The Noyce Program at the University of Oregon is a collaboration among the University of Oregon-Eugene’s College of Education and College of Arts and Sciences, Eugene 4J School District, Springfield School District, Bethel School District, and Creswell School District. Over 5 years, the project will produce 20 new teachers who have STEM baccalaureate degrees and are prepared to teach in high-need school districts. The project will first recruit high-achieving sophomore or junior students who are majoring in STEM disciplines; these students will become Noyce interns. All Interns will participate in a sponsored 10-week summer program involving original research under the guidance of a mentoring team consisting of research scientists, a master secondary science teacher with research experience, and a science educator from the Experiencing Science Practices through Research to Inspire Teaching (ESPRIT) team. In addition, these Noyce interns will be engaged in course work in promoting equity and diversity in schools, rigorous science coursework, teacher community-building activities, and an on-going “Noyce seminar” focused on integrating these experiences. In their senior year and post-baccalaureate year, Noyce Scholars will experience extensive supervised field work in high-need school districts and graduate with a master’s degree, an initial Oregon teaching license (through UOTeach) and an ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) endorsement. In the process, the project will add to the production of University of Oregon (UO) science teachers, nominally doubling the annual production and tripling UO homegrown science teachers.
Individuals who are recruited and prepared through the Noyce Program will be uniquely qualified to take leadership roles in high-need schools serving groups that are typically underrepresented in STEM fields, especially English language learners. With their background in scientific research, science teaching preparation, and ESOL training, Noyce alumni will have the skills and resources to realize the vision of the Next Generation Science Standards, including engaging their students in authentic practices of scientists augmented by an emphasis on social justice. Consequently, these Noyce Scholars will have the potential to assist in the recruitment of the next generation of scientists in Oregon. The project’s PIs will systematically study the impact of program activities on the recruitment, retention and teaching effectiveness of the Noyce Scholars. A primary goal is to inform the research on preparing teachers to engage students in science inquiry in high-need schools. For example, the teacher research experience coupled with acquisition of ESOL pedagogical skills prepares the Noyce Scholars to model the practices of scientists in high-need schools in a potentially transformative program.