Next Generation Black STEM Teacher Network (NGBST-Network) 

What is NGBST?

The Next Generation Black STEM Teacher Network (NGBST-Network) is a collaborative effort among several institutions aiming to enhance the presence of highly skilled and certified Black STEM educators across both rural and urban school districts. Participating institutions include: 

  • Fort Valley State University 

  • Claflin University 

  • South Carolina State University 

  • Virginia Union University 

  • Winston-Salem State University 



An Overview of the Grant

As expressed by the five principal investigators, The best program ever," the NGBST-Network seeks to empower aspiring Black STEM teachers with the necessary skills and support to excel in their profession. 

  • $1,000.00 Tuition Scholarship Assistance 

  • $2,500.00 Stipend for Participation in Professional Development 

  • $1,000.00 Stipend for Summer STEM or STEM Ed Micro-research Eligibility 

This initiative offers a comprehensive support structure spanning three years. Eligible applicants must have completed a minimum of 25 credit hours and a maximum of 90 credit hours at one of the participating universities, maintaining a cumulative GPA of 2.7. Sophomore and junior students are particularly encouraged to apply. 

The grant aims to increase the number of highly trained and certified Black STEM teachers for both rural and urban school districts. The program seeks to provide a co-curricular model framed by a Community of Practice (CoP) model to create teachers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities who: 

  • Create inclusive and asset/strengths based instructional environments 

  • Use an integrated universal design for learning (UDL) approach to their STEM instruction.

  • Design/deliver engaging instruction promoting critical thinking/problem solving in STEM. 


Winston-Salem NGBST Conference April 4th, 2024 - April 5th, 2024 

NGBST Conference 

The conference showcased dynamic sessions led by students, faculty, and staff representatives from various universities. Highlights included a captivating keynote address delivered by Karen James and an engaging student panel discussion. 

The conference kicked off with a sneaker ball on Friday night, April 4th, on the Winston-Salem Campus, bringing together future educators and their best sneakers. It was a lively event filled with food, music, and lots of dancing. Students and faculty from all participating schools thoroughly enjoyed themselves. 

Karen James, the keynote speaker of the conference, shared an inspiring message about her 27-year journey in education. She emphasized the importance of aspiring educators, stating, "We need some quality students on the bench when they retire... you are needed." 

  • Keenean Johnson, a Senior middle level education major attending South Carolina State University 

  • Kenderious Pauling, a graduating senior English education major attending Claflin University 

  • Mya Straughn from FVSU 

  • Mary Grant, a senior elementary education student at Winston Salem University 

  • Sierra Ghee, a junior elementary education student attending Virginia Union University 

During the panel, the speakers addressed several questions: 

Do you feel that NGBST prepared you? 

  • Mya Straughn: Yes, NGBST provided valuable knowledge about STEM and strategies for classroom implementation. 

Why do you feel STEM is important? 

  • Karen James: STEM education offers diverse learning opportunities across multiple subjects. 

  • Sara G: STEM fosters varied learning experiences and opens doors to different subjects. 

What was one of the engaging activities you experienced in the cohort? 

  • Mya Straughn: Making s'mores with students outdoors. 

  • Kenderious Pauling: Hosting a STEM summer camp and implementing community practices and universal design principles. 

How has Next Gen STEM increased your STEM knowledge and teaching network? 

  • Sara G: Next Gen STEM broadened my understanding of STEM concepts, improved lesson planning skills, and facilitated enjoyable learning experiences in school. 

  • Keenean Johnson: Next Gen STEM provided a deeper understanding of STEM and facilitated networking opportunities with fellow educators. 

What do you want to add to NEXT STEM? 

  • Mary Grant: Encouraging the next generation to pursue careers in education, ensuring a legacy of black teachers in our communities. 


Fort Valley State University Education Department Presentation 

FVSU: Exploring the Impact of STEM in Rural Georgia through the Next Generation 

The presentation highlighted the background of FVSU and their summer projects with students in the rural Middle Georgia Region. Activities included teaching STEM, field trips to the school's agricultural facility, and programming robots for students to take home.

  • Mya Straughn: Stressed the importance of students gaining knowledge and excitement from teachers closer to their age range. 

  • Tod Cain: Advocated for the need for more Black male teachers to serve as role models and mentors for students. 

  • Aniya Gardner: Aspired to be an advocate and role model, aiming to change students' lives through education. 

  • Briana White: Shared a passion for STEM education, influenced by family and a desire to impact students' lives, highlighting the importance of inspiring educators in her journey. 

Student Testimonials 

Winston-Salem University, Senior, Interdisciplinary and concentration in education.  

Positive Impact of the Program: Jefferson highlighted gaining project management and classroom management experience, providing him with the closest experience to being in a classroom. 

  1. Skills Gained from the Grant: He acquired skills in class management, core lesson preparation, and experienced live situations akin to being a teacher. 

  2. Importance of Being a Black Male in Education: Jefferson emphasized the significance of representation, sharing his personal story of not having a Black male teacher until coming to Winston-Salem University. He aspires to be a role model and motivator for future students. 

South Carolina State University, Secondary Education Major 

  1. Positive Impact of the Program: Thomas appreciated the sense of community fostered by the program, especially after transitioning from virtual to in-person interactions. It reinforced his passion for education. 

  1.  Importance of Being a Black Male in Education: Thomas shared an anecdote about positively impacting a young Black student, highlighting the importance of relatable role models in education. 

Graduating Senior, middle level and concentration in Math 

  1. Positive Impact of the Program: Scott emphasized the empowerment gained through knowledge and creativity in teaching STEM subjects, making learning engaging and enjoyable for students from diverse backgrounds. 

Principal Investigators Testimonials 

Executive Director @Claflin University 

Three words that describe your feeling about the grant? Innovative, Informational, and Exciting. 

Dora Wamer shared insights into the CUBED program at Claflin University, offering students a dual enrollment opportunity. She emphasized the importance of organizations like female clubs or groups in providing additional opportunities to expand knowledge and build experiences. Additionally, she highlighted the significance of STEM education in African communities.