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Teachers sought for paid STEM experience

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News from MSU

BOZEMAN — Montana State University is recruiting elementary school teachers for a summer program that offers hands-on research experiences and ideas for bringing science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, into their classrooms. Teachers will also gain skills in developing curriculums that combine STEM with Montana’s Indian Education for All mandate.

In the National Science Foundation-funded program, called Research Experience for Teachers in Engineering, participants will work alongside MSU faculty in cutting-edge research labs, attend field trips and engage in workshops for crafting STEM lesson plans. The six-week program kicks off in June 2024, and applications are being accepted through Feb. 4, 2024.

“Our goal is to provide teachers with an authentic research experience that they can take back to their classrooms and inspire the next generation of engineers and other STEM professionals, especially among students who might not otherwise think of these fields as a career option,” said project leader Paul Gannon, professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering in MSU’s Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering.

The program has an energy theme and will offer opportunities for research on topics like biofuels and battery technology in collaboration with MSU’s Energy Research Institute and Western Transportation Institute. Field trips will include visits to energy facilities like the Madison Dam and nearby Indigenous sites. Participants will discuss Indigenous STEM perspectives and generate ideas for fulfilling Montana’s Indian Education for All mandate, according to Gannon, who is also associate director of MSU’s Montana Engineering Education Research Center. The center works to facilitate interdisciplinary research to address big challenges facing engineering education today.

This will be the third year of a three-year program. Last year’s group included eight teachers from across Montana along with four education students – three from MSU and one from Salish Kootenai College.

Participating teachers will receive a $6,000 stipend plus classroom resources. Housing and meals are provided on campus, and travel funding is available. The program seeks both pre- and in-service teachers with diverse experiences, backgrounds and interests with a focus on those who currently are or will be teaching grades 3 through 5. No specific STEM experience is required.

The deadline for applying for the summer 2024 program is Feb. 4, 2024. For more information and to apply, visit





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