The STEM Teacher and Researcher Program, or STAR, is a nine-week summer fellowship that offers undergraduate, graduate and teaching-credential-seeking students from any California State University campus, or Noyce Scholars from any U.S. university, who are planning to become science teachers an opportunity to gain hands-on research experience at research centers nationwide, including JPL.
Fellows work under the guidance of research mentors, gaining a deep understanding of the research process -- and, at JPL, contributing to NASA missions and science. Fellows attend weekly workshops designed to help them translate their research experience into inquiry-based teaching strategies and a lesson plan that align well with Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. At the end of their fellowship, participants will have the opportunity to share their experiences as part the program's Closing Conference.
- Undergraduate, graduate and teaching-credential-seeking students attending a California State University, or Noyce Scholars from any U.S. university (must be at least 18 years old)
- First-time participants must be pre-service teachers, (i.e., future teachers who have not yet worked as paid, full-time teachers). Program alumni are encouraged to participate in up to three sessions, provided they have not been teaching for more than two years.
- Open to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents (LPRs)
- Minimum 2.7 GPA -- 3.0 preferred
- Fellows must be available full time (40 hours per week) during the nine-week, summer fellowship term.
Successful applicants will have:
- A demonstrated interest in teaching math and science in grades K-12
- At least a junior standing and a strong record of undergraduate coursework in mathematics and science
- Participants will receive a weekly stipend provided by The Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME)
- The program provides a $5,000 base stipend. Housing and travel supplements are offered, if applicable. Please refer to the program website for details.
- Program participants have access to JPL parking facilities at no cost. Public transportation options are also available.
How to Apply:
Visit the STEM Teacher and Researcher Program website and fill out the online application.
You will need:
- Official or unofficial transcripts from any college or university at which you've enrolled in courses
- Email address for a reference who can speak to your interest in teaching and research
- Note: As part of the application process, you will be required to write four 250-word essays on the following topics: 1) Teaching Experience / Interests, 2) Research Experience / Interests, 3) Complementary Soft Skills, and 4) Challenges / Barriers. For each topic, you are given three options for your essay prompt. To help you prepare your essays, the prompts are reproduced in the sample PDF version of the application.
For general inquiries, contact:
JPL Education Office