Growing Future STEM Teachers in Maine Program

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.”

Growing Future STEM Teachers in Maine logo

  • Explore - Current SJC undergraduates, community college students, and high school students with an interest in STEM education are encouraged to participate in a variety of activities to determine whether teaching is the right path for you!
  • 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.

Meet the GFSTM Noyce Scholarship recipients.

GFSTM Activities

Individuals with a passion for STEM & Secondary Education are invited to participate in the following program activities. Contact Patricia Waters for more information.

  • Teaching Experience Short Course SJC, community college, and high school students will spend a week learning STEM content and how to teach it in high-need schools. Participants will earn 1 credit for STEM 100: STEM Teaching in High Need Schools AND earn a $250 stipend. The course will run Monday, May 13 - Friday, May 17. The deadline for the May 2024 program is Friday, March 31. Apply Now.
  • Careers in STEM Education Workshop Panels of current STEM teachers and SJC alum will provide insight into the benefits and challenges, as well as the professional dispositions associated with the field.
    Tuesday, October 17, 6-7pm, Alfond Center Student Lounge
  • Deep Dive Seminars This seminar series provides the opportunity to explore topics identified by high-need school partners such as trauma-informed teaching, 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).

Meet Sophia

Sophia Viger teaching STEM Ed to middle school students.

Sophia Viger ’24, Biology and secondary education minor, jumped at the chance to participate in her second Teaching Experience Short Course - a GFSTM activity.

“Even though I had participated in a STEM Short Course two years ago, I was excited to have the opportunity to do it again and experience a whole new teaching environment. Being able to talk to teachers in all different stages of their careers, and hearing about the ways they got into teaching is incredibly valuable to me. It settles my nerves and shows me that not everyone takes the same path into this career, and that's what makes every teaching so unique.”

→ Watch the tiktok video


Highlights of the secondary education minor include flexibility in format (online or on-campus), personal instruction, and a progression of teaching skills as candidates receive training in authentic contexts through sequential field experiences.

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.

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

Contact Us

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