ALL RISE: ASSET Collaborates with University of Houston on $2.2 Million National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teaching Fellowship Program Grant
Front row, center, is the project’s Principal Investigator Sissy Wong (in the black shirt). With Wong, from left, are Co-Principal Investigators Laveria Hutchinson, Alberto Rodriguez and Jie Zhang. Co-PI Donna Stokes is not pictured above. Photo from University of Houston.
In 2021, the University of Houston (UH) came to ASSET with a request for support with a National Science Foundation grant application. Would ASSET be a contributing partner and provide professional development for middle school educators in the Houston area?
Funding was awarded in 2022, enabling the $2.2M UH-ALL RISE (Advancing Language Literacy with Relevant Investigations in Science Education) initiative to kick off.
This five-year NSF collaboration with University Houston aligns ASSET Inc. with national partners such as the New Teacher Center and UH STEM Center to support middle school science educators in three Houston-area school districts. ASSET’s role is to provide coaching, professional learning, and leadership development to enhance the fellows’ abilities to be STEM teacher leaders in high-needs districts.
The program aims to develop middle school teacher leaders and improve science education for emerging bilinguals (EBs) in economically disadvantaged, culturally and linguistically diverse schools in Houston, Texas. As cultural and linguistic diversity continues to dramatically increase in Texas and across the United States, emerging bilinguals remain underserved, often lacking access to high quality, rigorous, and relevant science instruction. The UH-ALL RISE initiative addresses the critical need to support and elevate middle school science teachers’ capacity to effectively work with these students in their classrooms, and to encourage them to engage in science classes and pursue STEM careers which can provide them with future economic mobility.
In 2023, ASSET started working closely with 18 middle school science educators from Title I schools in Texas (Aldine, Alief and Houston) school districts to provide:
One-to-one virtual coaching for each educator, to include discovery, goal setting, and planning and reflection conversations
Professional Learning Community facilitation for each of the three school districts, focused on the Exploration of Leadership and Modeling Change in School Based Communities
Design and delivery of two days of educator professional learning, focused on Science Learning in the context of multiple literacies and 21st century workforce skills
Through the next few years, these activities will focus on deepening teachers’ science conceptual understanding; fostering science pedagogical and collaborative leadership skills that will assist in advancing student achievement; and supporting the implementation of results-oriented activities that are student-centered and standards-based. The professional development, coaching, and professional learning community sessions will support educators in learning to model the skills of science discourse, questioning, and leadership.