“This initiative is poised to advance STEM education by providing a platform for science and math teachers to connect, collaborate and innovate and to give them the support they need to grow and thrive in the classroom,” Daley said. “By empowering early-career teachers and leveraging evidence-based best practices in STEM education, we’re not only enhancing the learning experiences of their students, but also driving societal progress through the translation of knowledge into practical solutions. The project underscores our continued commitment to making a lasting impact on STEM education, particularly in high-need schools, in the region and beyond.” 

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