UF has increased emphasis on drawing more qualified science, technology, engineering and math majors into the teaching ranks. The most recent incentive, announced Monday, is a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation for STEM EduGators.

The NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program funds students with STEM majors who pursue a teaching credential and commit to teaching at least two years in high-needs public school districts, according to a university press release.

“The appeal of the Noyce scholarships should recruit and retain more STEM majors into the teaching field with the skills and knowledge necessary to make an impact in high-needs school districts,” Dimple Flesner, the co-principal investigator of STEM EduGators, wrote in an email.

Throughout the next five years, the NSF-backed effort will award scholarships worth $10,000 each to 50 undergraduate students enrolled in UFTeach, which recruits the university’s best students to teaching through supervised classroom experiences in high-poverty schools.

“I think that the scholarship program is just another example of how UF is beating the state in education,” said Tom Dana, the principal investigator of STEM EduGators.

The UFTeach program, for graduating seniors, is based on a collaboration between the colleges of education and liberal arts and sciences.

“The senior year is difficult because the field experience demands significant time and attention,” Flesner said. “The Noyce scholarships will allow the students to focus on their apprenticeship and allay any financial concerns.”

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