SSU Noyce Scholars Chu and Green Present at NSF Noyce Conference
School of Education faculty member Kirsten Searby, and Noyce Scholars Adam Green and Ginnie Chu represented Sonoma State University at the May 2012 NSF Noyce Conference in Washington D.C. The meeting was an opportunity for hundreds of NSF Noyce Program awardees from across the nation to learn and share strategies from each other, as well as from K-12 STEM leaders, and national experts in recruiting, preparing, and retaining new K-12 STEM teachers. The invitation-only conference featured plenary speakers and panel sessions; concurrent workshop sessions, including sessions for Noyce Scholars and new teachers; and poster sessions.
Noyce Scholars Green and Chu have both completed the Single Subject Teaching Credential Program in the School of Education, and just finished their first year of teaching. Green teaches mathematics at Rancho Cotati High School here in Rohnert Park, and last year Chu worked as a science teacher at Piner High School and Grace High School, which both meet on the same campus in Santa Rosa. SSU Noyce Scholars receive collegial support both during their credential program and for the first couple of years as they begin to work in California high needs school districts.
Searby, who is the Sonoma State Noyce Program Coordinator says this is the first time Sonoma State Noyce Scholars have presented at this annual conference. She says the opportunity proved to be a great experience for them, and remarked that "Watching them interact and share ideas with other new teachers and experts in the field was inspiring. Seeing them participate in the conference showed me what they understood and valued about education. They are both really excited to try some of these new ideas in the schools where they work."
In addition to attending workshops, both Sonoma State Noyce Scholars made presentations at the conference. Adam Green participated in a poster session, presenting information about three teaching strategies he finds helpful in the mathematics classroom. Ginnie Chu was as a panelist for a session titled, "Voices from the Field", featuring six beginning teachers from different regions of the country. The session was attended by hundreds of people including pre-service teachers, new and old teachers, deans, and professors. Searby noted that the audience all clapped when Chu said, "I have learned that to my students I'm not only teaching science but I also have to teach language as part of the curriculum." Chu, reflecting about the conference and the opportunity to talk to teachers from all over the country said, "I realize that I am not as isolated as I think. As I attempt to make small ripples in my classroom, teachers all over the country are doing the same. And together, we are collaborating to generate a large wave of positive change while propagating social justice." You can read more of Ginnie Chu's reflections here.
The Robert Noyce Scholarship Program for Math and Science Teachers seeks to encourage talented Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors and professionals who might otherwise not have considered the teaching profession, particularly those from underrepresented groups. Each Noyce Scholar receives a maximum of three years of scholarship support of up to $10,000 per year. In addition, Sonoma State provides support to the scholars throughout the period covered by the scholarships and up to two years after to assist the scholars to reach their goal of a credential and a teaching position. Noyce Scholars are selected by consideration of academic achievement, under-representation and financial need. To learn more about the Noyce Scholarship Program on the School of Education website at www.sonoma.edu/education/scholarships/noyce