Sep 4, 2008    #087
Contact: Wandra Brooks Green

KC-TEACH grant will bring science teachers to Kansas City high schools National Science Foundation awards approximately $750,000 to prepare teachers for high-need schools

Through its Robert Noyce Scholarship Program, the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently granted approximately $750,000 to the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Biological Sciences and the Kansas City, Missouri School District (KCMSD) to increase the number of top-quality high school science teachers in the KCMSD.

Beginning in the winter of 2009, the KC-TEACH initiative plans to enroll an inaugural group of undergraduate science students who will be paid stipends to assist in high school classrooms, learning first-hand about careers in science teaching. By 2013, the ultimate outcome for KC-TEACH is to produce 28 science teachers, recruited from both undergraduate students and career-changers, for high-need urban high schools.

Two options are available through KC-TEACH:

1. For undergraduate students who plan to complete their undergraduate degrees and science certification requirements in two or three years, this option will require them to teach in a high-need district for four to six years.

2. For bachelor’s degree recipients and/or career-changers who complete the high school science certification in one year, this option will require two years of teaching service in a high-need district.

KC-TEACH is part of UMKC’s overall effort to eliminate disparity and underrepresentation in science through ongoing partnerships with urban school districts. According to Dr. Louis Odom, professor in science education and project director for the grant, KC-TEACH represents collaboration that leads to improvements in science teaching.

“High quality science education must include major collaborative efforts between university science and education schools working with local school districts in order to realize the national goal of creating scientifically literate citizens,” said Odom. “KC-TEACH symbolizes these efforts through major commitments from UMKC’s School of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, and Kansas City Missouri School district.”

One aspect of the KC-TEACH program is that the UMKC student interns will be placed at the Southwest Early College Campus, where the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education are among a group of five partner organizations supporting the development of the school. Southwest, with a math and science focus, opened in August with 240 students in the sixth and ninth grades. Each year the school will add classes to eventually accommodate students from sixth through twelfth grades.

For additional information about KC-TEACH, visit

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Celebrating 75 years, UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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