Project MAST (NSF)

2008-2013 Grades 9-12

In October 2008, the NSF awarded the Partnership/JSU a five year $8.7 million grant to educate teachers in the content basics of physical science, physics, chemistry and space science at the high school level. The primary goal Project MAST (NSF) is to provide a self-sustaining system of education and professional development in science classrooms while enabling teachers to accomplish National Educational Goals, the National Education Standards, and the Mississippi Science Curriculum Frameworks for high school (9-12) education. The long term goal is to improve the K-12 student achievement in science and to significantly reduce achievement gaps in science performance within diverse student populations. Project MAST (NSF) targets approximately 200 teachers from under-performing schools in Mississippi.

The major components of this project include in-service and pre-service teacher preparation. In service training encompasses two compressed 3 credit hour graduate courses for currently employed teachers. The courses will be conducted in 20 days–two weeks in the summer and 10 Saturdays–during the academic year. Project team members who act as instructors and guest faculty will conduct at least three follow-up visits to the classrooms of the participants.

Project MAST (NSF) will support 45 pre-service teachers to attain teaching licensure in physical science by the end of the program. The College of Education and Human Development and the Mississippi State Department of Education have partnered will MSP to establish the first physical science licensure program in the state. MSPenvisions an aggressive effort to recruit aspiring educators and scientists to participate in the licensure program and other STEM teaching disciplines.