This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
The District will find out soon if it can offer a new professional development opportunity to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers.
The District is in the process of applying for a state grant to build a three-year STEM fellow program. This program would take on three cohorts a year and provide teachers with graduate level instruction in STEM topics. Applications from teachers are being accepted now, and the District expects to hear if the grant is approved within a few weeks.
Local universities St. Joseph’s, Temple, and the University of Pennsylvania have all signed on to create the graduate course component of the fellowship. Each school would lead a targeted group of Philadelphia teachers in a free summer graduate course. A goal has been set of three cohorts, with 30 teachers each from:
- high school science,
- high school mathematics, and
- an mixed group of science and math teachers from middle school (grades four through eight).
Starting this summer, those admitted to the program would begin an 80-hour summer program taught by professors of physics, astronomy, chemisty, mathematics, engineering and applied sciences, and biology. Once the school year begins, teachers would receive follow-up instruction on how to implement knowledge learned in their summer courses into their classrooms. The School District would provide an additional 20 hours of compensated professional development. The professional development time could be used for STEM fellow meetings and day trips.
Summer graduate course tuition would be paid by the grant. Those attending follow-up Saturday sessions as well as meetings and other fellowship activities would be paid at the contractual rate for their time.
The deadline for applications is May 28. Philadelphia public, private, and parochial school teachers who have at least two years teaching experience and teach science or math in grades 4-12 are welcome to apply. Contact Ambra Hook at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to receive an application.