As a member of South Gwinnett High School’s career and technical education department, Nikki Williams teaches marketing principles and entrepreneurship skills to students.
She keeps an eye on the job market and has seen an increasing need for workers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
Thanks to a partnership between Georgia State University’s College of Education & Human Development and Gwinnett County Public Schools, Williams is one of 25 Gwinnett County teachers who will be earning a master’s degree in STEM education over the next year.
Williams believes that earning this degree will give her the additional training needed to guide students interested in entering STEM fields.
“I’m excited about the information I can take back to my students and seeing how they’ll benefit from what I’m learning,” she said.
This partnership provides funding from Associate Professor Natalie King’s Alan T. Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation and financial support from Gwinnett County Public Schools to cover the teachers’ tuition, fees and books.
Georgia State’s STEM education master’s program combines knowledge and skills from various STEM disciplines so that teachers and their students can benefit from a well-rounded and holistic approach to STEM education. This online program allows teachers to further develop their STEM content knowledge and implement standards-based curriculum at the middle and secondary school levels.
The 25 teachers selected for the program attended an orientation on Aug. 8 to meet each other, learn more about the Georgia State faculty teaching their courses and prepare for classes to begin in a few weeks.
Lisa Babbage, a 20-year educator who teaches sixth grade social studies at Radloff Middle School, is looking forward being part of this initial cohort of STEM education master’s students.
“I love being a pioneer,” she said. “And working in teams with people who have similar goals is really exciting.”
Story by Claire Miller