Science Teacher Education at Fordham and the Bronx Zoo: New NSF Scholarship

Amid the increasing distress about low achievement in sciences on the part of American middle and high school students, there is an awareness that science instruction needs to be exciting and relevant to the lives of today’s students. In a unique partnership, the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University (GSE) and the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo (WCS) have designed a New York State-approved Master of Science in Teaching program which taps the resources of the WCS, one of the world’s largest providers of teacher training focusing on wildlife conservation and environmental science, and GSE’s deep store of teaching expertise. We are excited about the program, and about a new scholarship opportunity for science majors- read on for details!

This dynamic program is committed to the development of educated professionals in the field of Biology/Conservation Life Science, meeting the growing demand for science educators in New York state and across the U.S. Some courses are offered in classrooms with views of some of the greatest zoo exhibits in the world, while other courses are held in the smart classrooms of Fordham University. Students learn more about evolution by comparing the adaptations of tigers and snow leopards from only a few feet away; they practice data collection and analysis through the observation of interactions between a gorilla mother and her baby; and they learn how technology can be used to deliver quality instruction to students in elementary, middle and high schools. With the partnership of the WCS and GSE, the program provides the content, tools and venues to bring science inquiry alive.
The MST program has been offered since Fall 2008, and already students have had extraordinary educational experiences through the WCS/GSE pairing. Tara Chudoba, who was part of the first cohort of students and graduated in May 2008, spoke to Inside Fordham regarding her background (a former teacher at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, she was an undergraduate biology major at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego), and the ways in which she felt that the degree had enriched her and prepared her for a career as an educator. Click here to read the article.

For more information about the program, admissions, or coursework,
click here to view the program brochure.

Now, due to a Robert Noyce Scholarship Grant of almost $1 million dollars from the
National Science Foundation, GSE and the WCS are extremely pleased to be able to provide scholarships to train talented undergraduates and professionals to become high school science teachers through enrollment in the MST program. To be eligible, students must be majoring in, or hold a degree in, science, and be committed to teaching science in high need school districts upon the completion of the degree. For more scholarship details, click here. To read the Inside Fordham story about the grant, click here.

If you have any questions about the program or the Noyce Scholarship, contact
Dr. John Craven (Program Coordinator) at (212) 636-7670 or jcraven@fordham.edu.
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