The Warner School of Education has received $2 million in grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to further the Warner School’s work in improving science and math education in urban high schools. The grant will be used primarily to fund the Warner School’s urban science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education initiative, the UR Robert Noyce Master Teaching Fellows Program, which provides stipends and graduate school tuition for high school teachers in the program.

“Our goal is to develop high-quality math and science teachers,” Associate Professor at the Warner School Cynthia Callard said. Callard is also the executive director of Warner’s Center for Professional Development & Education Reform and the lead researcher on the project. The central idea of the project involves selecting teachers from urban schools and providing them with academic support, a stipend and graduate school tuition as they take on leadership and coaching roles at other schools.

This grant, titled “Leveraging Unique Opportunities to Develop STEM Teacher Leaders for Urban Schools” represents Phase II of the Warner School’s initiative. In this phase, the project’s reach will extend beyond Rochester City School District (RCSD) to encompass high schools in Geneva City School District and Newark City School District, located in neighboring Ontario and Wayne counties, respectively.

Phase I of the project, which received a $3 million grant from the NSF and took place from 2010 to 2015, funded a team of teachers drawn from different schools in RCSD. Callard noted that in Phase II, Warner School officials will be seeking out a group of 14-16 teachers from the former East High Schools and from Nathaniel Rochester Community School 3. These teachers will then become “master teachers” and “teacher leaders” at schools in the other districts.

“We’ve been working significantly with School 3 […] and they’ve been working toward becoming a STEM school,” Callard added.

She also noted that the Phase II of the grant is a rare and much-appreciated opportunity for the Warner School, in that they will be able to apply their findings from Phase I to other high schools in the other district.

Callard’s co-investigators on the project are professor of Mathematics Carl Mueller; and Dean of Graduate Studies Wendi Heinzelman, who is professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering. The Rochester Museum and Science Center is a partner in the research.

Passanisi is a member of

the class of 2017.



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