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Presidential Awards for Math & Science Teaching

Honors outstanding science and mathematics teachers who are leaders in the improvement of science and mathematics education.
Program Information

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program are the highest recognition that an elementary or secondary mathematics or science (including computer science) teacher may receive. The PAEMST program is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Recipients serve as models for other science and mathematics teachers; help to inspire students to study mathematics and science; and serve as leaders in their disciplines. Each year, California can recommend two state nominees in mathematics teaching and two state nominees in science teaching to the NSF. During alternate years, the PAEMST program recognizes elementary and secondary level teachers. In 2016, only teachers teaching in kindergarten through grade six (elementary level) will be recognized. In 2017, only teachers teaching in grades seven through twelve (secondary level) will be recognized.

Presidential Award recipients are honored at the White House where they are presented a citation signed by the President of the United States, and receive a $10,000 award from the NSF.

To begin the process, a mathematics or science (including computer science) teacher must be nominated using the NSF’s online Nomination Form which is available on the NSF Web External link opens in new window or tab. page during Fall 2016. The window for nominations closes on April 1, 2017.

Once nominated, candidates must submit a 45-minute, unedited video of a classroom lesson showing a mathematics or science lesson taught by the teacher. Candidates also complete a written application showing their depth of content knowledge, their exemplary pedagogical skills, and the data from increased student learning. The completed packet of nomination materials is submitted online at the designated NSF Web page and is due May 1, 2016.

Timeline of Events for 2016-17 Secondary Teachers (grades 7-12)
  • Application Opens: Fall 2016
  • Nomination Deadline: April 1, 2017
  • Application Deadline: May 1, 2017
2016-17 Eligibility Criteria for California Teachers

Listed below are eligibility criteria for nominees. They must:

  • Teach mathematics or science (including computer science) in grades seven through twelve in a public or private school in California.
  • Hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.
  • Be a full-time employee of the school or school district as determined by state and district policies, and teach at least 50 percent of the time.
  • Have at least five years of full-time, teaching experience in grades kindergarten through twelve in mathematics or science (including computer science) prior to the 2016-17 academic school year.
  • Be a United States citizen or permanent resident.
  • Not have received the PAEMST award at the national level in any prior competition or category.
2016 Application for Secondary Teachers
Awardees and Finalists
Other Resources
  • National PAEMST Web Site External link opens in new window or tab.
    National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Web site for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Resources include background information on PAEMST, award process (including current application), listing of awardees, and state coordinators. NSF administers PAEMST on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
  • CDE Mathematics Education
    Resources and information for enhancing the content knowledge and teaching skills of classroom teachers and links to foundational documents which guide California's mathematics instruction.
  • CDE Science Education
    Resources and information for enhancing the content knowledge and teaching skills of classroom teachers and links to foundational documents which guide California's science instruction.
Questions: PAEMST | paemst@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0198 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, August 23, 2016
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