This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).
Impacting Metro Atlanta Science Teaching (I-MAST) is a collaborative effort involving the College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgia State University (Georgia State), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and four high-need school districts (Atlanta Public Schools, Cobb County School District, DeKalb County School System, and Gwinnet County Public Schools) in the Metro Atlanta area. I-MAST is addressing the critical need for high quality science teachers who are prepared for and committed to teaching in Metro Atlanta high-need school districts. I-MAST Robert Noyce Scholars are being recruited and selected from the pool of STEM majors from Georgia State and Georgia Tech to pursue secondary science teacher certification via a 5-year Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Science program at Georgia State; selection criteria ensure the participation of underrepresented groups. Twenty-four of these STEM undergraduate majors are receiving 2-year scholarships in their senior year of undergraduate studies and their first year of teacher certification studies. An additional entry point for I-MAST is for STEM graduates interested in changing careers to teaching; 12 STEM graduates are receiving one-year scholarships to pursue studies leading to certification and to a MAT degree.
Intellectual Merit. The I-MAST program incorporates an innovative, research-informed model for cultivating reflective science teachers. Paradigms associated with inquiry-based, reflective teaching and learning are woven throughout I-MAST's recruitment, teacher preparation, and induction efforts. Noyce Scholars are introduced into the culture of reflective practice early on, and the program continuously provides opportunities for Noyce Scholars to engage and participate in reflective practices through course work, internships, and induction support. Program evaluation and associated research is documenting the impact of program strategies for cultivating reform-minded, reflective science teachers through these connective and consistent efforts.
Broader impact. In addition to preparing and supporting 36 new, highly qualified, reform-minded and reflective science teachers for high need Metro Atlanta schools, the I-MAST program is aimed at enhancing and reinforcing on-going collaborations between institutes of higher education and school districts in efforts to improve the educational experience for and capacity to succeed of Metro Atlanta students. I-MAST program findings are being shared with the greater community through professional conference presentations, publication in refereed research and practitioner journals, reports and recruitment materials, and the I-MAST webpage.