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Virginia Institute of Marine Science

PERFECT Partnership

NSF-funded GK-12 Partnership between Educators and Researchers for Enhancing Classroom Teaching

The NSF GK-12 Program supports fellowships and training for graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Through interactions with teachers and students in K-12 schools, graduate fellows can improve their communication and teaching skills while enriching STEM content and instruction for their K-12 partners.

PERFECT is the only marine science-focused GK-12 in the Chesapeake Bay region. Selected Fellows will work with professional teachers to introduce their research to the students. Our partners include schools with traditional STEM curricula, as well as schools with a special focus on marine and environmental science. These schools also serve a high percentage of students traditionally underrepresented in STEM.

Teaching Partnership

Each fellow will be paired with an in-service teacher throughout the year. This team format allows the fellow and the teacher to mentor and learn from each other. Commitment and support from fellow's major advisor is required.

Number of Fellows per year:  9
Fellowship duration:  1 year for MS; 1-2 years for PhD

What Will Fellows Do?

  • Provide their partner teachers with summer research experience.
  • Attend a short course and various workshops that focus on teaching theory and techniques.
  • Develop appropriate teaching materials and activities that incorporate their own research and other science topics relevant to the needs of the classroom students and teachers.
  • Commit at least 10 hours per week of "school time" working with partner teachers and students in classroom teaching and other school activities.
  • Participate in project meetings, retreats, and project evaluation.

Partnering Schools