NSF GK-12 Fellows Program » FAQs
- What is the NSF GK-12 Graduate Fellowship?
This program supports fellowships and associated training that enables PhD engineering students to serve in K-12 schools as resources knowledgeable about both STEM content and applications. Fellows serve as engineering content experts and pedagogical resources for teachers in engineering instruction. Expected outcomes include improved communication and teaching skills for the Fellows, enriched learning by K-12 students, professional development for K-12 teachers, and strengthened partnerships between institutions of higher education and local school districts.
- Who may apply for the fellowship?
The fellowship is open to full-time PhD engineering students who are citizens, nationals or permanent residents of the U.S. at the time of application.
- What is covered by the fellowship?
The fellowship offers a 50% GRA plus tuition and insurance benefits.
- How many hours are required?
The fellowship requires 15 hours a week, with a minimum of 8-10 hours in a Longmont or Denver K-12 classroom.
- When does the fellowship begin?
Available fellowship positions begin the first Monday in June of each summer.
- I have commitments for this semester but I would be interested next semester. May I still apply?
The Fellowship has a 1-year commitment, beginning Summer 2010; generally Fellowships are not avaialable during the academic year (with exception). If an applicant is unable to start in early June, there can be some flexibility with the start date (that is, August instead of June).
- Would I have to change my schedule to accommodate this fellowship?
Generally, for PhD students, this is not a problem. You will need to have 1-2 days completely free during the hours of 7:30am - 3pm (public school hours), Monday through Friday.
- What kinds of things would I be doing?
The bulk of your time will be spent teaching engineering concepts to budding engineers (that is, students in a K-12 setting)! A second responsibility is to create original lesson plans on topics related to your own research to inspire young students to pursue high school pre-engineering programs and collegiate studies in science, math, engineering and technology. Additional time is spent on program evaluation, training, leading activities and workshop teaching.
- Is the purpose to prepare me to be a K-12 teacher?
Yes and no. While earning your PhD in engineering, the inent is that you gain enough experience and interest to consider entering the engineering education professioriate. And, our hope is that the insight that you have gathered from working with this program will motivate you to continue leading engineering outreach initiatives wherever you are, including industry, government or other positions.
- How many years does the fellowship cover?
We guarantee funding for a full year, and outstanding Fellows may be invited to participate in a second year. Additional funding may be available through your department. Please contact your advisor.
- Will I be given any training?
Yes, before any Fellows are sent into the classroom, training is provided. You receive information on the specific standards and curriculum that the school district teaches, as well as gain an understanding of your role in the development and implementation of curriculum in the classrooms. Then, you receive ongoing training to provide you with pedagogical tools to address classroom management issues, develop assessment tools, develop age-appropriate activities and address difficulties in teaching to diverse learners as well as how to communicate engineering content to novice learners. You will also become familiar with the TeachEngineering digital library (the web resource available for your day-to-day teaching).