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CWU Teach STEM Receives National Science Foundation Grant to Enrich Teachers

By Rune Torgersen

Central Washington University has received a $1.5 million, six-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), which will be used to establish the Washington STEM Teachers Engaging in Leadership, Learning and Research (WA-STELLAR) program.

WA-STELLAR was designed to develop, support, and enrich a network of leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education across Washington state, and the NSF’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program will help Central take the initiative to a higher level.

Project director Brent Hancock, who also serves as an assistant professor of mathematics at CWU, says the program will bring renewed relevance to STEM education.

“These teacher leaders will increase the relevance of STEM statewide by meaningfully connecting their students with appropriate community partners,” he said. “Such efforts intend to allow for fuller participation in STEM by all learners, which will hopefully contribute to the development of a more diverse STEM workforce.”

Allyson Rogan-Klyve, the co-director of Teach STEM and a CWU associate professor of Science and Math Education, says the program will be focused on curriculum accessibility and meeting students where they are by implementing culturally responsive pedagogy, an integrated, project-based curriculum, and authentic assessment practices.

“With this new grant, we can continue to support teachers beyond the master’s level as they become transformational leaders in their districts,” Rogan-Klyve said. “Our ultimate aim is to provide high-quality and meaningful STEM learning experiences for all of Washington’s children, particularly those from underserved communities, such as students of color and students in rural school districts.”

Through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, WA-STELLAR participants will receive a $10,000 annual stipend for five years, plus learning and networking opportunities, and the chance to become leaders for instructional change in their districts. Interested participants must be K-12 STEM teachers at high-need schools and have completed, or be within one year of finishing, their master’s degree in education or a STEM discipline.

Drs. Emilie Hancock, Mark Oursland, and Jennifer Dechaine also collaborated with Hancock and Rogan-Klyve on WA-STELLAR and the NSF grant proposal. Read more about the program online(link is external).

Media Contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs,, 509-963-1518

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