A $745,997 federal grant aims to boost the number of math and science teachers trained at California State University, Stanislaus.
The money from the National Science Foundation will provide scholarships and other support for math and science majors pursuing a teaching credential.
Stan State had 119 such students as of this year. It seeks to have 200 by 2023, half of them from minority groups to reflect the region’s demographics.
The Turlock campus is one of six in the CSU system getting a total of $7.1 million from the foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. The others in the July 31 announcement are Chico, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Marcos and San Diego.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Modesto Bee
California will need about 33,000 new math and science teachers over the next decade, a news release from Stan State said.
Math Professor Bjorg Johannsdottir, who led the effort for the grant, said the students will get one-on-one mentoring from faculty and a chance to do research on teaching methods. The goal, she said, is to “prepare them to become strong teacher leaders for many years to come.”
In exchange, each recipient must go on to teach in a “high-need” school district - at least two years for every year of support they got in college.
Nine students are getting $10,000 scholarships for the coming year. Five of them are undergraduate math majors - Abel Lopez, Arlena Lirace, Ashlynn Walker, Mary Vardeh and Paul Hermez. Charlotte Richardson is an undegrad in biology and Jacqueline Torrecillas an undergrad in geology. Rounding out the list are credential candidates Jeremy Isaac Stephens (math) and Lauren Coker (biology.)
The grant is not the only recent move toward increasing math and science knowledge in the area. On Saturday, the area’s Girl Scouts opened a new STEM center on Oakdale Road in Modesto. It stands for science, technology, engineering and math.