Rice University School Math Project wins NSF teaching grant

16 HISD teachers will be offered Robert Noyce Master Teaching Fellowships

A National Science Foundation grant for nearly $1.5 million awarded to the Rice University School Mathematics Project (RUSMP) and collaborators will enable them to offer Robert Noyce Master Teaching Fellowships to 16 secondary-school mathematics teachers.

Anne Papakonstantinou and staffers discuss the 25th anniversary of RUSMP in a 2012 Rice video.

The fellowships will be offered to middle and high school teachers from the Houston Independent School District (HISD). Recipients will take courses and participate in activities offered in collaboration with Rice’s Tapia Center for Excellence and Equity and Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. They will also get training from the nonprofit Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program.

“We’re very pleased to get this grant, especially since the Math Leadership Institute was one of the pilot sites for the Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program when it started many years ago,” said RUSMP Director Anne Papakonstantinou.

“These master teachers will be a great resource for new teachers in their departments,” she said. “They will co-teach or plan instruction, mentor and serve as intellectual leaders in math for their campuses. They can work with teachers, chairs, administrators and counselors to help improve instruction in math at the school level. I think this group of 16 teachers will have an impact on the district’s math program.”

Improving education in the Houston community is one of Rice’s ongoing priorities.

Papakonstantinou anticipates recruiting for the program this summer. Applicants will be required to take the Graduate Record Examination in math to assess their skill levels.

She said Noyce Master Teachers will be in the program for five years, with two years of AVID Path Training and RUSMP graduate-level coursework and three additional years of experience, which are expected to include helping with math courses at Rice’s Glasscock School and working on culturally relevant teaching techniques with the Tapia Center. The Tapia Center aims to increase the number of Hispanics, African-Americans, Native Americans and women in science, technology, engineering and math fields, with an emphasis on developing leaders.

“We’ll oversee three years of really careful mentoring of these teachers to help them grow,” Papakonstantinou said.

Robert Noyce co-founded the Intel Corp. and is credited with the realization of the first integrated circuit, which fueled the personal computer revolution. He died in 1990.





About Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.