Edinboro University has officially joined a national network of top academic institutions, non-profit organizations and government agencies to address the nationwide STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teaching shortage.
Edinboro University’s School of Education was accepted Thursday into the 100Kin10 network, which is designed to tackle systemic challenges and getting 100,000 outstanding STEM teachers into classrooms nationwide.
By giving STEM teachers the support they need, the network aims to help educate the next generation of innovators and problem solvers.
“This multi-sector network is committed to addressing the shortage of STEM teachers, which has been one of the missions of Edinboro University since our founding,” said Dr. Erinn Lake, interim dean of Edinboro’s School of Education. “We’re excited to gather a variety of stakeholders to come together and meet the needs of regional schools with proven solutions.”
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the number of undergraduate education majors in Pennsylvania has declined 55 percent since 1996, while the number of newly-issued Pennsylvania Instructional I teaching certificates has dropped by 71 percent since 2009-2010 – from 15,247 to 4,412 in 2016-2017.
Founded in 2011, the 100Kin10 program aims to gather over 280 of the nation’s top academic institutions, nonprofits, foundations, companies, and government agencies to train and retain 100,000 excellent STEM teachers over 10 years.
“100Kin10 has provided a framework for engaging with a variety of people across the country,” said Rebecca Theobald, assistant research professor at University of Colorado. “Because the framework is so focused on getting done what you need to get done. It’s really enabled people to come together and have conversations that can go off in different directions.”
The collaboration with 100Kin10 aligns with Edinboro University’s recent $1.2 million National Science Foundation (NSF) Robert Noyce Teaching Scholarship Program grant to help address the nationwide shortage of secondary STEM educators. The funds will be used to increase the number of math and science educators prepared to teach in high-need urban and rural school districts.
Over the next five years, the grant will provide $17,150 scholarships to high-achieving undergraduate STEM scholars during their fourth and fifth years at the University. The 4+1 model will allow students to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, mathematics, physics or biology and a Pennsylvania secondary teaching certification.
Additionally, 12 graduates, who already hold a Bachelor of Science degree in a STEM field will each receive a $30,000 stipend to earn a teaching certification.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Education granted Edinboro University an official STEM Endorsement in 2014 for both the Early Childhood and the Middle and Secondary programs. The Early Childhood degree program (Pre-K through 4) requires the completion of four STEM-centered courses.
For more information about Edinboro University’s School of Education and the STEM initiatives, visit www.edinboro.edu/soe.