New grant for math and science teacher education creates GSE’s largest scholarship award

Alex Steinkamp, Graduate School of Education MEd 2013. Alex is a 2012-13 recipient of the Pivotal Scholars Fund, and currently teaches high school AP physics and robotics in Olympia, Washington.

Alex Steinkamp, Graduate School of Education MEd 2013. Alex is a 2012-13 recipient of the Pivotal Scholars Fund, and currently teaches high school AP physics and robotics in Olympia, Washington.

The Graduate School of Education (GSE) is proud to announce that Ecoworks Foundation has made a grant of $100,000 to support the Pivotal Scholars Fund for Math/Science Teacher Education. Two $10,000 scholarships will be available annually for five years, making Pivotal the largest private donor-funded scholarship in the GSE. The Pivotal scholarship will help to attract and recruit the best STEM majors to the field of science and math education.

The first two Pivotal Scholars Fund scholarships from the new grant will be awarded in the spring of 2015. Interested students are encouraged to complete the scholarship application now. The deadline for application is February 1, 2015.

Ecoworks Foundation is supporting the Pivotal Scholars Fund to launch outstanding science and math teachers into our region’s classrooms. The GSE strives to create a community for math and science teacher candidates, supporting deep interest and expertise in content areas and staying abreast of current advances in STEM field practices. As classroom teachers, the Pivotal Scholars will inspire thousands of students with their passion for math and science, while promoting sustainability through their curricula.

Ecoworks Foundation is proud to support the PSU Graduate School of Education’s efforts in math and science teacher education by catalyzing the establishment of the Pivotal Scholars Fund. Through these scholarships, we want to encourage our best and brightest to pursue teaching careers in science and math, areas that will be pivotal to addressing the challenges facing our region and world.
—Brad Zenger, founder and president of Ecoworks Foundation

Darren Beene, Graduate School of Education MEd candidate 2015, in his student teaching placement at David Douglas High School. Darren is a 2014-15 recipient of the Pivotal Scholars Fund.

Darren Beene, Graduate School of Education MEd candidate 2015, in his student teaching placement at David Douglas High School. Darren is a 2014-15 recipient of the Pivotal Scholars Fund.

Ecoworks Foundation is a venture philanthropy foundation committed to enabling economic systems, products, and services that promote economic prosperity while replenishing the environment for future generations. The Foundation’s board of trustees believes that education is a primary investment that must be made both in support of our future and to enable any positive change. The Foundation seeks to promote the teaching of future generations to live more sustainably, thus ensuring a habitable planet for future generations.

This gift from Ecoworks is aptly named for, as the trustees suggest, science and math are pivotal to improving our world. The advancement of science begins with great teachers who can inform and inspire scientists and mathematicians to advance knowledge and address challenges for future generations.
—Randy Hitz, Dean, Graduate School of Education

The Ecoworks Foundation’s gift is a challenge grant intended to leverage strong support for aspiring math and science teachers. The GSE is seeking to match the $100,000 grant with scholarship support for math and science teacher candidates. Contact Jaymee Jacoby, director of development, at 503-725-4789 or jjacboy@pdx.edu if you are interested in contributing to scholarships for future math and science teachers.

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