NSF GK12 Program

View the NSF GK-12 Teacher Opportunities flyer

Click here for link to recent local Newspaper Article about the program


The objectives of the NSF GK-12 program are: 1) to support highly qualified U.S. graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines through fellowships to provide them with an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of their own research, its societal and global contexts, and acquire value-added skills (such as communicating STEM subjects to technical and non-technical audiences, leadership, team building, and teaching) that normally are not emphasized in a more traditional STEM graduate program, and to broaden their options for STEM careers in a competitive global marketplace; 2) to enrich STEM learning and instruction in K-12settings through strong partnerships with institutions of higher education to bring the excitement and the results of leading STEM research practice and findings to K-12 settings; and 3) to provide institutions of higher education with an opportunity to make a permanent change in their graduate programs by incorporating GK-12 like activities in the training of their STEM graduate students.

Expected outcomes include:

For Graduate Fellows

Enhanced understanding of their own research subject area, and its societal and global contexts; improved communication skills of STEM subjects with technical and non-technical audiences, leadership, team building, and teaching capabilities.

For K-12 Education

Professional development opportunities for teachers in both STEM content and pedagogy; and enhanced learning and STEM career interest for students.

For Institutions of Higher Education

Transformation of graduate programs; strengthened and sustained partnerships with local school districts, industry,and non-profit sector, etc.; enhanced institutional impact of graduate education to society.

In essence, fellows will bring their STEM research practice and findings to K-12 learning settings so that teachers and K-12students are more directly exposed to what science and engineering is all about, how it is done, how discoveries happen and what STEM professionals do. For example, GK-12 fellows from STEM disciplines, selected by awardee institutions, may work directly with K-12 teachers to integrate current scientific research practice and findings in the teaching and learning of STEM disciplines; act as role models to K-12 students and help stimulate their interest in future STEM

NSF GK-12 Ocean Literacy Program

Savannah State University / Skidaway Institute of Oceanography /

Savannah Chatham County Public School System

GK-12 Teacher Mentor Benefits

  • GK-12 graduate fellows will serve as a scientific resource and classroom instructional assistant in the classrooms of their cooperating teacher with occasional instruction in classes of other GK-12 teacher mentors or colleagues. Fellows will spend approximately 10 hours a week in the assigned K-12 classroom and 5 hours per week planning classroom activities. The 5 hours is to include both weekly planning time with the teacher and preparation time on their own.
  • Enhanced use of hands-on activities and marine science topics to teach Georgia science standards.
  • Teachers will learn about on-going research in the local coastal environment.
  • $2,250 NSF funded stipend divided into two payments near end of fall and spring terms.
  • Travel funds to participate in the annual NSF GK-12 meeting typically held in March of each year or a professional science or education conference.
  • Opportunities to participate in research cruises held each semester.
  • Opportunities to participate in summer Ocean Literacy Teacher Workshop and Research Internships.

GK-12 Teacher Mentor Responsibilities

  • Mentor the GK-12 Fellow in teaching and communicating science to young audiences.
  • Mentor the GK-12 Fellow in the development and implementation of an inquiry based lesson plan relevant to the fellow's field of research and serve as a potential co-author for publication.
  • Provide fellow with opportunities to enhance his or her teaching skills (co-teaching, mentoring students, leading field trips, assisting with science fair projects).
  • Provide fellow with feedback on his or her teaching and mentoring.
  • Provide program feedback through timely submission of data and surveys and full participation in monthly meetings and other assessment activities.

  • Provide GK-12 Fellow with an orientation to your school (building layout, safety rules, parking, where to safely store belongings, photocopier).
  • Work out a schedule with the fellow that accommodates both classroom needs and fellow research and course demands.
  • Introduce your GK-12 Fellow to other teachers and staff members at your school.
  • Introduce the fellow to your students at the beginning of the year and facilitate inclusion of the fellow into the classroom.
  • Participate in planning sessions with the GK-12 fellows prior to initiation of classroom service and weekly during the school year.
  • Notify GK-12 fellow about upcoming curriculum and provide materials (textbook, handouts) as available, so that they can help you effectively and efficiently in the classroom.
  • Notify Carol Pride or Carla Curran of any issues that arise during the semester.

Fellow Application

Applications Due by 07/17/2015!