RESTEP to STEM Pre-Service Teacher Scholarship Program

RESTEP to STEM Pre-Service Teacher Education Scholarship

(Research Engaged Strategies in Teacher Education Programs to improve STEM)

Note: RESTEP to STEM is a new scholarship opportunity offered by the NC Space Grant as a pilot program.  As a result, this opportunity is open to pre-service education majors at East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for this cycle.  NC Space Grant anticipates expanding the opportunity to students at our other Affiliate institutions in the 2017-18 academic year.


To promote STEM Education, North Carolina Space Grant is funding research projects for undergraduate and graduate pre-service teachers that develop their understanding of best practices and strategies of effective teaching in K-12 schools.  Pre-service teachers in this program will build on and add to the current research, knowledge and curriculum that address and align with current NASA education themes and missions.


  • To accelerate the opportunities of undergraduate and graduate students to engage in educational research in STEM education.
  • To promote science education in the K-12 classroom, focusing on improving pre­college perceptions, understanding and interests in science.
  • To promote science education in the K-12 classroom focusing on improving pre­college interests in pursuit of science education and science careers.
  • To assist in the preparation of teachers entering into the K-12 science classrooms.

Criteria for Pre-Service Teacher Proposals:

  • 2016 – 2017 SUGGESTED TOPIC AREA: Solar Eclipse
  • Projects must include a research component that builds on and/or adds to the current knowledge about curriculum, best practices, strategies, or assessments in science education in the K-12 classroom.
  • Project must involve a classroom teacher and a learning scientist or science content expert advisor.
  • Proposals must include:
    • a background literature section that addresses both inquiry and pedagogical issues,
    • well defined research, questions and expected outcomes,
    • data collection methodology with assessment tools included or described,
    • a description of the population of students that will be involved,
    • time lines and costs (budget),
    • description of deliverables and their alignment to NASA mission/directorate,
    • letters of commitment for partnership from classroom teacher and faculty/expert,
    • references that support ideas for the project.
  • Proposals should demonstrate accuracy of content and an understanding of pedagogy/learning.
  • Partnerships are encouraged with graduate students in science content areas.
  • Deliverables (curricula, assessments or other products developed through this grant) should be justified and meet a wide audience.
  • Project must be able to be completed by May 2017.
  • Examples of project ideas and assessment and deliverables.

Eligibility and Application:

This opportunity is open to Pre-Service Education majors at East Carolina University (ECU) and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC).  Minimum GPA requirement is 2.8

To Apply for the RESTEP to STEM Pre-Service Teacher Scholarship, click HERE.  Applications due December 1, 2016.

Scholar Expectations:

  • Participate in cohort webinars (guest speakers, share research)
  • Participate in cohort blog of research activities
  • Participate in a cohort field trip to NASA Langley Research Center in January 2017
  • Present research at a professional meeting
  • Submit a short 1-2 page reflection paper
  • Final product agreed upon prior to award (e.g. journal article, curriculum activity)

Award and Funding Distribution:

Selected Scholars will receive an award of $4,500. The Scholarship includes $500 to support travel to NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia in January 2017.

Distribution of award:

  • January 2017 - $1,000; $500 applied to travel costs
  • March 2017 - $1,500
  • May 2017 - $1,500

Additional Award Notes:

  • Distribution of awards is contingent on meeting benchmarks as outlined in the Awardee Contract Packet.
  • Awards are competitive and proposals will be peer reviewed by a panel of previous awardees, content scientists, educators and learning scientists.  
  • Each year proposal topics will be suggested to develop a stronger cohort; however, proposals that are strong, that are not necessarily directly related to the topic will be considered.
  • After proposals have been accepted for award, the deliverables may be subject to further discussion for modification before final approval of the award. 


For questions regarding this opportunity please contact Jobi Cook at (919)515-5933 or

For assistance with project ideas, partnerships on campus, etc., please contact:


North Carolina Space Grant is a NASA
sponosored program administered by
North Carolina State University.