The Discovery Institute of the College of Staten Island (CSI) is taking a stand for educators and future science leaders of the world. Dr. Irina Lyublinskaya, the Director of The Discovery Institute and Professor of Education, was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant award in the amount of $1,300,000. The grant will support the new program, Developing Science Leaders in High Need Elementary Schools: Noyce Master Teaching Fellows Academy, which aids 16 exemplary elementary school teachers in high-need schools on Staten Island. Teachers will receive a $10,000 salary supplement per year for five years, will take 12 credits of graduate-level work, and will participate in professional development training on leadership in STEM education. This program, developed in partnership with NYC District 31, will commence in the summer of 2017.
The aim of the program is to cultivate a cadre of science teacher leaders and a professional network of science leaders to improve the quality of science teaching in District 31 high-need elementary schools. The selected Title I school instructors will be provided with systemic professional development to enrich their science knowledge and teaching, and facilitate the growth of their leadership skills. To build these competencies, the project will engage teachers in a blended, multicomponent Professional Development (PD) that includes content-based graduate-level courses at CSI with integrated STEM research/lab experiences, face-to-face training led by CSI School of Education faculty and Discovery Institute experts, and online and face-to-face collaboration with project faculty.
Dr. Lyublinskaya recognizes the importance of this grant as she remarks, “I am so excited about an opportunity to change the culture of teaching and learning science in elementary schools on Staten Island. Having this grant will provide us with the opportunity to develop science leaders’ cadre and create a professional learning network in our district that will continue the empowerment of all elementary school teachers in the district beyond the five-year period of the grant.”
In addition to Dr. Lyublinskaya, the project team is led by Ken Gold, Dean of Education; Bethany Rogers, Associate Professor of the Department of Educational Studies; and Abdeslem El Idrissi, PhD, Professor of Biology. Partner organizations involved in the project include the Discovery Institute, the School of Education, and the Division of Science and Technology at CSI; New York City Department of Education District 31 (Staten Island); and Staten Island MakerSpace.