Awarded in 2016, The University of Arizona College of Education M.Ed. Secondary Education program has received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support the recruitment and preparation of STEM teachers in Southern Arizona high schools and middle schools. The Collaborative Noyce Border Scholars Program along the Arizona-Mexico Border is a collaboration among the University of Arizona College of Education. (NSF Award #1557369)

In 2020, the program was honored with a second Noyce Award, Building Cultrually Compenetent STEM Teacher Leaders for Rural, High-need Schools Near the U.S. Border with Mexico which aims to address the critical shortage and low retention of STEM secondary teachers by overcoming opportunity gaps in the STEM experience. (NSF Award #1950129)

The Noyce programs are offered in collaboration with University of Arizona Biosphere 2 and Cochise College 

Scientia - Inspiring Teachers in the Arizona Borderlands

Noyce Borderlands Master Teacher Fellows (BMTF) "Building Culturally Competent STEM Teacher Leaders for Rural, High-need Schools Near the U.S. Border with Mexico". This five-year, 1.5 million dollar National Science Foundation (NSF) Noyce project aims to address the critical shortage and low retention of STEM teachers in U.S. border schools and to help overcome current opportunity gaps in STEM experiences on the Arizona-Mexico border.

The Noyce Borderlands Master Teacher Fellows recently participated in the first annual STEM Leadership Institute, held at Biosphere 2 (see images above).

The objective of the annual STEM Leadership Institute (SLI) is to provide leadership training for exemplary teachers. With the overall goal of improving the STEM educational outcomes in border schools, we work with middle and high school teachers to enhance their confidence, preparation, and effectiveness through providing for their leadership and career advancement – without leaving the classroom. The 2021 event at Biosphere 2, sponsored in large part by the APS Foundation, linked University of Arizona expertise, invited guests, and other resources for teachers in service of enhanced, evidence-informed pedagogical practices and content knowledge. This annual event allows us to work together to envision the future of STEM leadership in our regional schools.

The leadership team for the Noyce Borderlands Master Teacher Fellows NSF Grant 1950129: Dr. Etta Kralovec is the Director of the Borderlands Education Center and a Principle Investigator on the APS engagement project and the BMTF project. Dr. Kevin Bonine is also a PI on the BMTF project and the Director of Education for both Biosphere 2 and the UA Arizona Institutes for Resilience. Eric Meyer is a Co-PI on the BMTF project and is the Director of the Sin Fronteras STEM Teacher Leadership Program.

For more information, contact Eric Meyer

Upcoming Events

Teacher Professional Development
Borderlands Education Center is proud to present monthly teacher collaboratives for regional teachers. Programming supports new teacher induction and professional development for K-12 educators. These hybid sessions are offered FREE of charge and include CEU Credits. Learn more!

Arizona Educational Foundation Names 2023 Arizona Teacher of the Year®, Ty White. Read the full article.

Culturally Responsive Mathematics Pedagogy is a method of teaching that cultivates academic talent across a range of student populations despite the prevalence of educational disparities. The need for every student to understand, interpret, and critically analyze real-life mathematical relationships and applications is urgent. Data and statistics can be used as weapons against the data illiterate. In this workshop, we will illustrate and discuss how we can engage students as the creators and collectors of information; empowering them to make meaningful connections. We will also explore ways to tackle sensitive social issues by embedding methods and action items that align with the CRMP Framework. Data will help solve the big problems of tomorrow. Prepare your students today.

The opportunity to present some of our work at the Noyce Summit was extremely rewarding, our presentation was well attended and there was lots of interaction with the audience. What impacted me the most was the follow-up discussions from members of the audience as they described the importance of teaching Data Science in high school. I think Blais’s perspective as a teacher that worked so close to the southern border was highly valued. I got the feeling that few schools are teaching Data Science from a Culturally Relevant Perspective and I am looking forward to continuing this work in our monthly Mathematics Teacher Circle.


This teacher-leading-teacher professional learning community event at Biosphere 2 brought together local STEM educators to examine how Agrivoltaics can provide engaged learning STEM opportunities for students in Southeastern Arizona. This visionary collaboration initiated an ongoing curriculum development that will bring awareness and education that supports sustainable solutions for global challenges involving food, energy, and water. 

The event was coordinated and facilitated by Noyce Borderland Master Teacher Fellows: Benjamin Davis, Jose Hinojos, Mark Ortega, Josiah Sovern, Blais Cross, Charles Collingwood, and Ty White. Thank you to Arizona Public Service for supporting this meaningful event.

In March 2022, three U of A College of Education Noyce Borderlands Master Teacher Fellows attended the Western Regional Noyce Conference in San Diego: Melany Coates, Elizabeth Doran, and Rachel Carpenter.

This Conference allowed these fellows to further understand their work in a larger context.  Fellows investigated strands such as best practices in mathematics and science education, teaching in high-needs schools, and best practices in social justice and equity for STEM education.

Melany Coates presented her work, 'Student Voice, Identity and Social Context'.  This powerful work highlights her students' voice regarding dominant culture, how dominant culture contributes to students' identity, and how learning from a teacher of a different ethnicity/culture impacts students.  Elizabeth Doran's presentation, 'A Story of People, a story we need to hear' emphasized stories from the field that help preservice and novice teachers understand teaching as a humanizing experience.

melanie coates presents at the Western Regional Noyce Conference 2022.jpg

Melanie Coates presents at the  Western Regional Noyce Conference 2022
Melanie Coates presents at the Western Regional Noyce Conference 2022

Elizabeth Doran presents at the Western Regional Noyce Conference 2022.jpg

Elizabeth Doran presents at the Western Regional Noyce Conference 2022
Elizabeth Doran presents at the Western Regional Noyce Conference 2022

My experience at the conference gave me a wider lens to see how my own practices are changing and concurrently are alongside what would be deemed as educational best practices for teachers.  Whether it be supporting my students and their identities in math and science as well as within a broader social context, I have been validated in my push to bring higher valued learning into my classroom.  Providing my students opportunities to flourish in the classroom using various forms of expression like modeling, art, and experiential learning is at the forefront of my practice, to bring equity and build learner identities in students' educational experiences.  I now have more knowledge and tools to bring with me.  -Melany Coates, Noyce Borderlands Master Teacher Fellow


For me, the conference highlighted the urgent need to address the inequities in STEM education. I walked away with a renewed commitment and some specific areas to focus on as I make science more accessible, including academic language development, engaging content, co-created norms, and regular reflection. -Rachel Carpenter, Noyce Borderlands Master Teacher Fellow. 

Thank you, Arizona Public Service Foundation! 

The Noyce Borderlands Master Teacher Fellows sincerely thank the Arizona Public Service Foundation (APS) for supporting programs that enhance academic achievement in the areas of STEM.  The APS Foundation has sponsored 45 hours of leadership training for NBMTFs at the University of Arizona’s renowned Biosphere 2.  The APS foundation also supported an Agrivoltaics Institute at Biosphere 2 for Arizona teachers, aimed at creating STEM field-based agrivoltaics curricula, as well as the production of 46 agrivoltaics kits to be utilized in Arizona public education classrooms. APS Foundation support has created a continuing community of STEM field-based curriculum development through Sin Fronteras, a teacher-led community of practice that is led by the NBMTFs. 


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant # 1950129 Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.