Nearly 700 teachers, future teachers and university faculty gathered at the 2023 Noyce Summit to explore how a focus on equity, research and innovation can improve teacher preparation and retention. The annual summit, hosted by AAAS in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF), was held in Washington, D.C., from June 26-28.
The NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program provides funding to institutions of higher education to provide scholarships, stipends and programmatic support to recruit and prepare science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors and professionals to become teachers and teacher leaders. The program seeks to increase the number of kindergarten-twelfth grade (K-12) teachers with strong STEM content knowledge who teach in high-need school districts. The summit brings together research and program development projects funded by the NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program for attendees to share their "Noyce knowledge" through workshops, poster sessions and informal networking.
Over the three-day gathering, attendees explored this year’s theme of “Transforming Teacher Preparation & Retention: A Focus on Equity, Research, & Innovative Strategies.” More than 130 posters were presented and close to 50 workshops were organized. Four keynote speakers shared their remarks, and in-service teachers took part in an intimate panel.
“ is the most scientific and technological society the world has ever seen … [Our students] live in a world where they’re immersed in the scientific enterprise,” remarked opening speaker Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, professor emerita and former Kellner Family Distinguished Professor in Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “What if we drew from that? What if we pay attention to the culture that [our students] are producing and participating in as a site for teaching and learning? And what if we position science as the main point of entry into the curriculum? The question that I began the presentation with is ‘can science education save us?’ And I’m convinced it’s the only thing that can.”
A highlight of the summit since 2009, the “Voices from the Field” panel – moderated by Dr. Okhee Lee, professor of childhood education in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University – engages six Noyce alumni from across the country in conversation about their developing teaching careers. With most of the summit attendees serving as leaders for Noyce projects, many expressed pride in hearing empowering stories from former Noyce scholars and teaching fellows. Several attendees commented on feeling validated in their work after attending the panel, mentioning a responsibility for the next generation of STEM educators.
Further emphasizing the motifs of identity and mentorship in teaching, Dr. Robert Simmons, head of social impact and STEM programs at Micron Technology, shared his presentation on “Engineering the Future through Equity and STEM Education.” Closing out the summit was Dr. Natalie King, associate professor of science education at Georgia State University. King showcased “CommUNITY: Disrupting silos toward a greater vision of reaching the mis(represented) millions in STEM,” reminding her fellow STEM educators that it’s “our job to go within the communities in order to reach [the children].”
“We’re grateful for the continued support of the NSF and the Noyce grantee institutions as we undertake the critically important task of cultivating our nation’s cadre of STEM K-12 teachers,” says Betty Calinger, senior project director for Inclusive STEMM Ecosystems for Equity & Diversity (ISEED) at AAAS. “AAAS convened the first Summit in 2009 and our work has only grown considerably. With the Noyce community as a thought partner and collaborator, we have established a network to collect and share information about topics and strategies for research and evidence-based approaches to prepare STEM teachers; assess efficacy in STEM teaching; and understand effective ways to recruit, train, and retain quality STEM teachers. But there is still much work to be done. We are eager to continue our work in partnership with the NSF and the Noyce community.”
Visit the Noyce program page for the archive of the 2023 Noyce Summit plenaries, workshops and poster sessions and to learn more about the NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. Check out the ARISE website for new research on STEM teacher preparation. Finally, AAAS members interested in STEM education are encouraged to join Section Q (Education) chaired by plenary speaker Lee.