The National Science Foundation has awarded the University $192,347 to recruit and train teachers in high-need urban schools throughout Southwestern Connecticut who can teach physical science with the aim of increasing student performance and interest in the physical sciences.

The project, “Planning for a Teacher Fellowship/Master Teacher Fellowship Program to Serve High-Need Schools in Urban Southwestern Connecticut,” is being led under the direction of School of Education professor Ioana Badara with colleagues Nelson Ngoh, Engineering professors Buket Barkana, and Navarun Gupta as well as Maria Gherasimova, from UB School of Arts & Sciences.

The yearlong project launched in January with the aim of developing a new program to recruit and educate undergraduate science majors and career changers to serve as high school physical sciences teachers in high-need districts. It also will expand UB’s already significant outreach in area schools.

UB’s School of Education, for instance, currently prepares teachers to become certified as elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers of English, math, science, social science and music.

“This NSF grant will help us develop a combined program to produce effective science teachers who teach physical science and who will solve the existing severe educational problems in Bridgeport, Norwalk, and Stamford public schools,” said Dr. Badara.

The proposed program “will have a huge impact on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in the area, placing UB as leader,” she added.

Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625,