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Application for the 2021 Class of National STEM Scholars is Now Open

30th November 2020

Applications are now open for middle school science teachers from across the nation to apply to participate in the National STEM Scholar Program, a unique professional development program that provides advanced training for the middle school teachers of aspiring scientists nationwide. 10 middle school science teachers will be selected for the 2021 Class of National STEM Scholars.

Created in partnership between the National Stem Cell Foundation and The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science at Western Kentucky University (WKU), the National STEM Scholar Program selects 10 teachers annually from a national pool of applicants to participate in a week of advanced science training and network building on the campus of WKU in Bowling Green, KY. In addition to training, STEM Scholars receive financial support to develop individual Challenge Projects for classroom implementation and spend a day with a nationally or internationally known STEM speaker. Previous speakers include Dr. Eric Mazur and Dr. John Medina. Dr. Mazur is Chair of the Department of Applied Physics at Harvard University and internationally recognized as the father of peer-to-peer learning, now practiced in virtually every university classroom worldwide,  He is an internationally sought-after speaker, presenter and author who now makes auditing his Harvard classes available free of charge for any STEM Scholar. Dr. John Medina is the celebrated author of New York Times best seller Brain Rules and a series of books on developmental education that have been adopted for inclusion in the curriculae of multiple universities. Dr. Medina is also a highly sought-after speaker worldwide. By “training the trainers,” the National STEM Scholar Program hopes to inspire the next generation of STEM pioneers.

Scholars are selected based solely on the merit of questions answered in the application. The selection committee is not provided with names or locations of teacher applicants.

Over 49 Scholars have graduated from the National STEM Scholars Program. Each scholarship recipient receives the following:

  • Advanced education and leadership training on the campus of WKU May 30-June 5, 2021 (pending COVID-19 restrictions). All expenses – travel, lodging, meals – are included
  • A notebook/tablet (Chromebook or similar) to facilitate ongoing collaboration
  • A credit of up to $2,500 for technology and supplies to implement a classroom Challenge Project
  • Sponsored attendance at the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) Conference in Houston in March/April 2022. All expenses – registration, travel, lodging, meals – are included
  • Year-long mentorship and support provided by Gatton Academy faculty

Applications are open now – click here to apply.

About The Gatton Academy

Established in 2007, The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first residential two-year program for gifted and talented high school juniors and seniors. The Gatton Academy’s students enroll as juniors and are full-time WKU students pursuing their interests in advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematical careers. The Gatton Academy has been named to Jay Mathews’ list of top-performing schools with elite students for ten consecutive appearances. For more information, visit