Better science teachers may be an opportunity to increase awareness of environmental issues.
To improve the quality of science and math teaching, the National Science Foundation has awarded a $1.2 million grant to Ithaca College. The grant is part of a scholarship program that will support 18 undergraduates in those fields — only if they pledge to teach for two years in a high-need district.
An area qualifies as “high need” if it has high poverty, frequent teacher turnovers and unprepared teachers. Science scholars should be careful not to pass judgment and recognize that structural inequalities have created these districts. Thus, students in high-need areas should be held to the same academic standards as those receiving private educations.
This scholarship gives students a new opportunity to collaborate with faculty and experience the rewards of a teaching career. The college’s natural science department already encourages student-faculty research, which is vital for intellectual growth.
By encouraging more collaboration and diversity learning, the grant may help attract more students who are interested in natural science to the college.