Preparing Chicago STEM Mentor Teacher Leaders through Community Partnership, Transformative Practices, and Mentorship for Improved Middle Level STEM Education
The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Noyce Program has awarded Northeastern Illinois University a Track 3 grant to support a new partnership between Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and three local community-based organizations: the Museum of Science and Industry, Math Circles, and the Westside Bee Boyz. This project seeks to build a community of STEM educators who integrate culturally responsive pedagogies, problem-based education, and restorative justice practices into their classrooms. Through the Noyce Track 3 grant support, NEIU and its community partners will train one cohort of skilled middle and high school math and science educators currently teaching in CPS.
Over five years (2023-2028), Mentor Teachers will earn a graduate level certificate in STEM Mentoring and Leadership and participate in sustained, professional learning community activities that deepen their thinking and expand their pedagogical practices. Tuition costs are supplied by NEIU and the NSF grant provides a $10,000 salary supplement per year, per Mentor. It is anticipated that Mentor Teachers will take on leaderships roles—leading professional development, running professional learning communities, and so forth for their schools and local communities—upon completing the five-year cycle.
Applications are due at 5:00 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4
Eligible applicants must be licensed in STEM (or in SPED with a degree in STEM), hold a master's degree, be committed to elevating their teaching practices, and desire to make a broader impact in the successes and enjoyment of CPS STEM students. We seek skilled educators who possess sufficient knowledge in the areas of planning and instruction, coaching and communication, community outreach and cultural relevance, and professional learning and reflective practices. We also seek educators who aspire to grow in these areas but may have less years of experience in the profession.
Chicago STEM (ChiSTEM) Teaching Collaborative's Mission
- Expand the use of equity based teaching practices in STEM education in order to value all students' knowledge and backgrounds and diversify the voices of STEM.
- Increase the retention of new secondary and middle level STEM educators by mentoring, developing, and supporting experienced secondary and middle level STEM educators to mentor, develop, and support new middle level STEM educators.
- Develop STEM educators for leadership positions within CPS and their communities.
- Train educators to develop local community connections to enrich their students' STEM learning and involvement and their communities' understanding of STEM.
ChiSTEM Mentors Receive:
- $10,000 per year, for five years, for their dedication and partnership in our mission
- A graduate level certificate in STEM mentoring (paid for by the grant)
- Mentorship on skills needed to build Professional Learning Communities; lead professional development for middle level STEM educators and/or community partners, and cultivate community involvement
- Training that will prepare Mentors to pursue leadership roles in CPS (Lead Mentor, Lead Coach, Specialist on Teaching and Learning, as examples)
Note: To receive items listed above, Mentors must complete all activities outlined in the program during the five years of its duration.