Tess Hemmila-Staff Writer
This year Dordt received a $1.2 million grant through the National Science Foundation for The Noyce Scholars Program. As a program devoted to helping meet the financial needs of future Science, Technology, Engineering and Math teachers, the Noyce Scholars Program offers scholarships of $15,000 a year to juniors and seniors majoring in science or math and education at Dordt. To accept this scholarship, students must devote two years for every year of the scholarship to teaching STEM at a high-need school after graduation.
As of this year, there were four scholarships awarded. In future years, the number of scholarships will increase until there are a total of sixteen scholarships awarded yearly. The professors leading this scholarship are excited to be a part of this amazing opportunity.
According to Valorie Zonnefeld, Associate Professor of Mathematics, “There’s a huge shortage of STEM educators; [the Noyce Scholarship] is a way to help fill that need.”
Nathan Tintle, Professor of Statistics, also came to this conclusion, saying, “This scholarship is going to get more students to consider if God is calling them to teach… It helps make the financial situation more feasible.”
The students receiving these scholarships are also grateful for the opportunity this scholarship provides. Making the decision to teach STEM fields is not easy because STEM fields are highly profitable, which is not necessarily the case with teaching.
One of the four recipients, Abbie White, said, “I’m really looking forward to teaching; I’ve wanted to be a math teacher since high school. I was always good at math and I wanted to help people in a specific, hands-on way… By teaching STEM you take on a bit of a burden, you could make a lot of money but you choose not to. This scholarship helps a lot with that.”
Another aspect of the Noyce Scholarship is the Mini STEM Education Internship; which is open to students who don’t happen to be majoring in both STEM and education. In this program, students can earn a $100 stipend for spending 7 hours in an approved classroom and writing a one-page paper about their experience.
For more information on these unique opportunities, talk to Dr. Valorie Zonnefeld.