Growing Future STEM Teachers in Maine Program

Growing Future STEM Teachers in Maine logo

Growing Future STEM Teachers in Maine (GFSTM) seeks to recruit and prepare future science and math teachers, and provide continued support as they enter the classroom in high-need school districts. GFSTM, a partnership between Saint Joseph’s College and Southern Maine Community College, is committed to growing the pool of highly qualified secondary STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teachers in Maine by creating and supporting multiple pathways into the profession and helping districts “grow their own.”

  • Recruitment – GFSTM provides a series of activities throughout the year for 1st and 2nd year students at SJC, SMCC, and partner high schools to explore STEM teaching careers as a GFSTM Associate (sign up today!)
  • Preparation – Rising 3rd and 4th year students (including transfer students) in four STEM/secondary education programs can apply to be GFSTM Noyce Scholars and receive FULL TUITION scholarships to support their preparation.
  • Support – after graduation, GFSTM Noyce Scholars will have access to mentoring and professional development through the program.
GFSTM is generously funded by the National Science Foundation.

GFSTM Activities  |  Scholarship Information  |  Contacts


All programs complete coursework, practicums, and student teaching as part of the secondary education minor. Half of the education courses offer flexibility in format (online or on-campus) and all feature personal instruction and a ground-up progression of teaching skills as students gain the tools and confidence necessary for teaching.

Saint Joseph’s College features four accredited STEM-secondary education programs:

The BSE program results in Life Sciences teaching certification in Maine, with the option to earn dual certification in Life and Physical Sciences. There is flexibility in biology electives – offerings range from Ornithology to Physiology to Disease Prevention – and all students participate in the senior research seminar program.

MSE students develop expertise in the traditional realms of mathematics including calculus, linear and abstract algebra, real analysis, and geometry. A unique feature of the program is the series of one-credit mathematics seminar courses, taken each semester by each student. Seminar courses include exposure to current events in the wider math community; learning and practicing proper mathematics oral and written presentation style; and other topics outside of usual course content. All students complete a capstone project in their senior year in which they research a mathematical topic. The program results in Secondary Mathematics certification in Maine.

The PSSE-Chem reflects SJC’s strength in community-based learning. PSSE-Chem students have additional opportunities to serve in schools in their chemistry classes via the National Science Foundation-funded Chemistry for the Community program. Students take upper level courses in small, personal courses and work in the Advanced Chemistry lab and Trace Element lab. The program results in certification in Physical Sciences.

Students in the PSSE-Env program have the option to participate in the only semester- long total immersion experience offered in New England: the Environmental Science Semester (ESS), where their classroom is the White Mountains, Acadia National Park, and the Bay of Fundy, among other locations. The breadth of courses prepares the student to teach any combination of Earth Science, Environmental Science, Physics, or Chemistry and results in Physical Sciences certification.

GFSTM Activities

Individuals with a passion for STEM education are invited to become GFSTM Associates. GFSTM Associates are eligible to participate in the following program activities:

  • Careers in STEM Education Workshops: Panels of current STEM teachers will provide insight into the benefits and challenges, as well as the professional dispositions associated with the field.
  • Teaching Experience Short Course (TESC): Freshmen and sophomore students will spend a week learning STEM content as well as how to teach it to students in high-need rural and urban schools.
  • Online Educational Foundations (ED100 Course): The three-credit introductory education course offered online is available as a summer course, bridging students’ transition into STEM-secondary education pathways.
  • Deep Dive Seminars: Provide the opportunity to explore topics identified by high-need school partners such as trauma-informed teaching, culturally relevant/sustaining pedagogies, rural challenges, and Native American traditions and their relationship to education.

GFSTM Associates are strongly encouraged to apply to become a GFSTM Noyce Scholar and receive FULL TUITION scholarships and additional programming during their third and fourth years in one of the STEM-secondary education program pathways (see the GFSTM Noyce scholarships page for more details).

Funding Agencies and Partners

Deering High School
Lewiston High School
Westbrook High School
Bonny Eagle High School
Old Town High School
Windham Middle and High School
Lake Region Middle and High School

Dr. Patricia Waters
Dr. Patricia WatersSaint Joseph’s College, Education
Dr. Emily Lesher
Dr. Emily LesherSaint Joseph’s College, Sciences
Dr. Daniel Moore
Dr. Daniel MooreSMCC, Biological Sciences
Dr. David Pinchbeck
Dr. David PinchbeckSaint Joseph’s College, Mathematics